The X Files
Finally, the much-fruitlessly-waited-for X-Files game looks set to appear this summer. It could be reluctantly described as an 'interactive movie', but better deserves the monicker: 'good-looking and seamless implementation of X-Files authenticity and plot-turns in a believable, well-written adventure game metaphor. With video' My words, not theirs.
Paul Provencalo, vice president of Production and Development at Fox Interactive, takes up the tale: "Three years ago we pitched the idea at Chris Carter, the creator of The X-Files" he recalls wistfully. "We came up with a 900-page technical spec and script, and then for two years we developed the engine, modifying it again and again until a year ago when we started filming: two film crews; 66 people working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for seven and a half weeks."
The labyrinthine plot for the game concerns field agent Greg Wilmore, who is assigned to work with assistant director Skinner (played by scary tough slaphead Mitch Pilegi from the series) to find missing agents Mulder and Scully. The story takes place exactly between seasons four and five so: a) it fits in with the X-Files chronology; and b) it doesn't disturb any on-going plottery of the series.
But ot course you get a cast of familiar faces from the series, including the 'X', the Lone Gunman, Cancer Man and Agent Pendril. Fox seem to be going for what Bill Hicks would call the 'authenticity dollar'. "Oh yeah," agrees Provencalo. "We've got Frank Spotnitz, producer, story writer and editor from the series on board, plus all the props, costumes, make-up and hair consultants, directors... They all worked on the production." Coolio. But while most of our ideas of playing with the protagonists of an X-Files adventure might go like this:
Examine Me You Are Wearing A Sheer White Shirt.
Remove Shirt Scully Removes The Sheer White Shirt. Mulder Enters...
... etc, etc, the developers at Fox and the show's creators had different ideas.
"The idea of trying to figure out what Mulder and Scully would do is not nearly as appealing as putting the player in the world of The X-Files, to interact with Mulder and Scully and get them to talk and work with them " explains Provencalo.
The adventure is traditional in some respects. You have an inventory and must travel from location to location interacting with characters. But in a drastic swerve, X-Files enables you to choose emotions for your responses (from funny, through aggressive, to indifferent and serious) and skirts the traditional 'puzzles and keys' approach. "There are no puzzles, no random activities you need to do. Everything in this game is dealt with realistically. You figure things out by collecting the facts."
Your success and path through the game depends on your cleverness and success as a real FBI agent - if you act like a dildo, people like Skinner will start treating you like a dildo.
And then you might be abducted. And be implanted. And then find your sister. And then find out you're half-alien... (ad lib for six series).
Download The X Files
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
The X Files Screenshots and Media
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