2019 challenge Nerdy

So I Played Heavy Rain, and I Have Some Thoughts (244/365)

So I’ve been playing a lot of games with multiple choices and a level of interactivity mainly because my sister keeps getting them, now I wrote about Detroit: Become Human and how amazing the game is but I’m starting to notice a trend with the person who created this gam, David Cage, and his other games. So he made Heavy Rain before Detroit and let’s just say he can’t write women for shit.

I mentioned how useless Kara is in Detroit and how her whole plot was a wasted oppurtunity when using the games protagonists to explore android becoming human – why make the one woman maternal to an annoying kid? That’s beside the point, this is about Heavy Rain! So the game follows a few characters and as usual there’s multiple choices and multiple endings, and as per usual there’s only one woman, and guess what – she’s also useless.

The game takes place in a world where there are a series of murders being commited by the ‘origiami killer’ who murders children and leaves origami on their dead bodies. One of the characters, Ethan’s son has been kidnapped so he’s actively trying to find him, there’s an FBI character, a Private Investigator and Journalist (the only woman).

When Madison was introduced I thought she’d be interesting, we are introduced to her and she goes through a horrific nightmare sequence straight away. I decided to ignore the obvious fan service through the shower scene and the fact that she’s half naked, but I had hope. That hope went away when her character became the person who’d find Ethan and basically nurse him to good health after he does every origami killer trial – there’s also a weird sex scene that occurs between them as well.

My main issue with the game is that her character is basically useless. The nightmare sequence and her insomnia is never explained, and she just exists to nurse Ethan and be a visual – and sometimes be a badass female (I’m cringing) twice when she manages to get some information on the origami killer by hurting a sleaze ball.. he did try to rape her, but she was a badass and used her sexuality against him – are you seeing my issue here?

She’s someone who could have been really useful, she basically gets further in the investigation than everyone involved with less resources, but because David Cage has a reductionist view on women’s roles and only see’s them as tits and ass.

The worst part of all of this is that the game is actually good! I hate that I loved it so much, there’s a few plot holes and weirdness but honestly I found the whole gaming experience compelling and wanted to keep going even after I’d completed it. I enjoyed how Ethan Mars went from father of the year to a depressed schizophrenic who would go through these visceral trials to save his son – although I did try to get him to inadvertedly die I ended up getting his best ending.

Normans FBI missions were so interesting mainly due to his ARI software, it was nice and futuristic and honestly it made me think about Connors role in Detroit a bit. I also enjoyed Scott’s PI missions because he sort of grounds the gaming experience but also you honestly won’t know what to expect with his missions so they were enjoyable!

It’s always upsetting to see how wasted female characters are in different forms of media, and in terms of video games it’s scarily common. Whenever I do encounter a woman who has been written well I’m usually shocked and surprised, because the typical male view of a badass woman is just tits, ass and being cool whilst also needing the weak protagonist.

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