Indigo Prophecy fulfilled

Atari's innovative adventure game ships for the PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2.

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While speaking at the 2004 Game Developers Conference Europe in London, David Cage, cofounder of French developer Quantic Dream, gave a lengthy lecture discussing whether games were "the film of the 21st century." Using a convoluted method of reasoning, he came to the conclusion that so far most games don't have an emotional resonance on par with films and are therefore more easily dismissed by the public at large.

Cage said his company was trying to reverse this trend by creating something called "interactive cinema," which would have the same emotional wallop as a movie but with the interactivity of a game. He cited his studio's current project, a then largely unknown game called Fahrenheit, as an example of the new interactive cinema he sought to create. Or, at least, it would be when it was finished and Quantic Dream found a publisher.

Almost exactly one year later, gamers can now sample Cage's interactive cinema for themselves. Renamed Indigo Prophecy for the North American market, Quantic Dream today shipped the game for the PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2. Published by Atari, also based in France, it is rated M for Mature and will retail for $39.99.

Billed as "an immersive adventure on par with a Hollywood thriller," Indigo Prophecy puts players in the shoes of Lucas Kane, a seemingly normal New Yorker who begins the game by committing a brutal murder--without having the foggiest idea why. Players then assume control of Lucas as he starts on a quest to solve the mystery behind the murder, eventually uncovering a conspiracy festering beneath the skin of the Big Apple. Eventually, players will take control of several characters, including Marcus, Lucas' religious brother, and svelte NYPD Detective Carla Valenti, who will appear in the forthcoming "Video Game Vixen" edition of Playboy.

Normally, gameplay in Indigo Prophecy is typical of an adventure game, consisting of exploring environments and interacting with non-player characters to uncover clues. However, when confronted with a crisis situation or other challenges, the game shifts into the Physical Action Reaction (PAR) system. Like Shenmue's quick-time events, PAR has players press directions on the left and right analog sticks at the appropriate times to successfully progress to the next stage of the game.

GameSpot's full review of Indigo Prophecy will be up later in the week. In the meantime, check out our previous coverage.

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