When it initially launched in 2005, Indigo Prophecy (or Fahrenheit if you aren’t from the United States) helped launch David Cage, one of the first so-called “video game auteurs”, into the public spotlight. A game that concentrated almost exclusively on quick-time events and moral choices, Indigo Prophecy attempted to be more of a movie rather than being a video game. In 2005, there was almost nothing else like it. As such, many were able to forgive its shortcomings, like gaping plot holes and a third act that was almost completely disconnected from rest of the game. Now, almost a decade later, Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered has been released on the PC. But is this game still worth playing, especially when so many other games that have actually felt like cinematic experiences have been released?
Fahrenheit has you playing as Lucas Kane, primarily, though the game does intersperse itself with the ability to play as other characters. The game opens with Kane being possessed by a supernatural force and killing a patron in a diner. From here, Kane must try to cover his tracks from the police while investigating how and why he was possessed. The final answer is ultimately crazy, silly and disappointing yet the journey to get to that point is still fairly unique.
Especially interesting are the segments where you play as one of the two detectives who are investigating the murder. As Kane, you can cover up clues and as the officers you can try to find them. It ends up making for an interesting puzzle mechanic.
However, as the game was, in no small way, intended to bring more story elements into video games, it is important to talk about the plot. The game starts as a unique, dark noire style supernatural murder mystery. Those segments where Lucas attempts to hunt down clues are really the highlight of the game. However, they also serve to show how ridiculous the later portions become. What starts as a noire game become a campy sci-fi melodrama.
Players of Indigo Prophecy may wonder exactly what the difference is between Fahrenheit Remastered and the original. Maybe there are more puzzles or some streamlined segments, such as the especially terrible stealth gameplay sections. Sadly,nothing like that is present. Instead, what we get are some major crashing issues and some of the most awkward sex scenes ever in a video game.
For players of Indigo Prophecy, the American release of Fahrenheit, these sex scenes were cut from the game due to the ESRB. However, they’re available to all players now and they’re so much worse than what you could possibly imagine. The characters are lifelessly humping each other, having joyless and nearly motionless sex, grinding against one another in the least stimulating way possible, while attempting to appear like these moments are emotional. In that regard, these scenes perfectly predicted the career of David Cage, creating joyless stimulation while pretending that, in some way, it is creating an emotional connection.
This release, while technically, “Remastered”, offers little in the way of anything really amazing. If you were hoping for new effects, reworked voice acting or really anything aside from the original game, but with up-resed textures, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Even the re-worked textures don’t look great. The game looks less blurry but the voice work somehow sounds worse. The game is amazingly unstable, as well. You can easily have three crashes within an hour of playing. Sometimes, these crashes will be so bad that you’ll need to do a reset of your computer. Sure, the game runs but it’s poorly optimized leading to immense frustration.
That said, this game undoubtedly helped propel David Cage into the spotlight. It could be argued that, based almost solely on this game, Sony gave Quantic Dream and David Cage funding for two games, one that featured Ellen Page and one of the greatest actors or our generation, Willem Dafoe. This game has a level of importance, just because of how different it was at the time.
Yes, the game ends on a goofy note but in a weird way, it elevates the game from one that takes itself too seriously to one that doesn’t care how it’s perceived. In a sense, it goes from being a David Cage game to being the opposite of a David Cage game. In an odd way, that fact makes it the best David Cage game; it doesn’t feel as pretentious and self absorbed as other games by Cage, specifically the follow up to this game, Heavy Rain.
Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered is still as silly and weird as it was nearly 10 years ago. This re-release, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s broken in many ways, with bad sound work and nothing added to make it any different than the game we played years ago. Despite all of this, it’s still a game that people should play. It’s still unique all these years later, even if the sex scenes are just the worst.
SCORE: 7.0 out of 10
A code for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered was provided to Pixel Related for review.