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SummaryA storytelling masterpiece
The GoodFahrenheit is the second game from Quantic Dream, a small company that develops games that has an emphasis on storytelling. It was well received by the press that their next product was so much better.
First, I like how the game introduces you to the four protagonists that you need to take control of, with Lucas Kane being the main protagonist. One minute you are controlling Lucas as you try to cover up a murder before making your escape out of a quiet New York diner, and the next you're in charge of Detectives Miles and Valenti as they investigate the murder and interview witnesses. They eventually discover that there are murders all over the city by ordinary citizens, and that these murders are ritualistic. The information that you gather is right up there with the James Patterson novels. Really captivating stuff.
Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy as it was called in North America) is an adventure, but there are two uniques things that I like about it. During the game, you perform all your actions by using a series of mouse movements that imitate real-life actions like picking up or dropping objects, turning on something, mopping floors, and climbing fences. Also, when you talk to different characters, you are presented with a series of dialogue choice that you have to make. But these choices are timed and force the player to make a quick decision.
Besides talking to characters, you also have to endure a series of actions that must be performed within a time limit. An example of this is the chapter where you have to cover up the murder before a NYPD cop turns up at Lucas' apartment. There is also a chapter where Carla has to navigate the basement of a police station, and you have to perform a series of left-right movements to control her phobia.
Fahrenheit can be played with the keyboard, but the game is meant to be played eith a gamepad similar to the PS2 or XBox controller. There's these PAR games that operate in the same vein as “Simon Says”, except that you have eight buttons, four on each side. With the keyboard, you use the cursor keys to control the left side, while using the numpad to cntrol the right.
Some actions in the game increase or reduce your character's mood, and if they are in a really bad mood, they will have a nervous breakdown. It doesn't matter if three of your characters are happy; if one of them breaks down, the game is over. The game auto-saves at the beginning of each chapter, meaning that if you don't like what mood of whoever it is that's in control, you can always restart the chapter.
The camera work is brilliant, and it isn't long in the game when you will see the camera split-screen effect (a la 24), and this lets you know what is happening in another room nearby. In the very first scene where you are trying to cover up a murder in the bathroom, you see a cop in the main arena standing up and heading toward you. In non-interaction modes, the camera automatically adjusts your position when you are spending your time walking around, but clicking the right mouse button lets you adjust it to your satisfaction.
Sound-wise, the music really blends in with what you are doing, and the voice acting is superb. There are a few licensed soundtracks and I enjoyed listening to some of them, particularly outside the game (within the menus).
The game automatically saves your progress at the beginning of each chapter, and in between every scene. Even if you progress through the chapters, you are free to replay previous ones. Included in the game are extras like design sketches, soundtracks, and “making of” documentaries” which is ideal if you want a break from the action for once. There is also a tutorial which you can complete before you start the real game, courtesy of David Cage. I did not even bother with the tutorial as it teaches you how to move around and do other things that are necessary to complete the chapters.
The BadMost of the chapters are quite short, and can take less than twenty minutes to complete. I also don't like how the majority of PAR games require you to press a button quickly, resulting in a loss of life or a repeat of the cinematic if you are not quick enough.
I really didn't like Valenti as a character. To me, Valenti sounds like she gets turned on every time that the person that she wants to apprehend badly is one step ahead of her. Having said that, it isn't long until she develops a relationship with Lucas – when she finds him - and “does it” one more time because she thinks that it is the end of the world.