Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) raped me.

I just finished playing Indigo Prophecy. Well, Fahrenheit, to be totally accurate. Now, seeing as this is a blog on a website about video games, I'm going to espouse my opinions of said video game.

I really didn't like it!

I completed it in basically one sitting, so it had my attention for a good while. Most of the time I wasn't way into it, but I was certainly interested in seeing how things turned out.

Here comes the part where I spoil a six-year-old game.

Things turn out super lame! I'd heard from various sources that the story takes a really crazy and fantastical turn, but that's not exactly how I would describe it, I don't think. You can tell from the very beginning that it's going to be a supernatural thriller, so I was game for all sorts of magic, sci-fi, whatever. But I totally wasn't game for a boring, poorly written supernatural... adventure?

You start out the game controlling three different characters, Lucas Kane, Carla Valenti, and Tyler Miles.

First thing's first: ignore that Tyler Miles was ever in the game. That's certainly how the ending of the game treats him. He practically only exists to be the black detective who plays basketball, listens to funk, and decides whether or not to move to Florida with his girlfriend. Okay, that's a bit reductive. Regardless, I decided to have him stay in New York City and keep being a cop, but it was totally meaningless because I didn't see him again for the rest of the game. He doesn't die or anything; he just sort of isn't mentioned again even though he was one of the three most important characters for the majority of your time with the game. He doesn't help Carla any longer, and I don't think it was ever really made clear why. If there was a reason, it definitely wasn't a good one.

Before that, however, Tyler and Carla are NYPD detectives who are trying to solve the murder that Lucas Kane is apparently guilty of. The player is put in a fairly interesting situation, as you're keeping the suspect away from the authorities when you control Lucas, but you're also trying to track him down when playing as Tyler and/or Carla. That is, until the end of the game.

By the end of the game, you're just trying to save the world (OH HOW ORIGINAL). You (as Lucas) are no longer a fugitive on the run, and Carla is no longer interested in having you arrested. She's awfully interested in your penis, though. Completely out of nowhere, she decides that she wants to have sex with you the night before your (anticlimactic) final encounter with the moustache-twirling forces of evil. She wants to have sex with you in a subway car where homeless people live. Did I mention that you're a zombie? No. I didn't. You're undead, and you're so cold that your breath doesn't make water vapor condense in front of your mouth.

I'm not a woman, but I don't think many women would be turned on by an ice-cold corpse in a hobo's makeshift shelter.

This is also one of the more graphic sex scenes in video game history. It's no hardcore porn, but you see Carla's breasts (nipple included) and I wouldn't say it's especially romantic. I'm not scandalized; I actually think that there need to be more games with sex in them for games to develop into a more mature medium. However, when it's a previously-independent-minded woman just absolutely needing to get it on with a zombie man because he's got a chance to save humanity the next day, it's not progressive at all. It makes games look even more like sophomoric nonsense. When mediocre comic books have better writing than games that focus on their story... we're in bad shape.

Oh! You also don't have a choice in the matter. It's video game rape. Yes. I said it. Video game rape. Now, before the boys roll their eyes and the girls yell at me for trivializing rape, hear me out. The game forces sex upon your female (player controlled) character. I think it's less than crazy to call that rape. After you fix a radio in one of the game's many poor attempts at real gameplay, your only remaining option (other than let the game idle indefinitely) is to sleep with Lucas. There's an empty mattress in a neighboring car, but no: you have to press down on the analog stick and get down with an undead dick. But he's magical hero something so whatever yay humanity!

So the sex is awful in Fahrenheit, but what about the gameplay? Yeah, that's bad too. It's mostly oddly complicated quick-time events that really feel like they're only there to make sure that you're still awake. There are some puzzles here and there too, but they're not good. Sniffing around a crime scene is kind of fun, I guess, but overall it's not fun.

I bought Heavy Rain a few weeks ago, and wanted to play Fahrenheit as a lead-in to it. Man, I hope (and expect) that it's way better. I was impressed by the demo. I felt like it was really immersive, actually. However, I won't be completely surprised if it's just as lame as a whole and the story is about how there's a flood coming to take out all of humanity.

(But Quantic Dream can't really be that shamelessly awful, can they?? Please don't spoil Heavy Rain for me, even if I should return it while it's still in the shrink-wrap.)

P.S. Lucas Kane reminded me a lot of Francis York Morgan.

P.P.S. One thing I did appreciate about the story in Fahrenheit was that there was a gay character, and it totally wasn't a big deal that he was gay. He's just Carla's gay neighbor, and they're friends. He's not the butt of gay jokes; he's not giving Carla a makeover; he's just a dude who likes dudes and drinks wine with the cop lady across the hall.

Edit: Well, then. 25 user reviews have this game averaging at 3.7/5.0 on this site. Bracing for blowback.

18 Comments
18 Comments
Posted by DevWil

I just finished playing Indigo Prophecy. Well, Fahrenheit, to be totally accurate. Now, seeing as this is a blog on a website about video games, I'm going to espouse my opinions of said video game.

I really didn't like it!

I completed it in basically one sitting, so it had my attention for a good while. Most of the time I wasn't way into it, but I was certainly interested in seeing how things turned out.

Here comes the part where I spoil a six-year-old game.

Things turn out super lame! I'd heard from various sources that the story takes a really crazy and fantastical turn, but that's not exactly how I would describe it, I don't think. You can tell from the very beginning that it's going to be a supernatural thriller, so I was game for all sorts of magic, sci-fi, whatever. But I totally wasn't game for a boring, poorly written supernatural... adventure?

You start out the game controlling three different characters, Lucas Kane, Carla Valenti, and Tyler Miles.

First thing's first: ignore that Tyler Miles was ever in the game. That's certainly how the ending of the game treats him. He practically only exists to be the black detective who plays basketball, listens to funk, and decides whether or not to move to Florida with his girlfriend. Okay, that's a bit reductive. Regardless, I decided to have him stay in New York City and keep being a cop, but it was totally meaningless because I didn't see him again for the rest of the game. He doesn't die or anything; he just sort of isn't mentioned again even though he was one of the three most important characters for the majority of your time with the game. He doesn't help Carla any longer, and I don't think it was ever really made clear why. If there was a reason, it definitely wasn't a good one.

Before that, however, Tyler and Carla are NYPD detectives who are trying to solve the murder that Lucas Kane is apparently guilty of. The player is put in a fairly interesting situation, as you're keeping the suspect away from the authorities when you control Lucas, but you're also trying to track him down when playing as Tyler and/or Carla. That is, until the end of the game.

By the end of the game, you're just trying to save the world (OH HOW ORIGINAL). You (as Lucas) are no longer a fugitive on the run, and Carla is no longer interested in having you arrested. She's awfully interested in your penis, though. Completely out of nowhere, she decides that she wants to have sex with you the night before your (anticlimactic) final encounter with the moustache-twirling forces of evil. She wants to have sex with you in a subway car where homeless people live. Did I mention that you're a zombie? No. I didn't. You're undead, and you're so cold that your breath doesn't make water vapor condense in front of your mouth.

I'm not a woman, but I don't think many women would be turned on by an ice-cold corpse in a hobo's makeshift shelter.

This is also one of the more graphic sex scenes in video game history. It's no hardcore porn, but you see Carla's breasts (nipple included) and I wouldn't say it's especially romantic. I'm not scandalized; I actually think that there need to be more games with sex in them for games to develop into a more mature medium. However, when it's a previously-independent-minded woman just absolutely needing to get it on with a zombie man because he's got a chance to save humanity the next day, it's not progressive at all. It makes games look even more like sophomoric nonsense. When mediocre comic books have better writing than games that focus on their story... we're in bad shape.

Oh! You also don't have a choice in the matter. It's video game rape. Yes. I said it. Video game rape. Now, before the boys roll their eyes and the girls yell at me for trivializing rape, hear me out. The game forces sex upon your female (player controlled) character. I think it's less than crazy to call that rape. After you fix a radio in one of the game's many poor attempts at real gameplay, your only remaining option (other than let the game idle indefinitely) is to sleep with Lucas. There's an empty mattress in a neighboring car, but no: you have to press down on the analog stick and get down with an undead dick. But he's magical hero something so whatever yay humanity!

So the sex is awful in Fahrenheit, but what about the gameplay? Yeah, that's bad too. It's mostly oddly complicated quick-time events that really feel like they're only there to make sure that you're still awake. There are some puzzles here and there too, but they're not good. Sniffing around a crime scene is kind of fun, I guess, but overall it's not fun.

I bought Heavy Rain a few weeks ago, and wanted to play Fahrenheit as a lead-in to it. Man, I hope (and expect) that it's way better. I was impressed by the demo. I felt like it was really immersive, actually. However, I won't be completely surprised if it's just as lame as a whole and the story is about how there's a flood coming to take out all of humanity.

(But Quantic Dream can't really be that shamelessly awful, can they?? Please don't spoil Heavy Rain for me, even if I should return it while it's still in the shrink-wrap.)

P.S. Lucas Kane reminded me a lot of Francis York Morgan.

P.P.S. One thing I did appreciate about the story in Fahrenheit was that there was a gay character, and it totally wasn't a big deal that he was gay. He's just Carla's gay neighbor, and they're friends. He's not the butt of gay jokes; he's not giving Carla a makeover; he's just a dude who likes dudes and drinks wine with the cop lady across the hall.

Edit: Well, then. 25 user reviews have this game averaging at 3.7/5.0 on this site. Bracing for blowback.

Posted by BraveToaster

Indigo Prophecy is fun. I'm glad you took the time to play it.

Posted by Dalai

I finished the game myself a few months ago and although I enjoyed it myself, the final few hours were so out of left field, it felt like Quantic Dream ran out of cohesive ideas towards the end and just added Mayan bullshit and awkward romance to fill the ending. Other than that, I found the rest of the game to be pretty good.

Posted by Hunkulese

It's been so long since I've played it but I thought it was great. The ending was pretty bad and some of the quick time events were terrible (dodging flying furniture in your apartment comes to mind) but it got a lot of points from me for being the only game of its kind that I've played.

And you are crazy for calling it rape. The character is fully aware and willing. As to the ice cold zombie penis you should check out the internets. People are turned on by all kinds of crazy things and whose to say that Carla's thing isn't freezer dick.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

It's a great game, but by the end of it i was all like "when will this end?". Because yeah, the story took more than a few hits near the end. I still think it's a great game, the first half of it was especially enjoyable.

Posted by Enigma777

Raped in the headline? Ballsy...

Edited by DevWil

@Hunkulese: The point is that the line between character and player in a story-oriented game like this should be pretty blurry, and I didn't have a choice. Carla wasn't raped in the story, but the player was raped in the game (and the relationship between story and game is kind of complicated).

On the other hand, Lucas (the player) can choose to have sex with his ex-girlfriend earlier in the game or not, but Carla needs to get pregnant for any of the three endings. I don't think that's okay. If Carla were an NPC, things are a little different, but still fairly eyebrow-raising.

And regardless of the stakes, one of my biggest problems with the game is that it really doesn't matter much what you do as long as you don't do something that makes Lucas say "...and that's the way my story ends." Indigo Prophecy has been called an "interactive movie", but it's much more "movie" than it was "interactive".

I don't even mind the fact that it's Mayan mythology that factors into the ending. It's that the story becomes completely uninteresting once your ex-girlfriend gets kidnapped.

Seriously: it's a really awful (even offensive) story, and not because of magic.

Posted by BisonHero

You forgot the part where Lucas' girlfriend dies, and the writers forget to have any of the characters give a crap. Suddenly Lucas just says "OK, back from the dead. Moving on." And they can't even make some sort of weird Jesus-figure defense, or no-longer-has-emotions defense, since he gets it on with Carla like a day later.

I thought I heard at some point that there was publisher pressure on Quantic Dream that caused some of the questionable design/writing decisions in the later half of the game (and also possibly the health system), though I forget the specifics of it. It doesn't excuse the bad parts of that game, but it does explain them somewhat.

Edited by DevWil

@BisonHero: Well... it was his EX-girlfriend who he has the option of kind of just ignoring until you need a place to crash. :P

I agree with you, though. I wondered if the end of the game wasn't necessarily Quantic Dream's idea, because it does feel so incredibly different than the rest of the game. The first two thirds or so felt like kind of a love letter to Twin Peaks (they got the composer, for cryin' out loud)... but yeah... it got so dumb so fast.

Edit: Just read an interview where David Cage said:

Indigo Prophecy was the first game entirely based on narrative and characters, not using any standard game mechanics but only contextual actions and decisions affecting the story. It demonstrated to me many very important points: it was possible to create a game without weapons, a car, or puzzles, and it was possible to tell a story through player actions, not through cut-scenes.

That sounds so much like insane reframing of what Indigo Prophecy actually is.

Posted by Ravenlight

I know I played through Indigo Prophecy but I can't remember a damned thing in that game past the first 10 minutes.

Posted by Loc95

I thought this game was all great... until I read this after 5 years since I last played it.

Well, nonetheless, I still think Fahrenheit is a good game, at least it's first half. But the second half, when Lucas gets resurrected - naaah... even back then I was like "WTF IS THIS SHIT?! IS THIS SOME KIND OF A POOR JOKE OR WHAT?! The game was alright just a minute ago!"

Posted by mortal_sb

rape is a strong word man.

Posted by Questionable

Ah yes the infamous bird cage, Think back on your play trough and you will see that is the exact point the game starts breaking up.

The reason?: This was originally planned to be a trilogy but they scrapped the project halfway the first game. And in quantum dreams their infinite wisdom they decided that instead of writing up a quick logical ending. they instead just took everything they had at that point and crammed it together in the last 30% of the disk.

It really feels like only reading the last 2 pages of every chapter for a book report that's due tomorrow.

Posted by DeF

The only really good thing in this game was Carla's apartment. Loved the loungy vibe!

I think I enjoyed the game up until shit went nuts on Lucas' ex-girl's place. All the QTEs after that are so annoying. One can only really appreciate it as a stepping stone for Heavy Rain which has tons of problems as well but is WAY better still than this (thankfully it drops the supernatural BS completely).

Posted by DevWil

@mortal_sb said:

rape is a strong word man.

yeah, i kind of regret it only for how awful the real-world thing is. from a critical ludic perspective though, i don't know how much of an exaggeration it is, though.

Posted by mortal_sb

@DevWil said:

@mortal_sb said:

rape is a strong word man.

yeah, i kind of regret it only for how awful the real-world thing is. from a critical ludic perspective though, i don't know how much of an exaggeration it is, though.

it put a penis in my ear and tickled my brain! there you go!

Posted by Brodehouse

God I forgot about this game.

This game makes the ending of Mass Effect 3 seem like the ending of the Godfather.

Posted by psylah

What an outstandingly awful game. A stellar beginning act that falls into an increasingly downward spiral of shit.
 
By far it hit its worst point when the shadowy clandestine figures are issuing some banal monologue, and there are quick-time events going on during it for NO REASON. They have no impact on what is going on, they were (as the OP stated) only there to make sure you're still looking at the screen!
 
Even worse, you come away with no idea of what they were talking  about, because you were too busy paying attention to the QTE prompts.
 
Horrible. Horrible.