Choose Your Own Adventure in Psychological Thriller ‘Heavy Rain’

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Change your mind about a decision you made? No problemo.
Quantic Dream encourages players to bear the consequences of their actions, but they also won’t let you beat yourself up over it. If you do something you regret, you can go back to the start of the chapter for a do-over.

“I think it’s more interesting to play it all in one playthrough, and then maybe come back and try different things,” de Fondaumiere said. “But we also wanted to give (players) the possibility at any time to play it differently. There’s no reason why we should frustrate them.” Thanks, Quantic Dream.

Attention Trophy Whores: you’ll still get Trophies. And bonus footage.
Trophies are the PlayStation 3’s system for measuring one’s accomplishments in the game, and they’re awarded to the player when they complete certain objectives or milestones as delineated by the game’s developer. But they’re often based on a linear story or other traceable stats.

“For us, the real challenge was understanding how to integrate Trophies into a game that’s not based on achievement, but we found a way that’s relatively elegant,” de Fondaumiere said. “At the beginning we told Sony, ‘Sorry, it’s nonsensical. How are we supposed to do this?’ But we understood that for certain players, it’s important.”

Without revealing too much, de Fondaumiere said they found “interesting” ways to do it, and they’re never displayed during a playthrough — so as not to disturb the immersion — but at the end of the scenes.

“What I can tell you is that it’s impossible to get all the Trophies in this game in one playthrough,” he added.

And you can earn bonuses for successful combat sequences, like the video footage from the actual motion-capture sessions.

There are mature themes (and equal-opportunity character nudity).
When I walked into the demo a bit late, we were able to watch a revealing shower scene with the female journalist character Madison Paige. But there’s also a shower scene with the male architect, Ethan Mars.

“We even scanned (the actress’) breasts,” de Fondaumiere revealed, laughing. “But this is not just to show the breasts of a character. If you want to see naked women, there are less expensive ways and more choices to be found on the internet. The idea here for the first scene is to really create a bond between the player and the character, and also to show her vulnerability.”

And what is true for the shower scenes is true for everything else. “We wanted to create a mature experience but also a meaningful experience,” he added. “In this game, we don’t want to shock people just for the sake of shocking them. Everything we think has a meaning within the story, within the context. There is some violence — after all it’s a psychological thriller — but it’s not gory.”

And no guys, you can’t tell Madison to take another shower.

Heavy Rain will be released for the PlayStation 3 in North America on February 16th.

More on Techland:
A Shot in the Dark: Caption This Heavy Rain Screenshot

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