Eurogamer writes: "Games typically begin and end with killing. In between, there will be a lot of killing. And if you get bored, you can always go off and do some different killing. Heavy Rain is another game about killing, but the difference is that when you pull the trigger - if you pull the trigger - you're committing to something with consequences. You may die in Heavy Rain, but rather than losing progress you may lose opportunities. In a medium where your existence is now so cheap that most games don't bother to punish you for wasting it, Heavy Rain wants you to respect human life.
Ethan Mars, one of the game's four playable characters, does nothing but live with consequences. In an extended playable prologue to the main story, Mars suffers through the death of one of his two sons, an accident that also leaves him in a coma. When we return to him two years later he's suffering blackouts and estranged from his wife, blaming himself and weeping behind closed doors as his remaining, increasingly distant son Shaun watches TV downstairs in his ropey bedsit. The "game" is to drag a broken man through the motions of parenthood. "