Heavy Rain

aka: Heavy Rain: Kokoro no Kishimu Toki
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Description official descriptions

How far are you willing to go to save someone you love?

The Origami Killer has struck again. Recognized by his unique habit of leaving an origami figure at the center of his crimes, the serial killer has taken another victim. With his pattern of killing his victims within four days time is running out to save him. This is where the lives of four characters become entangled as they all search to stop the Origami Killer: Ethan Mars, a former architect overcome with depression and guilt over an accident leading to one of his son's death; Norman Jayden, an FBI profiler investigating the Origami case using an experimental device known as ARI (Added Reality Interface); Madison Paige, a nightmare filled journalist who unexpectedly finds her way into the investigation; and Scott Shelby, a private eye hired by families of victims of the serial killer to find things the authorities may have missed.

Heavy Rain is an interactive drama title combining adventure and action elements. The story revolves around the lives of four characters as they try to stop the Origami Killer from taking the life of another victim. The game has a heavy emphasis on user choices, with different decisions you make completely changing the way the story unfolds and which will lead to one of the many possible endings the game offers. There is no game-over screen if one of or all of the main characters die, there will just be a different ending given.

Similar to Quantic Dream's previous title Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit, the game is moved along primarily by the use of QTEs (Quick Time Events). Movement of your character is done by holding the R2 button and choosing a direction with the left analog stick. Holding the L2 button brings up your characters thoughts and pressing the button to go along with each thought will lead him/her to say or do something.

Budget re-release of Heavy Rain includes game patch to support PlayStation Move controller (the patch can also be downloaded as standalone for free). That includes budget releases such as Platinum (in Europe), Greatest Hits (in America), or PlayStation 3 the Best (in Asia).


  • Heavy Rain 心の軋むとき - Japanese spelling
  • 暴雨 - Chinese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 3 version)

916 People (825 developers, 91 thanks) · View all

Written by
Directed by
Main Cast
Executive Production
Associate Producer
Assistant Producer
Outsourcing Coordinator
Talent Coordinator
Lead Game Builder
Game Building Team
[ full credits ]



Average score: 86% (based on 118 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 87 ratings with 4 reviews)

A story of your own.

The Good
The thing about Heavy Rain, is its story. The story is possibly one of the deep and most immersive stories in the industry. Yes, I know "a story is necessary for a quality game!" Right, but the twist here is that you get to manipulate it. Do you want to kill one of the four characters? You can do so. Should you follow the schedule given to you, or go about it your way? The choice is all yours. The choices can either penalize you, or reward you. Either way, it'll always change the story and final endings. Not only is the story top notch, but the way everything is presented is flawless. Heavy Rain is more cinematic than an actual game title. You grow bonds to the characters whether it be good or not, and you start to actually feel for them. Gameplay is limited to quick events and button presses, but that's not a bad thing. Simple controls allow for swift progression, thus, enjoyable gameplay. The visuals are beautiful too. Special effects are spot on, models are gorgeous, and environments were obviously planned with hardship. Quantic Dream really put their best into this. Nothing seems lazy or rushed in the slightest.

The Bad
Heavy Rain, is by no means perfect. Voice acting wasn't bad, but it was weird at times. It's not like they were annoying or outrageous, the acting was just out of place for the most part. The characters are set in an American setting, and seem to have American backgrounds for the most part. So why do they have foreign accents?.. There were also the occasional bugs in Heavy Rain. Nothing huge, but getting stuck in a chair or freezing can really detract from the experience at times.

The Bottom Line
If you're yearning for a one of a kind story and beautiful presentation, then Heavy Rain is an instant must buy. The story is the overall foreground of the title. You the player, determine the background of it all.

PlayStation 3 · by wfhouqow;fhweg. (2) · 2012

Jason! Nooooooo!

The Good
I’m not sold on the whole “interactive storytelling” genre of video games. For one thing, they’re not really games, are they? I kind of like my games that are games, that’s probably one of the reasons I play a lot of old stuff. Yet there are a lot of people who feel that it’s the future of video games to supplant movies. I don’t really agree with that, mostly because I don’t want it to happen. I feel a world where fun isn’t the primary goal of a video game is a bleak one indeed. I’d much rather a game be stupid and mindless, than thought-provoking and boring. However, sometimes I am in the mood for a nice, story-driven game, and Heavy Rain certainly fills that niche.

Heavy Rain is a thriller story about Ethan Mars, whose son Shaun is allegedly kidnapped by a serial murderer who the media have dubbed the Origami Killer. The alias comes from the killer’s ritual of leaving origami figures in the hands of all their victims because… that’s not really explained. The game has you take control of four characters, each of which are trying to find the identity of the killer and save little Shaun. There’s Ethan himself, who is trying to complete five trials given by the killer, Scott Shelby, a private detective hired by families of the victims, Norman Jayden, an FBI profiler assisting the police with the investigation, and Madison Paige, who gets topless and owns a loft apartment that I’m totally jealous of.

Gameplay isn’t like your typical game. It’s divided into two general modes; investigation and action. In investigation, you interact with the environments and other characters to advance the plot. You can usually half-ass these sections, but it will have an effect on the overall storyline. The action sequences are in the form of quick time events. In these sequences, you must press button commands in time to make your character successfully perform pre-scripted actions. All of this may sound boring, but Heavy Rain makes the most of the controller. Many of the commands require precision or careful contortions of your fingers to get them right. This can be difficult when you’re under pressure, which really adds to the tension of the game.

The environments in Heavy Rain are absolutely gorgeous. I have never seen such believable locations in a game, ever. It’s not even their graphics, either. Everywhere is filled with people who seem to be going about their day. There’s a crowded mall, a bustling police station, and a somber graveyard. Even in places like homes of the characters, if you look outside you see cars passing by. It’s like you could walk out into a virtual world at any time. Of course, you can’t. There’s invisible barriers if you walk to far away, but man, it feels like you could. Also, I couldn’t help but notice that the designers seem to have a thing for artsy dwellings. Throughout the course of the game, two separate loft apartments appear, as well as a postmodern home. I’m not saying this is good or bad, just peculiar is all.

To be honest, I found it to be a bit difficult to get into Heavy Rain initially, considering it gets off to a hideously slow start. Get this, at the beginning of the game you have to go through Ethan’s morning routine. I’m serious; you have to get up, have a shower, get dressed, drink orange juice straight out of the carton, and then waste time until your family gets home for lunch. Even after the appearance of a naked ass, it was hard to stay interested. It really takes some time for the plot to actually take off, but when it does, it at least makes it worthwhile. I wouldn’t go as far as saying Heavy Rain has an outstanding storyline, but it is at least a gripping one.

It wasn’t until I screwed up a QTE event that Heavy Rain finally managed to grab me. After a few missed buttons, one of my characters met a grisly demise. It came out of nowhere and was completely shocking. I kept expecting a game over screen to pop up so I could try again but instead the game just continued on without them. It was strange and affecting, I had just lost something completely intangible and, for the most part, completely meaningless, but it totally ruined my whole day. I kept wondering, what was going to happen without that character, what if I had’ve taken those stupid QTE events more seriously, why, oh why couldn’t I quickload!? After something like that happens, even with the games many eye-rolling moments, it’s hard to look at it and go, “pfft, whatever.”

The Bad
Okay, so the story as a whole is thrilling, emotional, and intriguing, which, based on those merits alone, make it an extremely high-quality tale for a video game. However, the plot is so full of holes and unanswered questions that it ultimately gets weighed down. I’m not going to get too into them, so I don’t spoil the plot, but they’re hard to miss. One of the characters embarks on a sub-plot that, in retrospect, seems so out of place and meaningless. Many of the characters make extremely stupid and irrational decisions for no particular reason. The Origami Killer is somehow capable of the impossible, and has many unseen and unlikely skills that don’t fit the character at all. There’s one particular scene that really pissed me off when it was retconned right in front of my eyes. The list goes on and on. You’d think the reason behind the origami figures left on the crime scene would be explained, especially since the killer’s motives are explored in detail, but no, it’s just another unanswered question.

The killer’s identity seems to have been chosen close to the end of development and seems out of place, especially since their motivation seems totally tacked on. If that’s the case, it isn’t entirely wrong for the writer to not know who the killer in their own story is until the very end, I know of lots of writers who do it this way, but in Heavy Rain, it couldn’t have been done any sloppier. I can think of at least three other people from the story that would have made better killers than the one who it is revealed to be. In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t know why the killer’s identity isn’t decided by the player’s actions. Considering that many of the characters could have been given similar motivations, why have only one outcome? Hell, that’d be awesome, because every time you replay the game you’d still be guessing who the killer is. As it stands though, it’s always the same stupidly chosen person.

The non-QTE controls in Heavy Rain are absolutely horrible. Think Resident Evil, but worse. You don’t so much control the characters as much as you drive them exactly like cars. R2 is your gas pedal, exactly like it would be if you were playing a racing game, and then you just steer. I can’t tell you how many times I had to fight with the controls, just to get my character to face the object I needed them to interact with. Considering Heavy Rain actually requires immersion to function properly and how often it has you under a time limit, these poor controls are inexcusable.

Speaking of awkward movement, while the environments look astoundingly good, the characters can sometimes be a little unconvincing. It’s not so much the character animation is bad, it’s just inconsistent. The lip-syncing is a good example of this. There’s a lot of detail in character mouth movement, including a fully animated tongue, but in motion, lip movement seems exaggerated and weird. It’s peculiar since games with less reliance on character interaction, such as Half-Life 2 and Rock Band, did mouth animation much more convincingly. I also couldn’t help but notice that hand movement is a little underdone and robotic. What really completes the whole unconvincing package, though, is the often times poor voice-acting. This is the sort of thing that should be top priority in a game like this, but a lot of the performances come across half-hearted and wooden. It isn’t enough to wreck the game, but once again; really hard to ignore.

I pity anyone who has to play this game on a standard definition television. Even on the rather large, high definition display I was playing on, I had trouble making out the damned quick-time commands. It gets worse when a character is under stress, since it makes the buttons start shaking. The commands never really stay put in the first place, in fact, they are often found orbiting a character’s head, and depending on how far away from the screen they are, they can often appear pretty small. Then there are some that pulse to indicate that you’re supposed to mash the button, and others that have broken outlines to suggest that you do the command slowly, but I could never get the hang of them. In the fight scenes, you don’t have that much time to react in the first place, let alone the time to discern which commands are throbbing.

The Bottom Line
Before I went into Heavy Rain, a number of people told me that I wouldn’t like it, and I had to agree with them. It really seems like the type of game that is built against my mindset. Yet despite my predisposition, Heavy Rain still managed to win me over. Aside from a very slow start and a vast number of plot holes, it still presents a very intriguing and gripping story that will likely keep you entertained until the end. While the game may not have sold me on the interactive storytelling genre, it at least demonstrated to me that such a game can work, and it isn’t anything to be afraid of. Overall, Heavy Rain is a GOOD game that I suggest you try, especially if you liked Indigo Prophecy (or Fahrenheit, depending on where you’re from). I can’t say that you’ll definitely enjoy it, but I can at least guarantee it won’t kill you.

PlayStation 3 · by Adzuken (836) · 2010

Interactive movies in the 21st century have come a long way

The Good
Interactive movies were this big thing in the 90s. It started off when people came up with good ways to compress videos made out of images with big, simple shapes of the same color - read: animated cartoons. Enter Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace.

Then, with the advent of the CD-ROM came the games that used live-action footage, shot with various levels of production value. Some were incredibly cheesy, some actually well made.

But the bottom line was the same - the game was playing back a video, and based on the user input (which was often as simple as clicking on a spot, or moving the joystick in one direction), it would branch off to another movie. Some games like The Daedalus Encounter tried to lighten it up by adding traditional puzzles to the mix so the gameplay was taking turns between movie playbacks and completely random puzzles, but after a few years, these kind of games faded away. They just sucked once you got over the hype of the “great graphics”.

Enter Heavy Rain. At its core, it’s an interactive movie, with some sections having almost the same lack of complexity as the aforementioned ancestors. But it’s a different league.

First off, the graphics are not pre-recorded, they’re rendered using a normal 3D renderer. You get to move the player in any direction you want. Once you get close to objects of interest, you can interact with them by making a certain movement or button press with your controller.

But what sets Heavy Rain apart from the rest is the narrative.

I’ll admit that Heavy Rain may as well be called Heavy-Handed. David Cage certainly didn’t spare any tricks to tug on your heartstrings, including lots of Mickey-Mousing. But I have to say - it works. Especially if you have kids.

The story revolves around Ethan Mars, having lost his elder son two years prior, whose remaining child is now abducted by the Origami Killer, a serial killer who targets young boys and drowns them after a few days of captivity. The story cycles between four playable characters, each chapter played by one or two of them.

And here lies the brilliance of it - each thread is pretty independent (although they’re all about the hunt for the killer), they all intersect at one point or another, with the inevitable climax that ties it all up. While the progression is pretty linear, some chapters do offer decisions that will make profound changes to the rest of the storyline. In fact, every character could die at one point or another, but the story will still continue.

I’m in awe as to how the David Cage was able to take the somewhat restrictive format of a linear interactive movie and add so much diversity into the story. There are 18 different epilogue segments that will play out based on what you did throughout the game!

From a technical point of view, the game is a milestone. The graphics are fantastic. The characters look stunning, and Quantic Dream likes to point that out whenever they can - the loading screens are close-ups of the characters, looking nervously around, moving their eyes.

The soundtrack does its part to sell the cinematic experience. Like in any good real Hollywood movie, it’s an absolutely integral part in sealing the atmosphere. It was scored by Normand Corbeil, who did music for lots of big movie productions.

The Bad
Let's not beat around the bush - it’s an interactive movie. You play the chapters in the given order, and you do what you have to do. Sure, you can walk around within the constraints of the current scene (which is typically one or two rooms), and there are a few extraneous objects you can play with (you can turn the light switch on and off! Whee!), but other than that, you’re basically being dragged along. The story will not progress until you do what needs to be done, and there are few options beyond that.

There are two parts to the gameplay - the normal parts where you walk around and basically just go through the motions, and the action parts with Quick Time Events, where failing will possibly get you killed, or make you miss out on something... or just ends up with a different animation. In fact, many sequences seem utterly important (like an action-packed shoot-out)... but the consequence for failing is simply a slightly altered scene. After that, the story moves on as normal.

There are dialogs too, but many of them are of the Mass Effect variety, meaning that you just go through all possible conversation topics until nothing is left - without ME’s blue/red options that have long-term consequences.

Now I mentioned how gorgeous the graphics are. And really, they are. But I’m simply upset about Guillaume de Fondaumière’s decision to claim that they conquered uncanny valley. Um, no, you haven’t. Not by a long shot. Some faces look fantastic, some just look good. Some animations are great. Some look incredibly unnatural. But they’re still wandering deep in uncanny valley.

The team is based in France, and as such, much of the voice talent is from Europe. Most of them did a good job putting up an American accent (and they’re overall good actors), but in many cases you can still tell they’re not really native speakers.

Speaking of which - there are other Frenchisms that made it into the game. The boys go to school on Saturdays, last names are often spelled in all caps. This is a bit perplexing, given that the team seems to have done decent research otherwise and created a beautiful version of what appears to be Philadelphia. Another Frenchism, by the way, is the unusual amount of gratuitous nudity, although I shouldn't necessarily mention that in the “bad” section.

The game also has a dynamic mixing system for the (fantastic) soundtrack to play the right music whenever that's appropriate. That however sometimes results in an abrupt start/restart/stop/change of music. It's usually not bad, but still noticeable.

The Bottom Line
Interactive movies have come a long way. I really enjoyed Heavy Rain. A major part of it was due to the subject matter - it’s an intriguing tale that any father can relate to, without any absurd supernatural nonsense (like in Quantic Dream’s previous Indigo Prophecy) or other otherworldly gimmicks (other than the FBI agent’s sunglasses that can identify people by their footprints and detect chemicals in the air).

The scenes have been polished meticulously, and the developers have made the most out of what could be done. In one scene, a character has to do something very courageous. Yes, it boils down to pressing one or two buttons, and as always, there are prompts on the screen to indicate exactly what needs to be done. But the controller is vibrating wildly as the character’s heart races, the on-screen prompts shake and twitch, the camera is unsteady and handheld, and then there’s of course the blood-pumping soundtrack. It’s an immersive experience.

The replay value is relatively low. Of course you’ll want to replay some chapters to trigger different sequences and endings. But chances are, you’ll look up the remaining endings and death sequences on Youtube, where they’re all available.

Hardcore gamers are likely to snub this title. It’s just a different kind of game. It’s barely a game at all. It’s a story, very well told, and the audience gets to be some of the characters. I enjoyed it immensely.

PlayStation 3 · by EboMike (3080) · 2012

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Interactive movie? CrankyStorming (2913) Feb 17th, 2013
So this is what happened to Fahrenheit then... Slug Camargo (583) Apr 13th, 2010


1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die

Heavy Rain is mentioned in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by Tony Mott

Alternate Cover

For its North American release Sony decided to re-design the box cover to appeal to US audiences. However, as a small consolation for those stuck with the US packaging the official Playstation Blog uploaded a high-res, print-ready cover version of the original one. You can find it on the Playstation Blog's official flickr account or under the Links/Searches section.


Ever wondered what the source of Ethan's blackouts was? In the original script for the game these blackouts were a result of the trauma Ethan sustained from his first son's death in the game's intro. Instead of just blacking out Ethan would find himself hallucinating a submerged house which he would explore until finding the drowned body of one of the Origami Killer's victims. In these hallucinations Ethan would actually have unknowingly been psychically connected to the mind of the killer.

Due to the backlash against the strong paranormal elements of the team's previous game, Indigo Prophecy, they decided to axe these segments only months before the game's release, leaving them as just unexplained blackouts.


Although executive producer Guillaume de Fondaumière announced in October 2009 that the game would be culturally censored to cater to different territories, SCEA eventually confirmed in January 2010 that the game wouldn't be censored in the US, Europe or any other territories the firm has an office.

Japanese Release

The Japanese release has manual and covers in Japanese, but it actually supports both Japanese and English. They are selectable individually for voice-acting, subtitles, and menus.

Origami Bird

The keep case contains a piece of paper with a print on it. While the game is installing, instructions are shown how to fold the paper into an origami bird, identical to the one shown on the game front cover.


On April 13, 2010, Sony Computer Entertainment and Quantic Dream announced that the 1 millionth copy of Heavy Rain had sold just 5 weeks following the game's release.


  • 4Players
    • 2006 – Best Trailer of the Year
    • 2010 – Best Game of the Year
    • 2010 – Best Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2010 – Best PS3 Game of the Year
    • 2010 – Best Adventure of the Year
    • 2010 – Best Story of the Year
    • 2010 – Best Music of the Year
    • 2010 – #2 Best Localisation of the Year
  • Develop Awards
    • 2010 - Best New IP* GameSpy
    • 2010 – PlayStation 3 Game of the Year
    • 2010 – Adventure Game of the Year
  • GamingBolt
    • 2010 - Best Couple/Duo (Ethan Mars and Madison Paige) (People's Choice)
    • 2010 - Best Innovation of the Year (People's Choice)
    • 2010 - Best Lip Syncing (People's Choice)
    • 2010 - Best Motion Capture (People's Choice)
    • 2010 - Best Story (People's Choice)
    • 2010 - Best Voice Acting (People's Choice)* IGN
    • 2010 - Best Horror Game
    • 2010 - Best PS3 Game of the Year
    • 2010 - Most Innovative Game* Japan Game Awards
    • 2010 - Game Designer Award* Milthon European Games Awards
    • 2010 - Best Console game
    • 2010 - Best Game Design

Information also contributed by Jeanne, Lain Crowley, and MAT.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Caelestis.

PlayStation 4 added by GTramp. Windows added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: MAT, Zovni, Daniel Saner, Sciere, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Hello X), Rik Hideto, Victor Vance.

Game added March 2nd, 2010. Last modified September 22nd, 2023.