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August 23, 2005
Fahrenheit - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
23/9/2005AtariQuantic Dream1$79.95

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The game uses cutaway windows.
The name Fahrenheit may not be one familiar to gamers, but that's not surprising you see this game is known as Indigo Prophacy outside Europe. Apparently the name change was at the request of Atari who saw it as being too close to Michael Moore's controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 for American audiences. Whatever the name this game is certain to become a lot more well know around release if only for one very interesting gameplay twist; not only do you play the role of detectives investigating a murder, but also a murderer. This game is strange - almost Silent Hill in levels of strangeness - but also looks set to take the dramatic adventure genre to a whole new level.

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Whoops, busted.
For no apparent reason, ordinary people are randomly killing total strangers. Although there is no link between the murderers, they all seem to follow exactly the same ritual and pattern. Lucas Kane becomes one of these murderers when he kills a stranger in the men's room of a restaurant. Finding himself in control of Lucas, the player is haunted by strange visions and the desperate need to find out what is happening to him. At the same time he must keep one step ahead of the police, especially Inspector Carla Valenti and her teammate agent Tyler Miles.

At various points in the game the screen splits into smaller windows to show different events occurring at the same time - much like the TV show 24. At the beginning of the game the main character commits a murder. As he leaves the diner the screen cuts away to show a local cop entering the bathrooms where he discovers the murder. Before he does so you will have to escape the area (in this case a Taxi) will be great escape vehicle. The game really sets a high level of urgency and tension.

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Ohh nice...
What really impresses about this game is the level of options available to the player. You can complete tasks in numerous ways and the actions you take really do affect the storyline in a big way. One fascinating aspect of this game is your characters mental state. Depending on the actions he takes (such as communicating with ex-girlfriends or strangers) he may become happy, or depressed. If they become to depressed they may turn themselves into the police, or even commit suicide. Talk about adult themes in games!

As the PR for this game says "Fahrenheit blends the limits between cinema and interactivity in ways never seen before, all in real-time 3D." It's actually very hard to disagree with that. Rarely have games had a more cinematic look and feel to them with wonderful use of cutaways. Quanitic Dream has spent almost two years developing their ICE technology (Interactive Creative Environment) to push this game and it works extremely well indeed. The music is being composed by Angelo Badalamenti who worked on many David Lynch movies such as Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks and Lost Highway.

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Carla's damn fine.
Fahrenheit, or Indigo Prophacy depending where you live, looks like one of the most cerebral games in development for the Playstation 2. One interesting thing to note is that while the US version will be censored due to sex scenes the European version will not - exactly what will happen in Australia given the OFLC's "It's ok to kill people, but not make love" should be interesting. Great graphics, wonderful storyline and multiple paths to complete sections of the game combine perfectly to make this an extremely interesting title to keep an eye on. Expect a September release around the globe.