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ESRB Spoils Heavy Violence, Heavy Sex in Heavy Rain

| 18 Jan 2010 21:16
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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)

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