It’s not often I review a PS2 game these days but had heard amazing things about Fahrenheit from a while back and then two of my friends recommended it (cheers Oggy and Hollow Snake) (note that link contains very adult and colourful language) .
Fahrenheit tells the story of Lucas Kane as he comes to in a diner restroom having just murdered someone.
The real genius of this game is that it’s almost like an interactive film – except your actions have a consequence and while there is an arching storyline there are several endings and different ways things can play out.
It almost reminded me of a game version of the old Fighting Fantasy books I read as a kid (without the Orcs and Dwarves though )
The refreshing thing about Fahrenheit is that you play as a few of the characters, not just Lucas.
So once you’ve got Lucas out of the diner and someone discovers the victim, you control the police officers (Carla and Tyler) conducting the investigation.
You’re investigating a murder you just committed!
Obviously with Lucas having no recollection of his actions until after the murder you use the police officers, as well as Lucas himself, to try and help solve the overall mystery.
Using the left stick to move around, the right stick is reserved for interaction. So if you approach a table for instance you might get two icons with a direction each. Say left for coffee cup and right for plate. You then press on the right stick what option you want to take.
The same goes for conversations, often with four options to steer the interaction in the direction you want. Also this isn’t something where you can just go through and choose all the options one after the other. You might get to ask two things then the conversation ends.
Likewise in stressful situations you’ll only have a few seconds to decide how you answer, which is really cool.
You’ll also get quick time events where you’ll have to copy pressing the sticks in whatever directions flash up on the screen. This is usually reserved for bursts of action and make for some frantic manoeuvering of the sticks!
It doesn’t mean game over if you ask the wrong questions (at least not everytime!) or if you mess up a quick time event during a conversational cut scene. All that happens is that you don’t get all of the information you would’ve done.
It’s a great system that often leaves you wondering if you should’ve asked this or done that etc.
My only complaint with the game was a couple of tedious flashback sequences of Lucas as a boy that were essentially badly done stealth sections but really they form such a small part of the game it seems unfair to judge them too harshly.
Fahrenheit is a very innovative game, which is really saying something as it is is almost 4 years old. The whole game feels brand new – obviously excluding the graphics. While they are more than respectable for the PS2 they pale in comparison to even average looking PS3 games.
Something else I loved was the way the game would wrap up with a voiceover at the game over screen if you ‘failed’ – technically you could stop playing there and you’d have a finished story (with a lot of questions unanswered but still…).
The storyline is excellent, although fairly far fetched so if you’re looking for gritty realism this won’t be for you.
Fahrenheit is an adult game. There is sex, violence and a complex storyline here, which to be honest younger gamers may not really understand. Not to sound patronising, there are some that would get it – just seems like this could be a little deep for some younger gamers (it’s a 15 rated game).
If you are looking for something completely different but refreshing and enjoy watching films then I’d recommend Fahrenheit – right from the off the tone is set and this is one of the best made games I’ve played for a long time.
The guys who made this are currently working on Heavy Rain (see trailer below) so I’m now even MORE excited about that game.