David Cage has revealed to Gamasutra that to him, it’s really “difficult to have decent storytelling in most games”, and that violence shouldn’t always be the core center of the gameplay experience.
“The most important thing for me with Heavy Rain was not to put violence at the center,” he said. “Violence can be used as a narrative device when it supports the story or the characterization, but it’s not the end goal; it’s not the core of the experience. In Heavy Rain, that’s the big difference, because in most games what you do is kill, destroy.
“In Heavy Rain, you make choices, and these choices could be to kiss someone or not to kiss someone; it could be to help someone or not to help someone. It could be just to make a decision affecting your psychology or how you feel about your character. I think that was the most important thing.
“That’s the problem with most action games: that the story, at some point, needs to justify that the hero goes from jungle level to the snow level to the sand level, so this is already something difficult.
“It also has to justify that there are zillions of people attacking you all the time wherever you are; there are people shooting at you because this is what the game is about.
“So it’s really difficult to have decent storytelling in most games, and I think that games like Uncharted 2 or God of War III did a great job at that, trying to have a story really supporting the experience.
“At the same time, I made a different decision, which was to get rid of the violence, the mechanics, the patterns in the gameplay. I think that this is not an absolute necessity; there are other ways of offering gameplay than using the same loops in a way”.
This all ties into creativity, which Cage has said previously is something that publishers should support more often than not.
Heavy Rain’s out now on PS3, just in case you just woke from a coma.