These Prophecies are *supposed* to be Indigo-colored, right? : a Indigo Prophecy/Farenheight review

Two days ago, I was rather low on physical cash, pumped from writing a Warcraft 3 review, and in the mood to play some more games. So I pulled up Steam, scrolled through the highest-rated list, and found myself a slew of stuff to purchase. One of the games I grabbed was Indigo Prophecy.

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This banner sums up the atmosphere of the game quite nicely, but who the hell is David Cage?

To be honest, I don't know if many people these days even know what an adventure game is, let alone actually played one, so let me sum it up. Adventure games typically are simple point-and-click games, where the player guides their character through the world to grab items and combine them in various ways to solve deviously complicated puzzles. However, Indigo Prophecy is a rather bizzare example of the genre for two reasons. The first one is that the puzzles aren't that devious(at least, not for me), and the second one would be that some of them aren't really necessary to advance in the game.

Before I talk more about that, let's talk about the plot, set in New York City during a strange cold front. You start the game as a ordinary Joe named Lucas Kane in a restaurant bathroom, who wakes up from a nightmarish vision to find himself standing over a dead body. Not a good start, especially when he sees that he has a bloody knife in his hands and crazy symbols carved into his forearms. Yup, you start the game off as a unwitting murderer, and things only get more bizzare from there. The nicely-implemented first three-quarters of the story have Lucas on the run from the law, trying to escape his pursuers as he tries to figure out exactly what the hell has happened to him. Not that you'll be playing as Lucas the whole time though: you'll also have a chance to play the two cops trailing him, Tyler Miles and Carla Valenti. All of the characters in the game are well-fleshed out: Kane is a desperate, haunted man questioning his own sanity, Miles is busy trying to balance work and his wife, and Carla is a nice instance of a female protagonist with some BRAINS, who is trying to understand what on Earth is going on.

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Damnit all, this blood is a bitch to clean up... Should've brought some Chlorox.

All the characters the player controls during the game have health, in the form of a sanity meter. To give you a sense of how disturbing this game can be, the meter starts out at "neutral" and drops down to "wrecked". The player loses sanity by witnessing unsettling events, downing lots of booze, or having bad experiences, while doing things like eating and having a fun time raise sanity. If the meter bottoms out, your character will either lose their mind, turn in their badge, or commit suicide, so you have to keep a close eye on the meter to make sure it doesn't go too far down. It's hardly a challenge to keep the meter from falling too low, but I liked seeing how strained the characters I was playing as were.

For those of you who are worried about a lack of action: fear not. This game is not just a puzzler: there are action sequences stuck in as well. In these action sequences, you play through a series of quick-time events. BIG WARNING FLAG HERE: these are NOT as bad as they sound in this game. The quick-time events in Indigo Prophecy come in three varieties: one for instances of strength (where you hit left and right alternatively to make the characters exert themselves), one where the player has to play a version of Simon Says with two pads(using the numpad and arrow keys), and one where the player keeps Carla from spazzing out due to claustrophobia(the most annoying one, and thankfully used the least, it's a near carbon-copy of the strength minigame). The good thing about these quick-time events is that messing up on certain button presses does not mean instant failure. For some sequences, you'll have a number of lives to get through, while in others messing up makes people more suspicious of you. All of these games are fairly easy, so you'll rarely have an instance where you're stuck. In fact, the way that they get used adds very nicely to the action taking place in the backround. In one case, during the Simon Says game, Kane is running from the cops and has to dodge in and out of incoming traffic. This section is an example of the best use of the quick-time events, as Lucas goes over, under, and to the sides as he dodges incoming cars. It all gives you the feeling of playing through a action movie, something that feels in place for those parts of the game.

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Now watch, as I press right to KICK YOUR ASS!

Now back to the puzzles: up above, I mentioned that not all of them were necessary. This is because the plot in Indigo Prophecy does a good job of branching out. For instance, at the start of the game you have to clear up the evidence of your crime. The more stuff you clear up, the less quickly you'll be discovered, and you'll wind up leaving less/more confusing evidence for the two detectives later to find. However, you can decide to do the bare minimum and just escape: it's all the player's choice. This leads to each person having their own experience while playing the game, something that better draws you into the story and goes a long way towards making you feel like you're one of the people in the game. Another thing that helps add to this are the controls as you walk through the enviornment: you have to click and then move the mouse a certain way to interact with things. For example, to push open a door you click and move the mouse up. It doesn't sound very deep, but it adds a certain layer of kinesthesia to the experience. This is also how the player selects dialouge options, most of which are timed. This is a nice touch, as the time limit never feels too constraining, and the mouse movement controls minimize instances of "OH SHIT I CLICKED THE WRONG OPTION" syndrome, a affliction that hits me quite a bit when lists of dialouge options are up in these games.

As fun and involving as Indigo Prophecy can be at times, it does have some issues. The first one is when the story starts to wrap up. Some of you more observant readers may have noticed that I only lauded the first three-quarters of the story above. That is due to the fact that the last quarter of the game made the plot far less interesting. The way that certain things were explained felt rushed-out, and in some cases big revelations felt silly and tacked-on. It feels like the last quarter was part another game's script that someone stapled to the back of this game, and it suffers for it. Also, the game is not terribly long. People willing to only play it through once will be able to do so easily on the default settings. I would argue that they miss out, because there are multiple ways to play through the game, but I have to view the length as a detriment, because not everyone has that much patience.

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I searched 33 pages of Google Images for another good Indigo Prophecy picture
before I gave up and searched "patience." This was on the first page. Go figure.

Regardless of its issues with length and silly ending bits, fans of adventure games and good mystery stories should pick this one up. it has enough content to keep you playing through it, and the ability to unlock extra goodies by collecting cards will have some players looking around the enviornments to find some extra scenes and concept art. Currently, the price on Steam is only 10 dollars American, so if you're looking for a cheap game with a interesting story, you'd do well do give it a shot regardless of your tastes. Personally, I think it's well worth the value.

A BIG NOTE GOES HERE: I purchased the game for the PC, but I used a 360 gamepad with Xpadder to play it. The reason for this is that I play my games on a laptop. The Simon Says style minigame uses the arrow keys and numpad to work, and since my "numpad" keys are on the wrong side(as well as being awkwardly positioned), I couldn't play the game with standard controls. I found out that other reviewers have had similar troubles with the numpad being a bitch and a half to use, so I would recommend that you skip on this if you don't have some sort of gamepad, as the Simon Says game gets VERY irritating without one.

AND A QUESTION: Good lord, left-aligned text is annoying, but for some reason I can't add spaces or tab at the start of paragraphs. Is there some way around this?

Excellent review with a lot of good points and well structured arguments. I might have to look into this game, it sounds like my kind of thing!

Lordbolt118:
Excellent review with a lot of good points and well structured arguments. I might have to look into this game, it sounds like my kind of thing!

Thanks. I'm a little unnerved that it took 3 hours for someone to comment. Then again, I posted this at 2 in the morning... Maybe I should post these at a better time :D

Ah, and since I forgot to put this in the OP: the next review will be either Max Payne, Jade Empire, or a manga mashup. I'm having trouble deciding, so if you want to boss me around, feel free to tell me which one I should do next.

good review nice work. it sounds interesting

By the way, it might be good to mention that the game is called "Farenheit" outside of North America (maybe why you didn't find any other picutres on Google Images).

But apart from that, a well written review.

JC175:
By the way, it might be good to mention that the game is called "Farenheit" outside of North America (maybe why you didn't find any other picutres on Google Images).

But apart from that, a well written review.

Ah, I tried that, no dice. Perhaps that's the reason no one seemed to want to veiw this review either: they hadn't heard of it. I edited the title just in case.

EDIT: Besides, the irony was just too great to pass up. I mean, c'mon...

Very well written review and you brought up all the major pros and cons that was relevant.
I played this game some time ago, and I can only agree on what you said, it's a great game with some minor issues.

Good review, I liked Fahrenheit though Vista won't let me play it again :(.

george144:
Good review, I liked Fahrenheit though Vista won't let me play it again :(.

That's odd. Try running it in compatibility mode if you haven't already (thinking you have a disc copy here).

October Country:
Very well written review and you brought up all the major pros and cons that was relevant.
I played this game some time ago, and I can only agree on what you said, it's a great game with some minor issues.

ffxfriek:
good review nice work. it sounds interesting

Thanks for the compliments! It's always nice to recieve some positive feedback.

Good review. And you're right about how the Quick Time Events aren't that bad; in fact, this game is one of the ones I point to for the proper use of QTEs. Just goes to show you, no game mechanic is so flawed it can't be used well, except Escort Missions, of course :)

orannis62:
Good review. And you're right about how the Quick Time Events aren't that bad; in fact, this game is one of the ones I point to for the proper use of QTEs. Just goes to show you, no game mechanic is so flawed it can't be used well, except Escort Missions, of course :)

Even than, RE 4 made watching Ashley not annoying at all, at least for me though.

Great review, well organized, and you even made me lol at the end!

This acutally sounds like alot of fun. This is certainly going on my buy list.

xxhazyshadowsxx:
This acutally sounds like alot of fun. This is certainly going on my buy list.

Just be prepared. I know he warned you about the sudden loss of subtlty, but it really is jarring when your "scared, normal guy trying to figure out what the hell is going on" becomes

orannis62:

xxhazyshadowsxx:
This acutally sounds like alot of fun. This is certainly going on my buy list.

Just be prepared. I know he warned you about the sudden loss of subtlty, but it really is jarring when your "scared, normal guy trying to figure out what the hell is going on" becomes

My lord O_O. I don't know whether to laugh, or to weep at the fact that somebody thought that was a good idea. Probably the latter.

xxhazyshadowsxx:

orannis62:

xxhazyshadowsxx:
This acutally sounds like alot of fun. This is certainly going on my buy list.

Just be prepared. I know he warned you about the sudden loss of subtlty, but it really is jarring when your "scared, normal guy trying to figure out what the hell is going on" becomes

My lord O_O. I don't know whether to laugh, or to weep at the fact that somebody thought that was a good idea. Probably the latter.

Seriously. I might have to spoil a bit, but

It's too bad, because the subtlety is really what made it a unique thriller in the first place.

orannis62:
Good review. And you're right about how the Quick Time Events aren't that bad; in fact, this game is one of the ones I point to for the proper use of QTEs. Just goes to show you, no game mechanic is so flawed it can't be used well, except Escort Missions, of course :)

Hey, remember Ico? But yeah, escorts in general just suck: I think we can all agree on that.

NoMoreSanity:
Even than, RE 4 made watching Ashley not annoying at all, at least for me though.

Great review, well organized, and you even made me lol at the end!

Yeah, you kind of just stuff her in a dumpster whenever the action heats up, don't you?

Thanks for the positive feedback! What made you lol exactly? The ape? (The caption is quite serious, by the way. I DID search 33 pages...)

xxhazyshadowsxx:

orannis62:

xxhazyshadowsxx:
This acutally sounds like alot of fun. This is certainly going on my buy list.

Just be prepared. I know he warned you about the sudden loss of subtlty, but it really is jarring when your "scared, normal guy trying to figure out what the hell is going on" becomes

My lord O_O. I don't know whether to laugh, or to weep at the fact that somebody thought that was a good idea. Probably the latter.

Heh. Weep, for that's not all the wacky hijinks that occurs. I won't spoil any more, especially since the rest of the game is A LOT better than that.

scotth266:

NoMoreSanity:
Even than, RE 4 made watching Ashley not annoying at all, at least for me though.

Great review, well organized, and you even made me lol at the end!

Yeah, you kind of just stuff her in a dumpster whenever the action heats up, don't you?

Thanks for the positive feedback! What made you lol exactly? The ape? (The caption is quite serious, by the way. I DID search 33 pages...)

Yes I did at the ape, but mosty at the caption. I do regret actually saying lol though as I feel dirty now...

And I actually kept her around most of the time, the time I felt annoyed was in the tunnel and you have to shoot the drill driver, though that wasn't that bad. They made Ashley as non-annoying as possible, and I don't understand why people hate her.

Glad to be of support, and I might just rent this or download it as an Xbox Original like Max Payne.

NoMoreSanity:
Yes I did at the ape, but mosty at the caption. I do regret actually saying lol though as I feel dirty now...

And I actually kept her around most of the time, the time I felt annoyed was in the tunnel and you have to shoot the drill driver, though that wasn't that bad. They made Ashley as non-annoying as possible, and I don't understand why people hate her.

Glad to be of support, and I might just rent this or download it as an Xbox Original like Max Payne.

Don't worry, you didn't hurt my feelings :D

I think they mostly hate her cause she sounds quite whiny when calling for help, the situation that occurs when gamers are the most focused on her.

scotth266:

NoMoreSanity:
Yes I did at the ape, but mosty at the caption. I do regret actually saying lol though as I feel dirty now...

And I actually kept her around most of the time, the time I felt annoyed was in the tunnel and you have to shoot the drill driver, though that wasn't that bad. They made Ashley as non-annoying as possible, and I don't understand why people hate her.

Glad to be of support, and I might just rent this or download it as an Xbox Original like Max Payne.

Don't worry, you didn't hurt my feelings :D

I think they mostly hate her cause she sounds quite whiny when calling for help, the situation that occurs when gamers are the most focused on her.

Hurray, I can take this knife out of my shoulder now!

And any animosity I felt towards Ashley was removed in the end, if you know what I mean. *Raises eyebrows*

NoMoreSanity:
Hurray, I can take this knife out of my shoulder now!

And any animosity I felt towards Ashley was removed in the end, if you know what I mean. *Raises eyebrows*

You might want to visit a hospital. But yes, that little ending was quite amusing, if irritating to see that it went nowhere. Hmmm. perhaps Ashley will be joining Leon on his next adventure... as a MAIN CHARACTER. Damn, it would be silly in terms of continuity, but I sort of want to see it happen...

scotth266:

NoMoreSanity:
Hurray, I can take this knife out of my shoulder now!

And any animosity I felt towards Ashley was removed in the end, if you know what I mean. *Raises eyebrows*

You might want to visit a hospital. But yes, that little ending was quite amusing, if irritating to see that it went nowhere. Hmmm. perhaps Ashley will be joining Leon on his next adventure... as a MAIN CHARACTER. Damn, it would be silly in terms of continuity, but I sort of want to see it happen...

They already did squeaky-voiced midget Napoleon, how much worse can it get?

And honestly, RE 4 was better off not being so in line with the rest of the series. It allowed players who haven't played a previous Resident Evil (me) to not be bogged down in a horrible story. I say just screw the overall story and just make an entirely different part of the series with Leon and Ashley.

NoMoreSanity:
They already did squeaky-voiced midget Napoleon, how much worse can it get?

And honestly, RE 4 was better off not being so in line with the rest of the series. It allowed players who haven't played a previous Resident Evil (me) to not be bogged down in a horrible story. I say just screw the overall story and just make an entirely different part of the series with Leon and Ashley.

What, you no like miniNapoleo?

You bring up the best part of RE4: it was a game made to introduce new generations to the zombie killing fun. Perhaps they'll continue to pair the two up, though I doubt it. Ashley will likely go the way of that little girl from RE:Nemesis (I think? Only read the novels for the older games.)

Good review, I recentaly played Ingigo Prophecy and was a fairly enjoyable, but I do agree with you that the ending did feel a bit rushed. I felt that if they allowed for a more drawn out ending with Lucus discovering his abilitys more gradually with a better explanation of how he was geting these powers, the game ending would have been better. I also felt that the QTE's were well implimented

jad4400:
Good review, I recentaly played Ingigo Prophecy and was a fairly enjoyable, but I do agree with you that the ending did feel a bit rushed. I felt that if they allowed for a more drawn out ending with Lucus discovering his abilitys more gradually with a better explanation of how he was geting these powers, the game ending would have been better. I also felt that the QTE's were well implimented

Yeah, more development (or possibly an entirely other game) felt in order.

scotth266:

NoMoreSanity:
They already did squeaky-voiced midget Napoleon, how much worse can it get?

And honestly, RE 4 was better off not being so in line with the rest of the series. It allowed players who haven't played a previous Resident Evil (me) to not be bogged down in a horrible story. I say just screw the overall story and just make an entirely different part of the series with Leon and Ashley.

What, you no like miniNapoleo?

You bring up the best part of RE4: it was a game made to introduce new generations to the zombie killing fun. Perhaps they'll continue to pair the two up, though I doubt it. Ashley will likely go the way of that little girl from RE:Nemesis (I think? Only read the novels for the older games.)

It's not that I hate him, it's just that he shows how silly the series has become.

The closest I've come to playing the previous games is Umbrella Chronicles.

Heh, I loved this game.

I remember playing it with some family watching, then the damn sex scene in the underground station came of of nowhere. You know it was meant to be a QTE minigame where you had to time the thrusts? Bleh.

I think the game would have worked as a sandbox type game with more choices in it.

Good review, and the game is amazing. One thing thats odd and difficult to accomplish that me and my brother do with this game is playing it together. One of us will play as Kane and the other as the detectives, but to make it work one of us leaves the room while the other plays so we don't know whats going on. It was very difficult to get it right the first few time we tried it, but now its easier. The only problems left are that we can only go to a certain point of the story before the competitive co-op comes to an end, and of course after a few playthroughs as the other side we've pretty much learned everything thats happened to the characters, but we still have a good time playing it together.

If theres anyone you know that likes the game or has even never played it I recommend trying this. I've said its hard to pull off, but in the end its lots of fun trying to find the clues my brother left behind, or trying to avoid leaving clues so he can't find them.

scotth266:
Ah, and since I forgot to put this in the OP: the next review will be either Max Payne, Jade Empire, or a manga mashup. I'm having trouble deciding, so if you want to boss me around, feel free to tell me which one I should do next.

Max Payne, Max Payne, Max Payne! Man I love that game. Looking forward to your next review, whatever you decide *cough* Max Payne *cough*

Neat! Another person who enjoyed this game instead of just complained that it was just an interactive movie (which it says in the tutorial).

Great review, well thought out and the motivational poster added a good laugh. For aligning text and the like, it's standard BBcode, so [ right], [ left], [ center], et cetera commands work (without the spaces, of course). I don't have a wonderful grasp of it myself, but google is awesome like that.

For the whole QTE (DDRQT as I like to call them..), I found that if you just re-bind your keys it becomes a lot easier. I used arrow keys and ASDW, and I never had to think twice about changing them because it worked so well (remind anyone else of doubles DDR?). It did get a little annoying having to switch from the mouse to the keys, but it was sure better than having to try and click-drag through the QTEs.

I look forward to your next review!

 

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