Review: 'Indigo Prophecy' lets you get away with murder
"Indigo Prophecy" features a "mental health" meter.
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You regain consciousness on the bathroom floor of a diner only to find a murdered body in your lap and a bloody knife in your hand. Should you: a) Run; b) Hide the knife and body, wash up, then calmly walk out of the restaurant; c) Confess the crime to a cop sipping a cup of coffee at the counter?
This is the beginning of Atari's "Indigo Prophecy," a suspenseful and cinematic adventure that puts gamers in the role of Lucas Kane, an innocent man who commits murder while under a kind of hypnotic trance.
Kane's goal is to evade police custody long enough to uncover the supernatural forces behind his crime and somehow clear his name.
But Kane is just one of the many characters you will play in this eerie cat-and-mouse tale. Because the game is told from multiple perspectives, you must also take control of two New York police detectives -- a young but seasoned cop, Carla Valenti, and her charming male partner, Tyler Miles -- both of whom are determined to stop the killer.
Other characters become intertwined in the story as well, such as Kane's estranged brother, a man of the cloth, whom he seeks for guidance.
Some of the decisions you make, or fail to make, can alter the story line, which makes "Indigo Prophecy" one of those rare adventure games that are fun to play multiple times. The game has three unique conclusions.
Along with its clever story, believable characters and cinematic presentation, "Indigo Prophecy" shines in its simple control scheme. Gamers need only push the console analog stick in a given direction (or use the mouse in the PC version) to pick up and examine clues or interact with characters. Novice players should have no problem learning the mechanics of this game.
"Indigo Prophecy" also has many timed action sequences, so players will be asked to perform some basic moves on the controller (or keyboard) as quickly as possible to make it through these events. For example, Kane may engage in a fistfight on the street, and winning depends on whether the player can follow the onscreen instructions fast enough. These action-oriented sequences may not be for everyone, but they add some variety to the game play.
Another interesting feature is a "mental health" meter in the lower right corner of the screen. Moral choices, physical actions and relationships with others will affect a character's mental health, and if it drops too low, it may lead the character to depression.
Kudos to French developer Quantic Dream, and especially lead designer David Cage, for creating such an intense and thought-provoking adventure for mature players.
"Indigo Prophecy" is rated 'M' for Mature gamers and it retails for $39.95.
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