Indigo Prophecy

aka: Fahrenheit
Moby ID: 19212
Windows Specs
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Conversion (official) Included in Special Edition

Description official descriptions

January 2009. On a cold, snowy night in New York City, an ordinary citizen named Lucas Kane, under the control of an unknown force, unwillingly murders a complete stranger in a diner. Once he comes to senses, Lucas realizes he must escape while leaving as little evidence as possible behind. Barely managing to accomplish that, Lucas contacts his brother and tries to understand what has caused him to commit the crime, recalling the events of his own past in the process. Meanwhile, two police detectives investigating the murder, Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles, are determined to find the perpetrator, at the same time trying to deal with the personal problems of their lives.

Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit in Europe) is a psychological thriller in which the player is able to control different characters on both sides of a murder - the killer and those who are trying to find him. The game's core gameplay style is adventure. The three protagonists explore various locations, talk to other characters, and interact with the environment in order to advance. However, the game is heavy on various action-oriented sequences, from tasks that must be completed within a limited amount of time to quick time events, which require the player to press the correct button during a scene.

The game emphasizes realism in the player's interaction with the environment. For example, picking up a rag and cleaning the floor requires the player to move the mouse or the analog stick back and forth, imitating the actual movements of the object. Dialogue with character often imposes time limits on the player; failure to choose the optimal response in time will prompt the game to choose another, not always the optimal one. The player's choice will sometimes influence the subsequent events and the outcome of the entire story, eventually leading it to one of the three possible endings.

Cinematic treatment is evident in the game's handling of action-based gameplay and cutscenes, which are often seamlessly integrated into each other. An example of this is the split-screen technique, which is often used during the game's most dramatic moments: while the player is trying to complete the required action in time on one screen, another one displays what is happening around the controlled character.

Spellings

  • 全面失控 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 靛青预言 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 인디고 프로페시 - Korean spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

192 People (189 developers, 3 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 96 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 212 ratings with 15 reviews)

Probably one of the best games out there...

The Good
One of the most impressive features of the game is its cinema-style presentation. You can basically shape the story based on the choices you make. Although the story itself deviates a little by your choices, it is still a great feature.

Personally, I was very impressed with this game when it first came out. I had very low expectations of this game at first since I really didn’t quite understand what all the fuss was about. After playing the first 10 minutes, I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how great the game was and I couldn’t stop playing it.

The game unfolds like a movie. So explaining the game mechanics is hard to explain without spoiling much of the fun. In other words, the game must be experienced, not heard about.

If I remembered correctly, you can play three different characters; with each character’s story intertwining each other.

The Bad
There are four things I really didn’t like in this game.

The first is the stress system. I don’t know if it’s actually called the stress system, but I think the name is appropriate. The stress system is basically your mental state throughout the game. Depending on what dialogue choices you make, actions you take, and things you see, your stress level can increase or decrease. If you’re happy and alert, you can handle certain things; however, if your stress level is very high, the game can end if you pick the wrong choices. For example, listening to music can make your stress level reduced. However, if you watch news reports about yourself, your stress can increase. If you are so stressed out, and you happen to do something that furthers increase your stress, the game ends.

The stress system is great, in my opinion. However, the problem with it involves what can increase and decrease your stress level. The game isn’t exactly clear on it and sometimes if your stress is really high, and the next scene involves your stress level increasing, your game can end.

The next thing I really didn’t like is the “plot twist.” Of course I won’t spoil it for anyone, but I think everyone who played the game thought to themselves, “Where the heck did that come from?!?!” The plot twist is really out of place and nothing seems to build upon it from previous dialogues and scenes. It made it appear as if the developers had an original story, then somewhere along the line they decided to throw in this plot twist without any time to fit it around the earlier scenes.

The next thing I really didn’t like was the interaction within the game. The game plays a bit of a “Simon Says,” where you have to move your left and right analog sticks according to what’s given on the screen. It’s alright, but it presents no challenge to the game. Basically, the two sure ways you can die in this game is by the stress level or missing a sequence to this “Simon Says” thing.

The final thing I didn’t like was the game’s length. The game was very short compared to other games. I think the game itself can be played in 4-6 hours.

The Bottom Line
I recommend this game to anyone who wants an interesting story, and a fantastic game. The game is very hard to explain in words and it’s best to just go out and play the game.

PlayStation 2 · by Daniel Allen (13) · 2007

Strong Start, weak finish.

The Good
- Clever use of multiple view angles (à-la-24)
- very strong story start.
- good immersion,sense of urgency very present.
- Overall first 1/2 of game solid.


The Bad
Right about half point :

  • False sense of choice
    (its either "game over" or go on, no branching tree story)
  • You realize whatever you did in the past is irrelevant.
  • Story quickly dwindles, you end up doing menial irrelevant things or just pushing buttons for the story to continue
  • Ending is... well, very, very bad.



The Bottom Line
Ingenious design. Brilliant concept. Poorly executed.

Once you realize that nothing matters, it leaves a rather bitter taste.

PlayStation 2 · by Nicolas Nadeau (2) · 2006

A unique, genre-bending experience

The Good

The basic idea behind "Fahrenheit" is quite simple - how to tell a story using a video game console controller? The game provides an answer by creating a unique, simple and very effective control method that is the core of the game and allows for storytelling in a way previously unknown in video games. Yes, it really is revolutionary.

Unfortunately, the term "interactive film" has already been reserved for the rather embarrassing trend of the early 90s. If it weren't, "Fahrenheit" would deserve it like no other. The game has solved the old dilemma stating that we either watch a cutscene or play a game. In "Fahrenheit", you do both at once. The method is crude enough - two times four symbols appear on the screen and you have to press the button corresponding to the symbol that lights up. If you manage to do it on time, the character you control succeeds at whatever he or she is doing at the moment. Of course the game is not all about that - there are plenty of scenes resembling the traditional adventure games, where you walk around, talk to people and interact with objects, but here the controls are also as simplified as possible - all the actions are done via mouse gestures (at the top of the screen, there appears a sort of a mouse-gesture menu and you perform the gesture corresponding to the icon representing what you want to do). Very easy to learn and fun to use - what more could one want?

The heart of "Fahrenheit" really is the story, even though not particularly original. The pacing of the storytelling is diabolical (you quite often get time limits for your actions to speed everything up even more), almost everything you do just fuels the action and builds up suspense. Even doing such ordinary tasks as waking up in the morning, getting a shower, getting dressed and leaving to work is surprisingly enough fun to play, probably because the control method is something so new.

But the game is of course not only about that - the rest of it is a fast thriller full of police investigations, action and world-domination conspiracies, inspired a lot by the Matrix film franchise. What's also great about it is the way it is shaped by the way you play (there are quite a lot variants of the final confrontation depending on what you did before, but unlike many other games, this diversity can be seen in almost the whole game, not only the ending). You don't ever have to worry about messing something up and having to return - if you fail to do anything non-fatal to the character you control (and it can be quite fundamental things), you can carry on, the story is flexible enough to cope with it. No reload-and-try-again here.

The best feature of the story, easily, is that it is told from two basic points of view - of the "innocent murderer" and of the two police officers who are investigating the murder; and you actually get to control all three of them. So you, as the murderer, can leave clues behind, and later, as a police officer, locate these clues and connect them together - you are, in a way, framing yourself. And believe me, that is very cool.

Another amazing feature of "Fahrenheit" is that it is probably almost as much fun to watch as to play. The "cinematography" is excellent. You will see some truly amazing work with split-screens and the action sequences have brilliant, very well thought-out choreography and unbelievable pacing (you'll see some Matrix-style one-on-one fighting, bullet-dodging, car chases, jumping from one rooftop to another and then on helicopters, you name it). The character movement is very fluid (lots and lots of motion capturing with stunts-men went into this game) and perfectly realistic, even though the 3D models are not that great. It really feels as if you are watching an exciting film, and if you add that throughout all of the action sequences you have your fingers dancing on the buttons of your keyboard and you concentrate really hard not to mess anything up, you get an absolutely overwhelming experience that literally had me open my mouth in awe.

The Bad
There are small gripes, of course. The story is quite banal, not that well-written, the characters sometimes behave in very mysterious (or rather stupid) ways - very minor spoiler here especially Carla's behavior towards the end of the game is quite hard to believe in a police officer - and there are several pretty major plot-holes.

The controls, even though I really consider them unique and brilliant, make things sometimes difficult - the meaning of the icons at the top of the screen is sometimes not quite clear and you may end up doing something you didn't want to. Notoriously, when standing in front of two cupboards, I always kept opening the one I didn't want, because their icons are absolutely identical. It is even worse in dialogues - they are carried out in the same mouse-gesture fashion, except that instead of icons, you get one or two words that represent dialogue choices and sometimes these words are just too vague and you really don't know what they stand for; and you can't think about it for too long, because there is a time limit for making dialogue choices that I found pretty annoying.

Some scenes are a lot weaker than others, but that's probably natural - especially the small-boys-at-a-military-base sequences are particularly irritating, because the controls aren't really suited for this kind of gameplay (hiding behind buildings and running when the soldiers aren't looking). There are also the notorious sex scenes (only in the European version), one of them even "interactive" (badly), that, even though really I don't have anything against sex and they are quite tastefully done, are annoying because they are so utterly pointless. They are not serving the story in any way and, well, are not even remotely erotic (3D models of clothed people are already quite convincing, but I guess it will take a lot of time to create a naked 3D model that wouldn't look so much like a blow-up doll. I know there are fans of the polygon love, but it just isn't me). I guess I'm just not a teenager anymore.

The Bottom Line
"Fahrenheit" is a game that does not fit in any genre. It is a brilliantly crafted experience and a must-play, just to know what the video game medium is also capable of (and a giant argument for us, die-hard PC gamers, that not everything that comes from consoles is bad). I don't think there will be many more games like "Fahrenheit" and I actually hope there won't, because I feel this game has already explored all the possibilities of the wonderful system it has invented. Recycling it would probably just point out what we all willingly forgot during the gameplay - that deep inside it is actually a quite primitive form of entertainment and playing games is reduced to pressing buttons according to on-screen instructions and that throughout the whole game you don't have to think for a moment. But don't get me wrong - I loved every minute of the game and chances are that so will you.

Windows · by plumifrons (95) · 2006

[ View all 15 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Skipping cutscenes DreinIX (10448) Sep 25, 2009

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Fahrenheit appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cut Content

In the U.S. version, the sex scenes have been toned down to maintain a Mature rating.

Development

  • Fahrenheit was first announced as an episodic game. With this business model, Quantic Dream wanted to sell the game at a budget price, and then release monthly episodes and half-yearly bundles. This concept allowed for cliff-hangers, red herrings, mysteries, and surprises, with a new build-up in hype every month. Ultimately, they did not go along with it and released the game as a whole, at a regular price.
  • The game was in development for five years - two years to create the tools and engine, two years to develop the game, and an additional year to sell it to the publisher.

Genre

The developers themselves do not call the game an adventure, but rather interactive drama, a story that is evolving according to the player's choices in the game, where gameplay is the story. It consists of bending stories, with a beginning, a middle and an end, but everything in between can be stretched or has multiple paths.

Publishing

The game was first to be published by Vivendi Universal, but developer and publisher parted ways in November 2004 because of differences in creative vision.

References

  • Early in the game when the player wakes up as Tyler there is a desk in the bedroom with an action figure on it that when checked says: "This is a figurine of Sox, a character from my favorite videogame." Sox is a robot from another Quantic Dream game, Omikron: The Nomad Soul.
  • At one point of the game there's also news about Omikron on the Internet. It can be accessed from Tyler's computer at the police station. Notice also how much the archive computer in the basement of the police station looks like a Commodore VIC-20.
  • The concept of an Indigo Child is an actual theory, though not quite the same as the game presents it.

Technology

The game contains thirteen hours of full body and facial animation, which, according to the developers, has never been done in a video game, a TV series, or a film.

Tutorial

In the tutorial, the player is introduced to the game in a training room by director David Cage, not just with a voice-over, but using a rendered model as well. He also briefly discusses his creative vision.

U.S. Title

The decision to rename the game Indigo Prophecy in the U.S. was made by Atari. Fahrenheit suggests September 11th because of Michael Moore's critical film Fahrenheit 9/11, even though it's equally well known as a temperature scale, or in reference to Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2005 – Best Adventure of the Year
    • 2005 – Best Innovations of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2005 – PC Adventure Game of the Year
    • 2005 – PC Adventure Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
  • Golden Joystick Awards
    • 2005 - Unsung Hero of the Year* PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 04/2006 - #2 RPG/Adventure in 2005 (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 02/2006 - Most Innovative Adventure in 2005

Information also contributed by Jeanne, Mr. Sefe, piltdown man and Zack Green.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jeanne.

PlayStation 4 added by Sciere. Xbox 360 added by Parf.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Sciere, Zeppin, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, FatherJack.

Game added September 20, 2005. Last modified February 23, 2024.