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Author Topic: [Indigo Prophecy] I'm not sure what I just "played" was a "game"  (Read 999 times)
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Teggy
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« on: July 02, 2007, 03:22:17 AM »

I have been looking around for Indigo Prophecy for a while and I stumbled upon it for $10 at the recent Gamestop sale.  I fired it up this weekend, I'm enjoying the beginning and the story, and then after a couple of hours, I really feel like I'm not actually playing a game.  I don't mean I am so absorbed by the thing that I'm living it, I mean, there's no game in there!

I did enjoy the story (until that last 3rd, much like a lot of the reviews I have read after the fact), but I really couldn't consider it an adventure game, because there weren't really any puzzles to solve, no inventory, and little challenge.  There were the "Simon" and button mashing parts, but they were mostly tedious.  The story was interesting enough for me to keep playing, and the game was short, so I didn't feel like putting it down at any point, but I really felt like I was dealing with a choose-your-own-adventure book (with very few branches, it turns out) than a game.

I was disappointed, because there were some cool visuals and the story had some strong points (and quite a few weak points, but those would be spoilers). So, it was mostly like watching a movie, and for $10 I guess I am ok with that.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2007, 03:51:17 AM »

I think Indigo Prophecy is the realization of the "interactive movie" buzzword that everybody was so hyped up about in the early 90's.  It's designed from scratch with a unique purpose in mind and I think it does a good job at achieving its goals, but I agree that it doesn't qualify as a game in any traditional sense.

Oh, and the story really does come completely off the rails in the final act.  I remember physically cringing at the part where

Spoiler for Hiden:
Carla has sex with Lucas, despite the fact that it's well established by that point that he's literally a walking corpse who's ice-cold to the touch.

eek

I liked Indigo Prophecy quite a bit despite its faults, but it's got nothing on Dreamfall.  Unless you just outright hate the idea of a semi-interactive story, you should try that one out sometime!  icon_cool

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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2007, 07:09:33 AM »

Adventure games like that have been folded into other games

Until they find a system in games for modeling convincing human interactions dynamically (as in, with just basic setup scripting), then adventure games will continue to be basically point and click, or something similar that isn't too much gameplay.  Or they'll rely on weird puzzles.

I like the idea of the adventure game, which is cinematic human interactions and very good story, but the gameplay they should be based around is very complex and it's likely we'll have to develop sentient, or near sentient AI before we get NPC AI to a level that simply talking with them in dynamic conversations, trying to persuade, bluff, or intimidate them into doing what you want is the gameplay.

I think the closest we'll get for a while is something like Mass Effect's system where instead of a list of scripted responses, you still have the scripting but it's dynamically timed where you interrupt, or jump into conversations and the conversation doesn't stop to present a list of responses.

I think that Restaurant game/experiment was something along those lines.  I wonder what'll become of the research from it?

Thankfully, Indigo Prophecy was a success, though I'm not sure by how much.  The devs acknowledged the game's downfall in the weird plot at the end (the confirm they just ran out of time and threw in too many villains), and the decidedly non interactive control scheme.

They're working on a new game right now called Hard Rain and it looks like they've really got the whole digital actor thing down.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 07:11:18 AM by Turtle » Logged
EddieA
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2007, 10:06:05 AM »

Whatever it was, it was a great experience.  The believable, dynamic characters, and emphasis on story are rarely seen in PC games, and I'm very glad I played it.  I've always felt adventure games just used puzzles to give the player something to do and interact with while telling the story, so I saw this as adventure game where they replaced the puzzles with minigames.  Some were more successful than others, but in some sequences, like the chases involving the button presses and the sections where Carla is investing the records and the asylum, I thought the gameplay meshed very well with the story.
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2007, 01:24:49 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on July 02, 2007, 03:51:17 AM

I liked Indigo Prophecy quite a bit despite its faults, but it's got nothing on Dreamfall.  Unless you just outright hate the idea of a semi-interactive story, you should try that one out sometime!  icon_cool

+1.  Dreamfall had some weak points in it's gameplay (combat system, ugh), but it's story and characters will blow you away.
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2007, 02:25:28 PM »

I never got around to playing it, but I believe it's on the 360 BC list now so I may pick it up.  Of course it seems to be one of those games that may show up on Gametap, so I have to debate which version would be better.
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2007, 02:56:38 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on July 02, 2007, 03:51:17 AM

I think Indigo Prophecy is the realization of the "interactive movie" buzzword that everybody was so hyped up about in the early 90's.

You mean like the "Metal Gear Solid" games? slywink
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2007, 03:30:00 PM »

I really like the idea of this game, and I want to finish it, but every time I think of getting back to it, I think of something else I'd rather play more.

On the flip side, I'm playing adventure games almost exclusively on my laptop now.  It is a genre I really love, but I'm not sure these games work on a console.
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2007, 03:49:07 PM »

Quote from: whiteboyskim on July 02, 2007, 02:56:38 PM

You mean like the "Metal Gear Solid" games? slywink

Except I think the demo had more gameplay than MGS  Tongue
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Teggy
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2007, 06:53:33 PM »

Found this recap of the story coming off the rails on GAF - it's juvenile, but still very funny if you've played the game.

Spoiler for Hiden:
*earlier, Carla and her partner Tyler*
Carla: "This case is strange."
Tyler: "This case is ****ed up"
*Enter Tyler's wife, Sam*
Tyler: "Hey sam, what's happening?"
Sam: "**** your ****ing job. I have a ticket to Buffalo or some ****ing place like that, and the train leaves in an hour. if you dont come with me you dont love me."
Tyler: "Ok. Lets go. Hey Carla?"
Carla: "Yeah?"
Tyler: "I'm pretty *bleep*ed so i'm just going to cave into my girls ultimatum and quit my job and sell flowers in ****ing Buffallo. All in the period of 2 minutes i decided this"
Carla: "...ok"
*later on*
Helpful Psychic: "Good job Lucas. You've saved the Jade Child. Now hand her over to me so i can protect her."
[you get a choice to say yes or no] either way:
HP: "Hahahaha i'm not really this psychic that's been helping you through two thirds of the game. IM FROM THE INTERNET!!! IM REALLY A HUMAN SHAPED TRANSLUCENT YELLOW THING THAT WAS BORN IN THE 80's WHEN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WAS UNKNOWNINGLY CREATED!! NOW HAND OVER THE CHILD"
Lucas: "...what the ****?"
Carla: "LUCAS!! OVER HERE!!"
*escapes from AI and runs to Carla*
Carla: "QUICK LUCAS! DONT ASK QUESTIONS! JUST FOLLOW THAT HOMELESS MAN INTO THE SEWER"
*they do so*
Homeless man: "Good we're safe. Hello Lucas, i am a homeless person. Me and other homeless people you see on the street aren't really impovershed people who can't get a job at all! We're called....THE INVISIBLES!! Yes lucas, you guessed correctly. Homeless people have been secretly living underground in the sewers waiting for prophecies!"
Lucas: ".......This is a ****ing joke right? ........Listen, I'm going to go back there and get some sleep. And when i wake up you guys better have sobred up!"
Carla: "I'll come with you. Even though i was a cop trying to convict you for murder during the first 2/3rds of the game, currently suspect that you are a member of the walking dead, and i've really only known you on a personal basis for a few hours: i think it would totally be beneficial if we ****ed right now."
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EddieA
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2007, 01:59:00 AM »

Whoever wrote that was either not paying much attention, or there were story paths where things weren't explained as well as they were in other paths.
Spoiler for Hiden:
Tyler and Sam didn't decide to move; they were fleeing to an area closer to the equator (along with most of the world's population) because most of the earth was becoming uninhabitably cold.  He didn't leave to "sell flowers"; he left because he would have died if he had stayed.  Also, the world was about to end when Carla and Lucas slept together, so I don't think their actions were unreasonable.  It's been awhile, but I think they explained the Lucas was being revived as he got closer to the chroma, so he was probably no longer a zombie by then either.

The ending was obviously rushed, and the part about the Internet made little sense, but I don't think it was nearly as bad as most people seem to think.  Most of the ending made sense, and it did a good job of building to a dramatic conclusion.
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2007, 01:46:52 PM »

Well, I'd say he was exaggerating for comedic effect.  I just finished the game so I do know that

Spoiler for Hiden:
Tyler was going to Florida to sell shoes. Based on my choices in the game he was extremely committed to his job, so the fact that I had the choice available for him to just decide to leave provided for a somewhat awkward end to his story.  Apparently I could have had him stay, but then he disappears for the rest of the story anyway.

also

Spoiler for Hiden:
I don't recall anything about Lucas being revived.  I think once he is dead, he is dead.  He still looks very much dead even in the "good" ending. One thing I just read is that there is a 3 week or so period that passes from the time that Lucas meets the cop for this first time until they rescue Jade.  You can gather this from the chapter menu, but not from anything else.  So there is a big hole there where you just have to assume things have happened.

This is unfortunately yet another game hurt by a rushed production schedule.  It was originally supposed to be episodic, but when it was decided that it would be released as a single game they had to cobble it together.
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2007, 05:04:27 PM »

Yeah, it's been a while since I achieved the "perfect ending" in Indigo Prophecy, but from what I remember....

Spoiler for Hiden:
...it's established that Lucas' pale, withering body is ice-cold to the touch during the same scene wher he and Carla decide to have sex.  I can empathize with the urge for comfort sex, what with it being the end of the world and all, but the idea of doing it with a stone cold corpse just doesn't sit right. banned

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