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Heavy Rain blurs the lines

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Gaming and movies meet on the red carpet as Heavy Rain – the title that blurs the lines between game and film – arrives for PlayStation3.

Sony Computer Entertainment has hosted a red-carpet event for the European premiere of Heavy Rain for PlayStation3 (PS3). The premiere, hosted in the hometown of developers Quantic Dream, explored Heavy Rain’s fusion of film noir and intelligent gaming, where stunning cinematography is blended with immersive action allowing characters and the plot to respond to real time to decisions that players make.

The evening began with a screening of footage showcasing the game’s gripping narrative and emotionally-involving story set in a rain-drenched and gray East Coast America town with a killer on the loose. Guests were then treated to an exploration of human nature in a short film from acclaimed director Neil LaBute. Featuring interviews with stars including Samuel L. Jackson, Hanif Kureishi, Nicolas Roeg, Stephen Frears, Ben Chaplin, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Bogdanovich and Jean Marc Barr, the film explored the influence of emotion in decision-making ‚ a process that, in Heavy Rain, is just as important as rational planning or split-second reactions.

After the film, LaBute stepped onstage to participate in an open discussion with a panel including Cage, Terry Gilliam, Martha Fiennes and Mathieu Kassovitz. The debate revolved around emotional expression and action and its place in the panel members’ work and lives. David Cage explained how the game came into being and shared stories from the journey that he took with Heavy Rain’s development, while the actors explained the challenges between acting for a gaming experience rather than for a linear screen or stage production.

Neil LaBute commented on the experience of creating the documentary: “It was fascinating to sit and listen to the intimate thoughts of so many people that I’ve admired-both professionally and personally-for years. Constantly surprising, each of ‘the witnesses’ was refreshingly candid as they discussed creative elements from their work and how deep the emotion of love runs through their own lives. I thought a simple approach – shot in a stark ‘interrogation’ style – would mimic both the style of the game Heavy Rain and would also be a very successful way of capturing a series of snapshots from the lives of these fascinating working artists from around the world.‚

‚Just as Heavy Rain is exploring new directions in video gaming, we wanted to explore new directions with today’s event. Heavy Rain makes players react emotionally to what they experience, it engages them and makes them care at a visceral level about their character – and we hope to have conveyed this powerful sensation at this evening’s premiere,‚ says David Cage.

An event with a difference, Heavy Rain’s premiere set out to break the mould. After exploring this thought-provoking, dark and utterly gripping thriller, guests left with the feeling that Heavy Rain is more than a game. It’s an adventure where you set the rules and decide how far you’ll go: where every action has its consequences and the buck stops with you.

Available now, Heavy Rain is a tense and emotional experience that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. Find out more at www.heavyrain.com

Keep an eye on Gadget for a Heavy Rain game review, coming next week.

A panel discussion with David Cage, Neil LaBute, Martha Fiennes, Terry_Gilliam

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