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New PS2 game allows fans another fling with their favorite 'X'

By Sid Lipsey
CNN Headline News

"The X-Files: Resist or Serve"

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(CNN) -- It's been two years since "The X-Files" went off the air and, like a longtime love affair that ended badly it left behind a bittersweet memory.

In its heyday, "The X-Files" was an addictively spooky saga of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully and their efforts to unravel an international alien conspiracy. But toward the end of its nine-year run, the show itself began to unravel amid declining ratings, David Duchovny's departure, and maddening plot twists (Mulder? Scully? A baby?!).

If a TV series that limps along after its peak years is said to have "jumped the shark," then "The X-Files" made a rocket-propelled, low-orbit somersault over the shark, crash-landed, and then blasted off to do it again just for grins.

That's why it's such great news that the groundbreaking show we fans prefer to remember is back in all its creepy glory, in "The X-Files: Resist or Serve" -- a new mystery-action game for PlayStation 2 from Vivendi Universal and Black Ops Entertainment.

From the moment you hear the opening chords of the theme song (TV's eeriest whistled melody since "The Andy Griffith Show" -- it's been on a constant loop in my brain ever since I got this game), it's clear that "Resist Or Serve" is strictly old school "X-Files." "We wanted to present more of a classic 'X-Files' game experience," says producer Ben Borth. To that end, Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reunite to reprise their roles from the show, as does most of the show's supporting cast.

"Resist or Serve" is billed as three lost episodes from the seventh season of "The X-Files." It opens with Mulder and Scully investigating strange murders in a Colorado town -- an investigation linked, of course, to the vast alien conspiracy. You can play either as Mulder or Scully; Mulder's segments are a bit more action-focused while Scully does more sleuthing. But don't worry, you get to shoot the occasional monster no matter which character you choose.

"The X-Files: Resist or Serve"

"X-Files" fans will find plenty of in-jokes and subtle references to the series in "Resist or Serve." The first level features an especially cheeky allusion to Mulder's porn fetish.

And what about the legendary romantic tension between Mulder and Scully? "[They speak] to each other exactly as they would on the show -- sexual tension included," Borth promises. As an example, he points to a cutscene where Mulder makes a deadpan joke and Scully threatens to stick a syringe ... well, in a place where one wouldn't want a syringe (if that's Borth's idea of romantic wordplay, I'm going to lobby Vivendi for a videogame version of "When Harry Met Sally").

While the game's creators may have a strange notion of romance, they'll likely succeed in rekindling the love fans had for the dearly departed series on which "Resist Or Serve" is based. Seeing Mulder and Scully on-screen once again for a new adventure is a true thrill. It's enough to make even the most jaded "X-Phile" sing: "Reunited and it feels so good."

Great. Now that song is in my head!


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