Heavy Rain’s Follow Up Act

French development studio Quantic Dream, the guys behind the critically (and commercially) successful game Heavy Rain, is apparently working on two new titles both set to break videogame boundaries once more. The word “Horizon” was floating about in the great rumour machine that is the internet, and it was supposedly the working title for one of Quantic Dream’s approaching titles.

Now David Cage (the game’s Director) has claimed that “Horizon” was an improvised codename for the script given to new hopeful actors and actresses in casting sessions. But Cage only states that there is no project by the name of Horizon currently development at Quantic, implying there is a title hiding away in his experimental workshop.

Now seeing as Heavy Rain hit the shelves in late February, and considering it was first announced at E3 in 2006, does this mean Quantic Dream’s next creative vision will not be ready to play for several years at best? Some fans could argue that the foundation technology they will most likely use has been established and become familiar to the team so they should be able to cut down production time by a hefty chunk. But this point should be countered with understanding the situation Quantic Dream are now in. How do you follow up a game like Heavy Rain?

Those of you, who were curious enough about this bizarre game and bought it, will recognize that the developers created Heavy Rain with punching a huge hole in the preconceptions and trash stereotypes of videogames clearly in mind. Some of the standout and most praised features of the game were things like the shockingly powerful voice acting, the dark and chillingly believable plot, the innovative control scheme, the multiple endings,  and an experience that was completely unheard of. But many of us are aware that Heavy Rain did so well, largely because it was a rebellious title surrounded by otherwise polished gaming clichés (not to discredit some fantastic games released during this period).

But has the novelty of Quantic’s quirky style of gameplay set-up and presentation burnt out the hype wheels that fundamentally drove the games sales? I for one certainly hope not because it’s developers like David Cage and his team that take gaming a step forward. As for what ideas they could be cooking up behind closed doors remains to be seen, but will they need to deliver quite as much innovation in their second and third titles to get the reception they are enjoying at the moment, in the near future?

If the project with the ‘unknown name’ can produce a journey on the emotional, moral, and allegorical scope of Quantic Dream’s first title then I can tell you now, it will be a day one purchase for millions.