#643 Fahrenheit

Posted: 4th February 2021 by Jeroen in Games
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928th played so far

Genre: Adventure
Platform: Xbox/PC/Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2005
Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: Atari Inc

Fahrenheit or Indigo Prophecy is another game in video game auteur David Cage’s list of works, which would be followed by Heavy Rain and a bunch of non-list games that are similarly acclaimed.

Now, with the events of the past few years, I feel I can’t just start that without mentioning the issues surrounding the studio, with a sexist and racist culture at its core. These are somewhat alleged, but there are certainly issues here, including some content that slipped through the net in some games – some may know what happened in Beyond: Two Souls. Now, there is a matter, sometimes, of separating the art from the artist, but as we’ve seen with the Tom Clancy games, it can often feel like their views slip through regardless.

Our Thoughts

The tutorial of this game feels like it’s almost unnecessarily trying to push that edginess in the way it sets itself up, down to explaining how it has a mood meter and if you get too sad, you’ll apparently commit suicide. I mean, that might make some thematic sense for some characters and scenes, but it’s clear they’re just trying to set a tone that feels unnecessary.

The mood system itself is interesting, as it’s a bar that carries through scenes that you need to manage. It’s usually plot events that make it worse that you need to handle, while exploring and doing other things help make up for those losses a lot of the time – even just something like drinking some water. It’s a good way to reward exploration and experimentation. So far it didn’t seem that difficult to maintain it either.

After that, Fahrenheit‘s structure isn’t too dissimilar from Heavy Rain, in that you control different characters as you move through the plot, the different viewpoints of the characters combining to tell a single story. In this case, it’s the story of two police officers and the murderer they are chasing, which works well as the core whodunnit mystery isn’t there, but it’s more about how they deal with their actions and how it comes across to the officer. There are of course more complex forces at work, but it is an interesting tale.

Sadly, the control don’t help as much. By 2005, we knew that tank controls aren’t great and they really get in your way here – as even Resident Evil 4 had started to figure out by this point. The fact that it’s still here is one of those annoyances that detract from the game. Similarly, there are plenty of ‘mini games’ to go through and while I guess it added a bit of variety, I wish the game had the confidence to trust its story. I was happy enough to play through the adventure without having those elements in to keep my attention.

Final Thoughts

As you’d expect, Fahrenheit creates a compelling story with plenty of mysteries to go through while creating interesting characters. I wish it didn’t have the mini games or attempts to be edgy, as it feels like the game don’t need them, and the controls still feel off, but the core of the game here is good.