SLA Industries (1993)

This is SLA Industries (1993). That’s pronounced “slay,” incidentally, a fact that should give you some insight into the overall temperament of the game.

Let’s see if I can do this in the character limit. The titular company is run by Mr. Slayer, a pumpkin-headed supervillain, and it sits at the center of a horrible, violent universe. The company headquarters is surrounded by post-apocalyptic city ruins called Cannibal Sectors that are filled with all manner of mutants, monsters and serial murderers. Players are freelancers (of COURSE, why would there be paid benefits in a dystopia) who hunt monsters and take part in office politics.

There is a laundry list of super obvious influences. The goth and industrial music scenes are big one — lots of Siouxsie’s with big guns (and top hats) in the art. 40K is another, both in some of the art and in the waist-deep approach to lore. It being a product of Scotland, I expect 2000AD is in the mix, though not as front and center as I would have guessed. There’s some cyberpunk elements (the megacorp, for one), but SLA’s prime science fiction is more in line with the schlocky dystopias of Death Race 2000 and The Running Man, especially in the game’s notion that the players are probably on-camera through most of their exploits, an eerie (if likely entirely accidental) anticipation of reality TV. All of this is filtered, to varying degrees, through the aesthetics and sensibilities of early 90s manga and anime. The result is a big old stew pot of the likes of Rifts and Battlelords, but slathered in nihilism rather than bombast.

System? Oh god, there’s a system under all this? Oh, yea, there it is, on page 110. There is so much lore in this book that even when I am staring right at the system, I can’t really parse it, because I am still reeling from all the factions and history. It looks complicated and embedded in too many words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *