Thursday, December 2, 2010

Playing a Movie - Indigo Prophecy

In a fit of boredom today, my roommate introduced me to a very interesting game called "Indigo Prophecy". The title of the post is very fitting and very descriptive of the game. At the main menu you're not prompted to start a 'new game', but rather a 'new movie'.

The game so far appears to be made up largely of cut scenes, small interactions, and quick-time events (for those of you unfamiliar with the term, a quick-time event is basically a cut scene that requires you to push buttons when prompted to proceed). It's very much story driven and just about everything you do affects the story in some manner. As an example, in one very early part of the game a character (Lucas) has to quickly clean up any potentially suspicious materials in his apartment before a police officer kicks the door in. The less you find, the higher the officer's suspicion and the greater the chance you have of Lucas getting arrested.

Dialogue occurs in a similar manner, offering you a variety of options to continue any given discourse, but only a small amount of time to select one. It makes you quickly attempt to analyze your situation and your choices, because what you do pick will have an effect on the story.

The really interesting part comes shortly after the start of the game. Not to spoil anything, but you start out playing as Lucas, who murders an innocent man in what appears to be a fit of possession. When you play as him, you want to try your best to keep a low profile and find out what in the world is happening to you. Soon after you're provided with control of a pair of detectives, Carla and Tyler, who are investigating this same murder.

So there's the conflict. The more successful you are on one end of the game, the more difficult it becomes on the other. The better Lucas does at keeping his head down, the tougher it is for Carla and Tyler to do their job. The better the detectives do at tracking him down, the tougher it is for him to find out what's happening to him. The player is really making the story at this point.

So far the game is shaping up to be something VERY interesting. There's also a meter that monitors your character's emotions, making certain choices or taking certain actions will either heighten their anxiety or alleviate it (so far I've seen depressed, nervous, tense, and neutral). It also plays with the idea of multiple camera angles, often showing you a view of your locale and the window in which you control your character. I'm looking forward to seeing what else this game has to offer, as it appears to be a story telling experience unlike any other I've seen.

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