Heavy Rain has been a much talked about game, after a tech demo for it was displayed at Sony's E3 booth. The clip has impressed and confused many due to the way the game's in-game engine was shown off.
The demo starts off with a young woman who appears to be auditioning for a part in a movie called Quantic Dream- she sits in an almost bare room and talks to an off-screen director. As her audition starts and a clipboard snaps on the screen to mark the start of the take, the room is instantly transformed into a kitchen.
Although the sound is muted, the actress' expressesions and feelings are brilliantly conveyed through animation which was previously only possible through CG scenes. According to an IGN reporter who witnessed the demo firsthand, "You can immediately see the immense detail that has gone into the game's facial animation system. As she spoke, every muscle in her face would move naturally -- as she smiled, the edges of her eyes closed a tad. When her eyes rose, her brow would crinkle. The way her eyes danced around the room as she spoke was scarily realistic."
Story and characters
The company behind the game, Quantic Dream, has not revealed many story-line details, but has said that "The concept of Heavy Rain is to offer real-life situations with real characters" and that the story will contain no supernatural elements.
During an interview, Quantic Dream's CEO, David Cage revealed that the actress who inspired the demo is Aurelie Brancilhon, a French-American actress who impressed Cage during her casting. Although it has not been confirmed that she will appear in the final game, Cage has expressed that he would like to offer her a role.
Heavy Rain's is being developed by Quantic Dream, a French company responsible for Omikron: The Nomad Soul and Indigo Prohphecy.
During the same interview, Heavy Rain's producer, Guillaume de Fondaumière, has said that the game is expected to be out by the Fall of 2008 and that it is currently being developed for the PlayStation 3 exclusively.