One of the problems a lot of booths at PAX have is trying to contend with other booths – especially for virtually unknown projects. Who wants to see your interesting game that nobody’s ever heard of when they can go get the latest news on Mass Effect 3? Citizen Skywatch solves this problem in SPADES.
An early contender for “easily the most interesting booth ever”, Citizen Skywatch doesn’t waste a single inch of their booth to show off the theme to their game. From the beginning, we’re prompted to sign up to be a part of the Citizen Skywatch – a group of free citizens who report on strange incidents that have happened around America. While we were in line a citizen walked up and down asking us questions about our relations to America. When he approached us and asked why Colin was taking pictures I decided to play with the role – I explained that we were a part of a free information network. He then chastised us for a couple minutes about the power of information and that we were naive to just throw it away for free. These actors REALLY got into their roles, which was pretty incredible. There was a man with a notebook who just silently “took notes” on the people in line and would occasionally whisper to his colleague.
We were fed into a medical room two at a time. While waiting our turn, Colin took more photos – which got the attention of the nurse. She pulled him out for keeping his hand in his pocket. When I tried to join my ally, she snapped at me and told me to wait my turn. While the nurse was interrogating him, the doctor was handing cards to another “citizen” and testing his psychic abilities. Soon after Colin and the other citizen were led behind a curtain. On my turn to go I was told to sit down and lift various limbs at the nurses command. She asked me a bunch of questions about if I had communist associations – of course I lied. I wasn’t going to let my red comrades down! When she asked for my name I told her “Greg Pharisee”, a clearly fake persona. She asked me if the name came from a passage in the bible and if I followed their tenants. Clever girl.
Then I was led past the curtain where comrade Colin disappeared. I didn’t see him but there was a man with a camera and a door. I could only assume they poisoned him and tossed his body behind the door – what else could they have done in such a short amount of time? I wasn’t going to go that way. They took my photo and invited me to a meeting of the Citizen Skywatch tonight – they even gave me the secret code “Citizen Zero”. Those rubes. I’ve successfully infiltrated their base, and they won’t even see it coming. I’ll avenge you, Comrade Colin! Your death will not go without meaning.
Okay, so, admittedly, I really got into their booth. It was really really cool. I’ve picked up that the game has something to do with the Cold War era and that there’s some sort of Citizen police force in Orwellian fashion. Their actors were really great and knew what they were doing. I was seriously impressed by the ad lib capabilities of the actors – especially so that the nurse knew where I grabbed the name Pharisee from. But… I don’t know ANYTHING about the game. It’s probably the best teaser trailer I’ve ever seen, but there’s nothing of video game related substance here. I’ll be going to the party tonight and I’ll see if I can find out more there.