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It's not a game in the conventional sense of the word. Instead,
it's a subscription-based, ongoing conspiracy-oriented story that
is doled out to the player across media like webcasts, phone calls,
faxes, and email. The idea is that once you sign up, you never know
for sure when you're going to get a bit of the story. Majestic also
promises to be interactive, as the content will change based on
the facts the game gathers about the player. As the promotional
trailer says, "You don't play it...It plays you". Since
there are no graphics (note our "screenshots" below),
the developer's web site says "the best moments will happen
inside your head". "With all the ways Majestic communicates
with its members," the site continues, "one has to ask,
'When does it end?' and the answer seems to be a vague and intriguing,
'Does it ever?'"
Tom's Comments: Very few games can tell a good story
(even Half-Life's vaunted storytelling was just reviewers confusing
"story" with "well-executed action set pieces").
So now EA wants to tell a story in a completely different way, spinning
out over the course of several months an X-Files styled soap opera
in which the player has no control when or how much he gets to "play".
When I was in college, there was this assassination RPG where you
and your friends used squirt guns, cameras, and faux car bombs to
try to assassinate each other in the course of living your day-to-day
lives. I had no desire to play that one either.
Mark's Comments: I feel like one of those cranks
who told the Wright Bros. that their contraption would never get
off the ground when I think about Majestic. Is this really something
we want? A game that will call us on the phone and send us email?
I'll get a call and my kids will answer and yell, "Dad, it's
that dumb game calling you again." Ordinary life befuddles
me enough, so I can't imagine I need a game that's designed to blur
the lines between fantasy and reality. Finally, do any of us, especially
the conspiracy nuts among us, really want to give out phone numbers,
fax numbers, cell phone numbers, and email addresses to a piece
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Q1 2001