Looking for something new in a video game? Look no further: Indigo Prophecy will take you places you never thought a game could.
Let me just say that not many games today truly captivate me. I am fairly ADD when it comes to many games, mainly because they are rehashes of everything that I, and just about every single one of us have already seen. Games like Katamari Damacy, unique in every sense of the word, don't come along too often, which is why I strongly advise giving Indigo Prophecy a try.
For those of you that need non-stop button mashing and can't handle many lengthy cinematic scenes in your games, you might want to skip over this review. Willing to try something new? Continue on please...
Indigo Prophecy is more of a larger scale movie inside of a video game. Many games in the past have tried the opposite approach, creating an idea of a sort of "interactive movie." The catch? You might as well be the director, writer, and actor in this movie.
The story begins with Lucas Kane, who is our main character, sitting in a bathroom stall in a rundown diner in New York City. Right from the beginning, you know that the story will not be a pleasant one. We see him with a knife, almost struggling with himself while carving into his arm with a table knife. Outside of the stall, an older man uses the urinal and proceeds to wash his hands before returning to his table. At this point, we spring into action, slowly approaching the man and stabbing him directly into the chest 3 times--BOOM--the screen flashes white, and reality sets in. Lucas awakens in horror at what he has done, as he was somehow unable to control his actions. It is at this point almost you make every choice in the game.
As you panic in the bathroom, still petrified at the crime you have committed, you quickly realize a NY police officer is sitting at the bar merely feet away from you. What do you do? Pick up the mop and try to get rid of the blood on the ground? Try to escape out of the window? Try and get rid of the bloody murder weapon? Drag the body into one of the stalls so it isn't easily found? Wash your hands in the sink to get rid of the victim's blood as well as the blood on your freshly carved wrists? (You see where I'm going with these options) Every choice as to what you do is just that -- totally up to you. Keeping in mind our developer, Quantic Dream, will not let you take eons to make your decisions. Many of the actions you take will be timed. I was shocked at this point to see the screen split in two, and see our favorite man in blue approaching our corpse-ridden toilet. Here I am, bloody mop in hand, with a dead body in the bathroom stall...what would you do? Make your choice fast.
After the opening sequence is completed, we are introduced to two more characters, both of which are also controlled by you, Carla and Tyler. The ironic part? Both of these new characters are the detectives assigned to your case. Many will think this isn't possible. It does sound funny to think that your own actions will be checked by...well, yourself. But you will be surprised at how many clues you may leave behind for the detectives...or should I say you. Confused yet?
Just like a great movie, Indigo Prophecy contains well over thirty characters, some important, some not as important, but each one connecting our story. Even I was surprised at the amount of control you have over the main characters in the game, deciding everything from how to hide from a police officer in a small apartment, to choosing whether to take a few pills or a shot of gin to calm your tension. The game is done in 3rd person perspective, drawing similarities to Silent Hill and Resident Evil in control style. Many of the "mini-games" in Indigo Prophecy I found similar to those in Resident Evil 4 and God of War (got your attention yet?). Simple button combinations by alternating the L1 and R1 triggers or using both analogs to control the character in question will progress the story. The way the game is controlled on a larger scale in mainly by using the right analog stick. Whenever an action is available to you, an icon will prompt you on the top of the screen (keeping in mind the game is all done in widescreen format). There are many possible actions to choose from, such as pressing up on the analog to open the refrigerator and pressing it to the right to pick up the bottle of milk and taking a drink. You could use the left stick to walk over to the computer, press the right analog down to sit down, and press it again to check your e-mail. It may sound complicated, but after the opening of the game, every action will be just like second nature. However, most of the action will be done in a traditional third person adventure game format, but these actions you can take with the right analog give a refreshing idea on the typical control scheme.
In the same context as the gameplay, when entering conversations with certain people, you will be given the option of what text to say. The amazing thing about Indigo Prophecy is at certain points, you will be able to lie with our main character, Lucas, to our other controlled characters, Carla and Tyler, even though you are, in essence, controlling all three. While doing this, the game still manages to remain true and convincing to the end.
Graphically, Indigo had a refreshing feel to it. Every background and character was fully detailed, and seeing the snow fall on the city was definitely a sight. The sound is near perfect. Just like a great movie, the music will intensify in important situations, and calm down during normal conversations. Alot of the sound effects will make you even more flustered than normal. For example, if you are "caught" lying by someone, the music will slowly begin to get louder, as well as your heartbeat pounding in your head. This is defintely one of those games not to play with your stereo playing in background!
The main arguments I had with the game were with the cameras and certain aspects of the story. The main camera in the game will go wacky at times, not allowing you to go where you might have wanted. You will soon get over the sometimes "clunky" controls, but after a few times of telling Lucas to enter a specific door, I have to admit that I got a little frustrated.
Certain points of the cinematics (usually at the end of the story) seemed a bit forced, and I obviously don't want to ruin anything here, so I will simply leave it at that. There were certain parts where part A moved on to part B and then to part C, but part B lasted about fifteen seconds. Once again, this usually happened at the end of the game, but by no means does it make the story any less fulfilling. Just know that at the end, you will have gone on a rollercoaster of so many different emotions between so many characters, you may not know which way is up...
I was very happy to see that retailers (such as Gamestop) are selling it at $39.99, because at that price, it is well worth it. I completed the main story on normal mode in just over 6 hours. It may seem short, but my recommendation is that you play the game in small stints, not necessarily beating it in one sitting (which some people will do) Keeping in mind as well that after you beat the game, you can go back to each "level" and complete it with different actions, in turn giving you different possibilites, and of course, different endings. I guess what I'm saying is that think of Indigo Prophecy as a very, very interesting (and interactive) six-part episode of a cross between CSI and the Twilight Zone. Don't watch it all at once. Just enjoy it, one bite at a time.