This interactive drama features four playable characters who are trying to solve the mystery of the Origami Killer's identity. This serial killer is known to gradually drown his victims, all young boys. No one knows his motives and he leaves very few clues.
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In the opening act of Heavy Rain, the player is introduced to one of the four characters, Ethan Mars. He is a happily married architect with two sons. During a visit to the mall one of the kids, Jason, went missing. When he did find Jason, the kid tried to run back to his father and did not notice an oncoming car. Ethan ran to save the child but was too late. Ethan himself suffered a coma which probably causes the blackouts he later experiences.