Alien Rage Review: Good ol’ fashioned shooting!
Aliens: They’ve mind controlled us, turned us into The Borg, converted us into Chimera, used us as hosts, burst from our chests, and have, in almost countless ways, laid waste to human civilization. So, when a game title, like “Alien Rage”, comes about, it catches my eye as it implies simple, aggressive payback against extra-terrestrials. And the end result, while incredibly difficult, is just that: Good old fashioned fun that is worth your time. Developed by City Interactive, the studio behind the Sniper: Ghost Warrior games, Alien Rage is a downloadable first-person shooters that displays a talent for sci-fi shooting and something new on the horizon for the team.
The basic narrative is established in the opening cinematic, which looks great and is up above! Deep in the future, during an energy crisis back on Earth, mankind searches for the next big thing in the universe. They discover raw Promethium, which has a variety of uses, in addition to energy. Deep in space lays a massive asteroid rich in the substance. The Earth fleet is quick to make a laboratory and mining facility there. However, they aren’t the only ones seeking this. The Vorus arrive, and while there is a coexistence between the races, it soon breaks down. You are Jack, a special mercenary from a private military force to investigate and, as the name implies, RAGE HELL AGAINST THE ALIENS!
That’s about the most the story gets. However, I encourage players to find the audio logs scattered about the levels as they reveal an interesting story that occurs moments before you arrive. The rest of the story involves in-the-moment dialogue that’s quite fun to listen to! It’s effectively an action quest straight out of a movie. There are no solid relationships formed, no epic themes, no doctrine of honor and integrity. You are here to find out what happened , stop the Vorus, and kick everyone’s ass along the way.
If you are someone who will judge this game based on AAA, top-tier shooters, like Battlefield or Call of Duty, look away now because you won’t like this game. However, if you are like me, a gamer with the fondness of older fashioned video games like Wolfenstein and DOOM, you’ll have quite a bit of fun. The game isn’t like other shooters. Where most shooters basically walk your hand and spoon-feed you through a campaign, this one challenges you.
You can be healed if you stay in cover and there are several weapons with wicked alternate fire modes. You always carry your handgun with unlimited ammunition. However, your enemies are brutal. Your enemies are randomly generated and can come from anywhere. There are no mini-maps to mark enemy locations either so awareness is a must! This can be both frustrating and challenging while being compelling at the same time. The game wants you to keep fighting to the end of the level though, you are going to die…..alot. It can feel cheap at times when one enemy comes from nowhere and empties a clip into you. There were instances of one-hit deaths from grenade launchers as well. Perhaps worst is the splash damage, where on several occasions, I was behind cover and I still died from a grenade launcher. This is most apparent in the last level, which had me turn the system off. I kept dying so much, I had to take a break. However, the mystery, pacing, and action kept me playing. And the more I played, the more I liked it!
Players are awarded for how they play. Headshots, gunslinger streaks with the hand gun, explosions, melee kills, all contribute. The more diverse you are, the higher your score on the leaderboards. With the amount of enemies flying at you, the shooting is fast-paced and aggressive. The more you play, the more you are rewarded. The secondary fire has some nice effects, if a bit off. Sometimes, when I used grenade launchers, I’d see bodies flying and the kills confirmed. But other times, I’d see them get blasted to the back of a room, still miraculously firing at me, get up, then take me down when I thought they were dead. The effects though, are pretty damn cool and each weapon has its own fire mode. The levels are designed well enough to give you wiggle room and provide for some intense firefights. Most of the levels contain a challenging but fun boss fight, each enemy more dangerous than the last.
Visually, the game looks sharp with the UNREAL engine and audio wise, it holds well on a 3.1 channel DTS Sound bar. There’s some good sound effects and solid lighting, especially the lens flare. Though, textures look pretty ugly up close and the effects can get a little repetitive. You truly get the sense that you are in a futuristic mining colony in deep space with the environments, though after awhile, it may all look the same. The aliens looks pretty neat though we never truly see what some of them look like. Still, it holds well. Having done some research, it appears the best version of this game is available through Steam, with very sharp resolutions and visual graphics. The game is also available on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
Like the Sniper Ghost Warrior Game before it, City Interactive strikes a unique blend of challenge, fun, and simplicity. Alien Rage doesn’t over-do anything but it doesn’t under-do anything. It makes for a good, solid game, despite its flaws. I look forward to seeing more in the future and see where this interesting title can go. Go out there and raise some hell against the aliens!