- Original release year: 2005
- Consoles: PS2, XBox, Windows (later: iOS)
David Cage and his development team have spent over 10 years trying to push the boundaries of what people call video games, attempting to merge the interactivity of video games with the cinematic experiences of movies, all whilst pushing the level of storytelling to new heights. It’s been a bold move, with plenty of praise, as well as plenty of criticisms.
It all started with 2005’s Fahrenheit (known as Indigo Prophecy in North America) though, a paranormal thriller, with perhaps once of the most captivating introductions to any game I have ever played. Fahrenheit begins with you playing as the seemingly very normal Lucas Kane, who finds himself in the toilet at a small cafe, coming across as possessed, murdering another character in cold blood. Why? Neither you or the character knows why. The game then begins and it is over to the player to assume control. Do you hide the body? Do you clean up the blood? Do you hide the weapon? Or do you just scarper as quickly as possible? Do you exit the cafe through the front door? Do you pay your bill? Or do you sneak out the back door? It’s all up to you and your actions will all have consequences.
Throughout the game, you play as a number of characters, including the police officers who are trying to track down Lucas. The whole time, regardless of the character perspective you are playing from, you are trying to investigate and solve the mysteries behind all these murders that have been committed by seemingly random people, with absolutely no reason or motive. All are being possessed by a mysterious cult.
The story ends up being a bit goofy and all going south very rapidly as you delve deeper into it, but regardless, it’s still a captivating experience to play. In many ways, (particularly with Beyond: Two Souls) Fahrenheit is the perfect example of a cinematic, interactive video game, before David Cage seemed to be taking it a little too far. It has its flaws (and the stealth sections, during flashbacks as a kid, suck ass), but overall, the sound, story (before it goes a little south), and characters are all ridiculously strong and full of depth.