Heavy Rain's Portrayal Of Female Lead Just Fine, Says Quantic Dream Co-CEO

Guillaume de Fondaumiere, co-CEO of French-based developer Quantic Dream, tells Gamasutra in a new feature interview that Heavy Rain's female lead Madison has "quite a nice role" despite drawing some flack for being depicted as a stereotypical woman in peril.

"She's a strong character, to me. The very first scene, she's fighting against, I think, three guys, if I remember well -- it's in her nightmare, of course. She's quite clever. She is athletic. I think it's quite a nice role," says de Fondaumiere, when questioned about the portrayal of Madison Paige, the female lead of Heavy Rain.

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DonaldBeck2552d ago (Edited 2552d ago )

im obsessed with this game, and ive already beaten it. its really something else.

@nuka i know what you mean, everything from the noir feel to the controls are perfect. seriously ive never felt the same way about a video game. it reminds me of an interactive drama that pushes your true feelings out into situations you cannot see something and really makes you give a damn about polygons for heavens sake. im calling it one of the best games ever made, and i never say things like that often.

NukaCola2552d ago

Heck yeah bro, HEAVY RAIN is unlike anything out there. The best in QD's line up of titles. It's gritty noir and touches so many topics. I never have played a game that can make you actually use emotion to decide things. For example the beginning: I have never won a sword fight when playing with the kids, and you know why? I just can't see why I would want to. I am a dad and the joy of watching your little onw feel like a hero is so much rewarding so, I hit a few QTEs and then fail the rest. Amazing what David Cage's team did with HR. There are so many memories and it's a game that is never the same when played through again. There is always a new path, a new way of doing things. The choices you make flow, the pacing is perfect, the dialog, music, graphics, and atmosphere are surreal. Can't wait to see what QD does next. I am sure that it will be jsut as amazing.

If you haven't gotten Heavy Rain, go and buy it. You will not be disappointed. It's something completely unique and you will really love the story and how immersive it is.

KUV19772552d ago

I hate to say that, but i really was disappointed. For an interactive movie the story was so bad, that if it was a movie it would have gotten severeal prices for how bad it was. There are so many flaws in the logic of the story that only a game could get away with it and still be praised for having a great story. As a movie it would have been torn to pieces by critics.
I really liked the gameplay and the graphics were just fine but the missing logic made me not care about any of the characters.

Hicken2552d ago

Missing logic like what?

It's all well and good if there were ACTUAL flaws with the story, but if you're going to bring them up as things you have issues with, LIST THEM.

As far as anyone reading your post is concerned, your inability to do that just marks you as a troll, fishing for something with which to degrade a critically acclaimed title.

ryhanon2552d ago


Lemme start by saying I enjoyed the game, I think it's one of the most important games of this generation and I appreciate what the developers tried to do. It's not perfect, but it's a pretty remarkable effort in a lot of ways.

Anyhow, Hicken, you want plot flaws? How bout... (spoiler warning for those who still care)

1) What's up with Ethan's blackouts that find him waking up in the middle of a street with an origami figure in his hand? The blackouts I can understand, even waking up in strange places, sure... but the origami figure... wtf? That entire plot point serves no purpose other than to make us think Ethan is the killer. Having him wake up, origami figure in hand, on the street corner where (we later learn) Scott, the *REAL* Origami Killer grew up, is the most ham-fisted red-herring possible. Seriously, the only way this would make sense is if Ethan was played by Harrison Ford.

2) While we're on the topic of stupid red-herrings, the scene later in the police station where Ethan's estranged wife tells the police about his blackouts and how he sometimes would mumble about drowning children - *W*T*F* - Inexcusably bad writing.

3) When Madison learns who the Origami Killer is, she's shocked. I would be too, had I just learned that... but wait uhm... Madison doesn't even know who Scott Shelby is - she's never met him, never spoken to him or about him, has no reason to be shocked at all. From her perspective, hearing his name shouldn't be shocking at all. Once again, the only reason to have her react shocked is if QD is purposely trying to mislead the player into thinking the killer is somebody she would know and therefore be shocked about (Ethan, obviously).

4) Scott spends the whole game going around interviewing the parents of the victims of the Origami Killer in an attempt to recover evidence left behind from his previous murders. This plot point actually serves as the best red herring in the game, one that's really quite brilliant when you think about it, it naturally misleads the player without seeming forced and it fits beautifully into the overall plot - but it still has its problems... Why do the parents still have all this stuff? Why didn't they give it to the police investigating the case? If they *did* give it to the police, why isn't it all still there in the *OPEN CASE FILE*?! It's no wonder the police can't track this guy down if they're not even collecting evidence.

5) I know it's not a major plot point, but it's just another example of really shoddy writing. The scene at the junk yard with Norman Jayden, when you discover the bodies of some missing cops in an acid bath right at the entrance to the junk yard owners office... I'm sorry, but do the police *not* investigate the last known locations of missing officers? That only makes sense if those were the officers responsible for giving all the Origami Killer evidence back to the families and the station just felt they'd do better without them.

6) Why is Ethan so stupid to continue to suspect himself as the killer even after cutting his own finger off? He obviously *can't* be the killer at this point because the killer was watching him to verify he went through with it. I guess Ethan doesn't catch on to this because it would eliminate some of the dramatic tension later while they're at the police station, and being that dumb is the only way to explain why he doesn't tell the cops about this incident.

- Continued

ryhanon2552d ago

Continued -

7) How did Shelby fill all those tunnels with broken glass exactly? He's a fair bit larger than Ethan, what with that gut and all, and even Ethan is cramped up trying to crawl through all that. There's just no plausible way for Shelby to have engineered that whole thing.

8) Shelby crashes a freaking car into a mansion, kills who the hell knows how many bodyguards on his way to his main target (I forget the guys name), but decides to spare him. Do the police ever investigate this bloodbath? It should be pretty easy to tie Shelby back to this given how messy the scene is and the fact that an eyewitness is alive and well and could easily identify him. Oh... wait... that's right, the cops can't do that because it'd ruin the rest of the tenuous plot.

9) Allowing the player to listen in on each characters inner monologue was a great touch and helped establish the characters and their motivations in a game that would have otherwise been difficult to do without making the players watch through too many cut scenes. That said, the majority of Shelby's thoughts are ridiculous. He often has thoughts like "Well, I don't think I'm going to get any more information about the killer from this person" or "I've got to search around to see if there's anything the killer left behind" - why would he think about himself in the third person like that? The only reason for that is again, to mislead the player. This one is especially irritating because it could have been so easily avoided by simply changing the phrasing of some of his thoughts.

10) The big one - the scene in the typewriter shop. I'm sorry, but this is just inexcusable BS. To take away control of a character you've otherwise been in control of for the entire scene in order to hide information from you that said character will from that point forward have, just to set up a plot twist that doesn't even ultimately make sense, is extremely lame.

These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. There are a whole lot more I'm not remembering right now.

That all said, there is a lot to like about Heavy Rain, even about the story, plot holes and all. The whole idea of having Shelby interviewing people to collect evidence was a stroke of brilliance. Flashing back to him as a child without revealing to the player who it is, but having a few subtle clues, like the labored breathing of a asthmatic, was also brilliant.

The way some of the endings played out were fantastic as well. An example that I found particularly fantastic, in one of my play throughs, when Norman and the other cop (I forget his name) visited the apartment of the creepy religious guy and the gun was pulled, etc... in my play through I didn't shoot the suspect, instead I talked him into putting his gun down. Shortly after that scene Norman and the cop are in his car talking about what happened and the cop says "I wouldn't have thought twice about it, I'd have just shot him". Then later in that same play through, at the end of the game, Madison is dead, Ethan has rescued Shaun and is just emerging from the warehouse when he sees all the cops. He puts Shaun down, opens the doors and steps out to greet the police. He flinches slightly and grabs his arm because he's in pain - immediately the cop orders the other police to fire, killing Ethan. Absolutely freaking brilliant.

Anyway, I appreciate what the game did, the importance of it, but next time I think QD needs to spend a little more time ironing out their storyline.

grifter0242552d ago

HAhaha..I did the same thing Nuka...I never realized it till now and I haven't played it in a while.

I also sat at the dinner table alone for a few minutes when the kid fell asleep just because the emotion really called for it and I felt actually bad for the father that his entire life has become estranged.

This game was going up against Mass Effect for me as two of the best story driven games I've played...after what they did to 2 and now 3 for Mass Effect Heavy Rain might actually be my 2nd favorite game of all time after Mass Effect 1.

Love that casting promo.

n4gisatroll2552d ago


There's plenty of reasons behinds each plot point you listed.


1. What of shelby just followed ethan, and gave him the oragami figures, while he was blacked out? Or while he was blacked out, somehow retained an ability to see things normal people don't, sort of like a physic.

2. Well...if you suspected your spouse to have kidnapped your kid,and other kids, you wouldn't tell the police? If so, you're just as bad as the murderer.

3. Madison could have known shelby from the past. Maybe a past investigation she did. It's not impossible to think she could never know who anyone else is. Just because we didn't see it, doesnt mean it couldn't of happened.

4. Um, maybe the parents couldn't give it up, probably didn't mention t to the police. Or the police are incompetent, lots of police stations aren't always legitimate.

5. You don't think mad jack could be a serial killer? He could of found those cops elsewhere and brought them to the junk yard and killed them...

6. Probably because everyone tells him he is. He's only thinking about saving his son, and probably doesn't think about if he really is or isn't the killer.

7. Maybe he didnt, maybe he did. You're just assuming he had too.

8. What if they did, and he said nothing...I don't understand how you couldnt think of that.

9. That's a petty issue.

10. I didn't have a problem with that, it added more suspense. It made me think shelby was the killer too. So it did its job moving the blame from one character to the other, but really, I always thought it was shelby anyway.

Either way...I love heavy rain, and unfortunately for me, after I beat it, it was hard to play it again. At least immediately I couldn't play it again, but I do from time to time play it.

ryhanon2552d ago


1) That's fine, but nothing like your explanations had ever been stated or even hinted at throughout the course of the game. How hard would that have really been for QD to do? Why didn't they? Instead, they took the easy way out and ignored it, even going so far as to completely drop the entire black-out story thread about 25% of the way through the game - never returning to it or mentioning it again.

2) I think you misunderstood my point, I didn't have a problem that his ex-wife said something to the police, that part makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that he would mumble things about drowning children while he blacked out. Why would he do that? There's no plausible explanation for it. Again, this is something that exists only because QD felt the need to confuse the player.

3) That would make sense except that when she eventually gets to Scotts apartment she remarks about being surprised he's an ex-cop and having never heard of him before. Regardless, it's a minor issue to begin with, your point is taken.

4) Couldn't give it up? Why, exactly? If your child was murdered wouldn't you be eager to give the police any and all information / evidence as possible? I could understand one or *maybe* two of the parents acting in such a way, but *all of them*?! What kind of crazy world do they live in that none of them can be bothered to share evidence with the police?

5) Point taken. It still seems sloppy to me, but I suppose that's plausible enough.

6) He sat there and had to cut off his own finger while the killer watched it happen live - only then would he share the address information with Ethan. There really is *no way* Ethan could think he was still the killer at that point, it would literally have been *impossible*.

7) Huh? I don't think I understand your point here. The tunnels were very cramped, even for Ethan, and they were filled with glass by the Origami Killer / Scott Shelby, who is a fair bit more portly than Ethan Mars.

8) Seriously? So your explanation to that is just that it's *yet another* person that refuses to cooperate with police for no discernible reason?

9) I don't think it is. It's an easy issue to fix, sure. But again it's just another example of QD purposely constructing something to confuse the player. There's no explanation why anyone would think that way. I certain don't think to myself "The Project Manager should really respond to that e-mail when he has a chance" when I'm at work, thinking about an e-mail I need to respond to - instead I think to myself "I should really respond to that e-mail when I have a chance".

10) That one wasn't so much a plot hole as it was just something that annoyed me. The player is given control of Shelby for that entire scene until one moment, for some inexplicable reason, control is taken away from the player to set up this twist. Again, this one could have been approached in a cleaner way and still had the same effect. For example, if they introduced Lauren was one of the playable characters and gave you control over her for that portion of the game. Then you wouldn't have this feeling of being cheated out of the opportunity to know something you otherwise should.

Undeadwolfy2551d ago (Edited 2551d ago )


In reply to plot holes, I think the biggest one lies where you can hear their thoughts. Whenever you're controlling Shelby, how come you never hear him thinking about when he capture Shaun and put him in that drain? What he completely blocked it out and went into detective mode? Doesn't make sense.

Also, it took a while for Shaun to drown.. (in my ending). A few days pass with Shaun stuck in the drain and he doesn't die from pneumonia, hypothermia or starvation? What's up with that? Lol.

I like Ryhanon believe it was a very important game and a great memorable gaming experience but considering the game was based 90% on the story, it had many plot holes.

BitbyDeath2551d ago


The thing about mysteries is that not everything gets explained and you do have to interrupt some of it yourself. This happens in lots of movies/shows.

Anyways onto my understanding -

1 & 2. When Ethans son died in the beginning Scott was there when it happened, Ethan saw Scott. This did something to Ethans brain which caused him to be linked with Scott, thus bringing on blackouts and whatever he did while in those blackouts. inc seeing drowning children and making origami figures.

3. Wasn't Madison a reporter, if so then she'd likely know of Scott and may have even written a few articles about him in the past.

4. They have that stuff because usually when someone is overcome with grief they do not think straight and do not hand that in because they feel that is what they last had/touched and therefore want to cherish it.

5. As mentioned before, Mad Jack was a perfect candidate for this.

6. If you've seen the Saw movies you'll see that the killer records what's going on but isn't actually there behind the camera, meaning Ethan could have split personalities where one is wanting to punish him because he is blaming himself for his sons.

7. There are many ways he could fill it with glass without actually going in himself. (This one occurs in lots of movies, best to just go with it)

8. Cops rather point murders to one person than multiple, even if they did find out it was Scott after chasing someone else it likely would have been too late. Also the Eyewitness was corrupt himself so if he wanted to save his own hide he wouldn't tell.

9. Cause he's crazy. Likely he sees himself as the victim and not the killer. He's paying other people back for what happened to his brother. In his mind he is not the bad guy.

10. To take some of the focus off Ethan and make you suspect Scott.

Again, these are my takes on it, that is just part of the mystery where you often have to draw your own conclusion on things, it is in no way sloppy, it just gets you to think more about what may be too cheesy to say outright.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2551d ago
TheTwelve2552d ago


If you want reality...well, just live.

...but all of these "issues" with the game led to a very exciting game to me. A videogame. Not's meant to be fun and if that means nothing makes sense based on realistic scrutiny, who cares. I still sleep well and enjoy the game. Yep, bravo for faultfinding --- anybody can. But it is a rare gift to be able to make such a gripping game, which Heavy Rain is. Only game I've wanted to platinum (and did so).


ryhanon2552d ago (Edited 2552d ago )

I'm truly happy the game worked for you and that you hold it in such high regard. I hold it in high regard myself, because I think it is one of the most important games in recent memory. It challenges conventional thinking about what a game even is, that alone makes it remarkable.

However, at its core the game is a story-driven, dramatic murder mystery. There are significant logical plot-holes in the story that render it complete nonsense to even the slightest scutiny. As a murder mystery it fails. I don't think it's unreasonable of anyone to expect the storyline of a murder mystery to maintain a certain level of realistic and logical integrity - especially when the entire game is grounded firmly in reality (save for Jayden's virtual reality glove/glasses combo, but that's not much of a stretch and even understandable as a necessary gameplay mechanic).

It's a great game, but it is not without its flaws and it is not above criticism.

I've got a lot of mixed feelings about the game myself. On one hand, I was extremely disappointed in the storyline, I expected it to at least make logical sense. On the other hand, as I've said, I think it's one of (if not *THE*) the most important and interesting games of the generation.

This is all especially frustrating to me because there is *SO MUCH* about the story that is otherwise brilliant. Shelby's backstory and motivations, the reveal at the end of the game (depending on your ending) of Shelby being in the crowd that witnessed Ethan try to save Jason. Heck, even Shelby gathering evidence to destroy it, despite it being one of the plot holes that irritated me, was still a brilliant way to involve the player by having them inadvertently collaborate with the killer himself. There's a *lot* to like, don't get me wrong, I just don't think it stands up to a little scrutiny, and that's a shame because it's otherwise incredible.

Anyhow, again, I'm glad you liked it so much. I've only got so much to say about it because I *wanted* to like it much more than I did because it had, in my mind, the most potential of any game yet released this generation.

Emilio_Estevez2552d ago

Great game, all the characters are quite believable.

Redempteur2552d ago

Loved the game
damn finger scene ...

tigertron2552d ago

God damn Guy Richie...:(

SeraphimBlade2552d ago

Who criticized her as being a "woman in peril?" Yeah, she's "in peril" more than some of the guys, but she always gets herself out of those situations. If anything, that makes her more of a badass.