Game Review: “Indigo Prophecy”

   Ever since I first played Heavy Rain on the PlayStation 3, I have been deeply interested in the concept of an interactive-experience, and interested in seeing more of what Quantic Dream would be capable of doing. Beyond: Two Souls came after Heavy Rain, and although it received mixed reviews from a lot of critics and gamers, I thought it was a step in the right direction. There were some flaws, particularly in the chapter layout, as well as some moments where it had the tendency to elongate itself beyond necessity, but I enjoyed the experience more than I enjoyed Heavy Rain, and I was definitely left excited about seeing more from them. Luckily, to my surprise, there was actually a third interactive experience from the developers of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls that I hadn’t played yet. Interestingly enough, it was a title I always found myself enthralled with, but besides the cover-work, I didn’t know anything about it at the time. 

    Known as Fahrenheit everywhere that isn’t North AmericaIndigo Prophecy is a cinematic drama action-adventured video game developed by Quantic Dream and published by Atari for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The title was a moderate success, albeit not as successful as the titles that would come after. A remastered version was released in January 2015 for Windows, Linux, OS X and iOS entitled Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered, but I am specifically reviewing the version that I bought on the PlayStation 2.

    I didn’t really know what to expect from it all, but I was definitely anticipating something worthwhile and enjoyable. The storyline follows a man named Lucas Kane who, while in a possessed state, stabs a man to death in the restroom of a small diner before fleeing the scene. Conflicted, the main-protagonist spends his time trying to make sense of everything that is happening, why it is happening, all while trying to evade the law. Meanwhile, you’ll also have the chance to take the role of both Carla and Tyler, two detectives that are on the case. The storyline heads in some bizarre and interesting directions, albeit none of it feels focused in one complete and coherent narrative. I’ll talk more about that later in the review though, and I’ll at least say that the storyline is definitely interesting and captivating at times with twists, twirls, and a little something in-between. 

    The graphics aren’t anything exhilarating, and in-fact, a lot of the scenery feels nondescript and dark and bleak. There isn’t a whole lot of interactivity between objects, but I think it could be argued that overtly interactive environments offered some of the more unlikable elements from Heavy Rain. Indigo Prophecy doesn’t have that issue in-terms of details, but it does have the tendency to deviate unnecessarily from the matters at-hand. They could have spent a little more time on certain aspects of the scenery, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s anything that will derail or dishearten the experience. The controls have their moments when they’re a little awkward. I remember having a lot of issues with the movements in Heavy Rain. Like them, Indigo’s take some getting used to, and there are some moments where it camera-angles or something else or another makes it a little tricky to navigate, but I didn’t have too much issues.

    If there is something to be said about Indigo Prophecy, it’s that it offers a lot more thrills and audience-participation to the narrative than its successors. Some of these are mildly amusing and satisfying, like the Quick Time Events that do eventually come repetitive, and some things like trying to keep your nerves down and breathe can be a little more irritating and obtrusive than anything else. The Quick Time Events are fun, but they overstay their welcome and are used to excess. They never offer much of a challenge at all, and it’s always the exact same way. Some moments, like the final stages, really allow it to shine and immerse the gamer into the experience, however.

    I also appreciate that when you make a small mistake, you aren’t penalized for it like you are in Heavy Rain. I have never really been into alternative endings, and I like how there’s basically a consistent narrative to follow here that doesn’t deviate from its chosen path.

    The music’s worth acknowledging, a lot of noticeable bands made a contribution, and it also helped make certain climactic moments all the more climactic. 

    If you look at it from all of those variables, there isn’t a whole lot of mistakes made by Indigo Prophecy as a whole. The narrative is compliant with its own themes to an extent, (except when they’re not) the graphics, while not stupendous, aren’t detrimental to the experience, the soundtrack is immaculate, and the controls are functional. However, those variables, while immense in their importance, only work to compliment the main-component of the title.

    The story in Indigo Prophecy is eccentric and unique. I definitely won’t attempt to take that away from it. Unlike Heavy Rain or Beyond: Two Souls, however, I find certain characters particularly difficult to care about or enjoy. I also found certain themes to be awkward or inconsistent. A lot of the scenes with Tyler in-particular were unfavorable to the overall experience. The scenes where you can play basketball, albeit only through button-combinations and the cheesy music that plays when you walk around as him. I am not even saying that I disliked those moments, but I am mostly saying that they took be out of the moments. I didn’t really find myself too immersed throughout a lot of it. There is definitely an ambition in it, but I would certainly say that it’s beyond the reach of the developers. They start to swallow their tale with some themes, and it all just becomes a little overwhelming to take in. They throw so many things into it and becomes so elaborate. 

    I hate to keep comparing it to its successors, but it reminds me of a cross between Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. Heavy Rain was a more grounded and simpler story whereas Beyond: Two Souls incorporated more of the unknown into it. In Indigo Prophecy, it starts off as a grounded and simple narrative before falling into unknown territory. The result comes off disproportionate and a little sloppy. 

    Nonetheless, I would say that Indigo Prophecy is at least a halfway decent experience, and even if it doesn’t meet the standards set by either Heavy Rain or Beyond, it is an experience worth checking out.

Thanks for reading…

Rating: 2.6 out of 5.0