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Reviews Comments: An oddball start to the trends of modern Adventure Games Fahrenheit game review by Baron Von Fistcrunch

The Silence of the Lambs is a genre-defining Serial Killer thriller. The Matrix is an equally defining action film. Fahrenheit is the proof that these great tastes do not taste great together.

Despite starting with an all-time great introduction that has you juggling between a killer trying to cover his tracks and the police detectives investigating the scene, the game throws this energy away by spending much of its time on the character\'s personal and professional lives, before becoming an all-out save the world plot. While many cite the game\'s infamous third act as the point where the game flies off the rails, it actually hits at the half-way point where Lucas turns into a bullet-dodging Neo Expy and goes further off-rails from there, and I\'m not convinced that the alleged content cuts would have made this any better.

Despite all that, Fahrenheit is a weirdly important game for this genre. Virtually all the trends of modern adventure games - the QTE fight scenes, the cinematic influences, the dialogue branches, it all can be traced to here, albeit in primitive forms. The \"Simon Says\" input method of QTE\'s has aged about as well as the terrible mandatory stealth levels that games of the Turn of the Millennium loved so much.

The gonzo plot twists, at times cringe-worthy writing, and somewhat dated graphics also give the game a serious Narm value that Quantic Dream\'s later games lack. It also has an awesome soundtrack done by David Lynch posse member Angelo Badalamenti. If that all sounds like your thing and you\'re willing to slog through the game\'s lowlights, the game\'s Updated Re-release can be found for a fairly low price on Steam.

Comments

  • Robotnik
  • 6th May 17

  • Robotnik
  • 6th May 17
As someone who considers Indigo Prophecy and David Cage in general underrated (or at least, overhated), I think the problem I have with the \"off-the-rails\" criticism is that the game was never on the rails in terms of supernatural elements; the very first scene is of some hooded figure manipulating Lucas into carving runes into his arms and doing the hyno-shuffle over to some guy so he can sever all his coronary arteries. Even the sci-fi elements didn\'t come completely out of left field (I rarely hear people complain about Norman\'s ridiculously high-tech ARI in Heavy Rain, even though that game\'s overall setting does much less to justify it).

The game\'s biggest problem, as I see it, is a simple lack of exposition to try and smooth things over. Almost everything else is pretty standard for Quantic Dream; I have a hard time seeing why it\'s seen in such lower regard than everything else they\'ve done.
  • BaronVonFistcrunch
  • 13th May 17
I agree that the game was building up to something vaguely supernatural from the start, but I don\'t think it is wrong that most expected something more subdued than what we got. Even with additional exposition, the contrast between the fairly grounded opening segments and the Matrix-style kung-fu fights later in the game still would have been jarring.

I\'ll also give you that Heavy Rain\'s ARI glasses are completely at odds with its setting, but I think people are willing to give it a pass because sci-fi elements in an otherwise realistic setting is easier to accept at face value than fantastical/supernatural elements. That, and Heavy Rain\'s other writing problems stick out more to critical eyes.

As for why this gets held in such low regard: I think that it simply stems from aging worse than Quantic Dream\'s other games, both graphically and gameplay wise. And of course, the slagging given by the Two Best Friends Play group did it no favors.
  • Robotnik
  • 16th May 17
I just don\'t see how it\'s possible to be subdued once you\'ve introduced mind control and ritual sacrifice into the mix. The overt supernatural elements are too integral to even the well-received first third of the game for you to take them out and have anything resembling the same story. It\'s interesting that you would say sci-fi elements are easier to swallow, because to me those are where the game seriously loses its footing. Nothing the Oracle does can compare to the sheer jaw-dropping what-the-fuckery of seeing an old woman in a wheelchair turn into a giant yellow polygon man.

Aside from the plot (which I still don\'t think is incomprehensible so much as really lacking in detail), I think the characters don\'t get as much recognition as they should. Yes, Carla\'s relationship with Lucas is rushed (especially compared to his romance with Tiffany, who really should have been his love interest for the whole thing), and she doesn\'t get many action sequences, but she\'s still a competent professional who takes her job very seriously and clearly plays the more dominant role in her partnership with Tyler. Compared to Madison from Heavy Rain, who\'s all action with not much substance, there\'s no contest.

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