“I Don’t Want To Brush My Teeth In A Game” – Danny Bilson On Heavy Rain

Some may say THQ’s recent re-invention centres around one Danny Bilson, American writer and prolific producer and a self-claimed ‘avid gamer’ – he’s been crucial to games like Homefront, delivering rich stories to a media not normally known for effective exposition.

But one of last year’s most story-based titles, David Cage’s PS3 exclusive Heavy Rain, didn’t find much favour with Mr Bilson.  “I stopped playing,” he said.  “I couldn’t get past ‘brush your teeth, make breakfast’.”


“I just thought, I’m not digging this, I don’t want to brush my teeth in a game.”

It sounds like he wanted to get past the very beginning, though – and obviously everyone should.  “I probably should play it, I probably have some sort of responsibility to play it.  But I’m still a gamer and if I’m not getting it, I’m not going to drive hard through it.”

Games he did play?  Mass Effect 1 and 2 – “they have the best story-delivery system” and Red Dead Redemption – “my favourite game of the year.”

Bilson alluded to helping out with Saints Row 3 though – stopping short of answering whether he’s been involved from the start, but replying with a muted ‘yes’ when asked whether there were things he felt he could add to the series from a screenwriting perspective.

Source: Edge magazine, issue 226.



  1. Shock horror: American likes American games that don’t deviate outside the lines.

    • And here’s me, looking for the “like” button like a common retard.

    • I’m sure you don’t mean to offend of the american members/staff on here right?

      Seems a lil narrow minded to judge the man for not liking a particular game.

      • Offend :/ No It wasn’t intended in that way at all, but your average American gamer will prefer games that don’t deviate beyond specific boundaries that are expected of games, no?

        If the chap was British my comment would remain the same just with the word ‘Western’ replacing ‘American’, but perhaps I should’ve used that labelling instead.

    • How mature to judge every american by the opinion of one person. Gotta love the irony…

  2. The ‘problem’ with Heavy Rain is that it’s very much not a traditional game. It is very different and if you approach it without throwing your preconceptions out the window first, it could feel rather boring/slow.

    • Not so much a traditional game as more one long interactive cut-scene? Yeah, that is the problem. It was a valiant effort but it just didn’t really feel like it went anywhere gameplay wise. Stories are great but we have to remember that we play games… to play them.

    • I like the concept of being ‘very much not’ something 3shirts!

      • I shall look for that section next time I’m in Gamestation.

      • Excuse me sir, are you a carrot?
        No, I’m not.
        But are you very much not a carrot?
        I’m not sure now.

  3. Game designers need to realise that when gamers want realism it doesn’t mean mundane.

    • Luckily they did realise that “what gamers want” doesn’t necessarily make a good game. Not that Heavy Rain is that good or anything, but I think it’s a bit stupid to say something like “Game should not include brushing teeth, ever”.
      I’m OK with the guy not liking it and quitting though

  4. I liked the “brush my teeth part”, it was the fact that I couldn’t wash my hands after taking a piss that bothered me.

    • LOL that bothered me too! But you do shower after though.

  5. “Jason, where did he go?
    ya got me searching high and low.
    My heart is racin’,
    Press X to Jason”

    xD sorry cannot help it. It’s catchy lol.
    It’s very lazy maybe he doesn’t really brush his teeth in real life 0_o – urgh!?!

  6. Don’t play it then?

    Personally i thought RDR was crap.

  7. Danny – piss off!

    Heavy Rain is beyond your comprehension which is why you dont understand it. The game is trying to settle you into the character, trying to get you to bond, familiarise with them so you start/or try to understand the decisions you are making on an emotional level.

    Its clever in its delivery when you understand what the purpose of these parts are.

    **struts off and throws his hood up**

    • I’m sure he understands it, I just don’t think he likes it!

    • That’s not really the point either. The point was for it to be a gentle introduction to the control system, while showing you that this character’s an average Joe just like the rest of us. He wakes up, gets cleaned, dressed, does his work and plays with his kids.

      It’s a wonder he thinks it’s mundane and boring considering he was a consulting producer on the original Sims game, which doesn’t exactly have exciting gameplay either.

  8. Maybe he would prefer the option to just go to a dental clinic later in the game for a hygenist appointment?

  9. He couldn’t get past a few simple analog stick waggles? What is he on?

    • I don’t think that’s what he meant! Most games have analog stick waggles, but it’s the end result (brushing teeth) that he clearly couldn’t be arsed to waggle his stick for. Let’s face it, there are far more exciting things to do in a game!

  10. Every time I want to play this game from the start, I always remember the boring beginning and i’ll play something else, could be why i havent platinum-d it.

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