Cage Defends Heavy Rain Striptease Scene

| 27 Aug 2009 15:25

The sequence in Heavy Rain where player character Madison Paige strips for a nightclub owner might make players uncomfortable, but according to Quantic Dream's David Cage, that's the whole point.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Cage said that if the E3 showing of the Heavy Rain striptease sequence made gamers uncomfortable, it had succeeded in its goal. (Warning: Minor Spoilers) The scene involves the character of Madison Paige trying to get information from a nightclub owner, but finding that he "only has eyes" for the girls dancing nearby in various states of address.

Paige has the option to retire to a nearby restroom to, ahem, "doll [herself] up" before returning and dancing to get his attention - and upon retiring with said club owner to a nearby room to be alone, she can produce a weapon to threaten him and get the information she's after. Cage told Eurogamer that Quantic had "had a couple of people who felt uncomfortable watching the scene," but that it wasn't a bad thing - in fact, that's "exactly what [he] wanted."

You can't pretend to trigger different types of emotions and just focus on adrenaline and fright and competition and frustration. You need to go through different emotions, and showing this scene in particular was for us a test to see if we can make people feel like Madison, having to get naked to do a striptease in front of this ugly guy, and obviously it worked because people felt very uncomfortable.

Given that Heavy Rain's cinematic, pseudo-quick-time-event storytelling relies heavily on player input to make things happen, said player would have to be actively pushing the buttons to make Paige dance. Cage had been wondering if having the player controlling her in this manner would merely result in a gamer who "would just enjoy getting her naked and have this teenage kind of feel," but that apparently doesn't seem to have been the case.

Of course, depending on censorship boards, who knows if said striptease sequence will escape condemnation by moral watchdog groups when Heavy Rain is released next year? Cage isn't worried: "[Y]you should certainly not count on me to censor myself, and say I can't do this or don't want to do that because it's too sensitive or too controversial or whatever."

On the other hand, if the striptease scene must be cut, they could always replace it with flying Dragonball Z Peruvian bums. It worked for Indigo Prophecy, right?

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