the Long Tail

Adventures in the Low End of the Demand Curve

Monday, January 30, 2006

Indigo Prophecy

One of the missions of the Long Tail is to bring items to your attention that you might have otherwise missed or overlooked. Possibly one of the best video games of the past year certainly qualifies.

If you're looking for something that goes deeper than the latest Madden or Halo, tells a fantastic, deep, and engaging story, and tries hard to be something different, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

This is billed as an adventure game, and initially, I was put off by this billing. When someone says adventure game, I think of games such as King's Quest, Quest for Glory, Secret of Monkey Island, or any of the old Sierra or LucasArts games. These games certainly had their moments, but my strongest memories of these games is the unnaturally obscure things that you had to do in order to progress in the stories of these games. Maybe it was because I was between 12 and 15 at the time, but I couldn't come up with the strings of actions required to make the Rube Goldberg machines these games were start turning.

Indigo Prophecy is different. This is designed to be more of an interactive movie, and to the degree that that is a poisoned phrase as well, it succeeds as a first step to show what an interactive movie might look like. You're allowed to get into each characters head as the story progresses. These are not paper dolls either. Each character has a rich backstory which has an effect on the game's events.

I'll avoid plot spoilers for the time being. You start the game playing the part of Lucas Kane, who has just dropped the knife that he has used to murder a complete stranger in a restroom of a New York City diner. You will spend the game unravelling the conspiracy that led you to this point.

While the story does seem rushed at the end, this is a fantastic first effort from develop Quantic Dream, and I'm looking forward to their next effort.


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