‘Indigo Prophecy’ (‘Fahrenheit’ in Europe), is an Adventure game creation of David Cage of Quantic Dream, whose most famous Adventure offering Omikron: The Nomad Soul is remembered very fondly by experienced Adventure game fans. The game was released in 2005 and is, as will be explained below, an ‘Adventure game’ of a ‘different sort’ and one which, though extremely impressive, may not appeal to Adventure purists.
The basic premise of the game is as follows – Lucas Kane ‘wakes up’ in the washroom of a diner to see a corpse at his feet and with a knife in his hands. This knife is apparently the weapon which someone (he ?), has just used to kill a man. There is blood everywhere. On the corpse on the floor and on Lucas’ hands. Lucas Kane has no recollection of what has happened, where he is or why he is there. A policeman, also present in the diner, is approaching the washroom door. Lucas must act quickly. Escape? Conceal? Conceal and Escape? Thus begins a thrilling mystery of intrigue and ever increasing sinister goings on. The rest is …. up to you!
In the course of the game the player takes on the role of Lucas Kane as well as several other characters. ‘Indigo Prophecy’ is a game which contains a good deal of adult-orientated content not customarily seen in Adventure games. It is prescribed as suitable for ages 17 and above and I would agree with this rating. Please note that ‘Indigo Prophecy’ lacks some of the more intimate adult themes present in the the European ‘Fahrenheit’ version.
Here’s my take on ‘Indigo Prophecy’.
Story – The story of ‘Indigo Prophecy’ is most certainly one of its strongest points. A very well developed plot and some excellent characterization help make this game one which is most certainly worthy of note. If you’re a person who enjoys an intricate plot, a mixture of paranormal and pure science fiction in your games, then ‘Indigo Prophecy’ will certainly not disappoint you on that score. If anything it’s a game that, as you will see from its climax, may well deserve a sequel one day. The game has multiple endings and the one you end up with is very much dependent on your dialogue choices and your successes and failures in ‘testing’ situations. Note that your character/s CAN die.
Graphics – The graphics of ‘Indigo Prophecy’ are quite impressive. You can see how the lessons learned from ‘The Nomad Soul’ have been implemented to produce a game of crisp, neat graphic quality and with, to be honest, amazingly impressive character movements and expressions. The atmosphere is one of a chilling (literally), and almost surreal quality and one which, at times, reminded me of that oh so atmospheric survival horror series, that of ‘Silent Hill’. All in all highly immersive and extremely absorbing. Something I always hope for in my Adventure games.
Interface – Here we something which may or may not put off many ‘conventional’ Adventure game aficionados. Control is by means of a combination of mouse and keyboard. And essentially so. True, keyboard-only control is possible but those of you who know how cumbersome keyboard-only control can sometimes become will appreciate what I’m saying when I say that you would ‘prefer’ to use mouse-control where possible. You see the thing about ‘Indigo Prophecy’ is that it incorporates a number – and I mean a large number – of … essentially mini-games which require good dexterity, fast responses and lots of patience. There are ‘action’ scenes aplenty and each of these will entail the player quickly pressing a variety of key combinations, all of which are colour coded. This latter fact adds another tricky issue for players who may be colour-blind but, after some practice, this should not be a major problem as all of the (four), colours are always in the same place on the screen. The main difficulty for people who dislike action in their Adventure games will most definitely be the quick reflexes required to get through certain action scenes. These are unavoidable, the one solace being that the game offers up Easy, Normal and Hard modes. Easy mode is okay, but even on that setting there are one or two tricky scenes to navigate. In all honesty, I found the interface (particularly in terms of the quick reflex mini-games), extremely frustrating.
Sound and Music – Ambient sounds are excellent and the music throughout the game is extremely good. Much of the music is by a band called Theory Of A Dead Man and, dependent on your particular taste in music, you will either hate it or, like me, love it. The atmosphere created by the music, coupled with the extremely realistic character body movements (walking gingerly into a room for instance), certainly do add to the frequently ‘jumpy’ feel to the game. Ever been a little reluctant to open ‘that door’ for what may lie in wait for you? That’s what I mean.
Voice Acting – One of the games glowing merits. Absolutely spot-on. No more to be said really.
Puzzles – Puzzles? There are few, or even none, as such. Most puzzle-like situations take the form of ‘get through this scene by means of your observation and reflexes’ type of situation. Any puzzles that do exist are easily solved (find the exit, find the key –type scenarios).
Summation – I played ‘Indigo Prophecy’ on my Windows 7 system and experienced not a single difficulty on this platform. Loading times were quick and options, such as key-mapping (which I used), were easily negotiated. It’s worth noting that Saves are automatic and plentiful per scene or change of scene. In some situations, where you will be required to complete a balance or climbing task, for instance, if you fail, you will go back to an earlier point, and that can become quite tedious, especially for a butter-fingers such as myself, but, overall, the save system works well. The game will run adequately on a Windows 98SE system and above, but excellently on Windows XP Vista and, as I’ve said, on Windows 7. It is certainly targeted at a mature audience and I would NOT recommend it be played by younger players as many scenes are either adult-themed or adult themed AND disturbing. Finally, I would say that if ever a point and click Adventure game came close to being categorized as an Action-Adventure then this is a prime example. DON’T play it if you are looking for another ‘Secret of Monkey Island’ for goodness sake as it may well not be your cup of tea at all! LOL!
Concluding Remarks – ‘Indigo Prophecy’ (‘Fahrenheit’), is an excellent Adventure/Action-Adventure hybrid gaming experience and one you will most definitely not regret playing if you get the chance. I enjoyed it thoroughly and felt that the story, the music and most especially the strong character development made for an outstanding gaming experience. I warmed to the characters and felt drawn in to the story to such an extent that I was completely prepared to overlook my occasional frustrations and struggles with the mini-games. Thoroughly recommended.
Story – A
Graphics – A
Interface – C+
Sound and Music – A+
Voice Acting – A+
Puzzles – B-
Difficulty – Moderate
Overall Grade – A-