July 9, 2006

Indigo Prophecy

As a movie, Indigo Prophecy is a dramatic psychological thriller. But as a game, it's crap. From basic point of view, Indigo Prophecy is a movie script adapted to a choose-your-own-adventure video game. And just like those books, there are different premature endings and a few different final endings you can end up with. But the path is extremely linear as well, where your choices really don't have much impact on the overall flow of things unless you hit a premature ending.

What makes Indigo Prophecy a crappy game is the gameplay. Of which there isn't any. There are three action types: simon-says, button mashing or balancing L/R, and one time of target practice. Every single action sequence, such as dodging cars or fleeing a scene, involves simon-says. Whenever you're supposed to be exerting effort, you button mash L/R. Whenever you're supposed to be controlling effort, you balance L/R. The target practice is one time at a gun-range so it stands alone. But that's it for gameplay. Many times the button mashing L/R occurs for no apparent reason as well.

The regular action choices and conversation choices are selected by moving the right analog stick, rather than a menu. That's not innovation or even intelligence, especially since the displayed choices are so vague. A person's name might show up, and selecting that name might result in you asking about that person, or it might result in hearing that person's thoughts. The single verb stay might me one thing in one context, and a completely different one in another. So just as with the gameplay, the menu system is crap.

Lastly, moving around is crap as well. The camera moves too slowly for decent manual control, changes angles on you all the time so you're no longer pressing a direction on the analog control stick that makes sense, and it's too hard to get your character to actually walk in the right direction. So you're going to look like you're walking and running around drunk, slamming into walls and walking diagonally or in circles. Plus, you have to line up correctly with items to interact with them, but it's not easy to do that as turning isn't really possible as a separate behavior.

I'm just glad to get the game over with. Total playtime about 6 hours, not including the numerous premature endings that resulted in reloads. Which happens to be another stupid aspect of the game. Loading takes a long time, and it occurs often as scenes change. And if you hit a premature ending, you have two choices: load last save or stop. If you select load last save, the game completely reloads the state even though you were just in the same place. Everything should already be in memory.

Posted by josuah at July 9, 2006 12:22 AM UTC+00:00

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