The story of Pandora Directive revolves around the existence of extra-terrestrial life, the cover up of a UFO crashing in Roswell, and a race by various factions to control a series of boxes that hold the key to the UFO’s secrets. Tex Murphy is once again played by Chris Jones who also provides 1st person voice narration throughout the game, and serves as the co-lead designer on the game. Many Salt Lake City actors return from Under a Killing Moon to portray characters in Tex’s Chandler Avenue neighborhood and the cast is rounded out by Hollywood talent including Kevin McCarthy, Tanya Roberts, Barry Corbin and John Agar.
Technically, Pandora Directive shares much in common with Under a Killing Moon, the previous game in the series, including the heavy use of FMV and full 3D environments. Pandora Directive builds upon UAKM with higher production values all around, as well as the incorporation of multiple “paths” throughout the story that eventually lead to one of many endings. The concept of multiple narrative paths in the story based on moral choices by the character was a relatively new concept at the time of the game's release. The paths differ in terms of the good/evil nature of Tex’s character as well as the outcome of his love life with the series’ romantic interest Chelsee Bando. Also, you had a choice of picking one of two difficulty levels, Entertainment and Gamer modes. The difference between the two is that Gamer mode had a higher amount of "points" you could earn (a possible 4000 for Gamer and 1500 for Entertainment), more puzzles (some were timed), and more locations to visit than the Entertainment mode. Pandora Directive surpassed Under A Killing Moon’s 4 CD size, shipping on a whopping 6 CDs.
A novelization of Pandora Directive was penned by game writer and co-lead designer Aaron Conners.
The cinematic portions of the game were directed by Adrian Carr. (Quigley Down Under)
The Roswell UFO crash. A package. A serial killer. A government cover-up. A mysterious woman. A missing man. A terrible secret. And you need a shave. It can't get any worse.
It's April 2043 and you - as Tex Murphy, the last of the old style gumshoes - find yourself racing against time in the most dangerous game of your life. What is the truth behind the rumoured UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico? Why did the military suddenly shut down and seal off the Roswell complex? And why the frequent references to the lost Mayan civilization? Will Tex and Chelsea finally get together... Or is there a new woman in Tex's life??? What really happened on July 6, 1947, just outside of Roswell, New Mexico?
Will you be a hard nosed but honest P.I. who struggles to overcome the forces of green and corruption. Or will you be a cynical opportunist who is willing to "sell out" your principles to score the big payoff? Perhaps you'll fall somewhere between the two. Your choices could reveal more about yourself than you'd really like to know. With three different narrative paths and seven different possible endings, The Pandora Directive has many possible endings.
Shipped and presented on 6 CD-ROM discs, The Pandora Directive was available for both MS-DOS and Windows95 systems. The game is still playable on today's systems using the DOSBox emulator for the MS-DOS version or by enabling Windows95 compatibility mode within Windows XP or Vista.