A Purely Sexualised Female Cast? Pfft.

Having played the game to death already for review here in the PushSquare office, we took issue with Samuel's particular point.

[Some very mild spoilers through the link]

Without wanting to tread too far over-the-line with unnecessary spoilers, Samuel discusses the opening scene of Heavy Rain protagonist Madison Paige.  He suggests the character is sexualised, where she is seen to parade her apartment in underwear and later take a shower. It's a point we strongly disagree with.

Firstly, the scene is contextually no different to Ethan's opening - where we see a similar scenario in which the father walks around his home in underwear and later takes a shower. The scene, while representing a different part of the narrative, is handled no differently to the Madison section - with player perception shaping the reaction. Madison is supposed to be sexy. That is her character. There is nothing overtly sexual about her actions during the opening scene, and only perception can taint that.

In fact, it's a point Cage himself has already argued. In the latest issue of the Official Playstation Magazine, Cage describes the shower-scene as a means to show Madison's vulnerability. He also describes the shower scene as a way of connecting "intimacy" with the player. Cage told OPM, "[the shower scene] turns things upside down: instead of building the sexiness of the character until you finally see her naked, it was just to say the opposite."

It's interesting that NowGamer lump the entirety of the female cast into their article while just focussing on Madison in the main text. Throughout Heavy Rain's narrative we encounter an elderly lady, a single-mother, and a prostitute. Madison's opening may be perceived as sexy, but her narrative reveals a multi-faceted personality worthy of more than just "sex-appeal" in a game where characters really do matter.

Sure, some of Madison's dialogue is wonky, but it really doesn't break the character. And it certainly doesn't make her simply "eye-candy".