Retrospective: Fahrenheit

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The old “What Have I Done?” pose.

Lucas Kane has a problem.  He’s just committed a murder in a public restroom.  A murder he can’t remember.

Outside in the restaurant, a police officer stops chatting to a waitress and slowly heads towards Lucas’ restroom.  Lucas is still standing over the body of the man he has just murdered, shocked and wondering how he got here. Covered in blood, with no way out except the door back into the diner, Lucas begins to panic – there’s no time!. There are a few objects of use inside the restroom: A sink, a mop, some bandages. Fahrenheit is a game about choice, what you do in that restroom is entirely up to you. Do you try hiding the body in a nearby cubicle, wash away the blood on your face and arms then hide the murder weapon somewhere? Or do you just run out the restroom towards the front door, hoping the officer doesn’t catch you? Decisions, decisions…

I have nothing but good memories on Fahrenheit, it’s a game filled with so many exciting and tense moments. I’d never really heard of it before, nor had I read any reviews, so when I clicked on new game for the very first time, I didn’t know what to expect. I started playing it on a cold winter’s day while wrapped up in a blanket drinking a warm cup of coffee. The opening in the diner was made even better because of this – seeing as it was also winter in the game world. It was one of those rare times where I had full focus on a game, too. I was in the perfect mood.

During the two days I spent playing Fahrenheit, I never once wanted it to end. There’s something about Fahrenheit’s setting that is so magical,  it’s a world you just really want to immerse yourself in. Sure, it was set in New York – we’ve all been there many times before in games,  but this felt different somehow, it’s a snowy, dreamlike version of New York – like the one seen in Max Payne but more grounded. What I love about Fahrenheit, however, is its characters. They change throughout the story depending on the choices you make, big and small. There are many times in the game where you’ll make a huge decision knowing that it could dramatically alter the fate of another character and the path they have to walk – sometimes fatal decisions.

My taste in games changed after playing Fahrenheit, I found it hard to return to the corridor shooters I’d been playing at the time. I wanted something else, something more rewarding. You know in Zelda, when you’re really deep into a dungeon, and you’ve just battled a load of enemies and completed a bunch of puzzles and, exhausted, you continue forward and walk through a door to find a huge treasure chest just sitting there, waiting for you? And you open it and get a new weapon? And that awesome music plays? That feeling? Well, that’s how I felt the entire time I was playing Fahrenheit.It’s a truly unforgettable experience, just talking about it makes me want to play it again- Bill Boreham

8 comments on “Retrospective: Fahrenheit

    • Sure was an odd one. I don’t have quite as fond memories of it as Bill does but the first half of the game was intense and brilliant. Glad you enjoyed the piece, lots more where that came from. – Dave

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