Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Replay: Aliens Infestation Review

Aliens: Infestation is a side scrolling 2D shooter developed by WayForward and Gearbox Software and published by Sega as a DS exclusive. The game's story takes place after the events of the James Cameron film and has you playing as a group of marines who are attempting to find out what happened to Ripley and the crew of the Sulaco.

The game plays much as you'd expect it to with you using iconic weapons like the Pulse Rifle and gadgets like the Motion Tracker to face off against facehuggers, standard Aliens and Alien Queens as well as other enemies such as Androids. The gameplay never strays into unexpected territory so don't expect to be pleasantly surprised, it's a very standard 2D affair but this doesn't take away from the fact that gunning down a horde of Aliens is incredibly fun.

The graphics and art style, much like the gameplay, are good but not amazing but they do make good use of the licence in terms of weapons and Alien design. The individual marines also each look good as each has his or her own distinct visual style. My only real issue with the graphics and art style is that the backdrops can often be quite dull. Granted LV-426 and the Sulaco weren't the most exciting of landscapes but still a bit more variation would have been nice.

Sound wise the game is also pretty good but never great, the guns and gadgets all sound good but they don't quite sound like they do in the films, the sound isn't too different but it just isn't quite right. Maybe I'm being too fan-boyish?

My main issue with the game is the script. Story wise the game is fine as you learn what happened to the crew and discover various other things about what happened on LV-426 but the script is atrocious. The thing is is that people just don't talk like that. Conversation seems awkward and at first it's tolerable but as the story unfolds it just becomes annoying and it really takes away from the overall experience by ruining the story.

Also some may find the game to be overly hard. I'm managing so far but it is daunting to know that when a squad mate dies they are gone for good. Also you only have a finite number of people in your squad. You have been warned. That being said this does give the Aliens a level of terror that they haven't had since the first film.

Despite its flaws the game still manages to serve as a great use of the licence, it doesn't quite reach the heights of the Alien vs. Predator game made for Xbox 360 and PS3 in terms of being a great homage to the franchise but it easily takes second place as the best Aliens game yet and it's made me even more excited for Gearbox's Aliens: Colonial Marines.

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