By SJSchmidt93 2 Comments
Just posted my Indigo Prophecy review, it's my 32nd review on Giant Bomb. I can feel myself getting gradually better at writing these things, my earlier reviews are complete garbage. Feedback is always nice, by the way. Also, if you genuinely like, recommend it on the review page.
A Great Game Built on a Great Concept Brought Down By a Few Mistakes
Warning: This Review Contains Some Early Plot Point Spoilers From Indigo Prophecy, But Nothing from Later in the Game. The Section With Spoilers Has Been Marked.
Indigo Prophecy is a game for few people. I suppose most "gamers" will like it, but if an average Joe come and picks it up he'll probably be setting it down rather quickly. The game's premise is one of the best ever, period. The opening cutscene will intrigue you so much you'll think you'll want to keep playing this game from start to finish. I guess that's one of the game's biggest problems, it starts on such a high point and can't maintain it throughout the entirety of the experience.
For those who love a good story in games, Indigo Prophecy is a great game for you as the plot is the focus of the game, leaving the gameplay to suffer a little bit because of that. For those of you who skip all the cutscenes in the games you play and could care less about the storyline, well, look away now because IP is not for you. Indigo Prophecy is mainly a cinematic experience, so much sothat the start menu says "Start Movie" and the game's tutorial takes place on Indigo Prophecy's "set", with the director and writer telling you how to play the game.
The game's protagonist, Lucas Kane, walks into a local diner's bathroom and brutally stabs a man to death. While doing so, he seems to be possessed and is experiencing weird visions. This is where you pick up as the player. You'll play as Lucas along with other characters such as the two policeman investigating the murder, Tyler Miles and Carla Valenti, and Lucas' brother Markus Kane. The game goes back and forth between Lucas trying to figure out how and why he killed the man in the diner and Tyler and Carla trying to solve the murder. As Tyler and Carla you'll investigate crime scenes, interrogate witnesses and suspects, try to find connections between evidence and other policeman-like things. As Lucas you'll try to find answers as to why you've done what you've done.
The game's story, especially the first half of it, is incredible. Unfortunately it takes a turn about halfway through and the game turns into a sci-fi movie and escapes from realism completely. It's still a somewhat strong story, but compared to the first half, it doesn't really hold up too well.
The game focuses on and seems to lean on a lot on unnecessary quick time events. During the game's action sequences you'll be required to use two different kinds of QTE's. One is just hitting A and D (or L1 and R1 on the console, or whatever you have your controls set to for the PC version) back and forth. Now, after you've done this many a time it gets real old real fast. The other is simply matching the buttons that appear one screen. It gives you 8 buttons that appear in what looks like a Simon Says layout. You must match these as they appear on screen. The QTE's are dumb. I'm going to be clear with that. They shouldn't be in this game, at least not when they are in this form. There's only two different kinds and they are often dragged on and dragged on forever and sometimes used when during the game's few long, drawn out and tedious minigames such as having a boxing match and playing basketball. Sometimes they're extremely misused for things like having a simple conversation. I would much prefer to just watch the damn cutscene. By far, this is my biggest pet peeve about IP.
In a way, the gameplay of IP feels like an adventure game. You can and must walk around (with the game's clunky movement controls and bad camera) to different items as most of them can be interacted with. The phone, the refrigerator, cabinets, the closet, the TV, a guitar, a computer, everything. It may not be appealing to some, but the game does have you carry out everyday things during some sequences. For example, you'll have to take a shower, get dressed, eat and then go to work. The character's social life often come into play in the game, such as Tyler having girlfriend problems, or having to talk to your neighbor as Carla. The game does have two notably annoying sequences. These are when Carla, who has a problem with claustrophobia, has trouble breathing. They are both trial and error sequences and one of them goes on for much longer than it should. You must use the gamed dreaded QTE's to control her problems.
You'll be able to alter the course of the game's story somewhat with the game's dialogue options. The dialogue choices present with a few issues, though. Sometimes they'll be misleading, because it'll only give a word or two from what your character will say and he or she will end up saying something completely unexpected. Also, the dialogue options are sometimes trial and error, some will result in you literally failing because you said it and you'll have to do it all over again. Other than that, the dialogue choices keep the game fresh and allow for multiple playthroughs, even if some of the dialogue lines are extremely cheesy and occasionally poorly voiced.
The game also tries one thing that it shouldn't: stealth. Lucas has a few flashbacks to his childhood throughout the game and they play like stealth sequences. With the game's bad camera and bad controls, these are hell. They are also trial and error and feel like they were slapped on without a whole lot of work
Most of the objectives in the game are given through the cutscenes. So it's probably a given that you'll zone out and some point or look away from the screen and you'll completely miss what to do. This can be frustrating, and the only solution to it is walking around aimlessly and trying to find out what you're suppose to do as the game rarely puts prompts or notes on the screen that will send you in the right direction.
When it's all said and done, you'll probably walk away from Indigo Prophecy disappointed. This is only because it has a great opening to it and it creates a lot of high hopes which it doesn't completely deliver on. It could have been a better game, for sure. It has some memorable moments that are so great. It has some that are memorable because of how ridiculous they are. It also has some memorable because you have no idea of why they thought it was a good idea to put that in a video game.