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Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain creator really likes Heavy Rain

Mar 17 // Jonathan Holmes
Here's the full quote from Mr. Cage: "We created the genre. We own the genre, and we want to show that Heavy Rain was not a coincidence or a lucky shot - that it was really something that makes sense and that we can build on."But at the same time I didn’t want to make a sequel. I made that very clear before knowing whether the game would be a success or a failure, because I want to show that it’s really a genre. Which means that you can use a similar drama to tell any type of story in any genre and in any style."So, we are going to explore different directions. Still very dark, still for adults, but completely different from Heavy Rain. We want to satisfy our fans, but we want to surprise them too. That’s our challenge." I have no doubt that whatever David Cage comes up with next, it will do very well, because he has developed a cultish following that worships everything he does. I've met many of these people in my time at Dtoid. A lot of them work in the print and TV sectors of the gaming press. They are generally the types of people that prefer film to gaming, but ended up being "stuck" writing about games. I get the sense that they're just dying for the day when games are as respected as movies in the eyes of the mainstream public, and that they view Heavy Rain, and games like it, as the path to get there. Basically, they don't care about games. They care about their agenda, which is seeing games (and therefore, their careers in the gaming press) get to the level that movies are at in terms of cultural acceptance. I think it goes without saying that I think the less of these people there are making games, writing about games, and playing games, the better for gaming as a medium. We're never going to get anywhere if we're constantly playing catch up to movies. Games have to transcend movies, on the their own merits, before non-gamers start taking the medium seriously. That's assuming we even care what non-gamers think.
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I still haven't played through all of Heavy Rain, because the parts I played were so corny, hamfisted and hackneyed that I couldn't go on. A red balloon slowly floating into the sky to symbolize the death of a child? Seriousl...

Out with the old, in with the total disrespect

Mar 03 // Jim Sterling
David Cage, in a clumsy attempt to appear intellectual and deep, has only succeeded in making himself look remarkably ignorant. He's not the only man to do it, either. This notion that tried-and-tested videogame tropes are "outdated" is not a new one. The idea that we should "forget" the language of videogames has been brought up before, and it disgusts me every time.  As I asked when I first heard Cage's statement -- why do we have to "forget" anything? Why must new ideas exist at the expense of old ones? There seems to be a common tendency among game developers to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to mock "old" ways of doing things, regardless of how well they worked. Just look at the way some publishers have embraced motion control, or 3D technology as the undeniable "future" of gaming. Whenever something fresh appears, people want to disparage what came before.  There is a reason why we're using "very old words" in modern times -- because they work. We still have bosses, missions and game over screens because millions of gamers still enjoy them. If they didn't work, they wouldn't have become such prominent and lasting parts of the medium. To disregard the accomplishments of past videogames in such an offhand, casual way is utterly jawdropping to me, and smacks of a man with no respect for the medium of videogames.  It takes no great amount of sleuthing to see that David Cage wishes he was a film director rather than a videogame maker. The tutorial for Indigo Prophecy featured Cage on a movie set, and the in-game menus even pretentiously called it a "movie." Heavy Rain's marketing constantly compared it to Hollywood productions and Cage regularly tried to distance it from games. Imagine, though, if a film director dismissed the entire structure of some of the world's most popular movies. "We should forget about the rules of movies -- a plot, protagonists and antagonists, an ending. These are very old words from a very old language." It's a shockingly blinkered attitude that commands us to ignore the very foundations upon which videogames have been built. Cage would have you believe he is a renaissance man, but these are the words of a troglodyte.  "Everything you can do with (old game) words has already been said. We need to create a new language to create new things." Really? You are SO confident that old gaming structures have said all that needs to be said? You really don't think we can tell new stories and craft new experiences with games that include bosses, missions and game over screens? What an utterly myopic thing to say. The Victorians, in their arrogance, believed that everything a human could invent had been invented in their era, blissfully unaware of the amazing technological leaps that would happen in the 21st Century. It takes a similar amount of staggering arrogance for someone to claim that "everything" has been said by established videogame structures.  I completely disagree, of course. Some of the most unique experiences this generation -- Metal Gear Solid 4, Deadly Premonition, BioShock -- are games that, love them or hate them, crafted original stories and did interesting things with established gaming conventions. Cage has wholesale dismissed the accomplishments of these titles because of the traditional nature of their framework. Now, I am all for innovation. I have certainly criticized the exclusive focus on "new" ideas before, but I am not against developers striving for something different. What thoroughly frustrates me, however, is when a developer like Cage comes along, who believes that innovation is accomplished through the destruction of the old. Rather than evolve this industry, he believes a complete revolution is needed. Simply burying established methods of interactive entertainment is to piss on the medium's history. If you don't have a healthy respect for the past, you have no right trying to shape the future.  I do not believe we need to "forget" the old to forge the new. In fact, I believe you can't forge the new without acknowledging, and appreciating, the old -- to know what has been done and working out what is yet to be done, to understand where we came from so that we know how to move ahead.  Beyond that though, I think Cage forgets that some of us still just want to have fun with our videogames. I appreciate a good story, and I adore the potential of interactive entertainment to provide a superior basis for narrative. Sometimes, however, I just want to shoot a big freakin' gun! Several developers and the members of the gaming press lament the state of this industry and its focus on fun. They want games that explore "the human condition" and seem to believe that titles like Gears of War or Mortal Kombat are detrimental to their cause, that their mere existence somehow "sets the industry back" and stops us from getting the mythical "Citizen Kane of gaming" that gets moaned about with tedious predictability. Sorry to burst your bubble, but here's the scoop -- WE CAN HAVE IT ALL! We can have big, dumb shooters. We can have introspective art games. We can have old game mechanics. We can have completely new ways of development. The key, friends, is in appreciating them ALL under one umbrella -- videogames. I don't understand why some people want to restrict what a videogame can be, while disingenuously trying to look like the voice of progress and open-mindedness.  The world of gaming is a varied, ever-changing, rapidly ambitious one, and there is always room for everything. We should not forget the old ways -- we should embrace them as part of the culture of gaming. We should applaud them for the years of fun they've provided, and the years of fun they will continue to provide. Bosses, missions, game over screens ... they aren't going away. They should not go away. People love games like that. That doesn't mean we can't have more games like Heavy Rain. It's heartening to see a uniquely presented title like Heavy Rain become a success, and I hope other fresh experiences become just as popular. I just don't understand why such games should become successful at the expense of traditional games.  If you believe established game mechanics are things that should be forgotten, then maybe you just don't like videogames ... and if that's the case, why the fuck am I entrusting the future of my favorite artistic medium to the likes of you?  Play Mario, and learn some damn respect.
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David Cage has said some rather pompous things in his time. This is, after all, the man that gave Heavy Rain sole credit for making the videogame industry a more meaningful medium. This past week at GDC, however, I belie...

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Deadwood creator adapting Heavy Rain film


Jan 27
// Jim Sterling
Deadwood creator David Milch is adapting Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain into a film, according to Variety. He'll be joining Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne in a collaboration between Unique Features and Warner Bros. "David Milch...
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Destructoid: Skyrim, Portal 2, and a Butt-Touchin' App


Jan 20
// Max Scoville
Good evening, Thunderkittens. I'm back again with a rad episode of The Destructoid Show. This one is full of important big-name stories that will cause endless fussing and cussing from our viewers. Right off the bat, I go ov...
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Cage: Heavy Rain made games a more meaningful medium


Jan 18
// Jim Sterling
David Cage's arrogance is unparalleled, even in an industry that sports Denis Dyack. Seemingly drunk on the fawning of his own fans, the Quantic Dream director has claimed that Heavy Rain opened doors for more maturity i...
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Telltale's Jurassic Park inspired by Heavy Rain


Jan 10
// Jim Sterling
According to Jurassic Park developer Telltale Games, the upcoming dinosaur adventure title will share some things in common with Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain, with interactions, puzzles and even quick-time-events inspired by th...
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On The Media looks at the importance of gaming


Jan 02
// Jonathan Holmes
This isn't exactly news, but I still thought you'd want to hear about it. Nationally broadcast radio show On The Media just put out an episode about videogames, and it's pretty amazing. A recap of the Atari/Nintendo/Sega-side...
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Quantic Dream opens mo-cap studio in Paris


Dec 13
// Dale North
Could Quantic Dream be the supreme masters of motion capture? Who else has done escaping from intruders in panties as well as they have? Have you ever seen a more life-like frantic run through a shopping mall? The H...
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Amazon Gold Box features PlayStation 3 all day long


Sep 21
// Conrad Zimmerman
Time once again for another of Amazon's Gold Box sales events to hit the videogame department. In recent months, they have offered these day long deals for Xbox 360 and Wii, so the PlayStation 3 was due to get its turn and to...
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Move support for Heavy Rain hits September 22


Sep 13
// Nick Chester
PlayStation Move is officially on store shelves next Sunday, September 19, although if you're lucky you can buy one right now. Heavy Rain is on store shelves as I write this, but if you want to play it with Move, you'll have ...
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Storm's Adventure with Quantic Dream


Aug 27
// Storm Dain
Specifically, Indigo Prophecy (a.k.a. Fahrenheit) and Heavy Rain.  Sorry, no Omikron: The Nomad Soul this time around. If that first sentence wasn't confusing, then I'm not trying hard enough. Quantic Dream is a French ...
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Heavy Rain sold four times better than expected


Aug 17
// Jim Sterling
Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain wasn't expected to be as successful as it was, according to creator David Cage. The wannabe film director has said that Heavy Rain was given a lowball sales estimate, but that the PS3 exclusive...
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First images of Heavy Rain Move Edition


Aug 06
// Nick Chester
Sony has released the first images of Heavy Rain Move Edition today and -- surprise! -- it looks a lot like Heavy Rain. The differences are obvious: instead of standard DualShock action prompts, the game displays indicators s...

Is Heavy Rain better with Move support?

Jul 26 // Nick Chester
Heavy Rain with Move can be played with with two configurations -- a Move "wand" in one hand and a navigation controller in the other, or holding the DualShock 3 (a bit awkwardly) in one hand and the Move controller in the other. I chose the former, although I was given the option to do either, to get the "true" Move experience. I had the opportunity to play two of the game's earliest scenes, both being the first time we meet two of the game's main characters, detective Scott Shelby and reporter Madison Paige. The Shelby scene should be familiar to anyone who's played the game. The private eye is investigating the Origami Killer case, which leads him to a shady motel where he questions one of the victim's parents, a call girl named Lauren Winter. This particular scene, like most in Heavy Rain, can be broken down into a list of interactive actions. In this case, a few examples would be using an inhaler, knocking on a door, reaching out to keep a door from being slammed in your face, and a slew of offensive and defensive moves in a brawl. Playing Heavy Rain with Move is not entirely unlike playing it with a standard control, with context sensitive action prompts appearing on the screen. In the case of using Move, you press down the Move button with your thumb, and then perform an approximation of the action you see on the screen. What I saw wasn't really that different than those that appeared in non-Move game -- move your arm left, move your arm up and left, etc. A few were multiple move actions, with the first prompt asking you to raise the remote and then, once it was registered, swing back down, left, right, etc. There were plenty of "shaking" actions, as well -- to use Shelby's inhaler, for instance, you'd lift the Move control and then "shake" as if you were using the medicine in real life. So is this any more effective or engaging than using a standard controller? I didn't think it would be, but I must admit that my answer, based on the 10 or 15 minutes of game I played, is "yes." The actions aren't one-to-one -- the game still waits for the input before reacting -- but the actions certainly make you feel more involved than simply pressing buttons on a control pad. This was particularly noticeable in some of the high intensity scenes, like when Shelby fights the biker or Madison fights off attackers in a dream sequence.  The on-screen actions are already getting your heart racing, and it's likely that (depending on how "into it" you get) the Move actions will help get it moving a bit faster. The takeaway? I wish I had played Heavy Rain with Move the first time around. Because while the experience was more absorbing, I'm not sure it's enough to get me to play through the game's story (or stories, as the case may be) again. From what I'm told, Quantic Dream isn't adding any additional content beyond Move support. But if you haven't played Heavy Rain yet, I urge you to hold off a bit -- the game will receive the update for Move support when the controller ships this fall.
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Quantic Dream's David Cage recently revealed that plans for previously announced downloadable content for Heavy Rain had been put on hold. The reason? It seems Sony was more interested in the developer working to create a pat...

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Quantic Dream working on two new projects


Jul 14
// Jim Sterling
Quantic Dream, a company that usually makes one game every five years, has revealed via self-styled gaming messiah David Cage that it has not one, but two new projects in the works. So, that'll be why the studio has apparentl...
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Heavy Rain DLC will probably never see the light of day


Jul 01
// Nick Chester
Speaking with Eurogamer, Quantic Dream's David Cage has admitted that it's unlikely the "on hold" downloadable content for Heavy Rain will ever be produced. "Chronicles" was set to to be a series of post-launch content for He...
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E3 10: Here's what Heavy Rain looks like with PS Move


Jun 17
// Samit Sarkar
We've known for a while that PlayStation Move support will eventually be patched in to Heavy Rain, and at E3, we found out that bringing Move to the game is taking precedence over the next DLC chapter after "The Taxidermist....
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E3 10: Next Heavy Rain DLC chapter on hold


Jun 16
// Brian Szabelski
While E3's been chock full of great news for just about everyone so far, Heavy Rain fans -- and especially those who liked the "Taxidermist" DLC -- might want to brace themselves a bit. Quantic Dream's Guillaume de ...
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LOLOLOLOL: LittleBigPlanet Heavy Rain costume pack


Jun 04
// Dale North
Someone should take this Heavy Rain costume pack for LittleBigPlanet and make a level where you'd run around a crowded mall area, yelling "Sackboy!" at the top of your lungs, looking for your lost one. Next week this costume ...
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Is Heavy Rain coming to PC?


May 28
// Conrad Zimmerman
Nvidia seems to think that Quantic Dream's latest interactive storytelling adventure isn't a PS3 exclusive. They have the title listed as one of the games "current and upcoming" which can take advantage of their video cards' ...
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Square Enix's Yoichi Wada is all about Heavy Rain


May 26
// Dale North
What does a Square Enix boss play when he's not getting pounded by enemy encounters on a straight, narrow pathway that you can't back out of? Heavy Rain, apparently. According to Famitsu magazine, Yoichi Wada has been playing...
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Ethan Mars of Heavy Rain in custom toy form


May 19
// Conrad Zimmerman
Our good friends over at Tomopop spotted this exceptional custom toy. It's Ethan from Heavy Rain and I'm really impressed with the detail. Now, if only it had a button you could press so head shout, "David!" That would m...
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Destructoid's been talking with Alan Wake writer Mikko Rautalahti as we gear up for the game's release this week. As a big Xbox 360 exclusive, Alan Wake has obviously been dragged into the console wars with many fans pit...

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Bitches whine about Heavy Rain ad, ASA rejects complaints


May 12
// Jim Sterling
A British Heavy Rain commercial that details the "store robbery" scene and the various ways in which players can experience it (even though the scene always ends the same way) has been the subject of complaints by clucking bu...
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Heavy Rain sells more than a million units


Apr 13
// Brad Nicholson
We're pretty sure SCE and Quantic Dreams have already announced that their narrative-driven choose-your-own-adventure game, Heavy Rain, has sold over one million units worldwide. Perhaps as a trick to get us to think it has s...
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Jason!! Heavy Rain star launches his own mo-cap studio


Apr 08
// Nick Chester
Apparently Pascal Langdale had such a positive experience working with Quantic Dream as Heavy Rain's Ethan Mars that he figured he could do it on his own. The British actor has launched his own motion capture company called M...
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David Cage 'frustrated' by Microsoft's 'sci-fi' Natal presentation


Apr 05
// Nick Chester
Quantic Dream has already talked up its interest in motion controls, having even at one point designed its own controller for Heavy Rain. Vague hints have even been dropped that a future update could bring PlayStation Move su...
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Heavy Rain will be Move-compatible


Mar 28
// Matthew Razak
While the headline of this story might sound like Heavy Rain hasn't come out yet, it indeed has. You may have noticed. Still, it is a true fact that Move compatibility will be coming to Heavy Rain. Get ready to brush your tee...
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Heavy Rain's Scott Shelby had a cameo in a real film


Mar 22
// Samit Sarkar
I guarantee that this is the weirdest thing you'll see today. If you're familiar with Heavy Rain, you may know that the playable characters in the game were based off of real people -- the voice actors for the respective rol...

Review: Heavy Rain Chronicles, Chapter 1: The Taxidermist

Mar 19 // Samit Sarkar
Heavy Rain Chronicles, Chapter 1: “The Taxidermist” (PlayStation Network) Developer: Quantic Dream Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment To be released: April 1, 2010 MSRP: $4.99 In “The Taxidermist,” you explore a Madison Paige side story that takes place in November 2009, about two years prior to the events of Heavy Rain. The episode does a great job of building Madison’s character; that is, it helps to legitimize her as a journalist, since it establishes that by the time she tracks down Ethan Mars at a motel, she has been working to uncover the identity of the Origami Killer for more than two years. Following this particular lead entails questioning the latest suspect, a 40-year-old former taxidermist named Leland White. Madison parks her motorcycle in front of White’s home/office, which is located in a serene suburban neighborhood -- some kids are playing in the front yard next door, even in the daytime downpour. You find that White isn’t home, so of course -- intrepid reporter that you are -- you break into his house to pursue a front-page scoop. White’s abode is suitably creepy, and that’s before you even factor in the numerous stuffed animals hanging on the walls or from the ceilings, and sitting around the living room. As you explore White’s house more deeply, you find unsettling clues here and there -- things that hint at a more sinister side to the taxidermist. Since the entire chronicle consists of White’s home and its immediate surroundings, it feels as if Quantic Dream packed more interactivity per square inch, if you will, into this DLC -- although it may just seem that way to me. While some of the objects you interact with and actions you perform may not actually do anything per se, most of the things you can do in “The Taxidermist” combine to provide a sense of foreboding that has a satisfying narrative payoff -- once you head upstairs to the second floor, where most of the windows are obscured by newspapers. Trying to go back downstairs after you discover White’s secret will trigger a cutscene in which he returns home, which is when Madison realizes that the creaky floorboards upstairs mean that she might never make it out of 411 Harbor Street alive (and when the real fun of “The Taxidermist” begins). Yes, it’s possible for Madison to die in “The Taxidermist,” which, of course, is kind of a big deal because it introduces a major hitch into the Heavy Rain canon: namely, how the hell does Madison exist in the main game if she’s been dead for two years? It appears that for “The Taxidermist” as well as for Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream sacrificed a coherent plot in the name of an interesting one. Having said that, I’m almost willing to overlook the glaring Heavy Rain plot hole that Madison’s possible death creates, because nearly everything that can happen after White gets back is tremendously thrilling and immensely enjoyable. And your interactions (or lack thereof) with the objects in White’s house can affect the outcome, so it’s not as if the story only begins at that point. But ignoring the potential contradiction would force me to regard “The Taxidermist” as a story that isn’t a part of the Heavy Rain timeline, when it’s so clear that Quantic Dream wants players to consider it as such. Another curious facet of “The Taxidermist” -- though one that I welcome -- is its ending. When you complete the episode, the game presents you with one of five different newspaper headlines. The next screen lists all five endings, and it prompts you to load your save from outside the house, inside the house, or when White returns, so you can try to see all of the endings. (It only gives you the headlines, so you still have to figure out how to achieve those outcomes.) I say this is curious because it exemplifies a completely opposite ethos from the one that David Cage and Quantic Dream have repeatedly espoused for Heavy Rain: that you should only play it once through. In the context of this downloadable content, though, it makes sense -- my first play-through of “The Taxidermist” ran a mere 30 minutes, and I was taking my time. I don’t have a problem with Sony charging five dollars for the chronicle, but that’s only because discovering the other four endings provides enough playtime -- and is entertaining enough -- to justify the cost. “The Taxidermist” also retains some of the annoying quirks of Heavy Rain. Madison’s voice acting isn’t spectacular, and White happens to share his voice with Scott Shelby, which is jarring. In addition, a possible death for Madison plays out with White stabbing her multiple times as she fails to start her bike. After killing her -- in broad daylight, mind you -- he slings her body over his shoulder and heads back toward his house, only to pause and laugh maniacally before he takes her inside. And you’d think that a journalist in 2009 -- or a functioning adult, really -- would keep a cell phone on her person. Like more than a few points in Heavy Rain, these moments test your suspension of disbelief. Narrative-wise, “The Taxidermist” has a few problems, and it can produce a big one. But it also represents the best of Heavy Rain: character motivations, visuals (most notably, some tension-inducing split-screen cinematography), and game mechanics coalesce to create a gripping sequence of events that quickens your pulse and leaves you panting. I felt much the same way about “The Taxidermist” as I did about Heavy Rain as a whole -- the story doesn’t always make sense, but it’s worth playing anyway for the sheer excitement of it all. If the more mundane parts of Heavy Rain left you unenthused -- and if they didn’t, that’s even better -- you’ll enjoy this exhilarating condensed experience. Score: 7.0 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
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“The Taxidermist” is the first in what will presumably be a series of a few additional short stories in the universe of Heavy Rain. At first glance, downloadable content for a game such as Heavy Rain seems problem...


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