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#88868 - 10/06/05 11:25 PM Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit) Review.
Jarrodj Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 40
Loc: Portland, Oregon
“It all started in the center of the universe…New York City”
I’m truly speechless. Usually when I write a review I try to come up with some kind of witty paragraph or two about things like the game’s development cycle, it’s historical context in the annals of gaming, how I came to get excited about the game and why, etc, etc, etc. Yet, for this game, I just can’t make my above average high school mind come up with anything except for this:

Stand up, log off, get $40.00 (if you don’t have it, sell something. If you can’t sell something, borrow some money), put your Sunday shoes on, get yourself to your nearest electronics’ store (doesn’t matter which one, just get there), go to the game section, give the man the $40.00 for a brand new copy of Indigo Prophecy, take your penny, get home, put it in your Xbox, PS2, or PC, and enjoy. You’ve earned it.

Now that that’s out of the way, I will assume that if you’re reading this review, it’s for one of two reasons

1. Me just telling you to go buy it isn’t good enough for you so you need further convincing.
2. You have already purchased this game and are enjoying the c*** out of it, but would like to read a glorifying review to further justify your purchase

Like I said, I’m saving you about 10 minutes by telling you to run out and get Indigo Prophecy right now, but since that’s easier said then done, here’s a more in depth reason to go out and buy it.

“A stranger has been stabbed to death. The killer is you.”
You start the game out playing as Lucas Kane. Luke is a normal guy. He has a boring tech job, a steady girlfriend, and an apartment that’s too small. You start out in the bathroom of a small diner doing something that someone with a boring tech job might be doing: carving up his wrists. You then see flashes of a hooded man surrounded by candles. It becomes pretty evident that this hooded man has possessed Lucas. Lucas stands up, walks to a man washing his hands, and brutally stabs him three times in the chest. Lucas wakes up out of his trance to find a dead guy, a knife in his hand, and blood all over himself. Its Luke’s goal is to find out just exactly what just happened. So begins Indigo Prophecy (that’s what it’s called in the States, but everywhere else, it’s called Fahrenheit): the game that will be forever known as the single greatest story ever told in the history of video games.

I really don’t want to say much more because that would be ruining all the fun, but suffice to say that this is the most tightly woven, well written, and engaging video game story ever. It could be a Hollywood movie. No…I take that back: Its better then a Hollywood movie. If this was a book, it would be taught in schools as required reading in 100 years. Its focused storytelling is right up there with some of the best of Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner. I’ve never been able to really connect with a video game character; but this game is written in such a natural, free flowing style that you can’t help but feel some kind of emotion when something happens to your favorite character. It makes me happy to say that this is the kind of game that will make people realize that gaming can be right up there with television, books, and movies as a proper form of media. This game will be the gold standards that all other game’s stories will be judged upon. The only complaints I can think of for this story is that the game ends very abruptly, and it does get a tiny bit weird near the end, but these complaints are very minor, and don’t do anything to take away from the final product. I usually try to be a little more in depth when talking about a story and why I liked or disliked it, but I just can’t bring myself to say anything else because you really should go into the game as fresh as possible so you are always surprised when the next turn happens.
10 OUT OF 10

“Can you describe what the suspect looked like?”
When you’re telling a story this compelling, graphics really aren’t of the biggest importance, and, sure enough, this game isn’t the prettiest game around. Granted, it isn’t bad looking, but it’s defiantly a little on the primitive side.

If I could describe Indigo Prophecy’s graphics in a sentence, I would say that they’re great when they need to be. Things like Character models, facial animations, and the motion captured animations are exceptionally well done. The faces are very expressive, and go a long way of telling the story. But what’s most impressive is how the characters bodies animate very well. The walking animation is a little stiff, but the motion capture during the fight scenes are some of the best I’ve ever seen.

Now on to the bad: Now I know this is supposed to be a gloomy game, but this game has some pretty bad texture work. Everything is 20 shades of grey, and when you get up close, the game can be pretty pixilated. There are some great effects used throughout the game. During the flashback scenes, the game has a very cool filter effect that makes the game look like 50 year old film stock. Also, the weather effects in this game are superb. Windy snow blazes past you at great speeds and you get chills (pun intended) down your spine.

This is not a bad looking game, and at times it looks really great, but for 80% of the game you are just looking at ugly shades of grey. Graphics are not what you buy this game for, but they really could’ve put in the extra effort to help the atmosphere.
8 Out Of 10

“Did you happen to hear what the suspect sounded like?”
If this game hadn’t had fantastic voice work throughout the game, the story would have suffered greatly (looked at what happened to Silent Hill). Thankfully the VO really is spectacular. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is the vest voice acting I’ve ever heard in a videogame. The biggest highlight of the VO is defiantly Tyler Miles. First off, Tyler is African American. I cannot tell you how much I just cringe whenever a black guy in a videogame is just this walking stereotype that do nothing but womanize and talk jive. Tyler on the other hand is well educated, and is acted very well, and the fact that he’s black is not brought up once in the whole game. After a while, you’ll forget that he’s a minority. That, in today’s society, is very hard to do.

The music is also incredibly well done. The original score is fully orchestrated, and was composed by the man who did the soundtrack for Molholland Drive, so he had experience writing scores for really good thrillers. It’s very moody, and fits every situation perfectly. There is also some licensed tracks in the game, most of which are performed by Theory of a Deadman. Just like the orchestral score, the music selected sets the mood and is never out of place.

Lastly are the sound effects. There aren’t a whole lot of different sound effects, but what’s there is very good. Every punch, kick, screeching car, and helicopter sound’s very good. Simply put, this is one of the better sounding games I’ve ever played.
10 OUT OF 10

Simon says…LRLRLRLRLRLRLRLR!!

It should be mentioned that this is an adventure game. Some adventure gamers who haven’t played it are calling it a rhythm game that unjustly calls itself an adventure game. This is the start of the next generation of the adventure genre. Most of this game is spent walking around, picking up items, solving puzzles, and having conversations like in most adventure games, but it does a lot of things differently. First off, for every choice in this game, there is a consequence. Let’s take that bathroom scene I mentioned earlier. You can do a bunch of different things.

Potential Spoilers:
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You can just leave and run outside, but a cop will spot you because you’re covered in blood. You’ll need some common sense to get out of there okay. First off, you could wash yourself up, then pick up the body and hide him in the stall to buy yourself some time. Then you could take the mop that was inside the bathroom and mop up the bloodstains. When you’re satisfied with how you think you did, then you can go. When I did this part, I did a couple of things wrong. First off, I forgot the murder weapon. That came to give me problems later. Then I found out that I forgot to wipe up the blood from my cut wrists in one of the stalls. Not to mention that when you leave a restaurant without paying, the waitress will recognize you better.
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End of Potential Spoilers

This game basically does what games like Fable could only promise.

Defiantly the most interesting part of Indigo Prophecy is all the minigames that run throughout the whole game. You even have to be on your feet during the conversations. You only have a couple of seconds to pick what you want to say, so you’re always on your feet. The fight scenes are where the two biggest minigames come into play. You see, you don’t actually fight people in the conventional videogame way. The first of which is about the equivalent of playing 2 games of Simon at once. You remember Simon? That’s the circle shaped board game from the 80’s where you would press 4 brightly colored sections in sequence. These can actually get pretty intense, and since it’s randomized, you’ll never play the same fight twice, so you can’t memorize the button order to cheat. The last one involves pressing the L & R buttons very quickly to do things like hang off ledges and the side of helicopters. You’re going to have to have some quick fingers to pull some of the latter LR sequences off, but with a little elbow grease, you can pull it off.

So, Atari and Quantic Dream finally did what I’ve wanted someone like Lucas Arts or Microids to do for ten years: Evolve the adventure genre. Now don’t get me wrong: I still love adventure games, but having a game so revolutionary is the kind of thing that gets people excited about the genre again. And wouldn’t you want to see more people playing games like Still Life? I sure would, and Indigo Prophecy is the key to the door. Not only that, but the minigames used during the fights are really fun to, and a cool new way to beat the tar out of the bad guys. This game is an absolute joy to play.
9 Out Of 10

“Can you tell me how long the suspect was here?”

All good things come to an end, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. I must say that I was in quite some disarray when I found out that I had finished the game in about six hours and ten minutes. Six hours!??!?! That is short! To be fair, there is a lot to unlock, and with six different endings, there’s plenty of incentive to go back and play it again, but Six hours? C’mon. I guess it’s for the best. The story is so tightly woven that having the game a fantastic six hour game is better then an eight hour game that overstays it’s welcome a little bit. Like I said before, there is a lot to unlock, and six endings means I’ll be putting around 36 hours into this game. Also, there is a “Movie Mode” that lets you just watch the game as a movie, but apparently it’s super hard to get. So while it might not be a pretty short game, you’ll want to play it again just to experience it all over again.
6.5 Out Of 10

“Thank you for your time, Ma’am.”

I’ve been accused of being a little too liberal with my scores. So, technically speaking, this game isn’t perfect, and according to the scale I use, doesn’t qualify for the score I’m going to give it.

But I don’t care.

Those six hours were, simply put, the most emotional, exciting, thought provoking, and all around best six hours I’ve ever had playing a video game. You just can’t say that you’re going to remember a videogame for the rest of your life very often. Indigo Prophecy represents the best that gaming has to offer. If you need a new game, I cannot recommend Indigo Prophecy enough. I honestly think that this could very well be the best game I have ever played.
10 OUT OF 10

Pros:

+Best story ever in a videogame
+Incredibly immersive
+It tries, and succeeds in reworking the classic adventure game into the new generation.
+The music, sound effects, and voice action are impeccable.
+The character models are terrific
+The minigames are tons of fun.

Cons:
-not the best looking game ever made
-it’s short
-...Well, that's pretty much it.

Bottom Line: Do yourself a favor, do gaming a favor, and do your mind a favor: Buy it!
_________________________
We should be able to use images...

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#88869 - 10/07/05 07:55 AM Re: Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit) Review.
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Hey Jarrodj --

Thanks for a very fun review. I know you've been looking forward to this game for a long time.

I am intrigued by the way the developers obviously told an unusually compelling story. I wonder if there will now be more stories told this way, once everyone has a chance to play the game and start thinking about it.

Although you finished Indigo Prophecy in just six hours, I assure you that the game would take someone like me much, much longer to finish!

I am also curious as to why the game is so grey. I agree with you, I like a bit of color and beauty in the games I play. Do you think the designers chose to make the world monochromatic? Did they want to focus on the story, characters, and gameplay so much that a beautiful, colorful world would have been a distraction?

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#88870 - 10/07/05 09:47 AM Re: Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit) Review.
Jarrodj Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 40
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Becky, thanks for all the feedback you've given me over the last couple of months about my reviews.

I think that his story is the kind of story that people will take notice, and because of that, there will be a lot of copycats. As long as those stories are good, I could really care less if they copied the formula.

To answer the length question, that really depends on your reflexes. Most of them aren't too difficult, but the last LR sequence I had to do like 5 times. That one was super hard even for a veteran action gamer like myself.

And I don't really mind the fact that the game is grey all around, but the textures they use are really bad. DOOM 3 was grey the entire game, but since it was so amazingly well lit and textured, I didn't mind. The grey does fit the stoy, though.
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#88871 - 10/07/05 02:59 PM Re: Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit) Review.
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42378
Loc: Alabama
Hi Jarrodj, I loved reading your review. It overflowed with enthusiasm for this game smile

I've played this game twice now and I agree with you--this game is very absorbing. The story sucks you right in and makes you forget about "real life" until the very end. It is very compelling. The voices and the music are excellently done! And it is really neat to make a different choice and see a new bit of the game each time. I am glad that I was able to experience this game.

I played on a PS2 and wondered which system you played on? Did I miss that? Did you play on the PC? If so, I am very curious as to how the controls worked.

I thought there was quite a lot of what my video gamer son calls "twitch" in the mini-games. On the PS2, the left hand would be doing one thing while the right hand did something else. Some of the minigames involved using both the triggers and the analog sticks in rapid succession.

I enjoyed watching DS and DH play the fight scenes. The graphics were very fluid and fascinating to watch. However, even though I do play Hack and Slash and Platformers on the PS2 and XBox, and RPG's on the 'puter, I know I could not have gotten through some of those fight scenes. They would have been show stoppers for me without the help of my two guys.

I wonder if you can use a Save game to get past these areas on the PC. If so, there are quite a lot of them, and doing that would take some of the player's "choice" away.

I also really disliked the autosave feature--but maybe that feature is only on the console version? I save all the time, even in games you can't die in, and really disliked not being able to go back a save or two and do things differently.

Though my DS or DH was always at the the controls, it took us considerably longer than 6 hours the first time we played through. Of course, the 2nd time went much faster.

Is the Movie Mode found on all the platforms? How do you access it?

We saw two of the endings, and are looking forward to the others. I did not know there were 6 of them, though.

Becky, I think the greyness of the graphics speaks to Lucas' emotional state during the game. One of the endings we triggered was very colorful, further emphasizing the dreariness of the graphic in the rest of the game.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. It was interesting reading wave
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#88872 - 10/21/05 11:01 AM Re: Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit) Review.
infernoj13usa Offline
The Radiant Moderator Staff Reviewer
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 5766
Loc: FT. Worth ....Where the West b...
I have to agree with Jarrodj here. Great game.

Inferno
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Watching: Dark Shadows
Reading: Angelique's Descent
Playing: WoW and living in Kil' Jaeden

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#88873 - 10/22/05 02:40 AM Re: Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit) Review.
honeycomb Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 159
Almost two games imo. The first is great but the second half doesn't really match the tone or quality.

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