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The physical settings for Farscape consist of otherworldly environments far more striking than what is possible on the television show. You visit huge locales spanning not only the planet’s surface, but also its inner recesses. Specifically, the scenery encompasses urban settings, arid remote areas and regions full of dense vegetation. These extraterrestrial environments, although not that different from what’s typically seen in computer games set in space, can serve to reinforce the unearthly setting and take players out of their comfort zone. You always feel as though you’re somewhere very bizarre and extremely different from anything on Earth.
There are 26 missions in Farscape. You fulfill an assortment of tasks ranging from ridding an area of its creatures, to repairing the crashed vessel, to exploring a nearby forest. There are alternative methods for accomplishing each mission, from direct confrontation to subtle guile. As you explore, you can collect items, such as the remains of dead creatures or items found in stash boxes, to use as credits at the town market to purchase medicines, ammunition and weapons. The missions are not tied tightly to each other or the plot.
Over 35 types of hostile alien creatures need to be overcome, including new ones and those from the television series. Among the more prominent enemies are the Fitzrik, large flying insects who kill their prey from a distance; the Wrathian, strong but relatively dumb foes; the Sheyang, who shoot fireballs; and the Docian, huge and powerful, but less aggressive, adversaries. To fight these beings, you have at your disposal a variety of weapons representing a mix of new and familiar elements: infantry knife, club, Luxan Qualta Blade, pulse rifle, chain pulser, Scarran punisher, Scarran incinerator, Khore handcannon, Teape launcher, Phyran longarm and stasis pistol. Knives and clubs are used in close melee fighting, while the guns work better in ranged combat.
If you have never seen the “Farscape” television series, the game does not provide enough background to bring you up to speed. For example, in the opening cinematic, you never get a sense for the story’s backdrop. Once you begin the first mission, you’re really in a conceptual vacuum, with in-crowd references that are incomprehensible to outsiders. It’s almost as if this title were designed exclusively for fans of the now defunct series; the characters know far more about each other than you do. While basing this offering on the first season of the “Farscape” series certainly reduced the amount of background material newbies had to learn, it wasn’t enough to solve this problem.
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