Thursday, December 29, 2005

Call Of Cthulhu

given my earlier reference to Call Of Cthulhu RPG, I thought I'd give a brief rundown of how THAT game works:
You receive a letter from a friend in south america.
You open the letter.
lose 5 sanity points.
The letter asks you to come down to see something.
You buy a plane ticket.
a moment of clarity comes over you.
lose 12 sanity points because you still get on the plane (somehow with a shotgun in your bag).
Getting off the plane, you are confronted by things man was not meant to know.
lose 15 sanity points.
You'd reach for your gun to shoot but you find yourself running away because you have gone insane (which, actually, is a surprisingly sane thing to do.)
Eventually you get your shit together enough to fire your weapon at the aforementioned 'things man was not meant to know'.
It does nothing.
Go insane.
Having escaped, you find a secret book to help you destroy the monsters.
Unfortunately, you just clawed your eyes out (having gone insane from just opening the book).
On the plus side, your friend didn't read the letter so he hasn't lost quite so many sanity points (whew...where the hell do those things come from anyhow?) so he can read the book and dispell the monsters.
Unfortunately, he then goes insane.
You recover eventually and visit your friend in the sanitarium.
He whispers something in your ear.
(you know what happens now).
3 years later, you are freed from the sanitarium with only a mild urge to fling your own poo.

You receive a letter from a friend in south america.
You burn the letter and scatter the ashes to the four winds.
You move and don't leave a forwarding address.
Fling some poo.

Indigo Prophecy

ok, so I just finished Indigo Prophecy for the PS2.
I loved it, especially the first half.
It feels very much like a story that was fitted into the frame of a videogame as opposed to things like KOTOR and Jade Empire which feel like ideas guided by the structure of a video game (i.e. miniquests, conversation trees, etc).
In Indigo, you play:
Lucas: a man who, while possessed, murdered a man
Two Cops: on the trail of Lucas
The story is compelling and the dialog and voice acting are excellant.
The controls are also interesting. You choose dialog themes using the right control stick. You are given options such as 'suspect' or 'killer' and your character will ask about that topic. However, you are also given a timelimit to make your choice AND there's no going back. It feels very natural.
1) some sequences require either a simple pattern game or rapidly hitting the trigger buttons. These range from fight sequences to keeping a 'vision' going clearly. I found that they added a level of tension without being so distracting that you missed out on anything (most of the time)
2) Maintaining sanity: anyone who has ever played the Call of Cthulhu RPG knows that maintaining sanity is a bitch. Its the same here. Once you get too low, your character quits in some manner. Here's a particularly annoying example: My sanity is kind of low. I break into my ex-girlfriend's apartment. I eat a sammich and some milk. My sanity goes up. I then listen to her answering machine and find out the cops are coming to ask her questions. My sanity goes down. ugh.

The 2nd half of the game feels rather rushed, which is unfortunate.
I've been told that the game can go a number of ways, but I believe it still to be pretty linear.
I played for about 15 hours or so and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I look forward to the next game by QuanticDream and for the refinements that will bring.