Stargate SG-1: The Alliance
Stargate Eh? Nope, not the 1994 Kurt Russell film about Egyptians in space (or something), but the spin-off television series that's been running for close to nine years now, is more popular than Star Wars and Star Trek combined (well, almost) and currently makes up a staple part of T4's Sunday afternoon schedule along with Smallville and the insane X bleating of June Sarpong and imbecilic gurning of Vernon What the hell is Tess Daly thinking letting this twat put his hands anywhere near her?'' Kay. That Stargate.
So what type of game is SSG-1: TA (or Sue-gita" for short)? It doesn't take an Einstein to realise that we're talking about a first-person shooter here. But what exactly is it that promises to raise Stargate SG-1 above the ranks of all the other two-bit TV show cash-ins?
For a start, it seems as though Perception has put a lot of thought into the structure of things. It's a first-person shooter with a strong team aspect, explains Radek Majder, project manager on the game matter-of-factly. There are many different and visually stunning worlds to explore, some based on episodes from the show as well as some new ones. We've also incorporated the humour and wit of the series combined with a strong story. You'll be able to draw upon the SG-1 team members' special combat abilities or employ them directly when playing that particular character.
One very basic example is O'Neill's ability to order the use of the Hand of Light" device to confuse and hurt enemies, thus allowing you to make more interesting gameplay choices.
There are many different types of objectives in each mission, continues Majder. We have several types including a Foothold' situation at Stargate Command, where the base is overrun and you have to retake it. Others involve infiltrating one of Anubis's bases, and then of course we have the Haaken (see below). Making missions challenging and new is an ongoing task for us. Frankly the thought of being able to walk around the SGC (Stargate Command), push the buttons on the dial-up console while saying "seventh chevron encoded." open and close the Iris and sit in General Hammond's (as was) chair fills me with the kind of giddy excitement that is usually reserved for six-year olds on Christmas mom. Ahem.
OK. I'm a fan. Guilty as charged, your honour. This next section is going to describe the plot of the game (as much as Perception has revealed at least) and detail the various fanboy features included to keep raving maniacs like myself happy. Those of you with a more well-adjusted outlook on their television viewing habits might want to skip ahead.
The Alliance is set just before the penultimate episode of season eight ("Threads'), following the attack of the Replicators on the Goa'uld. llber-Goa'uld enemy Anubis is back in the picture, having discovered and unleashed an ancient race of aliens called The Haaken. "We've really crafted a storyline that's up to date with where the series is at - one that taps in to many of the major themes set up in the show over the years - and added the layer of the Haaken," says Majder. We have SG-1, Anubis, the Tok'Ra, the Re'tou, the Replicators, the Ancients - Oma and Shifu in particular - and the Haaken. It's a storyline that fans of the show will love, but if you're completely new to Stargate, you'll be able to pick it up and follow along.
One of the most important factors for Stargate fans, certainly one of the elements that's made the show the huge international success that it is, is the extremely high level of plotting and scripting. Perception is acutely aware of this and to that end has been working closely with the show's cast and crew to get the attention to detail spot on.
"We have some very pedantic fans in our team who make sure that things are as correct as possible in relation to the show.** laughs Majder. We're also in contact with the team who produce the show and often seek their input on the worlds we're creating. They've always got some great behind-the-scenes info for us. We've had complete access to the cast, crew, sets and so on, which has proven invaluable."
To that end. each of the show's main characters is being voiced by the actual actors on the show - Richard Dean Anderson. Michael Shanks. Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge - which should definitely help to retain some of the essential flavour and style of the series. Says Majder. We're very mindful of the humour of the show and, with the help of the TV writers, we've made every effort to make it as close to the show as a game will allow. We see this as a key element of Stargate. Having 60-odd Stargate freaks working on the game helps too!"
Beyond the bare details, Perception is playing its cards very close to its chest. Not much about the gameplay structure is being revealed, other than it's a linear series of missions in which you control each of the four main characters at different times - the choice of character depending on the aspect of the plot being told at that moment.
Naturally each character has his or her own abilities and it's on this that the success or failure of the game will most likely hinge. What makes playing as Daniel Jackson a different experience from playing as O'Neill? A simple case of different weapons, or something more in keeping with the character in question?
The game looks undeniably attractive, using the Unreal engine to impressive effect and managing to capture a great visual sense of the show's locales. Character models appear lifelike, wilderness stretches impressively to the horizon, indoor areas are rich in detail and even the shimmery effect on the Stargate itself ripples convincingly. But will it all be for naught if the game turns out to be a bogstandard shooter, wasting a potentially awesome franchise in much the same way EA has been spoiling 007 for the better part of five years now?
We're aware of the expectations of our audience and you can be sure we're doing everything we can to stay true to the show as well as make a great game, says Majder. It's not always easy, as what works on film may not always translate well into the game. We're continually refining every aspect of the game with the help of some very hardcore fans that work here as well as the show's director and producers. To be honest the biggest critics of this game will be us. We're all striving to make the game as true to Stargate as possible.
Download Stargate SG-1: The Alliance
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP