David Cage Rationalizes ‘Heavy Rain’ Sex Scene

If you’re looking to avoid spoilers about “Heavy Rain,” you may want to stop reading right here. For everyone else, you may recall that I had some issues with the game, which I laid out in my review. The story was often problematic, featuring characters that acted seemingly without reason or sense, and I felt that one scene in particular exemplified this better than most: The sex scene.

As a quick reminder (and again, SPOILERS), the scene features Ethan returning to his motel room after chopping his finger off in an attempt to get the next clue to find his son. So he’s soaked, his finger is cut off, he’s covered in burns from traversing an electrical maze and, oh right, his son is still missing. Madison is waiting for him in the motel room and there’s a moment where you basically decide if you want to be intimate with her or not. If you choose to go for it, Ethan and Madison have passionate whoopie on the floor next to the bed.

I was curious how David Cage, who prides himself on creating realistic, believable characters, would be able to explain why Ethan would be remotely interested in having sex at a time like this. Cage was more than happy to share his point of view in a recent interview.

“This specific moment there were two possible behaviors for Ethan when he comes back with his finger cut.

“He was so alone, he went through so many incredibly difficult moments and the only person that cares for him, since all these things happened, is Madison. And she’s there again and he just needs someone and she’s there and this is what happens. He probably regrets it immediately but, at the same time, it was so desperate.

“Or, on the other side, you may believe that he’s a little bit stronger than that and that he’d just push Madison back and say, ’No, I’ve got to save my son and nothing else is important for me.’ So many, many moments and decisions in ’Heavy Rain’ are like that. It’s not just about, ’Do I want to do this or do I want to do that?’ It’s also about role play, it’s about characterization, it’s about how you want Ethan to behave and who you want him to be, basically. In my mind these are the most interesting choices in the game.”

And therein lies the trouble. Is this a game wherein the player takes on the persona of a character or takes over the persona of a character. Or, to put it another way, am I making decisions as Ethan or as myself? If I’m playing as Ethan, there’s no way in hell anyone’s having sex in that situation, and the fact that you’re given that option is completely out of whack with the character. And if I’m playing as myself, that throws all the attempts at characterization out the window.

Whatever the case, I realize that Cage, in writing that scene, was able to justify Ethan’s actions to himself, but I just don’t see it. Am I the only one that was sorta baffled by the possibility of sex with Madison?