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Good game - but you still may not like it
on 4 October 2005
I have no arguments with most of the positive reviews here. This is undoubtedly a worthy and interesting new take on the adventure game genre. Anyone who plays it will recognise this as a 'significant' game.
But I want to introduce a note of caution: this game is not for everyone. There is a very good chance that long before the end you will give up through boredom or frustration. It's that sort of game. You can appreciate it's quality and strengths but that doesn't mean you will enjoy it.
The story, the strongest part of the game, starts brilliantly but tails off about halfway through and ends up quite daft. The interactive/action elements (so called gameplay) at first seem engagingly different but, like the story, slowly you realise they've deteriorated to become tediously frequent, often unnecessary punctuation. It actually inteferes with your enjoyment of the story.
But the main problem is that the hype would have you believe this is that almost mythical thing: a true interactive story which branches as you progress, dependent on the choices you make. It isn't. It is much more linear than most reviews would have you believe. Very little of what you do actually makes a significant difference to the way the story pans out.
What you're left with is a decent, if familiar, refreshingly mature, well presented and involving story, FOR A GAME. The characters are well defined and well acted, FOR A GAME. But is that enough for many gamers?
Look at it and compare it to any well made investigative/detective police series on TV - you see this sort of material, and better, week in week out. The point is that it can just about hold it's own in this company - that is what really makes it a unique game.
But then you have to consider the interactive/action elements which help define this as a game rather than just a story. Are they relevant, interesting, or even well done? Answer: often not.
Somebody else described Fanrenheit as "a murder mystery married to a dance game". I would refine that and call it a flawed murder mystery in an uncomfortable menage-a-tois with a dance game and sports game.
If that sounds like the sort of thing you may like, give it a go. But please do not expect Fahrenheit to be the best gaming experience you've ever had.