To please my brother, I let him convince me to buy and play this game. First off, the beginning is terrible and has little to do with the actual game except annoy you. The controls are irritating and overcomplicated. You have to hold TWO buttons to walk (for being a race against the clock, the characters seem to be against the principle of running), there is no way to adjust the camera to a comfortable angle, and you spend so much time looking for the reaction commands you can't focus on the rare but exciting action sequences. The only characters that were fun playing were Scott and Norman, and you hardly played as them at all. Ethan's sequences are generally boring (as well as Madison's; in just one example you have to walk to the bathroom, open the cabinet, go through each bottle until you find disinfectant and painkiller, then walk back, and apply it all, very slowly) Since he's so tied to the script there's nothing you can do except play right into the OK's hands, though any slight change would have made him more enjoyable. Because her back story was cut, Madison's sole purpose is to provide the option of one of the most poorly timed sex scenes in video game history, IMO. On a side note- whatever happened to Ethan's ex-wife?
And while we're on the topic of storylines being cut, Ethan's flashbacks probably would have made his story make sense had they been explained. The programmer's said they wanted to ground the game in reality, but I'm not buying that with Norman's ARI (one of the few things that was flawlessly awesome about this whole experience) I won't complain about the story itself because I'd love an actual movie of this, but in practice as a game it should have been done better. On a final note, if you're reading this to decide whether or not to play Heavy Rain, my suggestion is to play L.A. Noire. It's LIKE Heavy Rain (especially the final cases for Homicide and Arson), but better. So. Much. Better.