Wonderful and Awful at the same time
Here it is 2 years after the release of Indigo Prophecy
and I'm just now getting around to playing it. Why? I suppose that the adventure gamer side of me avoided it like a hot potato because of the purported "action" segments. Yes, I realize that all of the major gaming websites (even the adventure sites) gave it high marks, but that still didn't compel me to purchase the game. All the while the role-player in me was whispering to my subconscious "You should get this game" .. "Go ahead, what have you got to lose?" When I found it really cheap on eBay, I gave in and bought it several months ago. But still
- I let it sit on my shelf, opting instead for other standard point-and-click style games. Now that I've gotten into it, I can write my biased opinions in this review. Was I sorry? Was it as good as everybody said? Read on.
First looks at the game can be intimidating and exciting at the same time. The story grabbed me during the introduction as I watched a man under the influence of a mind-controlling force committing a terribly bloody murder. Afterwards he is aghast as what he has done and extremely "dazed and confused." Since I had gone through the beginning tutorial (which I urge you to do), I helped my character perform the beginning actions to clean up the mess and proceed to getting away from the crime scene. Two more characters arrive to investigate the crime and I proceeded to guide each of them through their various tasks, looking for evidence, talking to witnesses and between themselves. Okay, I said to myself, this isn't so hard. I can do this!
Ultimately strong is Indigo Prophecy
's storyline and character development. Set in the year 2009, it feels like a mix of CSI and the X-Files - criminology, science-fiction and the paranormal. While playing the four different characters, it's necessary to keep them healthy - in mind, mood as well as in body. So sleeping, eating, taking a shower, listening to music and other every day actions are part of the gameplay. For me, these simple things helped me identify with the characters and added to the realism factor. Listening to their thoughts also brought the characters to life.
Viewing scenes in split-screen is a bit disorienting at first because it's hard to look at all screens at once. But this is one of the things that the major review sites lauded as innovative.
I thoroughly loved the music which added so much to the feelings I had while playing. Those feelings included apprehension, excitement, shock and sympathy.
Oh, this part is so very disappointing. I really wanted to love Indigo Prophecy
as much as everyone else, but I just couldn't. It all boils down to my inability to get through the action segments. I tried - I really did - but I couldn't master the "flying fingers" technique of frantically punching keyboard keys in the proper order. I died and I died and I died again until my frustration led me to uninstall the game after 2 days of play. I played the game from the beginning in the Easy mode and still couldn't get it. I'd hate to think what it would be like for the color-blind.
In my opinion, this game should have been redesigned completely for the PC to allow mouse-only action. Leave the arrow keys for movement as an option, but take away the number pad entirely. As for the mouse control that exists, it's different to say the least. The drag-hold and drag back-and-forth quickly in various directions was not what I consider ease of control either.
The Bottom Line
As I said above, the story is absolutely the best part of the game. Graphics are good, too, especially those of the characters in motion. Mood-inspiring music, great character back story and top-notch voice acting are additional pluses.Indigo Prophecy
is a wonderful game, if you are adept with the keyboard and have good reflexes. Having a gamepad connected to your PC would be of major help here since many portions of the interface are console-like.
I'm upset that I can't finish the game. If you like action in your adventures, this might be the game for you. Point-and-click adventure fans may find it as frustrating as I did.