Game review - Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 March, 2015, 7:28am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 April, 2015, 12:10pm

Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

Gamers may still be frustrated by the lack of decent, medium-expanding releases for the latest generation of consoles, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. Amid the flood of remakes coming out, sometimes you'll discover a surprisingly effective game that you missed the first time round.

Fahrenheit (known as Indigo Prophecy in the US), was originally released on the PS2 and Xbox in 2005. It was an early "gaming auteur" release, coming to us from writer-director David Cage. Though not as successful sales-wise as his later masterpiece Heavy Rain, critics considered it equally as good in terms of action-adventure games.

A decade later, fans of the popular genre have been given this Remastered edition. The graphics have been beefed up and the controls refined. While it's only available on computer devices this time round (Windows, OS X, iOS and Linux), it always felt more like a PC adventure anyway.

That's because Fahrenheit's greatest strength is its story, the kind of nostalgic, twist-filled detective movie tale that was so popular late last century: Angel Heart, Se7en, the underappreciated Snake Eyes. The game even utilises filmmaker David Lynch composer Angelo Badalamenti on the soundtrack.

Things might take a turn for the too weird as the story nears the climax, but this isn't exactly big-budget screenwriting we're talking about, and Cage's ambition was focused more on the gameplay than keeping players guessing. Because long before major hits such as Mass Effect made split-second choices an integral part of their story, Fahrenheit was revolutionising its RPG-like genre through a unique dialogue-based system.

Alongside the innovation, interactions are substantial noughties gaming clichés, mostly frustrating quick-time events and crappy stealth sections; they don't detract too much from the main mechanics. Ironically, the biggest drawback to this Remastered release is, in fact, the remastering itself.

Developer Atari has rushed things and that's most obvious in its supposedly high-definition graphics. Lead characters look updated, but the background figures were mostly ignored.

Fahrenheit still holds up surprisingly well, with a solid story backed by still-somewhat impressive mechanics.