81 of 87 people found the following review helpful
Note: I own the Xbox version of this game. From the PC demo I've played the PC version doesn't have the aliasing problems as the Xbox and the game has a much better resolution. Other than that, the review below should be accurate.
There have been games throughout the years that have truly done something original, different and completely engaging. It always seems to be that these games fall by the wayside in terms of popularity which is a shame. Indigo Prophecy falls into this category as an original game with a fantastic premise and incredibly exciting gameplay.
Never before have I played a game that was so interactive in its story-telling. When trying to describe this game, I would point to God of War, a PS2 game in which there were scenes where you have timed button presses that would move forward a cutscene. It helped bring you into the story, the cutscenes so that it was you that were doing all of the cool acrobatic manuevers killing the hydra. Another game that used this to a lesser effect was Resident Evil 4, for example with the knife fight that you had to push buttons to keep Leon safe. Indigo Prophecy takes this idea and pushes it to the extreme.
IP is basically and incredibly interactive movie. It mixes the adventure genre, which is seldom seen on console, and movies and melds them into a cohesive and incredibly engaging story. It starts off with a bang as you immediately find yourself killing someone you don't know in a diner. You feel like you're not in control of your actions and as a result you have a body in a restroom and a policeman drinking coffee in the restaurant. What do you do? You're free to act from here on out. Do you leave the body and rush out? Do you hide the body? What about the blood? What about the blood on you? What about the knife? When you leave do you pay your bill? You can take care of all or none of the options above. And the story will be different, sometimes marginally sometimes drastically. Oh, and by the way, that cop sitting outside needs to use the restroom and soon the screen will split and you better be out of there before he makes it to the restroom.
This opening sequence exemplifies everything this game is about. Choices, story and gameplay all merged into one. But innovation doesn't end there. As soon as Lucas (the murdering protagonist) is free of the diner, you take control of two police detectives who investigate the scene. You can switch between the two on the fly and you have to find clues, make theories and basically do everything in your power to catch Lucas. Its this give and take gameplay, where you have to play one side against the other, that truly gives the game a sense of urgency and excitement.
Going back to the God of War example, when you have cutscenes in this game, you better not put your controller down. Gameplay pushes forward the story-centered bits as well. Whether its doing a simon says type control scheme to manuever your character past cars that are hurtling toward him, alternating between the L and R trigger as fast as you can to save someone who's drowning or using the R stick to make dialogue choices on the fly (you're timed) to hear all you can, the game makes sure to bring you into the story. Its very effective and really ratchets up the tension.
If there is one sore spot in the game its the graphics. While not bad, exactly, they don't necessarily push the Xbox in the way that this last year of Xbox life should. It looks like a first or possibly second generation Xbox game. Artistically the game is good. The characters in the cutscenes move really well and realistically. And there is never a moment of lag or skipping seen in a lot of games today. The character's faces have some nice emotion to them and the graphics aren't stellar, like I said, but they do a decent job. There's a ton of aliasing, however, which is sad.
Another sore spot is the controls. When you are in direct control of your character (i.e. actually moving them as opposed to having control of the cutscenes via button pressing) the game is pretty loose. It reminds me of playing the old Resident Evil games. You have the cinematic camera which causes some confusion as to which direction you should push your character. As a result, you will do a lot of figure 8s in the game which can cause a lot of problems when you have to hide the evidence because a cop is at your door and the timer is going down. Character animation while moving is also very stiff and a big difference from the cut scene animation.
The audio is terrific, however. While the box says the game does not run in 5.1 in game, I think it lies. My receiver lights up whenever 5.1 is being used and its always lit with this game. And it sounds like 5.1 is being used. The voice acting is absolutely wonderful and professional. Each voice matches the character and it helps enhance this feeling of playing a murder mystery movie. With voice acting becoming so important in games today, this is most welcome and really helps sell the game. Musically, the game also excels by using the very talented Angelo Badalamenti to score it. That name might not mean much on the outset but he has created scores to many Hollywood movies including most by David Lynch (Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr., Twin Peaks) but also Dark Water, Arlington Road, etc. The score is absolutely beautiful and moving; it really fits in with what is happening on screen.
What this game does best is meld the story-telling of a movie with the gameplay of video games. It exposes the limitations of both and yet uses the best of both to create an engaging, moving and very interactive story. For me, this game is a perfect building block for video games. I can overlook most of its flaws because it is so different, so exciting and so damn cool. It warrants a 5 star review simply because of what it did. I would most heartedly recommend this game to those who love a good story, like action adventure games and want to be impressed with what video games and movies can accomplish together.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2005
First off, let me say that I was very torn with giving this game a 5-star rating. What for the most part is an intriguing fast-paced adventure game would at times get bogged down by temperamental controls, ultimately reducing the gameplay to a series of frustrating repetative motions just to complete the most mundane of tasks. At times I really had to restrain myself from smashing my gamepad to pieces (while swearing that I would rate this a 2-star game!), but once the story begins to move along again, the frustration is quickly forgotten. Indigo Prophecy is one hell of a game.
This is an amazingly well presented game with an engrossing and compelling story. The atmosphere is dark and moody, and is accented by a perfect music score that seems to be lifted straight out of your favorite David Lynch thriller. The graphics, while not cutting edge, are up to par and do not detract from the experience. The voice acting is by far the best I've heard in a game.
The main aspect of this game that will turn off many gamers is the control scheme. This is a console game ported to the PC, and the controls were designed as such. This game is virtually impossible if you do not purchase a dual analog gamepad. The players interactions with the game involve pressing the analog sticks in a series of motions displayed on the screen (think of the old simon game) while your character reacts in the game when sequences are pulled off correctly. The more frustrating parts of the game involve climbing fences and poles, which requires a series of repeated (and timed) quarter-circle motions. I've been playing video games for most of my life (and have pulled off dragon punches in Street Fighter 2 using only my feet on the controller!), but let me tell you, the climbing motion is VERY HARD TO PULL OFF correctly. Since its timed you have very little margin for error, and many times you'll pull off 10 climbs on a pole only to fall off on attempt number 11 and have to do it all over again. At times like these the gameplay is reduced to spending a half an hour (or more) just to get over a fence. It really can kill the experience.
Luckily these sequences are not very abundant in the game, and if you can get past it, what's left is a great unique experience that isn't very common in the gaming world today. For those adventure gamers with good coordination, a gamepad, and some patience at times, this is a great buy.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2007
This is by far one of the most engrossing, impressive games I've played and was well worth buying a game controller for. (Now that I've got one, I'll never go back to gaming with my mouse and keyboard again!)
Unlike many point-and-click adventures, there is very little boring lag time on this one: the developers chose, instead, to keep players engaged by making the "story development" episodes interactive.
Meanwhile, the player is presented with many action and conversation choices throughout the game, and each choice can lead the storyline in a wholly new direction.
In other words, playing the game once does not mean you've seen or done it all. Thank goodness for that, too, because I finished the game on Saturday (or so I'd thought) but didn't have another waiting to be played. Rather than cleaning house, I decided to play Indigo Prophecy over again... only to find that just TWO different choices in the opening chapter changed my entire game play experience.
Why can't more games be so well-planned, interactive, and wonderfully designed?
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2007
The multiple perspectives, chilling atmosphere, and killer graphics will keep you intrigued for the first few hours of play. However, the action sequences are mind-numbing. You have to play a sort of Simon routine by pressing buttons in the order that they are flashed on the screen. The button presses come fast--so much so that you miss the action while paying attention to the buttons. The worst part is what other players describe as "button-mashing sequences". In these you have to press the arrow keys repeatedly to motivate your character to run fast, hold on to a ledge, or some other "feat of strength". No matter how fast you mash the buttons, it never seems fast enough and your character falls repeatedly to his death (or drowns, or gets run over, or...). An action sequence that seemed fun at first quickly gets HELLA BORING. I played on the easiest level and eventually gave up during one of the final battles. I didn't care about the ending enough to invest another hour in watching my character mangle himself and then indulge in a self-pitying death monologue: "I guess I didn't have what it took to save the girl. Now I'll never know what was really going on. If only my human controller had drunk six more cups of coffee to mash those buttons just a little faster..." Blech. Game Over.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2005
Indigo Prophecy is a movie, as much as it's a game.
That's what I heard, when I first read about Indigo Prophecy. In truth, that sort of put me off. When I game, want to play a game, not watch a game. I expected endless cutscenes, with the character really only filling in the blanks.
That's really not the case. There are short cutscenes, usually as an introduction to the action of the scene, but the story really does unfold through the character's actions more than anything else.
The story and world are dark, emotive, and mesmerizing. The score, camerawork, and sets really work together to pull you in and make you put yourself in the place of the characters. Just watching the opening credits, I get that same rush of anticipation that I get watching the credits of a movie for which I've been waiting a long time.
All in all, it's a great, fun experience. The action parts of the game are definitely about reaction and reflex, but many can be 'failed' while only slightly affecting the storyline. And if it really is too fast for you, there's a difficulty setting to make thet timing more lenient.
As someone who's played a lot of games over the years, I really recommend this game. It's a new experience. To non-gamers, I also really recommend the game - it's one of the few that my wife enjoys to play with me. I'm really looking forward to playing through it again, to see what I can do differently.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2005
Indigo Prophecy promised innovative game play and story line. I was feeling like there was nothing new under the sun and waiting for sequels of beloved games to come out, so I purchased Indigo Prophecy. I read reviews suggesting that the controls were clumsy, but figured I could simply remap them on my keyboard. Boy, was I wrong. Not only are the controls impossible to remap, the movements required to play the game made me wonder if I was going to destroy my keyboard and mouse. One of the control sequences requires you to furiously tap the left and right arrow keys repeatedly. I mean FURIOUSLY. The only way to move that fast is to move HARD - hence the worry about damaging my keyboard. Another control sequence requires you to move the mouse in awkward and precise archs to climb. I found it impossible. I am not fine motor challenged, but I spent one hour a day for three days attempting to make the perfect shapes required with my mouse and failing. Without a save game option, I was forced to start from the bottom again and again. I had to just quit playing the game altogether for my own sanity and pc equipment. I love a challenging game, but this one doesn't even go beyond those insane controls. It depends way too much on a impossibly perfect interface between your hands, the pc keyboard, and the mouse. And on you furiously tap and potentially damage your keyboard. Or you try, while clenching your jaw, to make perfect arches with flat bottoms within the two second time limit without running out of mouse pad space. I fell off the fence again! I swear, I made the weird arch perfectly that time! Aaaaaacccckkkk!
26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2005
OK, this is obviously bucking the trend of the other reviews, but I have to say I'm really disappointed in Indigo Prophecy. (Note: I'm talking specifically about the PC game - console gamers will probably love it.)
The pre-release hype about this game really pushed the idea that this was an ADVENTURE GAME. Guess what - it's not. It is also not really a PC game - it's a port from a console. Translation: Action sequences. Mindless, twitchy action sequences. And the requirement that you have the reflexes of a bat to proceed through the game.
If, like me, you're a die-hard adventure gamer, a la the old King's Quest series, Gabriel Knight, The Longest Journey, Return to Mysterious Island, and even the simplistic-but-beautiful Syberia, Indigo Prophecy will be a great disappointment. Story seems ok, music is decent, graphics are adequate (but no more than that). But the puzzles are all "how fast can you twitch your fingers" type.
Don't make the mistake I did - spend your $40 elsewhere!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2006
The writer/director David Cage put a lot of work and love into this production. He put too much in.
The controls get out of control. The bouncing ball at the top of the screen for dialogue and/or physical actions to be performed are executed by the mapped camera controls. Step out or too close of the area (that executes the bouncing ball) and instead of going through a door (for example) you are looking at a ceiling while stumbling over a policeman.
The player controls many characters in the game...but not really. Each character has a preset limit of actions and dialogue. If you don't choose a character's actions in a certain sequence, no matter how inane or unrelated to the story, you will be thwarted from your goal of what you want that character to accomplish.
The biggest frustration is having choices to be read and chosen before the timer runs out. I get flustered, and move the stick in the wrong direction for the choice I want to make...every time.
For dyslexic, near sighted players, such as myself, all the above overshadows the sophisticated beauty and story of the game everytime the game has to be saved. As far as I can tell, its AutoSave and Autoload or nothing...which is very annoying. I've started over so many times, I've given up.
This game would be so much better if one character's actions determined the reactions of the other characters. Choosing who you wanted to play (as) would turn 'Indigo' into four different games (to play), instead of playing four different games at once.
Its been long over due for an intelligent, sophisticated PC action-adventure game to be produced for adult PC gamers. 'Indigo' almost exceeded the requirements (that such a game would demand). The chilling musical score and eerie, very original storyline along with the gritty "set decor" almost made this game a breakthrough genre all unto itself. I've never seen anything like it. But because of the controls and the player put in the position of being a "blinded" writer of the game...its just another game.
I hope David Cage doesn't give up. I hope the game companies don't give up on him either. He's very talented and very bright. He just needs a better editor.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2010
I usually wait to finish something to review it, but right now I'm so mad at this stupid game I need to vent! I absolutely agree with what all the positive reviews say about the good things about the game, it's surprisingly riveting for an adventure game, the characters and story are amazing. BUT!!! The gameplay... Oh man...
I guess it was designed for the consoles, maybe when I get to my usb gamepad I'll have better luck. Right now everything has come to a dead stop as I have to do all of this stupid button-mashing in sequence. I didn't want to do it in the first place, and this is 2 days I've been at it now. It was bad enough trying to get over the stupid fence at an earlier point, this is far worse. This may be the most frustration I've ever felt in a video game. I think I almost got to the end of this part, judging from a walkthrough I finally caved in and glanced at for help, and got hit by a stupid book and it killed me!!! Dang!!! One big problem is the timing. I don't like the "Simon" stuff anyway, but it's hard to work the arrow and num-pad keys without looking at them, for me. And then in this sequence you have to suddenly start mashing left-right arrows as fast as you can too!!! For me, that means taking my left hand away from the arrow keys, switching my right hand from num-keys to the arrows, so I can mash the buttons fast enough. Then when I suddenly need to swap back to do "Simon" again, I usually miss the first button or two! Dead! Not to mention, the timing is weird in some of the "Simon" stuff. For instance, when it shows 2 greens, for me I have to hit one, then the other, with perfect timing, quickly, if I try to hit both at the same time it often doesn't work for some reason. And this sequence goes on and on and on and on....
Gah this is just driving me nuts. If I had anything else to do I'd do it but I'm out of movies & this is my only game. I hate to let it beat me, and the rest of the game is so good I hate not to get past this & see what happens. It's hard to believe the folks that made the rest so good made these parts so bad. I'd love to give this game a '5' but these parts are just killing it. Maybe if I ever finish it I'll come back in a better mood & edit this but right now I'm pulling hair out. So overall, to wrap this up, good game with some really, really sucky parts. The camera, in general, is pretty bad too but that can be forgiven as the rest of the game (non-"Simon" parts) is so good.
Hale-frikkin-lullia!!! OK, here is the update I promised. I got past the button-mashing, thank goodness! It took me hours of re-trying, I was finally, eyes burning, just staring at the little 4-colored Simon circles mashing desperately, and finally got through it with only 1 life bubble left. Whew... I hope nothing else like this is in the game, I swear. I'm not going to change my rating, I can tell the game, in general, is excellent (thus I forced myself to get through the hated part). BUT the parts like this just bring it down, for me, and I don't see any sense to it. If I want mindless button mashing I can play plenty of other games that reward me better for it. I hope that there is a sequel, and if so, that these parts of the game are handled a lot better. But if you play this and enjoy these parts, more power to you. If I just had my game pad with the 2 analog sticks with me it might have been a snap but I'm out visiting so just have my USB keyboard for my laptop.
Final update. Sadly, just after writing the previous update, I discovered that somehow it hadn't done the automatic saving... I had to replay that part! Maddening! Well, either the practice helped through the rest of the game, or no other parts were as hard. Still, bad control scheme/gameplay haunted the game to the end. Yes I've finally finished it. And I must say, despite the "Simon" parts, and the tendency to rush the story toward the end, that this really is an excellent game. The story wanders into New Age-y, Liberal gibberish at times, but it's a video game. However they do take a comedic swipe at Evangelical Christians so I think I'm justified in mentioning the other stuff. Anyway, despite the many, mostly small, faults I can find, I think that this is one of the "must play" games out there. Just be prepared for some incredible frustration when it switches from adventure type to button-masher type!
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2005
This game is incredible. I have only played the demo, but as it was released in this stage so close to full release, I think it is fair to comment on it as nothing was removed in the first scene.
Very rarely do I play games completely. Usually, a demo will do as the rest of the game is the same thing, just different maps, etc. Every once in a while, I'll get a game that I can't put down - Splinter Cell series, Half Life series, Deus Ex, Broken Sword, Max Payne series, Unreal, Medal of Honor - these games play just like a movie and bring you right into the action. You spend all your time playing them for 3 days straight - stopping only to work and eat. Bills pile up. Your girlfriend leaves you.
Oh. Sorry. (Ahem.)
Ah. Some games, however, are really great, but no need to play them as they get boring and redundant (Call of Duty is awesome - but since it came out so late, now there are hundreds of WW2 theme based shooters - why play it now?)
Adventure games have been hit or miss. Some of these games get abnormally high marks and I have no idea why. There will be random puzzles that have nothing to do with anything, aside from the fact the coder put it in there and you can't progress without it. Like Myst? Couldn't get into it. I'm tryin to get back home, and there's a puzzle in the middle of an ocean? Never got it. Syberia - great story line, but still didn't get the need for a puzzle every two minutes. I just don't get some people. What? Do these game makers think we are stupid? They charge $50 for nothing more than a digital version of Madlibs or something?
You won't find that here. Indigo Prophecy (named Fahrenheit in some regions) is absolutely incredible - and the puzzles are real world scenarios. Not spoiling anything here - it's in the reviews and trailers. You wake up after murdering someone, what do you do. OK, can I just walk out of here with blood on me? Do I keep on walking by the cop even though he asked me to stop? What would YOU do if in real life you were a murder suspect here? I don't know about you, but I would clean my hide up and get the heck out of there pronto without rousing suspicion. Well, I did that and was surprised at what happened. Cause the actors in the game actually did act how cops / waitresses / customers / cab drivers would act in real life, too.
Many games have boasted real-time. To this day, none have come close until now. I.P. will go into a split screen so you can see what's happening in other areas of the game as you play uninterrupted - whether the scene is going on across town or in the next room - you see it first hand. There is none of this cheesy backtracking or merely exiting a room and re-entering it to kick off an event. You got one shot at this.
Replayability is EXTREME. There are at least 4 or 5 different ways in EVERY scene - making for almost 100 different endings altogether. The graphics, as it is a 3rd person and adventure, are gorgeous and run on mid range machines - a $5000 alienware box is not needed. You even have access to Special Features - just like a movie, which shows you behind the scenes of the incredible voice acting and the motion capture used for the killer animations - including the martial arts scenes!
This game plays just like a movie and makes you the star. This game is definitely going to be worth it. I encourage you to download the demo and see for yourself. I was completely blown away and this will be one of those games that make my list up top. I won't put it down. All my time will go into working, working out, and playing this game!
Guess my girlfriend will leave me again.