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 Indigo Prophecy

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Dark1Angel
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Data de inscriere : 09/01/2010
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Localizare Localizare : Romania / Caras-Severin

Indigo Prophecy Empty
MesajSubiect: Indigo Prophecy   Indigo Prophecy Icon_minitimeSam Feb 20, 2010 7:58 pm

Indigo Prophecy

It's not a pixel hunter, there's real action here.



September 20, 2005 - When was the last time you
actually played a game where you cared about what happened to the
characters, where you actually wanted to find out what happens next? If
you're sick of generic shooters and reflex based games where high
scores and headshots rule supreme, you'll definitely find solace in
Quantic Dream's [Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link].
If you have a favorite chair or comfortable couch, this is the perfect
game to sit down and play while wrapped in a gigantic, fluffy blanket
and sipping hot cocoa with mini-marshmallows.


Right off the bat, you'll discover Indigo Prophecy to be a dark,
brooding experience, as the opening sequence is definitely disturbing.
Set in snow-covered New York City, the game continues to get darker as
you progress and more sinister facts are revealed. Perhaps the most
telling feature of how grim the game can get is the character mood
gauge, which, when completely full, says your character is in a
"neutral" state, whereas at empty your character is "wrecked." In
between are varying shades of depression. Despite the sometimes dismal,
gripping nature of the storyline and atmosphere, it still remains an
entirely engaging experience.


It's very apparent that the team at [Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
really cared about making this game when I played through the
introductory tutorial. Here, you're given a brief introduction into the
game's action mechanics and general interface by a virtual
representation of the game's writer and director, David Cage. You'll
control a dummy model and perform a series of actions as you move
around a mock movie stage. This stage setting is representative of the
cinematic nature of the entire game; from the intricate, slow-motion
action sequences to the picture-in-picture and split screen instances
that advances the plot and conveys simultaneous action.


[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
As
a videogame trying to act like a movie, Indigo Prophecy really
succeeds. In the game, you get to see sides of your three main
characters you would never really expect to see outside of a theatre.
You'll wake up, drink milk, lift weights, play basketball, dance with
your girlfriend, play guitar, get dressed, wash your hands; the list
goes on and on. You control almost every decision your character will
make, right down to throwing dirty clothing in the dryer. While these
details may turn some off, also know there are intricate twitch action
sequences that play out like a Simon Says memory game on steroids.


Plot, characters, action!

Through Indigo Prophecy you'll mainly control three characters, the
mentally ravaged Lucas Kane, icy detective Carla Vincent, and Carla's
upbeat partner, Tyler Miles. Occasionally, you'll also control Markus
Kane, a devout priest and Lucas' brother. Even though Tyler, Carla, and
Lucas are the three main characters, it tends to be Lucas and Carla's
storylines that are the most vital to the plot. Tyler, on the other
hand, seems to have a more tangential relationship to the story,
focusing mostly on his relationship to his girlfriend, the strain
caused by his job, and also a basketball sequence with a coworker.


Every conversation in the game can take multiple paths. As soon as
one is initiated, a time bar starts to decrease across the screen and
above that are a range of conversation options. This works well to keep
the player engaged in what's going on, as you'll have to stay focused
on what's being said and decide quickly exactly what to ask. While
sometimes almost every option can be selected, you'll often find you
can select only three or four before the conversation ends.
This fits in with one of the major aims [Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
seems to be trying to get across, which is to involve the player as
intimately as possible with every action or decision that occurs.
Whenever you're near an object that can be interacted with, a series of
options will come up across the top of the screen. For instance, if you
want to open a cupboard to the right of you to find something to eat,
an option will pop up that indicates you should press and hold Mouse 1
and move your mouse up. You'll then need to enter another command to
take the item out, and finish it off by entering another command to
shut the cupboard. At first, this struck me as a very cool addition. In
fact, it's even given a fancy name: MPAR, or Motion Physical Action
Reaction.


While being able to directly control almost every one of your
character's actions, such as using a semicircle motion with your mouse
to climb down a ladder or unfurl a yo-yo, enables you to identify with
your characters to a greater degree, it also adds an unnecessary
element of complication in some sequences. Sometimes you're given the
task of retrieving some items or covering something up before a time
limit expires, say like the time before the police arrive. When you
have to search to find where the items are to begin with, it doesn't
help that you have to input commands to open, choose an item, and close
a drawer. Instead of one command, there are three separate ones, making
the task seem more like busywork than entertaining tension and
highlighting the game's trial-and-error faults.


The time sensitive sequences also bring out one of the game's
largest flaws: the character control. Indigo Prophecy is a game
presented in a cinematic fashion. As such, the camera likes to hop
around to highlight environments from certain set angles to infuse the
scene with drama. Though the camera is fully controllable, it often
gets stuck in close spaces or just won't point the right way
regardless, making finding what you're supposed to interact with
difficult and tedious.


The character control problem arises when the camera switches
angles or you're forced to backtrack or turn around. For some reason,
the directional orientation of your character freaks out, and you're
character will wind up doing drunken figure 8's while you try and
determine exactly which direction you need to press the directional
keys to move forward. This flaw is annoying while leisurely strolling
around the game world, but downright aggravating and cause to scream
obscenities during timed sequences. However, the control issues by no
means hamper the overall game experience, they're just sharply
infuriating in short bursts.


An Action-Adventure, Sort of.

Indigo Prophecy enables players to actually switch playable
characters while the game is going on, most notably between Carla and
Tyler when they're investigating a crime scene. This feature works
well, as both characters will notice different aspects of the scene and
give a fuller picture of exactly what happened. Some areas of the game
can actually play out differently based on what was done before. For
instance, near the start of the game, how you decide to use Lucas to
clean up a crime scene determines the details that come out in the
ensuing investigation.


[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
Since
you're controlling characters on opposite sides of a struggle it gets
confusing when they actually meet. While how the conversation proceeds
is entirely up to the player, you'll most likely have grown attached to
both characters. Inputting commands that seem to benefit one character
over another is a painful process since you don't want to get either
character in trouble.


To accompany all the character and environment interaction are
twitch action sequences. There are two main types of sequences:
pressing the directional and number pad keys in accordance with certain
directional indicators or alternating between left and right
directional buttons. These action techniques are put to use in
sequences that would otherwise be much less engaging. In several scenes
where a character is having a vision, players will have to properly
press the indicated directions in order to see what is going on,
otherwise their vision clouds over. Mainly, though, the game challenges
players to replicate a set of button commands to successfully navigate
treacherous obstacles and fight enemies. Despite the inaccuracies of
the joystick movements on the Xbox and PS2, I found them to be more
engaging than punching keys. The process becomes more confusing on the
PC since you're forced to use several of your fingers to coordinate the
sequences successfully instead of just your two thumbs.


On easy and medium settings these sequences are no trouble to get
through, but on hard it can prove to be frustrating at times. This is
mostly because if you screw up, the input commands are coming so fast
it's difficult to determine exactly where the fault occurred. The game
doesn't stop if you miss a command, so you'll wind up getting to the
end of a sequence only to find that you'd failed. Also, sometimes even
though you know which direction you want to move the joysticks, they
don't precisely go in the correct direction, causing you to have to
start the whole process over again. That being said, these sequences
are a lot of fun, as inputting the correct button sequences enables
your character to perform some impressive acrobatic feats. The action
of the game is well choreographed, and getting through a sequence
undamaged gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling of conquering a complex
task.


The game's story progresses in chunks at the start of which the
player must choose who to play as, which can be either Lucas, Carla, or
a few others. Picking one of the chapters lets you play through a bit
of the storyline from that character's perspective. While it is a neat
feature to be able to pick and choose which parts of the storyline to
uncover, it really doesn't affect the gameplay. Regardless of who you
pick to play as first, you'll still wind up playing the other storyline
all the same.


[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
Anyone
who is already convinced that this game is what they're looking for may
not want to read the rest of this paragraph. I've tried to not mention
storyline specifics as much as possible, but I do need to make one
criticism of the later developments. While the game starts out
following each character very closely, even to the point where you'll
pick out wine glasses out of a cupboard and sit down to do a tarot
reading, the last few sequences seem exponentially more removed. You'll
be up close with everyone over the course of a few days in the game,
but then the storyline skips ahead about 20 days with no indication of
what happened during that time. Undoubtedly, after the story skips
ahead, you'll see characters in certain relationships that you'll
definitely have questions about, but you won't get the answers. It
almost seems like the development team just ran out of time in this
area.


It Looks Fuzzy but Sounds Fantastic.


Graphics are not this game's strong suit. The PC version is a step
up from Xbox or PS2, obviously, and offers standard visual optimization
tweaks. Yet even with everything turned up, it still looks like a high
resolution Xbox game. Edges are fuzzy, and textures in some places are
bland and washed out. Though these may fit in with the game's theme of
snow and cold, it doesn't look all that great. Sure, in some areas the
game is pretty, but up close the details just aren't there. Then again,
people aren't playing this game for the graphics, and they definitely
get the job done.


The animations are stilted and awkward in spots, which becomes
apparent when characters go to hug each other or enter rapid fighting
sequences. The facial animations for speech don't match up well either,
as their mouths tend to move longer than the speech coming out of them.
Generally though, these inconsistencies can be overlooked, and much
like the textural details they get the job done and shine in certain
spots, such as the slow motion action sequences.


It's in the sound department that this game really manages to grip
you. Scored by Angelo Badalamenti, who worked on the soundtrack to
David Lynch's film, Lost Highway, it's filled with creaking violin
compositions that grab hold of you immediately. It's one of those
scores you can recognize again at the first hint of the first note. The
sound completely makes up for the graphics in terms of creating a
believable and tense atmosphere, adds a significant tension to the
action scenes, as well as providing an excellent accompaniment to the
mental states of the game's characters.


Indigo Prophecy's voice acting is equally as impressive, and lends
a large degree of believability to the game's characters. Lucas sounds
as disturbed as he is, the cheese factor is very low, Carla is
appropriately grim, Tyler adds a more light-hearted and genuine
element, and the surrounding characters do their parts well, and in
some cases very well. This is an absolutely crucial element in a game
like this, an element that if done poorly could sink a game, but here
it's executed to a very satisfying degree.


There are also a number of licensed songs in the game, such as four
tracks by Theory of a Dead Man, in addition to more diverse and upbeat
funk and soul compositions. The Theory of a Dead Man songs can actually
be switched on through the MP3 player in Lucas' apartment, and provide
an extra intensity to opening the fridge and drinking some milk. All
these tracks are well implemented in the game, and provide an excellent
variety and change of pace from the regular soundtrack.


[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
As
with any game crafted with care, there are plenty of extras for players
looking to stick with their characters after the main experience is
complete. These include tons of extra artwork, special movies and
interactive sequences, and making-of movies that can be unlocked as
players amass bonus points. Bonus points are scattered in
out-of-the-way locations as you move through the game, and really
aren't that difficult to find. If you don't have enough to buy all the
extras at the game's completion, it might be worth another trip through
the storyline to find them, in addition to choosing all the different
conversation options to see what you missed.


Though the game looks much better on the PC, it still feels like a
console game. I had more fun playing through on the console version,
specifically because moving joysticks with my thumbs was more
comfortable and intuitive than coordinating eight different buttons
with different fingers in rapid succession. After a while, though, you
get used to the keyboard system, much like how typing without looking
at the keyboard soon becomes second nature, but the curve in getting
there is much higher than with joystick control. However, the
replacement of the L and R alternation sequences with the left and
right directional buttons is much easier. You'll welcome the difference
during some of the game's later sequences where you'll wind up dying or
getting arrested just because your hands are tired. It's still a very
solid game on the PC, and if you have no other choice it's definitely
worth picking up. However, if you're interested in this game and have
an Xbox or PS2, I'd try those out first, even with the PS2's longer
load times.


Closing Comments
Indigo
Prophecy is not a perfect game. There are camera and control issues,
the graphics aren’t stellar, and the action sequences can be imprecise
at points. However, the game’s sound, story, and characters are so
strong, and the variety of situations players will find themselves in
is so large, that at no point is this a boring play experience. An
average gamer can expect to put in about 12 to 15 hours to run through
this game, though depending on how good you are with the action
sequences you can definitely get through faster. However, if you’re
rushing through this game, you’re not playing it properly. For anyone
craving a new, twisting suspense story with a little action mixed in,
you’ll definitely come away from Indigo Prophecy as a satisfied gamer,
and will remember it for a long while after.
IGN Ratings for Indigo Prophecy (PC)



RatingDescription
[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
out of 10[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
9.0Presentation
Great
story, great characters, though there are some issues mentioned above
which you may have chosen not to read. Plenty of extras too.
7.5Graphics
Though
appropriate for the cold, snow covered environment, some of the
textures stand out as particularly bland, and jaggies mar the corners
of many objects.
9.0Sound
Almost perfect, the sound and voices will be remembered for long after you play.
8.0Gameplay
The console version, despite its flaws, had a more intuitive action input setup.
8.0Lasting Appeal
It's
worth playing through this game again just to experience it, and also
to collect any bonus points and conversation paths you missed.
8.3
Impressive
OVERALL
(out of 10 / not an average)

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