Farscape Preview  

Farscape Preview


Farscape Preview


Farscape Preview


Farscape Preview

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Farscape Preview

Platform: PC

Developer: Red Lemon Studios

Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Genre: Action RPG


ETA: Q1 2002


Sometimes when looking at the way this industry works it’s not hard to scratch one’s head and wonder just how the logic all works in this merry little microcosm lurking in  the backwaters of the entertainment industry.  One such instance that has had me a little taken back is how the Diablo series has fought and clawed its way to the top of the PC action RPG scene, and has spawned countless “Me Too!” attempts from other developers, but we seldom see anyone take the gameplay of this series and put it in a sci-fi world.  The folks at Simon & Schuster and Red Lemon Studios must have thought it a little strange too, because they’re doing something about it as they prepare Farscape for the PC.

For those unfamiliar with Farscape, it’s a sci-fi TV series with a reasonably strong fan following.  In it a human astronaut, John Crichton, is flying through space one day when out of nowhere a wormhole has the nerve to open up right in front of him thanks to an experiment gone wrong, landing the poor guy in a distant galaxy with no way home (some special anomalies can be such jerks!).  Lucky for him, he gets picked up by a motley crew of space renegades and outcasts, and countless swashbuckling adventures ensue.  In the game however, it would seem that Crichton and the gang were not nearly swashbuckling enough because they’ve managed to get attacked by a bunch of Peacekeepers (the villains in the show), and now everyone is scattered on the planet below and throughout the ship.  With this players take control of Crichton and start going about finding the rest of the crew so that they can band together and take back the ship.

The whole setup will be like that of your traditional PC action RPG with the three quarter overhead view, and the mug shots of your characters at the bottom of the screen, where you click on the portraits to access inventory and such.  Adding to the dynamic is that since firearms are available for use characters will be able to move around and shoot at the same time, which sounds like it could come in handy when being swarmed and the player needs to thin the ranks of the enemy while avoiding their wrath.  Seeing as you can have three characters in your party at a time once you’ve found the other crew members, working in formations could prove interesting.  

Farscape Preview     Farscape Preview

While the core whacking and blasting are present, choosing who will be in the party on the missions takes some thought, as they require different things.  It won’t be like some RPGs where you have three or four favorites that are always used, and the rest of the characters ride the pine.  Some missions will require brute force in order to be successful; others will require stealth and delicacy, or those with a technological proficiency.  As such, players will have to take this into consideration as they form their party before each mission.  I won't go into detail regarding the playable characters here, since they are straight from the show one would be best served going to a site directly related to the TV series for that information.

But unlike other games based on a TV show or movie, Farscape isn’t being held to strict guidelines.  The creators of the show have given Red Lemon the green light to take a degree of creative license with the game, thusly there are over a dozen new species in the game to fight, as well as other new and unfamiliar elements.

Whatever the case, Farscape looks like it is really going to give it a go at embracing a tried and true gameplay formula and add a few tweaks here and there to keep the experience fresh.  Now all we can do is wait and see how well they pull it off.

- Mr. Nash