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The Great Heavy Rain Box Art Debate

Posted under News by Erik Johnson on Thursday, January 21st, 2010 -

Heavy_Rain_Art_Debate

Recently, Sony and Quantic Dream rolled out the PAL, North America and Japan regional box art for their upcoming PS3-exclusive interactive drama Heavy Rain and boy is there some hootin’ and hollerin’ over it.

Though everything seems to make sense to me: America gets a wet t-shirt contest, Japan gets a dead guy’s nose extruding from a puddle, and Europe gets good box art.

Heavy-Rain-UK-box-art

PAL Art: Alright let’s see….Rain? Check. Specifically of the heavy variety? Check. The conspicuous, but not intrusive, blood stain is appreciated, and the cover also references the importance of the Origami Killer in the game without giving anything away, which deserves high points. As I look at the origami itself it makes me think of a someone dying of a mortal wound, crawling aimlessly through the rain in a fruitless effort to reach a more respectable end. See! An emotional response, that’s what good box art does.

Heavy-Rain-US-box-art

US Art: Woah, this baby’s got everything! Sex appeal, gun appeal, and just to make sure we weren’t outdone by those boys across the Atlantic we slapped their boring ol’ box art on too. Only smaller…and less detailed, and pretty much playing second fiddle to Madison Paige’s boobs journalistic integrity. Seriously though it’s pretty cookie cutter stuff; I’ve always been against putting characters on the box art for the reason of gaining preconceived notions about characters before the game is played. Basically, it ruins part of the discovery that should be wholly reserved for when you’re playing through the game. Unfortunately for these types of games, (the ones that spend millions and millions on development and production) hype seems to be as critical to the process as any other phase for the game including development itself.

The backlash on the cover has been overwhelming enough for Sony to go ahead with the decision to offer the previously mentioned Europe box art to download and print.

heavy-rain-japanese-box-art

Japan Art: It was a relief to many of us stateside to see that we were not the only ones put through a ‘what the hell is this?’ situation. No origami, no over-exposure of characters, just a nose, probably of a dead guy. Ominous and mysterious? Sure, but closer to eccentric and weird, and certainly not as subtle as the PAL version. Though for the record, if that guy is actually supposed to be on land then that is indeed some heavy-ass rain.

So there you have it, you going with Dying Origami, Nose Puddle Haiku or G.I. Joe?

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