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Arts & Entertainment

Two reviewers unite for one not-so-thrilling 'Prophecy'

| Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005

If I've learned anything from "Indigo Prophecy," it's that I could never get away with murder. I leave bodies and bloody towels strewn about and, when the cops pay a visit, I fumble my answers like a moron.

An unwitting executioner in some ritual sacrifice, I could have chosen to clean up after myself a little better, but I panicked and ran. And that's exactly what Quantic Dream studio had in mind: You decide your fate.

Each choice can affect the outcome of the game, sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure, where you get play both murder suspect and the cops tracking him down.

It's a great concept -- with a compelling storyline and (mostly) atmospheric soundtrack -- but a complete misfire on execution.

Action sequences hinge on your success at real-time Simon Says-like games with analog sticks. A simple movement like walking becomes a Sisyphean task of guiding blind zombies, and controlling every movement gets downright tedious.

Especially annoying are vague dialogue options because of the impact it can have on the game.

"Indigo" plays like an interactive movie, albeit a slow-paced one that needed more time in the editing room. And although it fell short of its potential, Quantic is on to something.

-- Jessica Severs

I give "Indigo Prophecy" kudos for concept, but I'm a bit perturbed on the game's execution. Indigo's haunting story plays like a great late-night thriller with all its plot twists, gritty dialogue, superb voice acting and dynamic storyboard cinematics, but the control setup has me puzzled.

I was enthralled by the amount of environmental interaction in the game, but why so much effort to sit, stand or open a door• Enough with the goofy and repetitive "above the letter-box" prompting already.

I do like the use of quick tapping that's needed for your character to perform strenuous tasks and the challenging speed toggles to execute dexterous moves, but what's up with the Simon Says-like presentation•

Although the graphics do an adequate job of pulling off a dreary New York City winter, I think a little more detail could have gone a long way to draw the player deeper into the tale. Passable with the consoles, I expected more snap from my PC version.

On the plus side, Quantic Dream did a great job allowing players to control each of the main characters. Just like a good crime novel, you can see the story unfold through their eyes.

The suspense is high and the lure of tale is enough to keep you playing. I'd like to see more games be this interactive.

-- John Schisler Additional Information:

Details

Indigo Prophecy

Grade: C

Developer: Quantic Dream.

Publisher: Atari.

Platform: PC, PS2, Xbox.

Genre: Action/suspense.

ESRB: Mature.

Retail: $39.99.

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