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Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) is a superb but short game. It has great characters, reasonable graphics and a very interesting story. I say game, but Fahrenheit is very much an interactive movie since a lot of the gameplay involves you having to press buttons at specific times (think Simone says). Those who have played Shenmue will find themselves in familiar territory as the gameplay of Fahrenheit is pretty much identical to Shenmue's QTEs (Quick Time Event).
The plot of the game centres on Lucas Kane an ordinary young man whose life is essentially turned upside down when one night, under the influence of a mystical being, decides to kill a man in the toilet of a restaurant. Of course as the game progresses, the story gets much more complex and we begin to find out that the murder was only part of a very grand scheme.
It feels like you're in a movie, the only difference being the fact that events unfold according to how you want them to. For example in the very beginning of the game, Lucas is left in a sticky situation and can either do two things; run out using the nearest fire exit or leave casually using the front door. Opportunities like this occur periodically, allowing you to tackle situations in the manner you feel is most appropriate.
The graphics are a bit dated now, but for its time the graphics were fairly reasonable. The physics are also quite impressive. Characters move realistically and all have their own authentic way of walking. Motion capture was also used for the animation which undoubtedly adds a high degree of realism to the game.
The dark and sorrowful music was composed by Angelo Badalamenti. The music really manages to capture the mood and essence of the story. It is haunting and gives you real sense of dread.
The game includes multiple special features. Some noticeable ones include screenshots (in game) and bonus videos.
Overall Fahrenheit is a dark, interesting game which is only let down by its length. It can be completed in less than 10 hours so you might want to think about renting it first.
Fahrenheit is set in the city of New York. The main character (Lucas Kane) walks into a cafe, uses the bathroom and kills a man who enters. He has no idea why he killed him and he is not alone. People are killing without knowing why they are doing so and Lucas is determined to find out what happened to him. Your first problem is how to escape the cafe without being caught by the police.
Every decision you make throughout the game affects the storyline and it is incredibly enjoyable to play a game which is so reactive to your decisions. The storyline branches in all kinds of directions. Not only that but Lucas Kane is not the only character you will control. You play as Lucas Kane, Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles. Unlike most games you will form an attachment to the characters, it's virtually impossible not to.
The style of the game is cinematic. The game contains a lot of motion captured animation and some split screen cameras. The interface accompanies this style very well and remains realistic.
The only flaw within the game is that the graphics aren't up to par with the sound, gameplay and the substantial replay value.
With regard to the replay value, I played this game a second time and found that I'd missed quite a substantial portion of the possible sequences. It's certainly worth a second, third and even a fourth look.
Overall, it's a must buy. A sequel or a game of the same style is definitely something I'm yearning for.
I'm also a member of Ciao so this review is posted there.
This game is stunning. It is a masterpiece. In my mind it is a strong candidate for the best game of all time, incorporating realistic and likeable characters, beautiful, atmospheric settings, and most incredibly of all: a story. And a mind-bogglingly wonderful one at that.
Let me take this opportunity to remind you that this is a video game, and the phrases video game and decent story very rarely enter into the same sentence without attempting to murder each other. But French developers Quantic Dream (even the name exudes fantastic-ness) have managed it, and with incredible style.
Ill calm down now. Promise.
WELCOME TO NEW YORK
It is the year well, Im not too sure actually sometime in the future but cars still have wheels and people still eat food. The game starts in a diner in New York, which is in the grip of an incredibly bitter winter. The main character, Lucas Kane, has just stabbed a man to death in the mens toilets, whilst seeing visions and moaning in an ill sort of way. He comes back to reality, aghast at what hes done, with only seconds before the policeman in the next room decides he needs a wee.
This is where you are thrown headlong into the story. You instantly panic almost as much as Kane do you run? Do you try and clean up? But what if and what if
And just to help you keep calm, the game developers have created a so-called elastic script you cant deviate too far from the story, but your current actions will still affect the game later on. It is this that allows you to effectively hunt yourself as you take on the roles of Detective Carla Valenti and her partner Tyler Miles, as well as Lucas Kane as he fights to retain his sanity and indeed his very life.
Whatever you think this game is going to throw at you, I can tell you that you are almost certainly wrong, and will continue to be almost to the very last minute. The story is rich and detailed, with many twists, turns, and fast paced bouts of action.
Did I mention that its stunning?
FIND GLORY BEYOND THE CHEAP COLOURED LIGHTS
At first, the controls seem very, very weird. The camera seems to be always in the wrong place, and the first time you have to act fast, coordinating (shock horror) your left and right hands, it all goes to pot.
But quickly you realise that those coloured lights arranged on the screen so that they form two circles with different colours lighting up on the left, right, top and bottom (trust me, its not as weird as it sounds) are there for a reason. Up, means press up and press it quickly! It will not be long before you realise that the flashes coordinate themselves with what is going on on the screen. Need to dive left? Chances are the left lights are going to flash on.
By the end of the game, you will be dodging, ducking, jumping, kung-fu-ing, concentrating, guitar playing and so on as if youd done it all your life.
With two sets of arrow keys.
Somehow it doesnt matter at all. I dont know how so much can be conveyed by use of arrow keys, but before long it really seems natural and smooth but not necessarily easy.
What makes Fahrenheit even more intriguing is the element of philosophy that is involved, something that I only half noticed until I read the Wikipedia article about an hour ago. Without giving away the story, the game manages to ask questions about the nature of reality, value of religion, God, humanity in general, DNA, evolution and probably more. It also has a strangely Nietszchean theme to it from Lucas Kanes favourite book, to the idea of the Ubermensch (super or over man) and the slave mentality, David Cage, boss of Quantic Dream and writer of the Fahrenheit story has created a story so deep that it would stand out amongst films and books, let alone video games.
And there is another interesting aspect that ties Fahrenheit even more closely to films you may not realise it, but it is all acted by real people. They may be men wearing lycra suits with white bobbles all over them to allow computer generation, but every fight, chase and even conversation is acted out so that it seems all the more realistic. Combine this with sublime voice acting and, if not stunning, very good graphics and you have a game that you will lose yourself in.
A SHAME, SO FEW PEOPLE READ SHAKESPEARE THESE DAYS
Occasionally you will be required, as part of the action, to perform feats of endurance whereby you hammer the left and right arrow keys as madly as possible, which is actually quite tiring on the fingers (maybe mine are just weak) and can get slightly annoying, especially on the higher difficulty settings as they become near-impossible or impossible, depending on the responsiveness of the keyboard. Still, they ensure that you interact, even if poor Lucas is having a considerably rougher time of it than you are.
Also there is the mental state meter, with full being neutral and zero being wrecked, at which point you go insane/commit suicide/turn yourself in to the cops. It is worth considering how your actions will affect this because some incidents unavoidably raise/lower it. You may have heard the story of how one virtual Lucas with only about 5 points of sanity left tried to buy a drink from a vending machine, found they were sold out and committed suicide. Dont let it happen to you!
I would also recommend, if you can tear yourself away from the action, to explore your surroundings a bit and talk to anyone you can. Not only will you find more bonus tokens (allowing you to unlock music, artwork and videos) but it will also help to keep you up to date with the fairly complicated back-story that is going on all the time. Later in the game you may well go aaahhh as you realise the links and feel very pleased with yourself.
Three possible endings, depending upon how successful you are in the closing chapters of the game, all leave the possibility of sequels. Perhaps I shouldnt hold my breath, but I will anyway.
Another element that really stands out is the soundtrack, which is written by Angelo Badalamenti, with many songs from other artists such as Theory of a Deadman, Teddy Pendergrass, Nina Simone, Bobby Byrd, and many more. It is dramatic, powerful stuff.
Finally, worth noting is the fact that the game is unsuitable for young children. Frankly if you ask me, theres nothing in here that many children wont have seen before on TV, but some of the murders are fairly graphic, some settings very creepy, and some sex scenes leaving little to the imagination. If you ask me this makes the game all the better and you should take the view of the French and be laid back, but it is really up to you and your discretion. The 16+ certificate is certainly safe.
COME AND TAKE A SEAT BY THE FIRE.
I never thought Id say it about a video game, but Fahrenheit is easily the equivalent of a good book. Why the worldwide population of gamers doesnt refuse to play anything else Ill never know, but if you want a game that will truly blow you off your feet, look no further. I have yet to find an equivalent in storyline, and it may well be a good while longer that I have to wait as most gamers these days cry out for mindless space alien blasting games. I cant recommend this game enough.
My friends and I sat down in front of the TV (which was connected up to a PC) at approximately 8pm on Sunday night. We reluctantly saved and packed up at close to midnight due to the fact that we all had work on Monday morning and needed to start making the journey home. Now, this may not seem like anything outstanding to some people, but I am a person who only very occasionally plays games, and when I do, I often get restless after an hour or so. To play Fahrenheit for what was at least four hours - and want to continue playing - is quite the feat.
Fahrenheit was released on 16th September, published by Atari, developed by Quantic Dream and is rated 15 by the BBFC.
It is quite difficult to put Fahrenheit into a category, because it really is quite different to any game I have played before. The closest I can get is to call it an 'interactive thriller/action' game. Fahrenheit is set in New York, and as the game opens, we are playing the character of Lucas. Lucas is in the bathroom of a diner, and before you have any control over him, during the opening cut scene, he kills a stranger.
As you take control of Lucas, it becomes apparent that he was in a 'daze', and has no idea why he has just committed murder. He panics, and it is up to you (with a cop sitting in the diner outside) to work out where to go from here. It becomes apparent that this is no straightforward murder case, when Lucas continues to feel strange and has 'visions'.
Fahrenheit plays more like a movie that you can interact in that a computer game, but everything you do affects what happens next, and it is quite easy to make the wrong choice, finding yourself arrested or dead, and it's game over for you. Luckily, there are save points, so whenever you do mess up and lose a life, there is the option of going back and changing something to alter the course of events. Without this, the game would get frustrating rather quickly.
This 'movie' style of playing makes it an excellent game fro team playing along with your friends. There were four of us playing, and despite the fact that the same person controlled it all the way, it never got boring for the rest of us to watch and make suggestions - often three different suggestions all at once, making it confusing for the person controlling (fun though!).
What gives Fahrenheit that extra something is that you have a choice of characters to play. By this, I don't mean the traditional choice, where you choose a character from the options at the beginning of the game and then stick with him/her. There is constant swapping throughout this game.
Once you have finished with Lucas, you move onto playing Carla, a feisty Detective in charge of the murder case. This would present you with a dilemma - as Lucas, you don't want to be caught, but as Carla you want to solve the case. This is true to some extent, but more than anything, you just want to get to the bottom of what happened, know the truth.
The game becomes more and more interesting, as more things happen to Lucas, and as the game goes on, you have the option to control more of the characters, including Carla's partner Detective Tyler Miles.
I can't go into much more detail than that on the gameplay, as despite having played for four or five hours, we were just getting into it.
**THE SCIENCE BIT**
I'm not a person who knows a lot about the inner workings of games, so I unfortunately can't provide a technical analysis of the game engine or anything as fancy as that, but what I can say is the graphics look good, the movement of the characters is very detailed and the camera angles have been thought about carefully for the most part. The only downer of the control system is the way you play the mini-games. There are several mini-games within the larger game, which you can do well at or fail depending on your skill at following a pattern using your analogue sticks or other controller. This is an excellent addition to the game, and provides not only extra entertainment, but the outcome also affects the game.
One good example to use here is a mini-game where you (as Lucas) serenade your ex-girlfriend by playing your guitar in the hope of winning her back. If you do well .actually, I don't know the answer to this, because we didn't(!), but if you do badly, you play horribly, put her off, she leaves and Lucas is left unhappy. It's good fun, but playing on a PC means that you have to use two different sections of the keyboard simultaneously, which is difficult. So to make the most of the mini-games, you'd really be better off playing a console version.
Aside from that, the controls are fairly straightforward and easy to use, and there is a tutorial before you begin the game. The tutorial, although not really a part of the game, is probably worth mentioning anyway, because it's quite unique. Your guide through the tutorial is a virtual version of the game's creator David Cage, and unlike many tutorials is short and concise. It gives you the basics, everything you need to know to get started, but enough is left for you to work out that you don't emerge from the tutorial feeling like you've played the whole game.
Overall, an extremely entertaining game, good to play in a group with your friends or alone, whichever you prefer. Please note: I have written this review before I have finished playing the game - if there is anything more that I feel could enhance this review once I reach the end, I will update it.
The only thing I do think I should warn potential buyers about is the rating, which I think some people may feel is slightly inappropriate, particularly parents thinking about buying it for their 15-year-old son or daughter. Fahrenheit is rated a 15 in the UK, but does include what some may feel are questionable elements for a game rated as such. For example, once you have collected enough bonus points, you have the option to 'buy' extra items out on the menu screen, one of which is "Sam's Dance". Sam is the girlfriend of Tyler (the Detective), and her dance is an erotic one, ending with (albeit virtual) full-frontal nudity.
nother element some may feel is unsuitable is the violence at the beginning. It IS all implied, which is probably why it got the rating that it did, however, it is also brutal. Lucas kills the man in the diner by stabbing him over and over with a knife, and there is quite a lot of blood. Lucas has also carved symbols into his arms prior to his attack on the stranger, and although you don't see him do this, there is the blood and his cut up arms to show for it, so anyone who is worried about their child self-harming should possibly give this one a miss.
Min. spec of a PC to play this game should be:
800 Mhz Processor
128 MB RAM
G-Force 1 or equivalent graphics card
2.1 GB Hard Disk Space
Fahrenheit is available on PC, X-Box and PS2 from all good games stores for approximately £30.
For more info on this product, you can visit http://www.uk.atari.com/index.php?pg=product&id=15
New York January 2009. For no apparent reason, ordinary people are killing total strangers. Although there are no direct links between the murders, they all show the same ritual patterns. Lucas Kane becomes one of these murderers, and haunted by strange visions he must try to keep one step ahead of the police to discover what is happening to him. Inspector Carla Valenti and Agent Tyler Miles are heading up the investigation. A series of disturbing clues takes them into a world they can only dream of. Meanwhile the early onset of winter paralyses Manhattan in an unbearable grip of snow and cold. Each day the temperature drops as the winter conditions draw over the dark streets of New York. The final countdown has already begun!