Indigo Prophecy

Since I had a long weekend ahead of me I decided on Wednesday night that I would rent a game for my playing pleasure. After seeing good reviews and hearing good things from friends I decided to rent Indigo Prophecy. The game is set in New York City in the year 2009 during the winter. It starts out with your main character in a restaurant bathroom stall holding a bloody knife with a crazed look on his face. There is another man in the bathroom at the urinal doing his business. The man goes to the sink to wash his hands and your character opens the stall door and begins walking towards him. Your character looks possessed or messed up as his eyes are glazed over and he’s just staring at the ceiling as he walks. He gets right behind the man that is washing his hands, and just as the washing-hand-man turns around, your charcter stabs him in the chest three times. Your character is crouched over the body when he suddenly snaps out of it and says “what have I done?”………and that is the beginning of the game. You’re standing in a bathroom with blood all over, a dead guy on the floor and no instructions on what to do next. Awesome. :) There’s no map, no arrows to pull you in the right direction, no nothing. Now it’s up to you to decide whether you should clean yourself up, try to hide the body/murder weapon, go to the bathroom, preen in the mirror, or just bolt out of the restaurant. As you scurry around the bathroom trying to decide what to do the screen splits and shows you a police officer that was sitting at the bar start to make his way towards the bathroom. It’s a crazy feeling seeing him get closer and closer to the bathroom door and you’re inside trying to make everything spic and span!

From the opening scene the game really pulls you in. It plays just like a movie, and does so many things different from a normal action/adventure type game. For instance after you commit the murder you end up going back to the restaurant, but not as the killer, as the two detectives that are assigned to the case! So you as the viewer already knows what happened, but you still have to piece it together. At first I didn’t see the point of the two detectives, but it’s cool b/c they made it so each person picks up on different clues. You can switch between the two detectives pretty much at will, so sometimes you’ll be on the phone with your partner and he says “I’ll fax that right over to you” but to get the fax you need to switch over to him and fax it. It’s also neat b/c between each chapter you can choose which character’s story you’d like to play, the killer’s, or the two different detectives. So sometimes I really am anxious to see what happens next to the killer so I can choose to continue his story first, it’s slight, but it gives a different sense of control to the story. There are also elements of The Sims in this game as well. On the right hand side of the screen there is a little meter that pops up to let you know how your person is feeling. When good things happens they feel good, and bad things = bad. But you can always make your person feel better by eating, sleeping, playing the guitar, making some love, or peeing. My guy did alot of peeing.

The actions sequences were 100% different from anything I’ve ever seen in a game before. Instead of button mashing to fight off bad guys or pushing the “A” button over and over you had to basically do a simon says type of game. While you guy was fighting two squarish circles would pop up on the screen, they represented the two analog joysticks on the controller. If it said push up you pushed up, down down, you pushed down down. It was hard and really cool, it forces you to pay more attention then you normally would. As with the actions scenes the scenes where you were talking to people was innovative as well. You could choose your question or response much like you can in many games EXCEPT, there was about a 1.5 second time limit you had to do it in, and your question or response was represented by only one word. So for instance when it was time to ask a question at the top there would be maybe four words: Carla, Why, Oracles, Motive. And each of those four words would pull the conversation in a different direction, right as the words popped up a quickly depleting status bar would appear at the top (not unlike Wario Ware), and if you didn’t make your decision in time, the computer would make one for you, or the person you’re talking to might become suspicious, a whole number of things could happen. It was really exciting and a little nerve racking at times.

This game is the perfect rental game. The game review sites said it could be beaten in 12-15 hours but Ben M. beat it in 9 hours and I’d say my time was nearly the same. Besides being a little on the short side, I think the reason you tend to beat it so fast is b/c it really draws you in. When I wasn’t playing it, all I could think about was what happens next?! It was alot of fun, I’m only sad b/c it ended quickly. Overall I thought it was innovative and fresh in many ways. The cons are that it was a bit short, the graphics really weren’t all that great, and I know the Xbox could handle alot better, and even though it was innovative with the simon says fight scenes, there were times it was annoying b/c you really don’t see what is happening on the screen since you’re concentrating on pushing the right sequence of directions. But still a good rental.

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