Is the Heavy Rain Mall Scene Uncanny-Valley-Tastic?

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Is the Heavy Rain Mall Scene Uncanny-Valley-Tastic?

Does this clip of the "Mall Scene" in the upcoming Heavy Rain move you emotionally, or does it move you straight into the Uncanny Valley?

WARNING: SEVERE SPOILERS

If nothing else, you really need to give Quantic Dream credit for trying something new with Heavy Rain. Rather than reducing the "Mature" rating to stand for "blood, guns, and tits," Heavy Rain is trying to present gamers with genuinely adult scenarios - as in, the pressures of taking care of one's family, or the sorrow of loss.

It's a remarkably ambitious goal, and one the Quantic team should be applauded for. But it's also dependent upon the characters being easy to relate to and likable - and for Quantic's tech to make them seem genuinely human. Heavy Rain is one of the best-looking games we've ever seen in still shots, but... well, I don't want to influence anyone's judgment.

Go ahead and watch the video above, which stars architect Ethan Mars as he takes his family to the mall - it's a direct prelude to the really depressing gameplay demo from last October, which means that the video will contain significant spoilers. Watch the video now, before you read any further and I start talking about it.

Did you watch it yet? No? Why are you still reading this? Go watch it!

Seriously, I can wait. I've got all day, guys - I'm just words on a computer screen. Watch the damn video; I don't want to influence your opinion before you view.

Okay, you watched it? Really? I'm trusting you, here.

Great - glad to hear it. Now that you watched it, we can talk about it:

Honestly, it doesn't do it for me. I think that it's an absolutely brilliant idea, and the gameplay looks like it works fantastically and completely revolutionizes how we think of mere "quicktime events." But this is so very movielike - intentionally so - that I can't help comparing it to a movie in my mind. And there, it starts to fall apart. These characters are squarely in the middle of the Uncanny Valley for me - their facial expressions and movements are so close to being human but just far enough to feel weird. The voice acting isn't as great as I'd like it to be, either (though it's better than some other clips we've seen of the game...)

Maybe it's just me, and maybe it's that my work computer means that I need to watch this in SD rather than HD - does it look any better when blown up?

Heavy Rain is such a magnificent idea and I want it to work so badly. But if the entirety of the game is like this, I can't see it being nearly as immersive as it needs to be to sell itself to gamers.

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Yeah, that definitely invokes the "Uncanny Valley" effect. There's something about the eyes and mouth that are REALLY unsettling.

definitely all the way down in the valley, and despite the gameplay looks fun its a game relying heavily on the looks and feel of the characters, and i cant relate to...those.

sad to say this is a deal-breaker for me.

the mouths are really strange, especially the womans at the opening, it looks like her jaw popped right out and then back in again in a matter of a second, and since they handle very, very human things in this game i would be creped out most of the time, like when i saw the robot hand gently stroking a woman chin (a greg tito article from december if I'm not mistaking).

Looks good, the characters are kinda weird though, they don't really feel realistic enough to work in a game like this.

Gah!

I've just walked into a Blade Runner Replicant training camp!

Nope, Fahrenheit actually looked better than that, realistic face wise. Which isn't saying much.

it is compelling, and any one that has ever handled a child will feel a certian degree of frustration and anxiety while playing or even watching which is what makes it a well designed senario.

although i am unsure what you mean by 'uncanny valley'...
uncanny valley only applies to visuals, not effects.
or rather there has been no tie to effects as of yet.

Ewww...the characters look awful to look at. Also, experience the thrill of finding the money in the right pocket! And in different playthroughs, the money changes pockets so it's always different!

Pyro Paul:
it is compelling, and any one that has ever handled a child will feel a certian degree of frustration and anxiety while playing or even watching which is what makes it a well designed senario.

although i am unsure what you mean by 'uncanny valley'...
uncanny valley only applies to visuals, not effects.
or rather there has been no tie to effects as of yet.

I mean the visuals. The animations and the facial expressions.

If my kid was ever that stupid Id let the car take him out.

Other than that, it looked like the weirdest game Ive seen outside of Katamari Damaci.
The faces were WEIRD

I didn't really notice anything.
They might not look perfect but they act like people.
Works for me.

It seems a bit silly, do kids these days still have an irrational desire for balloons? The ending of the video was also kind of weird, I won't spoil it lest Ms. Arendt break my knees (I'm fond of my knees). But it seems like the game/movie is relying on at least one really stupid character.

It didn't give me the uncanny-valley cringe at all. The voice acting is a little iffy, but I actually like the visuals.

The characters look detailed but their facial's and all around movement look rather stiff seen more movement from Breen or the G-Man

Actually, it's quite sad, John, that you find the animations so immersion-breaking.
I hope this inconvenience doesn't stop you from enjoying the game.

Eukaryote:
I'm sorry, that is terrible. It is the farthest point from being a game that is currently being marketed as one in the modern industry. I hope this thing flops and we never see gameplay as offensive as that again.

Also, the uncanny valley is so deep in this game I can feel the heat from the outer mantle.

In all fairness, the depth of the gameplay shouldn't be visible in one playthrough since you wouldn't see the branching out, or how everything changes depending on your choices.

Eh, doesn't bother me too much. Yeah they look off, but compared to many games they still look good.

As I said in another thread earlier, I don't know if I'll like this game, but I'll certainly play it.

Oh err...

That wasn't really... Hmmm.

This has put me off quite a bit (not that I can buy it anyway, no PS3 unfortunately).

The voice-acting was passable, facial animations and movement weren't as good as they need to be for something like this (Uncharted 2's is much better) and the dialogue was a little off.

I mean:

"Jason stay by your father, Son," (not a direct quote but you get the idea) is not something I could ever hear a Dad actually saying.

Still, its only a 5 minute clip, right?

My other worry though is the scene in which the Dad is in the living room with his son. The guy playing talks about the choices you can make, but nothing actually seems to happen until he's gone through all of them.

I really would like this to do well, but I'm on the fence at the minute.

I know its gotten some good reviews though.

Yeah I feel the whole uncanny valley thing... It was kinda.. yeah. Though I don't get it... Is it a game? If so what's it about? D:

Xanadeas:
Yeah I feel the whole uncanny valley thing... It was kinda.. yeah. Though I don't get it... Is it a game? If so what's it about? D:

Balloons.

Outlaw Torn:

Xanadeas:
Yeah I feel the whole uncanny valley thing... It was kinda.. yeah. Though I don't get it... Is it a game? If so what's it about? D:

Balloons.

That explains... EVERYTHING!

It would be very, very emotional if it didn't feel so odd.

...

Clowns...

I HATE clowns.

I...Hate...CLOWNS!

Looks well made. Actors are good, good cinematography and pacing. Looks fine to me. But the writing... Jason is a complete moron... and the clown is fucking disgustingly evil... ALL CLOWNS ARE EVIL.

I would play that game. I liked "Fahrenheit" too, up to THAT point. (YES THAT ONE were everything went to hell with the story).

I thought the clown looked good, but that isn't something to be praising a game on, now is it?

The rest of the characters looked good, and the voice acting was, for the most part, ok.

Sadly, I don't have a PS3.

I wasn't planning on buying it anyways.. Its just another one of those over hyped so much that it just has to suck games.. Like MW2 oh crap hope no Cod fanboyz read that..

The spirits within this game are so far down in the valley that it's legitimately "fuck, what were these people thinking?!"

Really, it confirmed my own prejudices about the game. I wasn't getting it before, I'm really not getting it now.

Well, the dubbing seemed a bit out of sync with the body gestures, and sometimes they looked a little shooldawhoop why opening their mouth, but the animations and crowd dynamics seemed fantastic.

Oh, and that clown scared the fuck out of me.

The dialogue feels excruciating to me. I can't stand badly written dialogue, or any that makes me think, "There's almost no one on Earth who would say something in that way."

I didn't really feel anything after watching that. I'll admit the game is different from anything I've seen, but as I've said before, it still looks boring as hell.

Didn't seem that bad to me, mostly some awkward movements and bad delivery; that kid was acting really excited but the voice actor didn't match that level.

Scawy...

Argh! Fire...kill it with.

Not really a fan of the move towards to super realistic graphics. Partially because of this and partially because I'm not sure how comfortable I am murdering thousands of realistic fake people.

But, hell, its a tough line.

Didn't feel "real" enough to be proper uncanny-material. The way they characters moved and facial expressions where not that realistic.

...

Also, CHRIST what an annoying kid.

after five seconds, her mouth got way too big and I completely lost it.

Then I kept watching and... no, game creators, you can't quite get RL. And you can get so close it goes the otehr way.

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