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Alienation – Starship Troopers on your PS4

REVIEW  – Housemarque is a versatile developer, from the popular Resogun, to Super Stardust, and even Golf game they created a lot of different games in many genres. Dead Nation was also one of their games, and unfortunately, I never had the chance to play that title, as I was burnt out on zombie fever. It looked like an okay game, but at that point, I was looking for something more, and science fiction related. Here we are in 2016 with Alienation, a game that was announced back at E3 for the PlayStation 4. I initially dismissed it being mentioned near a slew of other indie games. However, my initial cynicism regarding the game has turned into optimism. Let us see if that optimism can wane or stay for the entirety of the game.

 

The basic premise of Alienation is humanity is on the losing side of the great war between Xenos and humans. Humanity has developed exo-suits to combat the aliens as a last ditch effort. You can control three classes, a Tank, a Bio-Specialist, and a Saboteur. With these three classes, we have to stop the alien invasion that is occurring on Earth, take back important regions, and kill as many Xenos as we can before leaving a location. Oh and also collect lots of loot weapons to use in your adventures to retake planet Earth.

The basic premise of Alienation is humanity is on the losing side of the great war between Xenos and humans. Humanity has developed exo-suits to combat the aliens as a last ditch effort.

Exo suits, and miniguns

While the regular army and soldiers with M16 probably got slaughtered in mere seconds, our soldiers with Exo suits can take on any foe with ease. We have miniguns, rifles, grenades, and even a metal wired boomerang that cuts through Xenos. Even better is that these items can be upgraded, and rare versions of them collected. From white to orange, not only do the rarest items do more damage, but they also can be upgraded, and even have power cores added to them. So that we can have more ammo per reload, faster-firing rate etc.

Still while the loot system is neat for such an isometric shooter is that while there are levels of rarity the weapons look the same. A rare rocket launcher looks just like a white rocket launcher regarding rarity. Which is a bit disappointing as we could have used a bit more on the art design for rare weapons. Still the number of actual weapon types is huge, and the upgrade system makes the combat deep enough for loot collectors to try and find the best weapons out there.

Besides the weapons and special items, our Exo suits have multiple passive, and active abilities. Active ability here is for example using a Tesla gun to cut down enemies in an instant. Passive is, for instance, having a second wind in case of near death situation. All of the characters are unique regarding abilities, but it is never hinderance if you do not have a Bio-Specialist or a Saboteur on the team. Four Tanks can just as be good as a mixed team.

Choose whatever class you like, whether it is a Tank or a Medic, you will not will not lack in firepower (luckily)

The basic premise of Alienation is humanity is on the losing side of the great war between Xenos and humans. Humanity has developed exo-suits to combat the aliens as a last ditch effort.

Squad moves out!

Firepower will be needed, as the Xenos are not too kind to our Exo suited presence. The aliens will claw, shoot, snipe, and maul us if we are not careful. Playing alone on Veteran difficulty was nightmarish, however even with four players it was no cakewalk. The AI is aggressive, and besides the usual generic enemies some Hordes bumrush us (usually a huge warning sign is shown on the screen in such cases), and boss type enemies that drop rare loot.

The special bosses do look a bit different luckily compared to the basic enemy types, and the loot they drop is rather a valuable most of the time. Proceed with caution as the bosses are usually surrounded by heavy enemy units.

There are side activities such as these, and optional objectives, but there is also a mechanic that allows the players to destroy the inactivated respawn points for more XP. Just be cautious as if you destroy them and end up getting killed, you’ll have to travel from the edge of the map. Speaking of restarts, there is another campaign mode where if you die on the map, you’ll have to start the whole campaign again (Save state wipes). There is also new game plus available, and the enemies scale to the player level.

It looks like a simple game but in reality, it is difficult to master product. Especially if you plan on going up against the aliens in the final missions.

One last thing, unlike in Helldivers there is no friendly fire, so enjoy blowing up everything in sight with heavy artillery.

The basic premise of Alienation is humanity is on the losing side of the great war between Xenos and humans. Humanity has developed exo-suits to combat the aliens as a last ditch effort.

The smell of fire and death

The graphics in this game are stunning, and wish Helldivers looked as good. The environments are gorgeous, the enemies are well detailed, and the effects are marvelous. The sound design is also spectacular. The screen is usually filled up our screen, and the game does not even hitch for a second even during the heaviest firefights. The details are sharp, and Alienation does a great job in presenting what the PS4 can do for such an indie game. Would love for more games to be like Alienation regarding presentation instead of the usual retro pixel that has been released upon us.

The basic premise of Alienation is humanity is on the losing side of the great war between Xenos and humans. Humanity has developed exo-suits to combat the aliens as a last ditch effort.

Mayday mayday!

While the game is good, there are some problems. The weapon models look too samey when it comes to the different levels of rarity. When playing in Co-Op you also cannot wander away too much from the squad leader, or the game will teleport you back to the leader. The difficulty is also all over the place. Even though you get better weapons, the enemies scale to your level, so at times, you do not feel all that powerful. While the graphics are great, I am a bit disappointed in the lack of armor customization (Being always green is getting annoying). Bit more weapon design variety between rare and not rare.

The basic premise of Alienation is humanity is on the losing side of the great war between Xenos and humans. Humanity has developed exo-suits to combat the aliens as a last ditch effort.

The only good alien is a dead alien!

Alienation does not reinvent the wheel, nor is it tactical as Helldivers. However, it is one of the most fun indie games I have played. It has great graphics, easy online co-op play (Offline couch co-op will be patched). A must have if you are bored of swords, and magic – or lame pixel indie games. For such a low price tag, Alienation is twin stick shooter that will provide the player with many hours of fun.

-Dante-

Pro:

+ Chaotic and fun gameplay
+ Lots of enemies runs smooth
+ Awesome graphics

Against:

– Squad leader teleportation is annoying
– Story is barebones
– Lack of weapon design is disappointing


Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Developer: Housemarque

Genre: Twin-Stick Shooter

Release date: April 26, 2016

REVIEW  - Housemarque is a versatile developer, from the popular Resogun, to Super Stardust, and even Golf game they created a lot of different games in many genres. Dead Nation was also one of their games, and unfortunately, I never had the chance to play that title, as I was burnt out on zombie fever. It looked like an okay game, but at that point, I was looking for something more, and science fiction related. Here we are in 2016 with Alienation, a game that was announced back at E3 for the PlayStation 4. I initially dismissed it being mentioned…
A game where you in an Exo suit go around the globe and blast away aliens, and recover loot from killing more aliens. Seems simple but it is addictive and fun as hell. Try it out as soon as possible, with such a low price it is a steal.

Alienation

Gameplay - 7.9
Graphics - 9.1
Story - 7
Music/Audio - 9.2
Ambiance - 8.3

8.3

EXCELLENT

A game where you in an Exo suit go around the globe and blast away aliens, and recover loot from killing more aliens. Seems simple but it is addictive and fun as hell. Try it out as soon as possible, with such a low price it is a steal.

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