Back in the middle of the 20th century, a book called Fahrenheit 451 predicted a nation occupied with mindless entertainment that was without soul and was designed to make you not think. One of the big forms towards the end of time in Guy's city was interacting with the television. As I read this book I thought of a certain CD/32X game with a similar title that seemed run along the same line as Ray Bradbury's evil future, and that game is Fahrenheit. The game requires no strategy, no skill and no thought. In fact, it's not just this game that fits the bill of Bradbury's future; most of the CD/32X games are like this (all five of them). Indeed, this was a dark time for gaming, a time where some people and companies really thought this garbage was our future.
You'd think that when developers decided they would take the game play out of their game they would, y'know, make a brilliant story or something to balance things out. Well, they didn't. In fact, I am convinced they didn't even hire a writer. The story goes as follows -- you are a rookie fire fighter who saved two people on your first outing for reasons unknown, this is good enough reason to place you at the head of a fire fighting team. You go and save people, and at the end there is a mad terrorist setting off bombs in a university. Come on, half the people on Earth could write a better story than this. And to make matters worse, we're dealing with one crummy clich? after another. It's almost painful.
At first you might want to give the game credit for its sets. After all, they built rooms for whole buildings and piped them with pyrotechniques. In the end, though, I am left unimpressed, as nothing ever actually burns more than what you initially see, which leads to a failed sense of urgency. I think that if you can afford to build these full-sized sets, you can afford to build miniatures to actually burn down. Instead, when the game decides you've failed, you are instantly out of the building getting yelled at by your fire chief.
The video, unfortunately, even with the extra power of the 32X, is still extremely grainy. I suppose a good deal of this fault goes to the poor compression techniques of the time, but it is still a shining example that the 32X simply wasn't much of an upgrade. But hey, maybe it's in the game's favor that the picture isn't good, if you inspect closely enough you'll find the fake fires to be a little underwhelming.
There isn't actually much game play in this "game." It controls with simply Left, Right, Up directional choices given to you once every room. Every once in a while you are presented with a hazard, like a kerosene heater (you wouldn't want the house to catch on fire after all, oh, wait ...), you have to choose whether to dispose of it or not. If you do complete the hazard you get extra oxygen and get to finish the mission. If you don't you can't go on, and if you try to, you fail the mission. Why is this even a choice? It's like if you went onto a coin in Mario and it asked if you want it. Of course you want it!
Like every other live action full-motion video game, you get your very own cast of crappy actors! Like a B movie or something you made in your basement, every spoken word sounds corny and forced. Unfortunately it's not even the kind of bad that is funny. I want at least the opportunity to laugh at the poor script, but this game won't even give me that satisfaction. Aside from being annoying as hell, the sound is of good quality, even the inept developers of this game couldn't mess that up. Not that I would have been surprised if they had.
This game comes with a strategy guide of sorts; the manual contains a list of objectives and a story summery for each level. Most importantly though, there are maps included. This isn't just some nice thing SEGA did for us though: the game is nearly impossible to beat without these maps. I tried beating the game without any help but found myself running around in circles, blindly searching for the victims I was supposed to save. I couldn't even beat the first level. I opened the manual, looked at the map and made a plan. I tried to follow it, pausing in each room to look at the map again. I remained disoriented and confused as to which way I was facing, you see, when you enter a room the camera spins around showing the room and possible hazards. I was lost, adrift in a sea of crapines, and with this, I admit it, I quit.
I may have quit, but I did however play more then enough to tell you to avoid this game completely. Nothing in this game is even close to acceptable; the game play, the video, the acting, everything, it all sucks. This is with out a doubt the worst game I have ever played. For the love of all that is good, do not play this game!