The season of fear is upon us once again and this time I would like start of the Best of Horror Gaming with a game that is sure to bring back some 90′s nostalgia, The X-Files: Resist or Serve for the PlayStation 2.
A quick recap for those missed out on the 90′s; The X-Files was a science fiction horror drama that focused on the exploits of FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully who investigate cases that involve extraterrestrial along with paranormal phenomena. The main story arc focused on the agents looking into the actions of the Syndicate and their work in helping the Colonist plot of conquering earth.
The series lasted from 1993 to 2002, becoming one of the longest-running science fiction series in television history whiling have a great influence on pop culture. The series also spanned two movies, two spin-off series and a few video games with The X-Files: Resist or Serve being the only good one.
The X-Files: Resist or Serve is set during Season 7 (November 7, 1999 – May 21, 2000) with Agents Mulder and Scully investigating a series of murder in Red Fall, Colorado that allegedly involves witchcraft. During the investigation they uncover that something more sinister is happening that involves the Syndicate and the Colonist.
Being 2004, this was a time when movie/TV-games were guaranteed to fail and yet it was able to surprise critics for being an exceptionally crafted game that stayed true to the X-Files mytharc.
The game was able to capture the essence the series thanks to the work of X-Files writer Tom Schnauz along with the performance of the original cast. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reunited to play their most iconic role while Mitch Pileggi returned as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner and William B. Davis as the Smoking Man. Also appearing in the game are Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund as the Lone Gunmen.
The gameplay uses the elements of Resident Evil as a template to give gamers a sense of familiarity but adding content that accommodates the traits of the playable characters. Agent Mulder scenario will have him encounter a series of surreal events while Agent Scully scenario will focus more on critical thinking and puzzle solving.
When the game was released in 2004 (three years after the series ended) for the PlayStation 2, it was met with mixed to positive reviews. Critics praised it staying true to its source material while panning it for what they saw as a weak gameplay along with some repetitive action and confusing puzzles. But to be fair this was a time when Resident Evil featured the only good template to use for a horror survival game.
Overall, The X-Files: Resist or Serve for the PlayStation 2 was one of those great works of horror that was ignored by gamers when it was released. While the gameplay has aged the story is one that every horror gamer and X-Files fan will still appreciate.