The alsoran is currently playing through the XBOX/PS2/PC interactive movie Fahrenheit, (curiously renamed Indigo Prophecy for the non-imperial US), and feels moved to point out this game as notable not for its content, but what it means for the videogame as a medium for storytelling.
Visually, this is a contradictory mixed bag. The game features forward-thinking character animation, including walk start/stop actions as well as 180 turns, though unforgiveably requires cycles to finish before triggering and therefore creates awkward and unresponsive controls.
Similarly, there are many moments of greatness in motion-capture use, for example a lengthy loop of children playing in the park, or the multi-character interactions in the various interactive cutscenes, while the facial animation system, a cornerstone of a game of this type, is incredibly outdated – often jarring the player out of the more emotive dialogue sequences.
What concerns the alsoran most of all, and therefore is the purpose of this update, is the reaction from the associated press regarding the supposedly “progressive” nature of this self-proclaimed Interactive Cinema as a positive move towards the already-established medium of film, while in fact what we have here is essentially Dragon’s Lair all over again.
Videogames should be striving towards carving out their own rules, rather than pandering to the confines and limitations of celluloid. Developer Quantic Dream should be commended for attempting a less linear method of storytelling, though the alsoran suggests that this game could be better executed as a scene-jumping DVD movie.