Written by  :  erseN akçay (30)
Written on  :  Aug 26, 2007
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars

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An unusual gaming experience

The Good

The most important element in an adventure game is its story, and Indigo Prophecy has a very good one. You start as Lucas Kane, who has just murdered a complete stranger in the men's room of a diner, under the control of an outside force.

Starting from that point, you start deciding what to do next and watch the story unfold, and there are consequences to your choices, so there isn't always a single way to complete a single chapter of the game; you have alternatives. For example, in the beginning, you can run away quickly or take a cooler approach and try to conceal as much evidence as you can before you leave.

The story is well written, with lots of twists throughout the game. But the presentation is even better. It is designed much like a movie: You play the game from different perspectives. You play Lucas Kane, and then the "movie" cuts to the detectives Carla Valenti and her partner Tyler Miles, and play them. Sometimes you play other characters as well, like Marcus Kane, Lucas' brother. The game succeeds in doing a very hard job, where it lets you play different (even opposing) characters and still not spoil the story for you.

The game has unusual controls. Basically you have one action button, but you use it in combination with a mouse gesture, usually reminiscent of the real-life movement you would make to take such an action. For example, to pull a door open, you might hold down the mouse button, pull the mouse towards you and then to the left. There are indicators on the top of the screen that show you what gesture you need to make to take a particular action.

There are also two unusual aspects of the game, that add to its movie-style atmosphere. One of them is the conversation system: The characters talking to you will not wait forever for you to choose from different things you might say. You just see some keywords (like ideas that go through your mind) and have to choose one of them within a limited time, or the game chooses the default keyword (which is probably not the best or most revealing choice) for you and the conversation goes on.

The other aspect is the mental health system. When bad things happen to your character (and not necessarily directly, it might be anything that would make them feel bad), the mental health lowers by a number of points depending on how bad it is. And when good things happen, including little things that might give some relief (such as drinking water or taking a shower), the mental health raises by a number of points, again, depending on how good it might make them feel. If the mental health comes down to the lowest score, the character may just give up, or even commit suicide, so you should make sure to stay in a good mood, you never know when you might get some terrible news that can drive you to suicide if you're already depressed.

The game has many thrilling moments where you have to act against time, avoid suspicion, fight your phobia, among other things. Sometimes the game uses split-screen cameras which makes the situation much more exciting, as well as realistic. The action scenes are really great, and are made using motion capture and wire-flying techniques, and the choreography is also amazing and make them very stylish.

Throughout the game there are also tarot cards that give you points to unlock extras, such as concept art, behind-the-scenes videos and bonus scenes, as well as some replays of key moments.

Finally, you might enjoy the game's references to literature and popular culture, as well as real-life situations.

The Bad

The first thing that is bad about Indigo Prophecy is the controls. They're obviously made for console gaming and haven't been optimized for PC.

Using mouse gestures for the actions are a really good idea and gives you a somewhat realistic feel, but they're not very flexible so you may mess up sometimes and this can be frustrating, especially in timed situations such as a conversation.

I also didn't care much for the character-based movement (as opposed to camera-based), but since this is not an action game, it's not really a problem.

The action scenes are great but you won't really appreciate them--you'll be too busy playing a dual "Simon", that color-code game where you have to repeat given sequences. Console gamers might already be proficient with these controls, as many console games feature such controls to represent reflexes in action scenes. On PC, however, it's really not a popular method, and it's not very responsive to the keyboard, plus the speed required varies on occasion, so there's a good chance you'll hate it. It's a bad idea that causes you to miss most of the action.

But the most important thing is, that it's short. The game is either really short, or really really feels like it. Either way, with so many characters, I expected more.

The Bottom Line

Indigo Prophecy offers an unusual experience, where the characters, the story, and everything evolves as you play. It feels very much like a movie, but it depends on your choices, which also gives it a replay value. I definitely recommend it.