Indigo Prophecy is a game for people who value story above all else. It is essentially like playing through a movie. You control the three main characters, deciding what to look at, what to say, and how to act in different situations. Lucas Kane is the main character. He kills a stranger while in a sort of trance and spends the rest of the game avoiding the law and trying to figure out what happened to him. Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles are detectives trying to catch the murderer.
The gameplay is very simple. You spend a lot of time walking around, exploring and seeing what you can do with different objects in the world. For example, in the beginning when Carla and Tyler are called to the scene of the crime, you can guide them around to look for evidence. In many cases, you are presented with a lot of possibilities, and what you do can have consequences on later events. This is also the case with the dialogue. There are a lot of options in most situations, and you select the one you want using the analog stick (the same control is used for interacting with objects most of the time). Sometimes you are not able to say all of your questions available to you, which adds to the interactive feel of the game.
Occasionally you enter into action sequences. The controls for these are also very simple. Generally they consist of either pressing the L1 and R1 buttons quickly or a sort of Simon Says minigame with the analog sticks. Some of the longer sequences get a little tedious, but it does definitely engage you, especially when the patterns get more difficult. My only real complaint was that I was so busy watching for the prompts that I couldn’t really watch all of the action onscreen.
Graphically, the game is not as strong as some other offerings on the PS2. The characters are very well done, although some of the lip-syncing and facial expressions are a little off. Occasionally, the animations are rough and jerky. You can ignore these failings, but some of the animations definitely could have been done better. The environments are a mixed bag. The snowy outdoors are for the most part pretty, but some of the textures are a little bland. The game is appropriately moody at times, and the use of light and shadow is quite good. The soundtrack is excellent. The music fits well with the action, and the voice acting really is top-notch. It all comes together to make Indigo Prophecy a somewhat surreal, dream-like experience.
The storyline is the best reason to play this game. From the start you are pulled into the game, wanting to understand what happened. The story is complex and well paced, and not very cheesy at all. There are a few points near the end where I feel like it jumps ahead without adequate explanation, but other than that it flows very nicely. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and got very attached to the characters. Sometimes I had trouble choosing commands that I knew might get another character in trouble. There are also multiple possible endings, depending on things that happen over the course of the game.
This is definitely not a game for everyone. Many people will find it distinctly lacking in action and will want more complex gameplay. Still, if you are a person who occasionally just wants to play a game for the plot, then this is a great choice. It’s a solid title, and with many different endings and conversation paths it might even be worth playing through a few times.