The X-Files was a phenomenon back in the 90s and you couldn't step into any shop without some item of merchandise being sold. There was even an average FMV adventure game in 1998 which has some trouble running on most modern machines. In 2004, two years after the show ended, and after a lot of the hype had past, a survival horror interpretation of the series was rushed to market on the PlayStation 2...
There are a lot of things wrong wrong with this game and each one can be blamed on its short development time. Although Mulder, Scully and other known faces in the X-Files lore are recognisable, the graphics look ugly and muddy - something that can be excused considering it was a budget title. Similarly the animations are limited, moving like an amateur attempt at stop-motion using Barbies and GI Joes.
The game will be very familiar to veterans of the survival horror genre. It takes a lot from the early Resident Evil games including the stiff controls and fixed camera angles. While this is by no means a bad thing, it was handled with a lazy approach. Tank controls do not make an appearance. You move in context to the camera and not by your character. This in conjunction with the angles used are simply frustrating. You will often walk off screen where the camera position will change to a completely different angle forcing you to quickly adjust your control before you just walk back to where you came from. It takes a lot of getting used to but is my no means game-breaking.
Luckily the plus points more than make up for the negatives depending on how obsessed with the show you are. There are three stories in the game which are referred to as episodes. In each one, you have the option of playing as either Mulder or Scully who each have different playing styles and locations. Mulder's campaign is more action-orientated while Scully's tends to favour the puzzle elements. The episodes were written by series regular Tom Schnauz and backed by its creator Chris Carter. All of the original actors have reprised their roles giving the same feeling that the show had including Agent Krycek, the Lone Gunman, Agent Skinner and the Cigarette Smoking Man.
You begin the game travelling to a town where they are about to publically execute two young women for witchcraft, but it's not witches that will be your main foe. Much like almost every other survival horror game, and Resist or Serve's infamous inspiration, you'll be battling zombies. Here they are infected by the black oil, an alien goo that plays a bit part in the main conspiracy of the show. Those familiar with the show may be baffled by the addition of zombies to this particular lore but they are basically an excuse to have enemies all around you.
If your a fan of the show, you will easily overcome its shortcomings and enjoy each story as a if it were a lost interactive episode. If you are not a fan, you might have some fun with the decent story but you may find its flaws too much to bear.
I was a massive fan of the show growing up so this was a welcome surprise when I first played it ten years ago. As such I have no qualms in ignoring its negatives to open up the doors and free the game from the Collection Chamber.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses PCSX2 to emulate the game on PCs. XBox 360 controllers supported. Manual included. Tested on Windows 7.
01.07.2015 - Version 2 - Improved installer
03.05.2016 - Version 3 - Fixed broken installer, upgraded emulator to current version and improved menu
The X-Files: Resist or Serve is © Black Ops Entertainment
The X-Files (the show) is © Twentieth Century Fox
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me