For better or worse, depending on who you ask, games have wanted to have a cinematic-story-driven experience. While gameplay is still a big deal with every single game, some want to incorporate cinematic elements, like a good story, and have thrilling action sequences as well. Like I said above, depending on whom you ask, this could be a good or a bad thing. For me, this could show that video games can be more than just mindless free-to-play mobile games, and games where you don’t give two hoots about its single-player content and skip to multiplayer until the next big multiplayer game comes out. On the other hand, we have seen games that try to take on a more cinematic experience, and take a little too much control away from the player, forcing them to go through a certain sequence simply because that is what the designer wants. A good example of someone who offers cinematic story-focused experiences in video games is David Cage. Usually Cage’s reception is varied, since you can either really respect the guy for doing something different among the other huge triple A titles, or really hate how he designs his games. I personally love what he does, but I won’t deny that his games do have their flaws. Since I have reviewed Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain, two of David Cage’s recent games, how about we talk about Indigo Prophecy, the second game made by David Cage? This game was released back in 2005 for the PC, PlayStation 2, and the original Xbox. It got a lot of publicity, because David Cage didn’t want to put it into one genre, and wanted it to be nothing more than an interactive movie. What do I think of this game? Well, for the final game in my 7-year special, let’s get started!
The story of Indigo Prophecy, or as it’s called in some territories, Farenheit, tells the story of a young man named Lucas Kane, voiced by David Gasman. One night at a diner, Lucas gets possessed by an unknown force, and kills an innocent civilian. After hiding the body and escaping the diner, two police officers named Carla Valenti, voiced by Barbara Scaff, and Tyler Miles, also voiced by David Gasman, arrive at the scene to check out the murder. After some time has passed in the story, they find out that the killing was one of many that have been going on for years. Can Carla and Tyler find out who the killer is? Can Lucas prove that he is innocent, and also find out who the killer is? Well, you are going to have to play the game, or if you are extremely lazy, watch a walkthrough on Youtube to find out. Like with Heavy Rain, the story is the main focus, and it has a lot of excellent elements. While the game isn’t scary, it does have a lot of heavy atmospheric moments, as when Lucas is back at his apartment and is in the bathroom, or when Lucas was in the park and helps save a kid from drowning. However, the story does take time to develop the characters of Carla and Tyler, but in time, I found myself really liking these characters. Sure, the game can take a weird step later on in the narrative, but the game’s story kept me invested with the characters from beginning to end.
Indigo Prophecy is described as an interactive movie, but if you don’t like that term, this is a cinematic-story-driven adventure game. You will be taking control of Lucas, Carla, and Tyler at individual times throughout the story. You will control the character, while finding items or performing certain actions to keeps the story going. The main gimmick is how the game really takes full advantage of everything the controller has. There will be a lot of sequences where two color icons that look like those old Simon Says electronic games, where you will need to move the two analog sticks in the right direction of the colors lit up on screen. You will also be doing quarter-circle turns with the right stick, and using the right analog stick to choose certain narrative choices in a conversation. You will need to solve certain puzzles, like finding kids in a soon-to-be-destroyed military hangar, or finding a book in a library for a library owner so he can help you with the case. Indigo Prophecy will have three different endings depending on how you tackle the situations that arise throughout the story. The game will take you about eight or so hours to complete.
While this game was probably rather impressive back in the day of the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube days, the game’s graphics don’t really age well in the human model departments. The animations are nice, but my Xbox copy has characters that look a little blocky for that time period. I know this was the time when games like Resident Evil 4 and God of War came out, but those games, while also starting to age, look really impressive. Indigo Prophecy still looks okay, but due to how amazing graphics can look these days, it is now aging poorly. The environments also are at the same graphical quality. I bet back in 2005 they looked amazing, but now they are blocky and dark. The music however, is quite nice to listen to. It’s rather somber in tone, but has elements of 70s funk during some of the times you are controlling Tyler. The game has two composers, Normand Corbeil and Angelo Badalamenti. Normand Corbeil was the composer for Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, which unfortunately went unfinished due to his death last year. If you are a fan of Wes Craven or “Twin Peaks,” You will be familiar with Angelo Badalamenti, since he composed multiple projects with Wes Craven, and was the composer for the movie, “Mulholland Drive.” Both composers do a great job giving the game an intimidating, somber, and atmospheric vibe for the entire game.
However, just like a lot of games by David Cage, they have some problems. The biggest problem with this game is the clunky controls. Every once in a while, you will come across sequences where you are playing in an isometric viewpoint, and it never seemed like I had full control of my character. I always felt like I was struggling with some unknown gremlin that was making the controls all finicky for me. Those isometric sequences felt like the developers were trying out tank controls, but quiting halfway through to try and make it smoother. The result was a game that had controls that were like a mix of smooth and tank controls. I also didn’t care for a meter that you had to watch out for throughout the entire game. It would rise and lower, making the characters either neutral in mood or feel stressed out. In my opinion, there were never enough elements to make sure you keep the meter up, while there were a lot or elements that would keep decreasing the meter. I also got lost a couple of times, since there isn’t a simple hint or something about what I should do, but this didn’t happen often.
As one of David Cages’ first games, I think this game is pretty awesome. If you can get past some of its clunky controls and that obnoxious meter, and if you want more story-oriented experiences, then I think you will like this game. The game is pretty cheap to find, since I found my Xbox version for $3, so if you can find it for no less than $10, I think it’s worth picking up. I know David Cage is polarizing to many gamers, but I enjoy his work and if you are looking for something different, you should check this game out! Thank you all for reading my reviews and sticking around for 7 years. I hope I can keep reviewing more games and writing more enjoyable reviews for you all in the future!
This game gets a 7 out of 10.