Fahrenheit - game review
New York. Winter. The city is paralyzed by successive waves of snowstorms and another frosty day is drawing to a close. In the sub-toilet of the eatery, an ordinary, average person suddenly kills a complete stranger. Before this murder, he carries out mysterious symbols on his forearms, representing a snake with two heads. This man is Lucas Kane, the main character of the game. This is how Fahrenheit begins, and Lucas is not the only character we'll be controlling. In addition to him, we play the role of a pair of detectives - the charming Carla Valenti and her partner Tyler Miles, and at times we will also be in charge of Father Markus Kane, the brother of Lucas. And here it must be admitted that the authors of the game managed to achieve a very interesting effect. Lucas is a murderer who escapes from the police and tries to find out who or what caused the slaughter of an innocent person, and Carla and Tyler are investigating this strange, ritual murder - so we play the role of people who are standing on two different sides of the barricade and we do not get schizophrenia. :-) Helping Lucas to get away from the police and managing the investigation as well as possible does not create a gap. The game is constructed in such a way that it allows us to identify and sympathize with all characters.
The undeniable advantage of this production is the amazing, unique atmosphere. The plot is intriguing and well structured. Although the closer to the end, the more I got the impression that the creators were running out of the initial wind in the wings and ideas. I am thinking mainly about the fact that Fahrenheit turns out to be one of those productions in which we have to save the world from destruction again. I admit that from this title I would expect a more sophisticated final. Save humanity? Well, it's hard, if there is such a need ... :-)
Fahrenheit introduces many innovative solutions to the gameplay itself. Therefore, I advise all those who sit down to this title to read the tutorial, which will be guided by the writer and director of this production himself - David Cage. The innovations concern, among other things, the control system with which this game was equipped. Here it is not enough to just left-click and wait for the hero to perform the desired action. In this game, you have to make moves appropriate to the activity and perform them as long as the activity is to last. It is not too difficult, a moment of rehearsal is enough to get to know this control system thoroughly, and it must be admitted that it introduces a certain dose of realism into the game.
The way of conducting conversations also differs from what we are used to. We always have the choice of what question we ask or what answer we give. After selecting a topic, others become unavailable, which means that in Fahrenheit we can conduct conversations in many ways, and each of them can lead to different consequences. In addition, we have a certain time to make a decision, when we do not fit in it, the choice will be made automatically and it will not necessarily meet our expectations.
The further actions of our heroes often depend on the questions asked or the answers given, because the choice between, for example, answers "yes" or "no" or "truth" or "lie" makes a significant difference in this production.
And here we came to one of the most important advantages of this title. Fahrenheit is a game in which we often have a significant influence on the course of the aforementioned dialogues, the fate of the heroes and the further gameplay. At this point, some people may be outraged and say that the plot is largely linear, and therefore the choices are apparent. Of course, this is true in a way, after all, the whole gameplay must be linear in some sense, but the number of moments in which decisions are left to us - the players, is impressive. Evidence? Already in the first chapter, which many people probably know from the demo, we have a perfect example. After the murder of an innocent man, Lucas has to flee - you know. But how it does it is up to us. So we can cover up the traces of a crime, hide the body, hide the murder weapon, wash the blood stains off ourselves and the floor. We can also fall out of the toilet crazy and run away. We can also pretend that nothing happened, go back to our table, finish the meal, pay the bill, and then calmly go to the nearby metro or taxi. It is up to us to choose which or which of the above actions to take, and we will see its consequences in the second chapter. I will add that this type of situation will happen to us many times during the game. The authors have prepared several endings, and there are three times as many roads leading to them.
I have to admit that fans of classic adventure games may feel a bit disappointed, because the title in question does not feature typical, complicated puzzles or logical puzzles. Fahrenheit is a kind of self-play in which, instead of focusing on solving the next puzzle, we focus on making decisions, following the story, thus, as if unnoticed, we push the game forward and shape it in the chosen direction.
The production in question is also devoid of inventory. Therefore, there is no question of packing our pockets with all the things that we manage to notice, and then trying to use them. Instead, an icon appears at appropriate times to suggest that the item can be used. Such a solution is of course not a disadvantage of this production, simply Fahrenheit is not a classic adventure game in which hiding a ladder or a live animal in your pocket is the norm. ;-)
Another thing that may not appeal to fans of classic adventure games is the large dose of dexterity elements that appear during the game. I admit that these moments are often not easy, you need to show good reflexes and, above all, coordination of movements. Basically, it all comes down to clicking on the key combinations that we see on the screen at a given moment (the Shenmue console pattern) or alternating, quickly hitting the left-right keys. Sometimes it can help to lower the difficulty level in the game options or redefine the keys, sometimes additional lives will help us. However, in many scenes you have to become a true keyboard virtuoso, and in addition, the game cannot be saved at any time, which does not make things easier. I'm afraid that the arcade elements can effectively scare off many players, so I will give you one argument to defend them. In my opinion, all arcade moments in Fahrenheit have their justification, they do not appear just like that. When our heroes have to use force, make some physical effort, fight or flee, then we also have to press keys in the sweat of our brow. Isn't that just the perfect build for the realism of the game?
Fahrenheit's graphics are on a fairly decent level, but it's not the most important thing. The things that delight the most are the camera movements, editing and motion capture. These game elements are a real masterpiece. In addition, in some scenes the screen is divided into two or three parts (the so-called MultiView - a procedure known to viewers of the TV series 24 hours). Thanks to this simultaneous composition, in many moments we observe the actions of several characters at the same time, taking place at the same time in different places, e.g. we see our hero in a hotel room, his brother in a church and the police sneaking up to Lucas' room. These elements build the tension of the game amazingly.
When writing about Fahrenheit , music cannot be omitted. The music in this production is a masterpiece! No wonder, after all, Angelo Badalamenti himself is responsible for its composition. For the uninitiated, I would like to remind you that this is a man who has created music for about sixty films, including: City of Lost Children , Dangerous Liaisons , Dark Water - Fate and most of David Lynch's paintings: Twin Peaks , Blue Velvet , Lost Highway or Mulholland Drive . After mentioning these few titles, I don't think I need to write anything else, except that the music is incredibly atmospheric, builds up tension and causes shivers down my spine. In addition, apart from Badalamenti's music, in this production you can also listen to songs by the rock band Theory of a Deadman and many songs by other artists, such as Teddy Pendergrass, Martina Topley Bird, Nina Simone, Bobby Byrd, Patrice Rushen or Ben E. King. All this makes the whole soundtrack of the game extremely successful, it deserves attention, praise and a soundtrack release.
Overall, the sound in the game is at a very high level and the acting of the people who voiced the main characters is exceptionally good. It's actually hard for me to find a production that I can compare it to. These aren't just well-read lines, they're just a great deal of acting. Thanks to him, in the statements of our heroes we hear real emotions, perfectly corresponding to the moment. Fahrenheit's heroes are alive, they are people of flesh and blood - this builds up incredibly tension, realism of the game and the ability to identify with the characters.
To make it not only so nice, now I will bring my charges against Fahrenheit . The game is quite short. I am sure that someone who is not interested in trying out all the possibilities and seeing all the things available will finish this game in a relatively short time.
And the second major drawback of this title. Fahrenheit can be run on relatively weak hardware when it comes to the graphics card. The game can be played safely, for example, on the GeForce 2 MX / MX 400, unfortunately only up to a certain point. We can go through many chapters and suddenly the game will crash (many players had this problem in the chapter where we play a basketball game) or, worse, in some scenes everything will seem to be playing correctly, only we will not be in for some strange reason. able to pass some arcade element and continue the game. So, if you own a GeForce 2, for example, and at some point in the game you feel that you are doing your best to get through some arcade element, you have almost smashed the keyboard through it and you still fail, then I'm afraid you can't help it. The fault lies elsewhere, not in your skills. I hope the patch fixes this inconvenience and allows you to continue enjoying the game. For now, this is undoubtedly a detriment to this production.