The X-Files: Deep State

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The X-Files: Deep State
The X-Files, Deep State logo.png
Developer(s) Creative Mobile
Publisher(s) FoxNext
Platform(s) iOS, Facebook, Android
Release February 6, 2018
Genre(s) Puzzle

The X-Files: Deep State is a spin-off mystery investigation game set in The X-Files universe. It was developed by independent Estonian studio Creative Mobile in collaboration with FoxNext Games[1] and released worldwide on February 6, 2018[2] for iOS, Android and Facebook.

The game combines traditional hidden object mechanics with interactive narrative presented through branching dialogue and instances of moral choice that impact the story.

Gameplay[edit]

A screenshot from The X-Files: Deep State. Players search for hidden objects and clues in thematic scenes.

Players assume the role of a rookie FBI agent. They can customize his or hers gender, race, physical appearance and name, or choose the default character, a female agent named Casey Winter. With the help of Winter's partner, Agent Garret Dale, they investigate paranormal cases, which in tradition of the show can either involve a self-contained "monster-of-the-week" investigation or be a part of larger overarching story of alien conspiracy.

The investigations consist of hidden object puzzles, interactive dialogues and various forensic mini-games. At the end of each case the player is presented with a moral quandary and has to make a choice which will impact the story. Different decisions they made during the investigation are also tallied and then exhibited in the "Case Report" section of the investigation, with statistics showing what percentage of players made similar choices. Some decisions also affect the player's alignment, which ranges from "Believer" to "Skeptic" and influences how Winter is perceived by other characters.

The game is free-to-play and utilizes the freemium model of monetization. Players can spend real money to buy "energy", which is required to progress through the investigation, or "cash" to acquire customization items for their character.

Story[edit]

The events of The X-Files: Deep State occur between seasons 9 and 10 of The X-Files series and follow two FBI agents, Casey Winter and Garret Dale, as they investigate paranormal cases and uncover a sinister conspiracy.

Prologue: The Monster[edit]

In spring 2010, FBI agents Winter and Dale are sent to investigate the murder of District Attorney Karen Cooper. Despite all the evidence pointing at the victim's husband, Mark Cooper, Winter starts to suspect that he is covering for the real killer.

Trust no 1[edit]

After a schizophrenic old physicist is accused of a gruesome double murder, Winter and Dale embark on an investigation that leads all the way to the White House.

In Corpore Sano[edit]

Winter and Dale get transferred to the X-Files unit. Their new case leads them to Lexington KY, where a series of mysterious deaths has taken place. They discover that these deaths were caused by a deadly virus and race to find a cure before it turns into a pandemic.

The Leper King[edit]

Trying to help a senator who is being blackmailed by a hacker, Winter and Dale cross paths with a cyber-terrorist known as the King. A simple case of blackmail suddenly takes a sinister turn.

Lights from Above[edit]

After a famous performance artist is killed by a flying saucer at a desert art festival, Winter and Dale are dispatched to the desert to find out what really happened. The truth might be more weird than they suspect.

Devil Ex Machina[edit]

Five scientists and two FBI agents are trapped in an underground laboratory. There's a trans-dimensional demonic parasite hiding in one of them, and it can't be allowed to escape.

Water Gate[edit]

Desperate to save her partner, Winter gets to the bottom of the conspiracy - only to discover that reality is very different, and far more frightening, than she suspected.

Development[edit]

According to an article written by the developer for VentureBeat, their intention during the game's development was to recreate the feel of the original X-Files by analyzing how societal fears had changed in the 25 years since the show premiered, and adjust the formula accordingly. After some consideration, they decided to concentrate on the themes of "technological advancement and the use of technology to manipulate and form public opinion, and also the relationship between power, legality, and truth"[3], exploring them in a what-if hyperbolic manner. However, during the development process (which started in the early 2016) many of the stories they intended to tell not only became too plausible to be fun, but actually came true.

Critical reception[edit]

The game received mixed reviews, with some publications praising it for the quality of narrative and faithfulness to the source material, but criticizing its freemium nature and pricing strategy[4][5][6].

Mashable writer Adam Rosenberg criticized the game for "the normalization of fringe ideas"[7] related to the title reference of Deep State and it's connection to US President Donald Trump[8].

As of May 14, 2018, the game has a score of 59/100 at the Metacritic review aggregate.[9]

The X-Files: Deep State was nominated for the 14th IMGA award in the "People's choice" category.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'X-Files: Deep State' Alien-Invasion Mystery Game on Tap for February 2018 Release". Variety. 2017-11-28. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  2. ^ "The X-Files mobile game is out there Release". The A.V. Club. 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  3. ^ "What would Mulder do? Writing an X-Files game in the age of fake news". VentureBeat. 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2018-05-14. 
  4. ^ "The X-Files: Deep State Review | TouchArcade". toucharcade.com. Retrieved 2018-05-14. 
  5. ^ Golden, Matthew (2018-02-08). "The X-Files: Deep State (App Review)". Matthew Golden. Retrieved 2018-05-14. 
  6. ^ "The X-Files: Deep State Review". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 2018-05-14. 
  7. ^ "New free-to-play 'X-Files' game alarmingly leans in on Trumpian politics". Mashable. 2018-11-29. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  8. ^ "Trump vs. the "Deep State"". The New Yorker. 2018-05-21. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  9. ^ "The X-Files: Deep State for iPhone/iPad Reviews", Metacritic, CBS Interactive, retrieved 2018-05-29 
  10. ^ "The X-Files: Deep State - International Mobile Gaming Awards". International Mobile Gaming Awards. Retrieved 2018-05-14. 

External links[edit]