Flashback Games: The X-Files

from Wikipedia.com

I loved the X-files.  Like, really loved the X-files.  I’m pretty sure it gave me some bad dreams throughout my childhood, but it always managed to draw me back in.  That show rocked my world.  So, when my uncle passed along the X-Files game to me – I was giddy.

From the moment you put in the first disc, you get to hear the voices of Mulder, Scully, and Skinner as the game loads.  This was back in the day when it took FOREVER to load a game onto your computer.  This game had 6 discs.  It was agonizing.  But the voices and creepy music made it slightly more bearable.  After what seemed like hours of waiting, I settled  in for an exciting and terrifying adventure as Craig Willmore.

Summary

Now I could give you an official summary of this game but I’m choosing to give you the summary that my kid brain remembers.  You’re this guy named Craig Willmore and you work at the FBI office in Seattle, WA.  You’re kind of boring, divorced and your friends are creepy.  But you get assigned to a case where you have to find out what happened to Mulder and Scully.  They’ve disappeared and were last seen in Everett.  Exotic.  Opportunities arise for you to react to the people around you in a variety of ways.  You can be mean, sarcastic, nice, peaceful, etc.  I always chose the nice options because my parents RAISED ME RIGHT.

On your journey you encounter many different people and dangers and you have to react quickly to situations.  There’s definitely a sense of urgency whenever you’re spying on people or gathering evidence – if you don’t move quickly, you either die or get fired.  (In retrospect that doesn’t seem quite fair.)  You meet a hot lady at one point who you may or may not have a romance with.  Stuff blows up, people get crazy eyes, and Craig receives faxes.  It’s thrilling.  Sometimes I would write long e-mails to these ‘friends’  that contacted me about our various outings but they never wrote me back.  Rude.  I don’t think Craig and I would be friends in real life.  But anyway, is Craig a big wet blanket or does he find Mulder and Scully and kill all the aliens and blow up planet earth?  You’ll have to play to find out.

The hero - Craig Willmore. From Flickr user: przygodowki

Review

First off, this game uses full motion video.  Therefore, all cut scenes are well-done by the actual X-Files actors and Craig Willmore himself (well the actor that plays him).  Exploration all looks very lifelike as well.

The game is more than just a point-and-click adventure as there are time-sensitive events that happen quite often.  While this keeps things interesting and suspenseful, you never get the opportunity to make up for past mistakes.  Say if you miss taking a photo of something, you’re screwed.  You get shot by an angry drug dealer, you’re dead.  Didn’t run under the right tree, aliens eat your face.  You’ve got to play your cards right.  In fact the shoot-out that happens at the docks was one of the hardest parts of this game (aside from the end).  For a kid, this game was really challenging.  I used a strategy guide for most of it since I kept getting lost or dying.  Even with the guide, I sometimes missed cues – it was kind of complicated.

Overall it was really fun game and a must play for any X-Files fan.  It puts you right in the center of all the intrigue and mystery.  Despite its sometimes frustrating interface and gameplay, the game is really awesome and has high re-playability.

My advice to anyone playing this game is to save multiple files and save often.  Explore everything.  Don’t take out your gun in public or Skinner takes your badge away.  It’s sad.  React quickly to things, move quickly, get out quickly.  Perhaps it’s not as urgent as I’m making it be but to a 13 year old IT WAS CRUCIAL.  Life or death, people.

Oh and on a final note, look creepily out your blinds.  I really enjoyed doing that for some reason.

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