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Farscape Video Game 131

mythr writes: "I was reading Firingsquad, and I found this preview of a Farscape video game. It's a top-down action/adventure game, sort of like Diablo, based on the Sci-Fi Channel series. It says that it's slated for May. I know I can't wait."
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Farscape Video Game

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  • Because video games based on licenses are ALWAYS GOOD!
  • I suppose they chose Farscape because it was a cheap license, but sheesh. Licensed games have a history of being disappointing, and licenses of questionable quality... well... let's just say this does not bode well.

    • > I suppose they chose Farscape because it was a cheap license, but sheesh. Licensed games have a history of being disappointing [...]

      A couple of people have mentioned "license" games. Does this just mean a game company bought the rights to do a game based on a show, or does it have some more technical meaning?


    • by sam_handelman ( 519767 ) <> on Monday January 21, 2002 @02:26AM (#2875034) Homepage Journal
      Actually, because the Farscape name/logo isn't really worth any marketing juice in and of itself, I'd think that maybe the people who made the game had bought the license because they were fans of the show; that ought to be a good sign, generally speaking. Really expensive licenses - Harry Potter comes to mind - are the ones that produce really dreadful mass market games.

      Anyway, I can allready tell that I don't like the game. However much of an improvement the game play, plot, whatever are over Diablo II (and I'm not saying it is better; just for sake of argument) the game is ugly. I realise that this is a subjective judgement but take a second look at those screenshots. The detail level is fairly high but the element of wonder or the unexpected, not to mention artistry, is just completely absent. Crates in piles and explosions (10th screenshot)! How delightfully unexpected.

      You look at the circular buildings in the eighth screenshot, and you can tell no real thought was put into "how would we make these buildings look cool, alien, inhuman, unexpected, strange?" You can point to all sorts of things (first screenshot, for example) and say "well, that's weird." But the only thing I like is the white vehicle in the fourth screenshot, which looks pretty cool.

      Which is too bad, because the farscape show looks really good. The totally lunatic design was the best thing about the show; it's fun for the same reasons good Dr. Who is fun, because a trashcan with deelybobs glued onto it rolls onto the screen and you say "damn, that trashcan looks COOL". Only, instead of a traschan it'd be a muppet, but it's the same thing. If the game were really trippy eyecandy, I could see playing it even if it were dreadful.

      P.S. I tried to post links to the screenshots I'm talking about but they don't work, so I just supplied numbers.
    • then I expect the loading times between new levels to be about 8 months long, just like the series.
  • but there are plenty of better/more important games in the works that /. isn't paying attention to, like Doom3, DN4, and EV Nova. I demand articles about them! :)
  • Eugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paradoxish ( 545066 ) <> on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:41AM (#2874916) Homepage Journal
    Well, this game sure as hell has a lot going against it. First, it's based on a license. We all know how great licenses in gaming are. Then it's being put out by Simon and Schuster - a company with a particularly bad record when it comes to licensed games and games in general. And on top of that, it's being billed as an "action/adventure" - a genre which has very few gems. And the comparisons to Diablo frighten me.

    Farscape is an alright show. It doesn't interest me too much, but regardless - I don't see this game as doing anything but tarnishing the franchise. Then again, I'm not too fond of firingsquad either... so here's to hoping their information is wrong.
  • Neither was diablo. diablo was isometric, as this appears to be. However diablo was prerendered (mostly), and this appears to be rendered on the fly.
    • Its not top-down ... Neither was diablo. diablo was isometric, as this appears to be.

      Most top-down games (e.g. Metal Gear Solid, Zelda, Pokemon, Final Fantasy) are not drawn to be viewed from straight above but instead to be viewed from about 30 to 60 degrees to the horizon. The orientation of an isometric game is not that different, except the camera points northeast instead of north. In fact, though Starcraft is drawn isometric, it actually draws the world with square tiles. In addition, Bomberman 64 and Dungeon Keeper 2 have a key command to change in real time between a traditional "top down" view and an "isometric" view simply by rotating the camera.

  • by Red Weasel ( 166333 ) on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:46AM (#2874932) Homepage
    If its gonna be anything like the series (and I hope it will be) how are you supposed to win? In the series they rarely if ever achieve anything close to victory. The last season was pretty damn depressing what with every one and their mother after them.

    Sure Dargo got his son back but then the brat goes and pokes Dargo's girl friend.

    I'm sure the game is going to be alot like a 2 hr special. A bunch of problems to solve and bad guys to kill. But at the end of it there still royally screwed.

    It still should be fun though.

    tangent; Does anyone know if Zahn is still dead? I'm catching up with the reruns and they keep showing them out of order.
    • Zahn still dead (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by zilym ( 3470 )
      Yes, Zahn is still dead, although that Stark guy keeps going on as if she's still around a little and perhaps they'll get her back eventually.

      Yes, last season was a little on the depressing side, but at least we got to see Aeryn get it on with that guy from Earth several times. Claudia Black, mmmmm yum!

      They DO have a few victories though. Remember the shadow depository they obliverated? They now have all the money they could need. They are making progress, but they have to drag us through two more seasons before they can declare victory over the galaxy. :-)
    • Sure Dargo got his son back but then the brat goes and pokes Dargo's girl friend.

      Hey! No spoilers please! Over here in Germany, Drago got his son back just yesterday. ;-)

    • I know this isn't really important to anyone but me, but it's spelled Zhaan. Zahn is my last name.

      see also:
      Zahn, Timothy (author of Star Wars books)
      Zahn, Steve (actor)
      Zahn, Paula ("sexy" CNN anchorwoman)
    • Virginia Hey [] has moved on to other projects. She loved being in Farscape, but two things prompted her to leave the show:

      1) The contact lenses she wore for her costume began to do irreversible damage to her eyesight.

      2) Having to keep her head shaved was preventing her from getting other roles. (Don't ask me about wigs, I'm just the messenger.)


  • by Afreet1 ( 224290 ) on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:47AM (#2874934)
    I hope this game is more like the old Space Quest games where you actually had to think about what to do and solve puzzles. Sierra really dropped the ball when they cancelled all of their "Action/adventure games." If the Farscape game is done well in the Diablo style it should still rock.
  • Other links (Score:5, Informative)

    by Metrollica ( 552191 ) <m etrollica AT hotmail D0T com> on Monday January 21, 2002 @01:49AM (#2874943) Homepage Journal
    Here is a link [] to an article about the Farscape Video Game at

    Here is a link [] to a preview at for the game. It looks like the game will come out on the Playstation 2. The preview includes many pictures and lots of information.

    Here is a a little of what it says:

    The #1 sci-fi television show, Farscape, is set to make its appearance on PS2 and PC, and although not due to be released until early next year, the hype surrounding the game is already building. Farscape, a critically acclaimed original sci-fi channel series, has quite a large fan-base, and these science fiction lovers will be anxiously awaiting the release of a Farscape video game. Thanks to Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the show is brought to life with innovative creature design and high-tech special effects.
  • I remember, back in the days of Pac-Man, when games had to be... well.. fun to get to market.

    Am I remebering things wrong, or is is not possible to make a simple but fun game anymore.

    Does anyone think that the Farscape licence is here for anything but to cash in on a trend? Do the big game publishers think that it's impossible to write a *good* game, so to sell anything.. it needs to be attached to something that does sell?

    Ohmygod.. I'm jaded! Help!
    • >Am I remebering things wrong, or is is not
      >possible to make a simple but fun game anymore?


      there is still some room in the simple but fun category. Tetris swept the world in the days of Super Mario 3. And let's not forget bust-a-move. These games are among the real gems. There is a lot to be said for pushing graphical limitations as far as they can go, but it will always be the simple, yet enthralling games that make the biggest impact. No commitment, lot's of challenge.
      • Over Christmas break, my friends and I had more fun with Chu Chu Rocket than with any other game, including the brand-new mega hype Final Fantasy X. That $50 Dreamcast fucking wins.
        • i have a game boy advance.

          i got tony hawk 2 for christmas and was disappointed. i traded it in last week for chu-chu rocket. i don't think i've made a better trade in my life. Including the time i traded my soul for a case of Jolt cola and tickets to the Slayer concert.
          • THPS2 was good for a launch game, and possibly the best 3D --> 2D port you can get, but it doesn't hold a candle to the 4-player madness to CCR.

            Probably the reason CCR is such a fun multiplayer puzzle game is the fact that, unlike Tetris, the four players actually interact on the same field instead of multiple parallel fields. That, the speed, and the proximity make CCR digital happiness. I only wish there was a working DC emulator so I could play mad Chu Chu Rocket. And Jet Grind Radio.

    • Games didn't have to be fun to get to market, they just had to be fun to have any chance of making money. You can count the number of good liscenced games on one hand. You need a whole army of hands to count the bad ones. There are still good, simple, fun games... Mr. Driller (and the ones the other guy mentioned) and more!
  • I bet the "gorgeous underground forest" doesn't even come close to my the landscapes I had in my mind's eyes when I was playing Zork I, II and III []

    "You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here

    If you have never played these fantastic text based adventures, do yourself a favour , and download a free copy !

    Darren Kruse CCNP CCDP
    WAN/LAN Networking Consultant
    mailto:// []

    • ok, cruising around the internet, I see a link to a copy of zork, a web version of zork, or a telnet version of zork... about every 4 seconds. My question is have the original text based zork games been given up as public domain? As far as i knew, they weren't PD, but it has been a *long* time since i actually checked this out.
      And yes, I tried to find the answer using google, but all I seemed to be able to find were links to different version of the game.
  • Is it gonna have those same butt-ugly alien characters? If so, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

  • I'm hoping that it's long absence from the screen doesn't kill it by making people find other shows to watch. From what I've seen on [] we aren't getting new shows until April. And it's no longer running daily, so I just hope that they didn't just lose their fan base.
  • by Blackwulf ( 34848 ) on Monday January 21, 2002 @02:19AM (#2875020) Homepage
    I find it quite amusing to hear people complain about how "not fun" this game is without ever playing it.

    I mean, sure, history says that games based on franchises aren't doing well. But sitting here bashing a games playability or fun factor without ever playing it is kinda a little over the top, right? Or is there some part of the logic I'm missing? (Let me know if there is!)
    • I mean, sure, history says that games based on franchises aren't doing well. But sitting here bashing a games playability or fun factor without ever playing it is kinda a little over the top, right? Or is there some part of the logic I'm missing? (Let me know if there is!)

      Until a game comes out all there is to do is speculate about how much fun it's going to be. And all you've got to speculate on is what you know about the game itself and other games like it. As long as the discussion's intelligent, what's the problem?
    • > Or is there some part of the logic I'm missing? (Let me know if there is!)
      This is SlashDot, damnit, won't you people finnaly get it? We are supposed to be as impulsive as possible, and make all sorts of stupid commments and alikes. Just take a look at my post...
  • how this even got posted?
    • Well, you see, it is simple. Slashdot's roots are in a dinky little personal site started by a guy named Rob Malda, where he linked to things that interested him. Over the years, it has expanded, it readership has increased many fold and it is now owned by a company. And yet, it has retained it's intrisic policy towards stories. Whatever interests the editors. I am sure if it was otherwise the other fifty percent of the readership would be whining about how it had sold out.
      Some people just don't get it.
  • This games (from the description) reminds be a bit of the old Gobliins. For example, the site says the gameplay involves controlling multiple characters, and "the different characters you can control will each have different skills and specialties." You have to know your characters' strengths and weaknesses--just like in the old Sierra game Gobliins. In Gobliins, you have three characters--one is incredibly strong but stupid, one can cast some magic spells, and I forget what the third one can do (it's been a long time since I played the game.)

    Well, this Farscape games sounds like it could be even better. You have 6 characters to choose from, with a correspondingly greater complexity. I look forward to testing out the game myself.
  • The view isn't top down, according to the review:
    Farscape is a fully 3D game - unlike Diablo, where the viewpoint is fixed, the player is allowed to zoom the screen in and out, and rotate around the center axis as he wishes. Character and creature models are in full 3D as well, and they animate fluidly as they move about the screen.
  • From the article: The Moya this... The Moya that...

    Her name is Moya. I think The Crichton and The Aeryn would slap them upside the head for calling her The Moya all the time.

    Anyway, like many others, I don't have very high hopes for the game, but hey, maybe we'll get lucky and it'll be good. At least the actors from the show are apparently doing the voices, there's some small consolation.
  • It occurs to me that when a TV show gets into merchandising it's not always a good sign. It seems to me that the executives somewhere are trying to find new ways to market on the success (we call it a downturn) of the show. Usually this happens after a dramatic shift in the direction of the show, which I feel has already happened.

    I guess this show has its days numbered, well that's my opinion anway.
  • Ummm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    Call me confused, but what exactly would one DO in a Farscape action game? Slaughter Scorpy's evil minions? Kill Peacekeepers? The series was GOOD because of the kickass characters and (for the most part) excellent plotline. Combat was never a large part of the show. Moya herself has zero weapons.

    I'm going to be quite scared if it's basically...Crighton (pardon spelling) just goes around and kills things. Quake/Diablo with some Farscape scenery/characters? Blegh.

    I really don't think the Farscape series translates well to any genre of computer game, honestly. MAYBE, as I believe someone suggested, something along the lines of a Space Quest type game, but that'd be about it.
    • Re:Ummm... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lars T. ( 470328 )
      For those of you who didn't bother to read the review (now there's a new thought):
      The game's story involves a Peacekeeper attack on the ship Moya - all but two of the ship's seven crew escape the Moya and crash land on a strange planet. The objective is to get the escape pod fixed, fly back up to the Moya, wrest control of her away from the Peacekeepers and get out of Dodge.
      • Warning i dont use speelcheeck thats a pretty lame plot - since the show has more of a space rpg (shadowrun meets DandD) feel to it, i think it would have been better to NOT half-ass the game plot and add alot more elements. such as being able to pilot moya and do different missions (like season 2 i beleive where crighton had to infiltrait a peacekeaper station to get some medicine to save areyns life) and so on. the plot of peacekeapers attacking and whatnot - as much as that is something that happens in farscape it shouldbt be the entire game - they could of done so much more.
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Monday January 21, 2002 @03:04AM (#2875092) Homepage Journal
    If they made it a point and click adventure game like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, or Day of the Tentacle. (all Lucas Arts games I might add...)

    The problem is, very few action based games based on a license are good because the license made them good. Take Rogue Squadron II for the GameCube, that game is awesome. But does it really need to be set in the Star Wars universe to be a hit? Not really. That game is probably the best use of a movie license in recent years. But as Wing Commander proves, you don't need to base a space combat game on a license just to make it good.

    Judging from the preview, it really doesn't look like the Farscape game is all that dependent on the Farscape universe. It's because of that alone I won't pay any attention to it. You might tell me to not judge a game by it's title, which is a fine argument. However, I'm the type of person who really appreciates inspired games. If they can't sell me in the marketing literature on why it needs to be Farscape and it can't be a brand new license, then chances are pretty good it's going to be mediochre at best. I mean read the preview, they're trying to excite me by saying "Yah they gave us a lot of freedom and let us make our own environments...". This concerns me because because it really smells like this was originally a different game and they were able to band-aid the Farscape license into it. "Lots of people will see 'Farscape' on the title and flock to buy it!". I'm insulted.

    Farscape doesn't lend itself too well as an action game, but I really do think it's storyline could be made into an interesting adventure game like the ones I mentioned above. Imagine if they created it as a bunch of episodes that lead to one big conclusion, and you are control the characters through the development of the story. If any of you are fans of games like Day of the Tentacle then you will probably immediately see my enthusiasm for Farscape to be used this way. The uniqueness of Farscape is it's characters and its situations. But if you play a game where you run aruond shooting anybody, how can you expect it to make really good use of the license? From what little I've seen of Farscape, episodes rarely end in shootouts.

    Personally, I think Quantum Leap would also translate well into this genre. Man, when I think about having a Quantum Leap story told in this fashion I get pretty hyped. That would be so cool to leap in, walk up to a mirror, and see a different reflection. Or to have the imaging chamber door open and have Al walk through and let you know what's up. Damn that'd be awesome. Man... I think Doctor Who could work that way too.

    Pity the game industry thinks that the only genre out there is 'make your computer obsolete action'.
    • But Wing Commander also proves that going from Game to Movie usualy sucks more than the other way.
      • Mortal Kombat proved that too. :p

        I'm just waiting for a Freespace movie to come along and prove to be the exception to the rule. :)
      • Wing Commander wasn't very good, no. Think about video games, though. They are nearly *always* ridiculous situations for real people to be involved in. Mortal Kombat is a good example of that, so is Super Mario Bros. If they had animated these instead, then they could get away with the stupid lines and the unpractical physics.

        Unfortunately, though, it still takes a decent story idea to make a good cartoon. "Swing your arms, from side to side, come it's time to go DO THE MARIO!!" Hee heee Anybody remember that?b
    • Firstly, I agree with your take on licensing. Most licensed games that are good are simply good games, period, without the license. Tacking a franchise onto a mediocre game to improve sales always sounds like a good plan to marketroids, which is why they keep doing it, and making lousy franchise games. =P I don't know about anyone else's opinion, but I have YET to see a game under the Star Trek license, in ANY genre, that was worth a bucket of warm spit - and I have been watching new ST computer games for over 10 years. The number of decent Star Wars licensed games can be counted on the fingers of one hand, as well (and Rogue Squadron is one of them).

      It's funny you bring up Wing Commander, which has become a franchise in and of itself (or did, before Origin folded for no visible reason). I still consider WC's 1, 3, and 4 to be unparalleled masterpieces of the space-dogfight genre of computer games. Then we get Wing Commander: Prophecy which, while a decent game, seems to rely mostly on eye candy and the "look! another WC game!" factor to achieve sales, not to mention a really lackluster plot with holes I could pilot a Fralthi through. ;-) I suppose I'm glad the WC series ended before it could slip any further. =\

      I agree with you that Farscape would make a lousy or at least merely a contrived shooter game. The series isn't about combat, so making a combat game from it is as silly as all the attempts to make a combat game out of Star Trek. For game adaptions of such shows, puzzle-solving or roleplaying/interaction adventure games seem the way to go. Why are we seeing an MMORPG in the Star Wars universe and not in the ST universe? Simple, in Star Wars you have an excuse to have violence and conflict everywhere so you can have characters killing enemies and "levelling up", in the ST universe the only conflict is at the borders of the various empires (Federation, Romulan, Klingon, Kzinti, Cardassian, Dominion, etc.). It would be ludicrous to start a new human character on Earth and walk out in the wilderness outside Starfleet HQ and find swarms of monsters to fight. =P But that's the only concept game designers seem capable of understanding these days.

      And finally, about Quantum Leap, I agree wholeheartedly. =) That was one of the coolest TV shows ever made, and an adventure game with it would be awesome! I'm not sure whether the game would come with "episodes" which could be run in random or predetermined order, or whether there would be a string of episodes where choices Sam makes in one "life" affect the way things happen in another one. Changing history? Hints of Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder", anyone? ;-) Some may say this was already done on consoles (Chrono Trigger), but I think Quantum Leap would be sufficiently unique to be worth the effort and the money.

      And finally, I know how you feel about the "make your computer obsolete action". I've been computer gaming pretty much obsessively since '91, IIRC, and if the "more eye candy == better!!" school of thought were correct, you'd expect that I would have seen a steady, overall improvement in computer games from then until now, eh? Well, I haven't. Some of my favorite games to this day are games I played back in my early days, the Zork games, the original Wolfenstein, Dune 2, Civilization, etc. Of course, there have been good games more recently, but the quality depends on the dedication to making a great gaming experience, not on how pretty it looks or sounds. Few computer games companies seem to understand this concept any more; one that does is Spiderweb Software (no, I don't work for them, this plug is because I happen to like their games ;-). They write games that are deliberately short on graphics and sounds, long on plot. Check it out!


      • First off, thanks for the link to Spiderweb Software, going to take a look at it soon.

        You mentioned no good ST licenses, Star Trek 25th Anniversary (back in the 386 days) is still regarded as a pretty good game. Interestingly enough, it's kind of a mix of Wing Commander (for the space battles), and the Day of the Tentacle style adventure interface. It was made (or published?) by Interplay I think. (my memory is a bit fuzzy there)

        That game not only had style, but it was fun to play too. It's a wonderful example of what I mean, wish I had remembered it when I made my original post.

        Voyager Elite Force was a step in the right direction, but it dissolved into 'shoot everybody in this level'. I was kind of offended by that. Early in the demo there was a part where a crewman was trapped behind a pair of forcefields. On the other side of him was a hull breach. You had to shut down the right forcefield to get him out. If you shut off the wrong one, he got blown out into space. Heh that kicked ass. I was hoping for more of that, but the demo let me down. So I never bought that game. Shooting Borg drones endlessly does not a game make.

        I think Armada got really good reviews if memory serves, but that's an example of the ST license not adding all that much to it. Essentially it was Command and Conquer in Space that used ST vehicles. I enjoyed the demo though.

        Yes, Wing Commander was a franchise, but it earned it's place there. If Wing Commander had used the Battlestar Galactica license originally (I just pulled that out of the air, WC reminds me of Galactica a little) then the chances are we would have seen just the first game. I believe that the reason it became the success it did was because it was original and they could go places with it. It took on a life of it's own and became a franchise. If they had used another license, they'd be at the mercy of what's going on in the show. They can't have any of the main characters die, and they wouldn't be able to change anything. Using the Galactica example, the game wouldn't be able to have Galactica returning home. That would stink since that's the point of the show!

        Man, I'm aching to play Indianna Jones 3 again.
  • A game? I don't know. A great television show doesn't translate into a great game (or a great movie for that matter), I'll end up playing it because i'm a fan, but unless it comes out on Gamecube I won't be forking over any money.

    As for the show itself, no new eps in the US until April, but news eps will be showing in the UK any day now. And apparently, they're already showing where hebrew is the primary language, as I've aquired the latest ep with Hebrew subtitles (which look completly alien and complement the show rather well).

    I can't stand the way the show is scheduled. Technically season 3 hasn't ended yet, with 3 or 4 more eps to go, then I guess season 4 starts right away (why do they DO that?) This latest ep sets up a premise for the next few but basically it stands on its own, and frankly wasn't that good. Hopefully the season finale will be better. Until then I'll be downloading 500mb eps on my 56k. Why do they wait months to air episodes they already have completed? Febuaray is sweeps after all.

    And yes, Zhaan is still very much dead and will probably stay that way.

    Oh, and no sign of Stark but he's still in the credits.
  • Forget licenses... I want it for the girl that looks like Cher!
  • i'm new to diablo (only 16th level necro), but i'm not new to quake or the sierra games. i'm not a fan of farscape, but i would welcome any game that would emulate the sierra games (minus every larry game past the first one), with open arms.
  • I think more games should be made like the old infocom games. If I had any kind of coding skill I'd take Neuromancer, adapt it from the c64/amiga game and use the Muddle [] language to make it into a text-based game. They're still fun, and there are parsers for every machine out there.
  • The review was written by the Bob Colayco.
    I found it quite irritating every time the Bob Colayco reffered to the ship as "the Moya". It is "the ship" or it is plain "Moya". Calling it "the Moya" just clashes. It also just screams "the Bob Colayco doesn't actually watch Farscape".

  • ...if I could just watch Farscape. By the time it returns in April, it will have been on reruns for seven months. And to make matters worse, they stopped in the middle of a story arc. Anybody remember how many Creightons are still alive?
  • Some more wonder from down under. And more, across the way to the east, in New Zealand. Lots of film makers are producing where there's lots of room, plenty of interesting sets, and loads of skilled labor to utilize. I too really like this show; if for quality or lack of other scifi fare I know not for sure. However, the characters, who were at first somewhat cheesy but quickly materialized into believable and worthy protagonists, coupled with the usually realistic-looking settings, make this show at the very least likable. Of course, the female characters certainly are done well. Claudia Black is an extremely attractive woman....(and she sings jazz)

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