Retro Game Review: Indigo Prophecy

Originally published at Examiner.com

Do you ever get the feeling that you are late to the party? Like four years late to the party? Yeah, so that is how I feel about Indigo Prophecy, an adventure game, developed by Quantic Dream, that came out in September of 2005. to generally positive critical response The rest of the world knows the game as Fahrenheit, which is a far better name, and a lot of gamers have already experienced it for what it is but for some reason I never gave the game a shot. Regardless after being somewhat hooked in by a recent retro quick look on GiantBomb, I decided to give the game a go being as it is readily available from certain online retailers for a economical price point.

Indigo Prophecy is at its core an adventure game and like any good adventure game, it is only as good as its story. Fortunately Indigo Prophecy offers up an engaging and adult plotline, the likes of which you may experience in a Hollywood thriller. As the game starts out you witness Lucas Kane unwillingly committing a murder in a diner bathroom. As you gain control of Kane you begin a mysterious adventure that spans three main characters (Kane and a pair of New York City detectives) and will take you through one of the best stories in a game ever.

The story from the get go deals with paranormal forces, thus making Indigo Prophecy a sort of paranormal thriller but it also deals with the subject matter in a serious way, something that most games either do not try to do or flat out refuse to do. Its refreshing to see something that could have been presented in such a cliché and gamey way done with such attention to detail that the world and characters feel reel. The fact that the characters have actual interactions that have little to do with progressing the main story but rather provide insight into the characters themselves is something that I believe I have still, to this day, not seen replicated so well..

But let us not forget that Indigo Prophecy is a game and an adventure game at that. The adventure genre was one of the most popular genres when I was a kid but Indigo Prophecy is not an adventure game like you may remember from your childhood, it contains no combining of the empty mayonnaise jar with a set of old jumper cables, and the puzzles seem logical and relevant to the actions going on on screen. Puzzle solving though is such a minor part of Indigo Prophecy though as most of the gameplay revolves around dialog choices and quick time events. If there is one thing I dislike about Indigo Prophecy it is the moments in the game where you as the player are tasked with pressing an arbitrary set of buttons in a specific order to complete a section of the game. Basically these parts feel like an awkward version of Simon Says (and it looks like it too).

The Simon Says parts just feel out of place and tragically focus your eyes away from what is taking place on the screen, which is a great shame because the comparison to film can also be drawn between the games presentation as Indigo Prophecy is displayed much like a movie would be. Indigo Prophecy does what so many other games over the years have tried and failed to do, it places you in control of an actual movie and while that has been a bone of contention with people when it comes to other games, here it is done near perfectly well.

Oftentimes gamers, critics, even those not involved with the gaming industry in any fashion criticize games for being a children’s medium, Indigo Prophecy completely proves that games can be smart, mature and fun all at the same time. Honestly having just played it I am surprised that so many more recent and popular titles are still struggling within the medium to make their titles more mature when a perfectly good example of how to tell a legitimately adult story is so easily at hand.

In any case, Indigo Prophecy can be downloaded through Steam or the XBOX Live marketplace and you can probably still find copies of it in your local game store and you really should do so because it is a special game and it will help get you hyped for Quantic Dream’s next game, the Playstation exclusive, Heavy Rain.

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