Normand Corbeil's Heavy Rain on Top Score

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
July 3, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The game Heavy Rain came out in 2010, just three years ago, and altered the course of video games in significant ways. Heavy Rain's creative director, David Cage, and his studio, Quantic Dream, wanted to create an interactive film. David asked veteran French-Canadian film composer Normand Corbeil to write the score for the game.

Normand explains that David wanted to create an emotional experience. There are some 2000 pages of script for the game, although three years after Heavy Rain, it's not uncommon to hear of a game with such a large story.

"People are getting older and older and playing video game right now because they used to play when they were young. They really want to do something quite different."
- Normand Corbeil

Normand explains, "People are getting older and older and playing video game right now because they used to play when they were young and they're getting tired about 'gun pow-pow-pow' all the time. They really want to do something quite different. So emotion was always the word that we used."

Gamers are older these days, and Heavy Rain dealt with some really hard decisions, always asking the question, How far will you go to save someone else's life?

Heavy Rain's story focuses on four main characters. Normand wrote a main theme for each character, creating a nice balance of solo piano and full orchestra in the score.

The decisions you make as a player alter the story as you go, and sometimes, you don't get a lot of time to make those decisions. Depending on the choices you make as you play, some of the main characters don't even live to the end of the game. But underlying all those stressful choices, and the resulting numerous outcomes to the game, if Normand's gorgeous score.

Since each choice made can potentially alter the course of the story, there are multiple ways the game can end. In fact, there are some twenty-two different endings to Heavy Rain.

Normand scored other projects for Quantic Dream, including a short film called "Kara". Quantic Dream made the video to demonstrate the studio's use of the PlayStation 3 hardware and the studio's expertise in motion capture.

He was working on Quantic Dream's new game when he passed away in January. Now, composer Lorne Balfe is scoring the game, called Beyond: Two Souls.

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