Aspyr raises <i>Shield</i>

Missing-and-presumed-dead actioner based on critically acclaimed--and unapologetically brutal--FX series gets second life; due on PCs, PS2s this winter.

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In March 2004, a game version of the gritty police television drama The Shield was announced by Sammy Studios, the American division of Japanese game publisher Sammy. However, following Sammy Studios' transformation into High Moon Studios (now owned by Vivendi), the game has been missing and presumed canceled.

"Is there a problem, officer?"

Recently, though, that changed. Over the weekend, Apsyr Media has announced it has signed an exclusive agreement with 20th Century Fox to publish The Shield. The game is now set for release this coming winter for the PC and PlayStation 2, and is still being developed by Point of View (World Championship Poker, the NARC remake).

The Shield debuted on the FX Network in 2002, and follows hard-boiled and corrupt Los Angeles police detective Vic Mackey, played by Michael Chiklis (pictured), who won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the role. Vic is the leader of the Strike Team, a controversial antigang police division based in the fictional Farmington area of LA. Over the course of five seasons, the team has navigated Los Angeles' underworld, engaging serial killers, Armenian mobsters, race riots, gang wars, and policemen even more corrupt than themselves. A sixth and final season is slated to debut on FX in early 2007.

The Shield game will be a third-person action number that Aspyr describes as a "knockdown, drag-em-out brawler." Storywise, not much has been revealed so far, although it seems likely that the story will feature the same shades-of-gray morality and rough-and-tumble justice as the TV series. Gameplay will involve some of the traditional aspects of inner-city police work, including busting crack dens, foiling bank robberies, and arresting gang members.

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