After An Amazing opening scene, in which it feels like the video game and film-making genres have finally combined to create a creature that is both filmic and interactive, Fahrenheit loses a bit of momentum. But that doesn't stop it being a great game.
Fahrenheit's quality shines and the repetitive exercises before a bout of button-matching boxing and awful camera angles and controls, don't take anything away. At the risk of banging on about it, the many niggles in the game are counterbalanced by the sense of satisfaction that you come away with from playing it Getting elbowed in the eye by a clumsy lover doesn't take so much away from the fact you're having decent sex. The plot's fantastic, and the way the game reacts and adapts to your actions is superb. This is a streak of storytelling innovation that no one has even attempted to match.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Not So Long ago, whenever someone called a game an interactive movie' you knew three things: that Tim Curry was never far away, that there would probably be an exposed breast or two and that it would without doubt be an unmitigated pile of shite. Phantasmagoria, Frankenstein: Through The Eyes Of The Monster, The Daedalus Encounter... All of them thought they could conjure up the magic of cinema through rubbish FMV, female flesh and two and a half special effects, and unsurprisingly none of them did.
Fahrenheit though, even if its designers probably wouldn't like the tag, is finally going to get it right. It's played from the third person, but it feels like a movie and actually manages to be truly interactive - and really bloody clever with it. One of the characters you control is a man forced to kill strangers against his will, another is the female cop hot on his trail - from this premise the story pans out and branches according to the way you play the game. Confused? Well, say you've reached the part at which Lucas (the guy who finds himself stabbing passers-by at inopportune moments and who may or may not, according to your whim, clear up the mess afterwards) meets up with his estranged clergyman brother in a snowy park. Accept his moral advice and he'll play a major role in the coming tale; argue and tell him to keep his nose out of your homicidal business and he'll never appear again.
Minutes later, meanwhile, the powers growing within you foresee the drowning of a small child in the park's lake. Save him and you run the risk of being recognised by a nearby policeman; let him die and you remain incognito, but you'll be plunged even further into remorse and growing insanity - perhaps culminating in you putting a gun to your temple and ending it all prematurely. It's all up to you, and everything you do or don't do - even to the extent of leaving fingerprints or forgetting to wash your hands - will have a bearing on the plot and the way in which you play the parallel tale of Carla and Tyler - the cops following your trail.
Jump Jump Spin
Bizarrely enough, Fahrenheit also mixes in a fair amount of action scenes governed by timely tapping of relevant keys, turning into a bizarre mash-up of The Bourne Identity's fight scenes and Dance Dance Revolution. Something similar was employed in Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, but whereas the most thrilling thing that that had you do there was open a fridge door very quickly, here you're high-kicking, leaping over cars, hanging onto helicopters and jumping off buildings in extremely quick succession. It looks great fun in motion, albeit currently a lot more attuned to an Xbox pad rather than a keyboard and mouse.
Ploughing its own furrow, with more endings than The Return Of The King -and with the first (covered) male erection ever seen in a mainstream game (may have to cut that out for the US release says the developer) - Fahrenheit is worth keeping tabs on. Bit odd though.
It's The Same old theme since 1916 in your head, on your screen, they're still fighting. With their lurch and their brains, and their brains and loose limbs, in your head, on your screen, they'll be dying. Ahem.
Especially in new French offering Zombies, which is a game all about zombies - all of a sudden the most abundant species of undead mischief-makers to clog up the PC release schedules in years. This one's played from first-person perspective, and sticks you in firmly into Resi Raccoon City-style territory (or le Cite de Raton Laveur in French) with guns and squidgy dead-eyed corpses for company.
With 12 sidekicks available, each with the propensity to turn on you if bitten in the time-honoured way, and a collection of electric drills and molotov cocktails with which to dispense the undead, we're expecting a lo-fi blast that may not be the most promising in the forthcoming zombie wars (that accolade goes to Stubbs The Zombie) but at least, as the title suggests, it has copious zombies in it. As, indeed, The Cranberries once sang.
I'd Only Ever played the demo of the now-almost-ancient Fahrenheit, and having killed the guy in the toilet 12 times over I thought it proper that I buy the full game and see what happens after that. Indigo Prophecy (as it's known on Steam and elsewhere in the world), is a genre-blending adventure game. Mouse gestures control actions (but it's easier to use an Xbox controller), while quick-time event sequences (pressing keys as they appear on screen) unashamedly feature throughout.
The opening scene (the demo level) is the game's best bit. It just doesn't reach that level of murderous interactivity ever again. Fahrenheit highlights some of gaming's most glaring pitfalls too: obtuse puzzles; extensive sequences of noninteraction; and a bit where glancing at a corpse would send my character insane and have him locked in an asylum, so I had to jump out a window (I hate when games do that). The list goes on.
But the characters are excellent, and I really enjoyed the story - even though it goes bat-shit barmy. It's one of the few games I persevered with to its end, mostly for closure, and partly because I wanted to see the sex scene.
It has been far too long since a good adventure game graced our fine systems. Indigo Prophecy was developed by Quantic Dream, the same company that made the unusual Omikron, another strongly narrative game. This time, the story takes place sometime in the near future, in a New York City gripped by an unusually cold winter. The story involves murder, conspiracy, and an ancient prophecy that is about to come to pass.
The gameplay in Indigo Prophecy could definitely use some work, as it isn't quick or easy to move your characters around the environment. Once you get down to making actions however, it's actually somewhat innovative. Most of the time, your actions will be handled by the use of the mouse, which you'll need to make a motion as described on screen. In conversations you'll use this feature to choose different discussion options, and thanks to the way that Indigo Prophecy handles dialogue, you'll only be able to choose certain specific options in each conversation. The result is you can have a single discussion any number of ways.
Once you're into an action scene, you'll play a button pressing game that's overlaid on the screen, letting you see the action while you're controlling it. Finally, you'll occasionally have to use a system where you press alternating buttons to play out a scene that involves endurance or exertion. Many of these gameplay elements get brought back as extras you can unlock where you can play through special bonuses like a ice skating competition, or a boxing match.
Lastly, let me speak of the game's narrative. More than any game I've played in a long while, Indigo Prophecy attempts and succeeds at a tremendously strong narrative. It's only true flaw in this respect is that it skips a large gap of time, and in my estimation, has also exempted important scenes that were likely not finished to the liking of the game's developers. This means that the ending hour or so of the game represents some significant story changes that can be very hard to keep up with.
That said, Indigo Prophecy is an excellent adventure title for those of us who haven't had a good adventure game in sometime, and with but a few small tweaks, this game engine could produce many fine adventure games. It is my hope that other developers will follow Quantic Dream's footsteps and relaunch this shriveled genre.