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The X-Files: Resist or Serve

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― Todd Howard
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The X-Files: Resist or Serve
Oh, Vivendi, did you really think ripping off a classic survival horror series was a good idea?
Platform(s): PlayStation 2
Release: March 16, 2004
Developer(s): Black Ops Entertainment
Publisher(s): Vivendi Universal Games
Series: The X-Files

The X-Files: Resist or Serve is a 2004 survival horror game developed by Black Ops Entertainment for the PlayStation 2 video game console. It is based on the television series The X-Files (1993–2002, 2016, and 2018), and is the third game based on the series, after The X-Files: Unrestricted Access (1997) and The X-Files Game (1998).


The game is set during the seventh season of the television series, and the story is presented as three new "episodes" in which FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigate mysterious deaths in Colorado, where they learn about an alien artifact used to resurrect deceased people. The agents' investigation ultimately leads them to Tunguska, Russia, where they discover a spaceship that crashed there nearly 100 years earlier.

Why It Sucks

  1. The gameplay is a blatant rip-off of Resident Evil from the tank controls, fixed cameras, aiming, and so on, but worse. Even the premise is just the same as the original Resident Evil with the agents having to travel to a small town in the Rocky Mountains to dig into the source of some strange and unexplained murders.
  2. Regardless of the agent you choose, the events never change. You spend so much time wandering aimlessly and kicking prone undead that you never really have a chance to get wrapped up in the exceptionally intriguing and involved story that was clearly intended to make the game stand out.
  3. Poor controls, particularly for aiming and shooting.
  4. Problematic fixed-camera angles, which change with each new area that the player enters. It’s like that for every scene and location in the game. Because of this it is possible to find yourself suddenly facing the wrong direction or fighting an off-camera foe when in tight quarters or when you are on the border between two scenes. It also can often hide certain parts of rooms if you don’t travel the right way. You'll frequently end up running toward the camera, completely blinded as to what might be in front of you down the hallway. The analog controls won't help when you're in an area that changes camera angles multiple times in short spaces, either. As a result, you'll end up having to jiggle the analog stick to realign yourself, which is disorienting.
  5. There are frustrating limitations such as being able to move some objects and not others, as well as having to search every square inch of a room and kill every creature, just to make sure you didn't miss some obscure object or key that ends up being necessary to move on.
  6. Dated graphics with low-resolution textures, simplistic designs, poor environments, and simple backgrounds that are a little too campy, even for a survival horror game. The character models are truly bizarre in their nature. For instance, the character motion is marionette-like, the lip-synching is average, and the characters' eyes are whacked.
  7. The Molotov cocktails are horrendous, and usually end up hurting you and Dana Scully more than anyone else.
  8. There is a sense of shock fight that wears think quickly.
  9. The movement is clunky sometimes.
  10. Useless melee. You can end up attacking an enemy for over ten minutes without defeating them.
  11. The prompt to back out of the menu and the prompt to draw your gun are both mapped to the same button forcing you to be extra careful. It's really painful, especially when you play as Dana Scully in episode 2 since you have to back out of a lot of menus or else you'll fail if you draw your gun since security will find out.
  12. Each time you enter a new room or scene you’ll need to sweep the screen with your flashlight looking for important objects.
  13. The game has a nasty habit of sometimes throwing a mob of creatures at you in a confined space. If there are enough of them, you will occasionally suffer the misfortune of being trapped in an endless loop of physical assaults until your character falls down. What's especially wretched is that there are certain areas of the game where zombies endlessly respawn. Unless you know what to do and where to go beforehand, you can waste lots of ammunition in spots like these, and since you often don't know what to do and where to go beforehand, you'll end up participating in some needless trial and error drills.
  14. There are instances when you can't hide or take cover from some enemies who have long-range weapons.
  15. The targeting system is a complete gamble. Often you'll draw your weapon and fire, only to miss a cretin six feet away that's plodding slowly towards you.
  16. Trashy sound design.
  17. The final boss battle is incredibly frustrating since you can fail over and over again.
  18. When you are hit, there is a small amount of time when the game is playing the animation of you taking the when you can not control anything. You can’t counter the attack, run away, or even ready your next attack. This is bad enough when facing one enemy, but when you are facing more you can be stuck helplessly watching yourself take one hit after another without having any power to stop the attacks or to strike back.
  19. The animations are basically the same no matter how you attack or where you strike so there’s no real excitement or tension to the battles - and when faced with multiple foes this tedium can quickly turn to frustration. The character animations are also stiff and clumsy, Dana Scully's run, in particular, looks awkward. Additionally, in the game’s cutscenes, the character’s motions and expressions appear stilted and unnatural.
  20. You'll find yourself clipping a bit through walls, doors, and furniture, especially when manipulating switches or running with your gun drawn.
  21. No dodging mechanic, which is inexcusable for a game that follows Resident Evil formula.
  22. It's possible to "catch" yourself on the corner of a door or a piece of furniture.
  23. If you’re holding both a weapon and a flashlight simultaneously, you can’t jog.
  24. Few places in the game have infinitely spawning enemies. One particular example is the crash site with a burning firetruck in the town.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The voice acting isn't that bad, thanks to the main cast reprising their roles.
  2. Pretty good storyline.
  3. The writing is actually pretty good.
  4. Great soundtrack composed by the original composer, Tommy Tellarico.
  5. The game is full of easter eggs and references to the series.
  6. Zombie models are really varied and there are a lot of zombies unique to certain locations.
  7. To its justice, the game is actually fun to an extent. Haven't it been a clunky, repetitive and outdated Resident Evil in The X-Files universe, it could have been a solid survival horror game.


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