PlayStation Universe

Heavy Rain demo still up in the air

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on 27 August 2009

Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream has admitted that the studio is still flirting with the possibility of releasing a demo of the hotly anticipated PlayStation 3 thriller, explaining that the disparity between each of the game’s scenes makes it difficult for players to get a solid grasp on what the title is about.

Speaking with at GamesCom last week, studio founder David Cage stated, "There are some big debates at the moment within Sony about the proposal and the interest of a demo,” adding, "Even to make shows like Cologne, it's a real nightmare to pick out one scene and say, look, we're going to choose one scene and people will understand what this game is all about.”

"It's very difficult to find one scene like that because each scene in Heavy Rain is different. So when we showed Mad Jackal, people thought, okay this is the game. You are a profiler and you investigate and you fight and we got 20 scenes like this. No, it's the only scene structure like that in the full game. Then we show Madison - they say okay you go with this character and you explore. No, it's the only scene like that. Now we show Shelby, and we're going to show Ethan's scene. All four scenes are different, so it's difficult to say look, this is Heavy Rain.”

Cage said that there are various pros and cons to releasing a demo. On one hand, the studio doesn’t want to churn out a playable scene only for gamers to then assume the rest of the game plays out in the same way. On the flip side, however, Cage acknowledged that punters may feel the game isn’t worth the purchase should a demo not see the light of day.

"Honestly I don't know at the moment," he said. "There are pros and cons to doing this. If you release a demo some people may think this demo represents the game where it's not the case. Like in a movie, can you imagine I'm going to release two minutes of a movie and you're going to imagine what the movie's about? Not easy. It's the same thing. How can you convey the emotional side of the game just with a scene? But there's also the other counterpoint, which is if you don't release a demo some people may think, oh they don't release a demo because the game is not good. No that's not the case."

He also observed that a number of well received titles in the past were preceded by a demo that ultimately didn’t do the final product justice:

"It's a difficult situation because it's a different type of game and it's difficult just to take a sample and say, look, you understand everything if you play this thing. And there are some examples of very good games in the past who released not that good demo. The game was fantastic, but the demo was kind of okay. So it's still in debate,” explained Cage.

Heavy Rain is due out exclusively on PS3 in early 2010.