Heavy Rain’s “Most Intense Instance Of Violence” Spoiled

By Spencer . January 17, 2010 . 2:08am


After examining Heavy Rain under a microscope, the ESRB picked and revealed the game’s most violent moment. The description also mentions a quick time event-style make out scene and some of the murders in the game.


Major spoilers follow so read on only if you don’t care about ruining part of Heavy Rain’s story.


In this cinema-style action game, players control one of four main characters whose lives are altered by events surrounding the investigation of the Origami Killer, a serial killer who kidnaps children in public places. Gameplay consists of controlling a character in a fully interactive environment; choosing a variety of action-, dialogue-, and decision-paths based on on-screen prompts; and watching as cinematic cutscenes progress the somewhat dark (film noir-style) storyline.


Players may encounter victims at various crime scenes: a woman (fully clothed) in a bathtub tainted with blood; a child under forensic examination (though the scene is largely narrative and clinical, with no depiction of victim’s face or signs of trauma). More direct depictions of violence include the following: a woman squirming and screaming as she catches on fire; a man impaled in the chest with a power drill; a female attacked in her own home by masked male assailants (the scene is prolonged); and a man shot (shown in slow-motion) by police officers. Blood sometimes accompanies the acts of violence—whether triggered or viewed passively.


The most intense instance of violence occurs during a "lizard trial" sequence in which players’ character, Ethan, is forced to cut off a segment of his own finger to save his son’s life: Several instruments (saw, scissors, knife, etc.) can be used to remove the finger; and though the camera pans away from the actual dismemberment—instead the blade, the blood, the scream—the scene’s poring focus on Ethan’s psychological tenor/terror (the dread deliberation before the cut) may be unnerving for some.


The game contains sexual content and nudity. Shower cutscenes may depict a male character’s bare butt; if players control the female character, her breasts and buttocks are also briefly visible. A more prolonged instance of nudity occurs during a female character’s investigation of a seedy club owner: After getting him alone in a room, the player-character is asked to strip; at gunpoint, she dances topless in front of the man. The game also contains a prompt-based love scene (kissing and rubbing) in which players match on-screen cues to angle characters’ mouths, remove shirts and blouses, unhook bras, and lower to the floor; a woman briefly appears topless amidst the dark shadows and heavy breathing—actual sex is never depicted as the camera fades to black.


The camera does not fade on characters addicted to the fictional drug Triptocaine, referred to as "dope" in the game: Players may see a character trembling next to open vials; lines of cut white powder on a table; and a man staggering from the drug’s ill-effects, as the screen turns blurry. Consumers may also wish to know that the game contains strong profanity (e.g., "f**k," "motherf**ker," "sh*t," and "a*shole"). Overall, the game’s highly evolved motion-capture graphics (advanced renderings by 2010 standards) sharpen the sense of realism, increasing the impact of some aspects of pertinent content (the nudity, blood, violence, etc.).

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  • janet71

    It could probably be said about every game the ESRB rates and writes about. Alerting parents to the most violent content is sort of the point of their write-ups.

  • Trotmeister

    Sounds awesome. I was indifferent to this game before, but now I’m actually thrilled.

  • God damn, is this the longest ESRB description yet, or what? This is longer than a 1UP review.

  • Aoshi00

    I didn’t read it yet, these ESRB description have way too many spoilers.. Indigo Prophecy had some tripped out sequences too, I expect Heavy Rain to be even better. This is going to be the best adventure game, this and Alan Wake are on top of my list. The thing I want to know if the Jpn version has dual track like Uncharted and Ratchet, the guy up there voiced by Miyamoto Mitsuru (on the Jpn PSN trailers) does sound pretty cool..

  • Does anyone else think the QTAs for the sex scene sound ridiculous?

    • Aoshi00

      Hm.. they had it in God of War w/ the nymphs and it was in Farenheit but got cut in the US Indigo Prophecy (you only got to control up to 2nd base).. even Assassin’s Creed 2 has some timed button press that net you eye candy if you’re quick enough.. I dunno, I appreciate how they make it more immersive since Heavy Rain is about one controlling all the interactions imaginable.

      • I thought the ones in GoW were pretty crappy. I mean…if you’re going to do QTAs during sex scenes, do them right? I don’t see how pressing L1 to remove someone’s bra strap makes it more immersive. Now, if there was an “aroused” metre that required you to gradually fill it by doing things consistently in the right order, that’d be something… :/

        (OK, I’m done embarrassing myself.)

        • Aoshi00

          Massage parlor in Yakuza 2 lol.. I think they’re just all fun. The sound only was kind of tasteful too, I mean, the swirling move w/ the analog stick, makes me think of a Seinfeld episode :)

          • Gah. If there’s one game I regret not having played on the PS2, it’s Yakuza 2. Really need to sit my ass down and at least try it someday… :(

            Random aside: One Piece boobie mousepads: http://tinyurl.com/yjh6qub (kinda-sorta NSFW)

          • Aoshi00

            sweet, beautiful art too, I want the Nami one… too bad I’m not a huge One Piece fan, also I’d be too embarassed to use them anyway, they have a lot of booby mousepads but not many for such famous anime characters. wouldn’t these things give you carpel tunnel lol.. Right now my mousepad is a Ferrari one a friend got for me from Italy, but it’s crooked now because I placed a hot mug on it once :(..

  • Ereek

    The temptation to read this is almost overwhelming.

  • Hraesvelgr

    There are some types of violence that just creep me out and one of those is fingers being cut off. The others include anything related to kneecaps, eyes or tooth pulling. Though, as long as it’s not shown, I don’t think there’ll be any real issue with it. Doubt it would look realistic enough even if it was shown, anyway.

    • Ereek

      Hmm, what did you think of the “torture” scene in Breath of Fire V? It had the kneecap stabbing as well as a few other not very pleasant sights.

      Edit: I suppose what disturbs me is the cutting of the area in the back the ankles. That seems very unpleasant to me.

  • tdo

    sad, no dismemberment is actually depicted and somehow that is intense. the ESRB needs to correct it self. Heavy Rain is on par with Modern Warfare 2? yeah, right. I dont think so

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