There will be spoilers ahead, so like, stop reading if you’ve never played the game and don’t want anything spoiled for you.
While one of the most cinematic games of recent times that most will instantly refer you to is either this year’s L.A. Noire by Team Bondi or Heavy Rain by Quantic Dream, I will probably point you in the direction of Quantic Dream’s far less recent Fahrenheit (also called Indigo Prophecy in the US). If it’s not reminding me of Christmas, I like to think of it as being one of the great examples of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” in terms of what happens over the course of the game’s story.
After all, waking up in the toilets of a diner, having brutally murdered one of your fellow patrons is perhaps one of the most delectable cases of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time”. I just love how David Cage runs with this concept, because even though the game’s main protagonist (Lucas) has got some pretty unique abilities laying dormant, it is pure chance that he ends up murdering another man.
Of course, as the player, you’re wondering how the hell Lucas can think he didn’t kill this man, but as you progress through the story, the game does a great job of working in the supernatural elements that underpin everything. The hunt for the Indigo Child, the prophecy, the weird ancient secret societies, ritualistic murders – you’re never handed out the information behind these on a plate – the exposition behind these works, because the info is spread out.
The game’s intense “quick time” events make pressing two buttons to make a character dodge (a feature of some many games that are newer than Fahrenheit) seem like a joke. From making Lucas seemingly fly through the streets of New York City, to basement sparring matches between two cops, I loves the game’s bizarre controls. Well, I like the controls for the more cinematic moments, it’s a pain in the ass trying to get people to walk in the right direction.
Rather than getting too caught up in the mechanics behind why Lucas can do what he does, the game just let’s you get on with it. The supernatural cornerstone of the game, to me, by not being explained in-depth allows it to retain a level of awe and wonderment that would disappear if the fantastical were laid bare. And the funny thing about Lucas’s abilities is that if he had not been in that diner in the beginning of the game – he wouldn’t have done anything and the world would have been swallowed up by snow or just the same as ever.
Despite all that Lucas and the supporting characters are put through, it really turns out that Lucas was in the right place at the right time, well, so long as you don’t mess up or else you’ll have to deal with one of the more negative endings. In some ways, I’d like Quantic Dream to make a sequel, but they probably won’t, that’s not their style.