Indigo Prophecy Review

Indigo Prophecy (IP) for the Xbox, developed by Quantic Dream and published by Atari, is an adventure game that reminds me a little of the PC games that Sierra used to make back in the day. It might have some odd moments but overall you want to keep playing because of the story...you just want to see what happens next and you're having a great time. I will try within the next several paragraphs to tell you why you should have this game in your collection.

Far and away the strongest areas of IP are the story and presentation, vital components to any game to be sure, but even more so in an adventure game. IP wants the gamer to experience the game like an interactive movie. Sure many games have wanted to do this before but precious few ever have. For example, in the beginning the director of the game comes out and talks you through the tutorial. Way cool in my book. Indigo Prophecy further succeeds with an intriguing storyline and a very cinematic look.

Lucas is having a bad day. A very bad day.
The story may sound somewhat familiar, basically your character does bad things but doesn't know why, but that is fine when it goes about telling it in such a quality way. (Heck, remember that Star Wars was basically the same Good vs. Evil, rescue the princess, save the land story that has been told a thousand times before.) There is no easing into Indigo Prophecy. The opening cinematic swoops down to the streets of New York and to a specific diner where we see a few customers enjoying some food and drinking some coffee. We pan into the bathroom where we find a rather stressed out looking dude in one of the stalls. He turns out to be one of the characters you'll be playing, Lucas Kane. Lucas is having some intense hallucinations that seem to involve a satanic ritual. Next thing you know, Lucas is staggering out of the stall all jerky like and stabbing some really unfortunate guy. Now the control switches to you and you have to figure out a way to get out of the bathroom and out of the diner without getting caught so you can find out why you just killed a stranger. Oh, did I mention that one of the customers in the diner is a cop? Great way to start a game! In this one scene there are multiple options you can chose and slipping up on any one can get you busted and end the game before it even gets started.

I mentioned above that Lucas is one of the characters that you'll be able to play. The other three are detectives Carla Vincent, her partner Tyler Miles, and Lucas's brother Markus who is a priest that has some major moral issues with what his brother has done. A nice twist here is that Carla and Tyler are trying to solve the murder Lucas committed! Sounds like a conflict of interest for you the gamer, but the way it plays out you end up very interested in each of these characters and although Lucas and the detectives appear to have totally different agendas you want both to succeed and try your best when controlling either.

One of the interesting ways Indigo Prophecy draws you into feeling more involved in the game is using a unique control system that tries to mimic a character's movement though the controller with a system called MPAR, or Motion Physical Action Reaction. Sounds fancy to be sure, but it is kind of neat. For some examples of the control I'll give some examples from the opening scene. Say you want to mop up the pool of blood Lucas just created by whacking the poor dude in the bathroom. You maneuver Lucas over to the mop and instead of pushing one of the action button to pick up the mop, you move the right analog stick to the left. Then to mop you move the right stick up and down a few times. OK, this might not feel exactly like mopping but throughout the game you will be doing many of these types of actions using the right stick and it really does make the actions seem a bit more like you are controlling them. If you need to pick up a body you move the stick down and sometimes you will perform actions by alternating pressing the left and right triggers. The faster or more in time you do this the better the result. This may not sound like much, but when compared to just pressing an action button and having the result just happen this does make you feel more immersed into the story and game.