Choose Your Own Adventure in Psychological Thriller ‘Heavy Rain’

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The scenes are as long or as short as you want them to be.
One of the first scenes with FBI profiler Norman Jayden has you investigating a crime scene. You can play it in one and-a-half minutes, but the developers saw playtesters spend over an hour in the same scene.

“If you rush through (this first scene), you’ll continue, but it’s going to be quite a lonely moment,” de Fondaumiere said. “And this character is going to be less and less interesting because there’s nothing you can do. It would be reasonable to assess that you can get fired from this case.”

There are over 20 different endings.
“What I mean by different endings is different last scenes, because you really can have totally different journeys,” de Fondaumiere explained. “We always say in our game there’s no ‘game over,’ but you can lose all four characters. There are different ways to lose your characters. They can die.”

If a character or two dies or goes away (like the FBI agent getting fired, for example), it’s not the end of the story though. “Your actions can change the way one scene ends,” he said. “And sometimes you only see the consequences (of your actions) four or five scenes down the road. You can enter into relationships — or not — in this game, which also influences the way the story evolves. Those are all the different possibilities that can change the story.”

In fact, there are so many possibilities, that the script ended up being over 2,000 pages. The minimum playthrough is about 8-10 hours, regardless of the choices you make, which means you can’t “lose” a character before that time. As for the maximum, de Fondaumiere couldn’t put a number on it. “It depends on the type of player you are,” he said. “You have those guys and girls who want to look at everything and touch everything.”

You need quick reflexes to land punches.
But the game isn’t all talk and touch. There are occasions when your characters will engage in physical combat. To control the combat and actions in the game, players will be asked to quickly push a series of buttons prompted by icons flashing on the screen. Hit the right button at the right time and you’ll land a punch. Miss, and you’ll likely receive one.

“And when you miss, it’s not the end; you don’t lose,” de Fondaumiere said. “It’s simply a different animation.” However, if you miss too often in a life-threatening situation, your character could wind up dead. But don’t worry: if you’re not quick with the button presses, there are three levels of difficulty. The easiest setting will give you less complex button presses and more hints.

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