A Wild, Wild, Game

Bruce Von Stiers

When I was a kid there was a show called the Wild, Wild, West (Yes, I know I'm showing my age). It was a show full of gadgetry, cool heroes and a ton of evil villains. In the recent surge of things Retro, the film Wild, Wild, West was made with Will Smith and Kevin Kline. Riding the wave of the film's popularity, Southpeak Interactive has released a game in association with Warner Brothers Interactive. The name of the game is Wild Wild West: The Steel Assassin.

The storyline of the game starts after the film ends. James T. West and Artemus Gordon go on assignments to thwart the assassination of President Ulysses S. Grant. The conspirators are apparently the same ones behind the death of Abraham Lincoln. The scenario is that Grant is going to reopen Ford's Theater. He will attend a play and sit in the same box where Lincoln got shot. President Grant gets a death threat from "The True Executioner of Abraham Lincoln."

Starting the game, you choose to play as either Jim West or Artemus Gordon. The guys are Secret Service agents. They use various tricks and skills to keep the bad guys away from President Grant. Each agent has special skills.

There are different locations that the agents go to in order to chase down leads. Go to Baltimore Harbor, Surratt's Tavern, Garrett's Farm and Ford's Theater. You also spend time in the abandoned mine town of Broken Hope, Nevada.

After completing a mission, the agents go to the Wanderer in order to regroup and equip themselves with new gadgets and weapons. The Wanderer is the train that Jim and Artemus use to travel around the country in. There are a lot of hidden things on the Wanderer. Make sure you explore every nook and cranny of the train. Each agent keeps a journal, which can be helpful as you assemble clues.

Artemus has invented a microfiche reader, so you can check out old newspaper articles and other material for clues. Another Artemus invention allows you to hear messages from one agent to the other.

When starting the game, choose the level of difficulty. This determines the number of clues that you'll have access to in order to complete the mission. You also set the Action, which determines how tough it's going to be bringing down the bad guys. There is also a Closed-Captioning option. Having this turned on puts all game dialog at the bottom of the screen.

The playing screen has a section across the bottom called the Interface band. This section shows what gadgets an agent has available and the types of weapons and ammo he's got. You know which object the agent is currently using from this screen.

This game is a lot of fun to play. It has mystery, intrigue, great gadgets and weapons. You get to match wits against some really tough villains. And you just might get to save the life of President Grant.

System Requirements:
Pentium 266 PC
Direct3D hardware acceleration
DirectX video card w/ 4 MB VRAM
Windows 95 or 98
DirectX 6 (supplied)
200 MB free hard drive space
8x CD-ROM drive
Mouse or other pointing device


Copyright © 2000 Bruce E. Von Stiers