Indigo Prophecy
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-11-01 PS2 Action M (Mature) Atari / Quantic Dream

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Indigo Prophecy has had me intrigued since the demo was available. The demo gave me just a little taste of what the game had to offer, and I was drooling for more in no time. When I heard that my Xbox copy was lost in the mail, I was so disappointed, but I was lucky enough to receive a replacement for the PS2.

The most important thing to note about Indigo Prophecy is that it doesn't fall in a specific genre. It's basically an interactive action movie with a non-linear storyline.

You will play as the main character, Lucas, but you're not limited to him. In fact, you must play all other three characters to advance the plot: detectives Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles, and Lucas' brother, Markus.

The storyline is a very captivating plot that includes just the right doses of mystery, horror, action, supernatural, suspense and (of course) romance.

You start out as Lucas Kane, who until now was a normal guy. In a not so normal event (seriously paranormal in fact), Lucas finds himself possessed and unable to control himself as he repeatedly stabs a man in a diner's bathroom. The adventure begins as Lucas tries to cover his tracks and leave the diner in search of the truth.

The freedom of choice is what makes this game so exceptional. Lucas is faced with a difficult choice when a boy falls into the ice: save the boy and let the cops see him or leave and let the boy die. When interrogating someone, Carla and Tyler will have several options, but you will want to pick the right questions so you can find out more about the suspect... or not! And at times you will have several characters at your disposal to play, at a given time. Most important, every decision you make will influence the storyline later on.

It is a bit strange to see the different events happening when you are controlling everyone. It's especially weird because you are both the killer covering his tracks, and the detectives trying to find him. But it makes for a very interesting gameplay experience where details are crucial. One of the little things I found most curious was the way you put the suspect's picture together. The waitress is supposed to describe it, but what happens is you have to make it look as close to Lucas' appearance as possible and decide if the drawing looks like him or not. Well, you don't have to, you can make a completely different face, but you get a likeness percentage score and this will affect some actions later on.

Every action has a certain influence on a character's mood, and you will see it change frequently throughout the game, so you will want to do all those little things that are available to keep them "sane". So have a glass of water, a slice of pizza, wash your face, watch a little TV, even peeing can add a little +5 to a character's mental health. If they get too depressed, the consequences can be disastrous and they might end up committing suicide. Knowing me and my "dark" side, of course I'm now playing through it again trying to kill everyone and getting all sorts of bad endings.

The action sequences are done by performing a series of movements with the analog sticks (Simon Says style) or by using the left and right triggers. If you want to familiarize yourself with these controls, I recommend playing the guitar first (slower controls), then using the punching bag (faster and more complicated moves) in Lucas' apartment.

Controlling Carla's panic attacks, doing push-ups, swimming to safety, opening a stuck window and several other actions will require some furious left trigger-right trigger tapping. From dodging a flying kitchen cabinet, to playing a basketball, practicing at the shooting range, having a boxing match, dancing or perform CPR, you will be using both analogs. Picking chat options, climbing a fence, doing tricks with Carla's yo-yo or performing simple actions during the storyline requires single or a series of right analog movements.

Some of the analog action sequences are long and complicated, and this is where I find the game's major flaw. While I was watching the colors and trying to match the moves, I was partly missing what was going on in the background. I secretly wish there was an unlock function at the end to watch the entire game as if it were a movie (without the color codes), so I could just sit back and enjoy it as a whole.

There is also a collector's album in the game, which you access from the main menu. As your game progresses, you will automatically unlock playable scenes which you can play as mini-games, including some hilarious disco dancing and a very cool ice skating scene. Other things like soundtrack music, some clips, behind the scenes footage and character art require bonus points to be unlocked. Bonus points look a bit like playing cards, and you find them throughout the game in not so obvious places (i.e. a kitchen cupboard or in a remote corner of a room where the camera angle makes it difficult to see). You also get 200 of them after beating the game.

The graphics are a bit grainier than I expected and the textures look a bit fuzzy, but I really liked the detail on the characters' faces, especially the eyes - they are very expressive and realistic. Little details like leaving footprints in the snow, Lucas' hair turning white and visible breath coming out of the characters in the cold outdoors weren't left out. Also impressive are the fighting scenes, which seemed like something pulled out of the Matrix, perfectly choreographed. In fact, all motion capture in the game is extremely well done. And then there are the split-screen scenes, showing you important key elements of an event, which make the whole experience even more unique.

Ultimately, Indigo Prophecy has a fantastic story, unique game controls, great music and excellent voice acting, with a good amount of replay value because of the numerous free choice options. It's the perfect game for those like me who live every bit of storyline as if they were there.

I don't have enough words to say how pleased I am with this title. Lucas' epic adventure has climbed to the top of my favorite-games-ever list. It was that "something different" that I've been waiting for.

It's certainly a revolutionary experience that no gamer should live without.

Special thanks to Gloria Quinn at the Highwater Group and Atari for providing a copy of the game.