ESRB Spoils Heavy Violence, Heavy Sex in Heavy Rain

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ESRB Spoils Heavy Violence, Heavy Sex in Heavy Rain

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Don't want spoilers for the most graphic scenes of violence (and most graphic sex scenes) in the upcoming Heavy Rain? Then you probably shouldn't go to the ESRB. Or click on this link.

We've already heard about some of the sexual content in Heavy Rain (notably the "Striptease Scene"), but what about the violence? The game isn't going to be all sex and depressing drama, after all - there's certainly going to be some combat, even if it isn't the "battling Dragon Ball Z-powered hobos" type of fighting that we saw in Indigo Prophecy. Well, the ESRB's listing for Heavy Rain gives away some of the most gruesome violence and explicit sex in the game, so let's take a look.

It goes without warning that there will be spoilers in this post, so if that bothers you, you should stop reading right about now. Seriously, final warning here.

On the violence front, we have the usual - blood and corpses at crime scenes, suspects getting shot by police. Then we have the slightly more gruesome: A woman "squirming and screaming" as she catches on fire, and a man impaled in the chest thanks to a power drill. But the most violent scene in Heavy Rain happens to one of the protagonists, Ethan Mars.

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.

Ow. Some serious Fingore, for sure - it's almost as bad as going for the yes.

On the sex front, we already knew about the sequence in which Madison Paige stripteases for a nightclub owner, but what else is there? "Shower cutscenes may depict a male character's bare butt; if players control the female character, her breasts and buttocks are also briefly visible." Ah, the good old shower scene - nothing like it for some fanservice, but I'm glad to see that Quantic Dream is throwing a bone to the women-and-gay-men demographic as well (why is it a male "butt" but female "buttocks," anyway?)

And then there's honest-to-goodness sex: "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."

I know that my teenage years would have been a lot less awkward if I'd had on-screen cues to angle my mouth and unhook bras. Just sayin'.

So yes, that's why the game is rated M, and it's out at the end of February. Are we excited?

(VG247)

Permalink

Well, guess I won't be able to watch this on youtube after all. Or get it on PS3, if I do get a PS3.

Didn't we already know that this would be violent and have heavy sex?

I'm excited, I hope that this is an evolution in cinematic gaming, it seems to be shaping up that way.

And yay, breasts and buttocks.

It's a shame that the ESRB had to reveal all this, but at least they didn't give away anything too important (like the ending, or something like that). Plus, it seems they're taking this pretty well; Heavy Rain might just prove to be a landmark regarding video game censorship.

John Funk:
...and then there's honest-to-goodness sex: "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...

Luckily for the ESRB, this scene will probably last a little less than a minute in the hands of most gamers...

Maybe I should get myself a PS3?

With this and The Last Guardian coming up, I'm starting to consider it. The game looks great.

lol, well certainly Saw-esqe kinda thing...though, do I want it more?! YES! I cant wait for this game =D

John Funk:
"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."

Soooo... quick-time events for sex? "Press X to Get It On?"

The ESRB just saved me 50 bucks

zombie711:
The ESRB just saved me 50 bucks

What on earth is in here that could possibly make you change your mind on a game?

I want a PS3. To hell with Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted.

I want Heavy Rain.

This game looks like a revolution in storytelling. This looks like it could take The Longest Journey off of my best adventure game slot.

I so want to play this game, and not just for the reasons in this article. Can't wait for it to come out.
Hope there is a demo for it...

This will be awkward to play.

The more I hear about this game the more revolted I get. Simply because all of this "intense" stuff really isn't. We've seen everything described here and far worse in "R" rated movies. They don't show the guy cut off the finger for example, yet it's mentioned as contreversial. Hello... we've already seen fingers removed in movies and such, duh! Oh... and a bloody STRIPTEASE scene with some girl trying to seduce a guy to get him to go someplace private so she can turn the tables on, and then interrogate him? That kind of thing has been a clique for female heroes (Agents, Cops, etc...) for a long time. In fact you could say it's a standard technique from the "Charlie's Angels" playbook.

So basically, what this guy is saying "well gee, I made an 'M' rated game that is just barely touching the lower levels of an 'R' rating especially as far as horror and thrillers go, but let's treat it as special because I'm actually using the 'M' rating as an 'M' rating, not that I'm pushing any genuine boundaries here".

The developers/writers/etc... here don't deserve the time of day, or the be considered remotely noteworthy for these kinds of things. It's like lionizing someone for just doing their job under routine circumstances.

I might give them some points if someone tried to ban/censor their game and they fought it, but right now at the "hype" level I fail to see the big deal. My basic attitude is that when they push the envelope for real, then they will deserve attention and notoriety.

Therumancer:
.

Since when does maturity equal gore? It's how things are handled in context that decides whether or not a game is mature or not, not snippets from one small part of the story. On top of that, your claim that there's a lack of focus on the finger during the scene in question shouldn't be relevant.There's a reason games have a reputation for being immature, infantile fantasies: they never handle subject matter with any subtlety or genuine respect for what their characters might be going through. That's where Heavy Rain is pushing boundaries in the medium, in storytelling. Very few big blockbuster games actually do this remotely closely to the standards we'd expect even of shitty B Hollywood blockbusters.

Also, the strip tease in question is on the internet. In tone it completely differs from Charlie's Angels it's safe to say, so I don't see how mentioning them both is really relevant? They never claimed that that specific scene was pushing boundaries. They said the game is. Not the same thing.

So Basically Heavy Rain is what Fox News thought Mass Effect was (albeit still through their sensationalist prism, but the "prompt-based sex scene" is much closer to what they were thinking with Mass Effect).

I wonder if Keighley will have to go on Fox News again, and if so, I wonder if he'll actually have something better to say then "Have you played the game? No? Then Shut up." I mean, I agree with his stance, but he definitely didn't do anything to make gaming look better. Wasted Opportunity I think.

TheBadass:
Since when did maturity equal gore?

Since the ESRB was started in the mid 90s. I mean, back then, in the age of staunch control over console releases post-atari/custer's revenge, having your kid inadvertently get ahold of a sex game on his console was pretty slim.

Back then the ESRB was primarily focused in giving Mortal Kombat a label, and they labelled it Mature. Wrong word perhaps, but it's stuck :P

I am so buying this.

Onyx Oblivion:
I want a PS3. To hell with Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted.

I want Heavy Rain.

This game looks like a revolution in storytelling. This looks like it could take The Longest Journey off of my best adventure game slot.

I don't know how revolutionary it's gonna be, but apart from maybe The last Guardian, Heavy Rain is going to be the most unique game experience this year. And that's good enough for me.

OT: Dang you John Funk, for dangling this spoiler in front of my hungry eyes. But I can contain myself, I am on a diet after all.

TheBadass:

Therumancer:
.

Since when does maturity equal gore? It's how things are handled in context that decides whether or not a game is mature or not, not snippets from one small part of the story. On top of that, your claim that there's a lack of focus on the finger during the scene in question shouldn't be relevant.There's a reason games have a reputation for being immature, infantile fantasies: they never handle subject matter with any subtlety or genuine respect for what their characters might be going through. That's where Heavy Rain is pushing boundaries in the medium, in storytelling. Very few big blockbuster games actually do this remotely closely to the standards we'd expect even of shitty B Hollywood blockbusters.

Also, the strip tease in question is on the internet. In tone it completely differs from Charlie's Angels it's safe to say, so I don't see how mentioning them both is really relevant? They never claimed that that specific scene was pushing boundaries. They said the game is. Not the same thing.

NOT true really, since we're talking about ratings as much as anything. An "M" rating has more to do with the type of content than the intellectual and emotional level. A movie about say "Ghandi" is probably very emotionally and intellectually mature, but would probably garner a "G"/"E", or MAYBE a "PG"/"T" rating depending on how the handled his death.

When you remove the comments about sex scenes and removing fingers, what makes this differant from any other mystery/thriller game out there? "Reaper", "Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller", the various "Tex Murphy" games, "Rise Of The Dragon" and dozens upon dozens of others especially if you look at the "Adventure Game" era of gaming. Nothing about this storyline or type of game is all that creative or new really. The most you could probably say is that the game is so ancient in concept that it's simply "new" again because it's so old and the days of adventure games and "interactive movies" are so far gone.

I'll also say that mysteries and complex character relationships and such are not nessicarly a sign of maturity either. While something from "yesterday" teen thrillers, soap operas, and mysteries were VERY common and involved some pretty twisted murders and such. Things like "Fear Street" and the imitators frequently involved good old fashioned killers. Also the lore behind some of those universes is surprisingly deep as well, it was a bit after my time, but in the past I've seen a handfull of fan sites that can go into say "Fear Street", it's timeline, history, and shared mythology with a ridiculous level of detail

A lot of people who yell "Mature" when it comes to storytelling are correct in saying that there can be a big differance between adult and young adult novelizations and such, but it is NOT as large as many people believe. But then again I suspect a lot of young adult fiction was dumbed down because of the whole scare over young adult novels which for a while were the "Video Games" of their day as far as the "OMG, protect the children" crowd went. It's funny because they were sort of over with by then (R.L. Stine for example moved into safer territory with Goosebumps) but people screamed about music and video games and such when "Columbine" and other similar incidents happened, but *some* of the novels a generation of students beforehand were criticized because they could basically be taken as a step by step guide on how to kill your fellow students if read from a certain perspective.

I'm on a tangent however, the basic point here is that the game is trying to sell it's maturity as being unusual. It's not. There is nothing especially "Adult" about this from any perspective I can look at it from, except perhaps the intensity of content, which is not nessicarly "mature" but highly rated by default because it's the kind of thing you do not want to expose children to.

As far as the intensity of that content goes, it doesn't even seem especially noteworthy, unless you try and say being in a video game makes it special, and really I don't think it deserves any credit for that. The more people try and act like video games are their own genere with their own rules of acceptability, the more problems they will bring on themseles. They are media, period. The same standards as apply to movies and such (should) apply to them, and that is how it should be. Unless this game is pushing something beyond what Hollywood has done, it mostly deserves a big "so what". In this case I'm not even sure that it's really pushing the limits of what other games have done for the most part, other than the graphics and tech being newer.

Well, there's a lot of hype surrounding this game. It sounds like it could be a good game. I'm officially interested.
It was nothing else that got me interested, honest!

gee i'm not into this game but can't wait for the shit storm that's coming when all those nuts come out to protest it ( fucking hypocrites )

no not you my escapist friends , the jack thompson's , atkiinson's and fat ass'd moms will bitch (too bad they don't read the escapist )

HardRockSamurai:
It's a shame that the ESRB had to reveal all this, but at least they didn't give away anything too important (like the ending, or something like that). Plus, it seems they're taking this pretty well; Heavy Rain might just prove to be a landmark regarding video game censorship.

John Funk:
...and then there's honest-to-goodness sex: "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...

Luckily for the ESRB, this scene will probably last a little less than a minute in the hands of most gamers...

I see what you did there. Well played good sir.

Me wantz this game.
Though it is a bit rude to spoil it...

I can't wait for when this comes out in Australia!

tmujir955:
I can't wait for when this comes out in Australia!

Better hope that Atkinson doesn't hear about it.

Well then, Better move my PS3 down stairs away from my parents....I'd rather not pull an assassins creed 2 all over again....

shewolf51:

tmujir955:
I can't wait for when this comes out in Australia!

Better hope that Atkinson doesn't hear about it.

Erm... kinda what I was getting at.

tmujir955:

shewolf51:

tmujir955:
I can't wait for when this comes out in Australia!

Better hope that Atkinson doesn't hear about it.

Erm... kinda what I was getting at.

Ah, alright. Ignore my stupidity then.

John Funk:

And then there's honest-to-goodness sex: "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."

Hot Coffee Part Deux...! Australia is never seeing this game, sorry bros!

We all would have been better teenage lovers had their been a quicktime event, alas it was not so...

shewolf51:

tmujir955:

shewolf51:

Better hope that Atkinson doesn't hear about it.

Erm... kinda what I was getting at.

Ah, alright. Ignore my stupidity then.

Question, did you see a "sarcasm" quote or a "bravery" quote? I accidentally put a different image, and then edited it.

tmujir955:

shewolf51:

tmujir955:

Erm... kinda what I was getting at.

Ah, alright. Ignore my stupidity then.

Question, did you see a "sarcasm" quote or a "bravery" quote? I accidentally put a different image, and then edited it.

Bravery.

Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!!

I'm debating whether I want to read this article or not since I want nothing spoiled for me in Heavy Rain when I get it since I'm so fucking excited for it.

Shit shit shit! What do I do, what do I do, what do I do!?! Someone tell me what to do!

Oy, I'll stave off temptation...even though I REALLY want to know what's going on with it...

EDIT: Pffft, I totally lied and read the article anyway, I would be bangheading my head against my table for reading it if I didn't already know this from the latest "Qore" download. Damn you spoilers!

Hmmm. I'm hoping this game isn't just using these things as selling points, but to immerse people more in the story. You know, an actual mature game, that expects the audoence to be mature. It's sort of looking that way, but we shall see.

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