Every time I play a shooter, I say to myself that there are simply not enough enemies to mow down – that, and that the plot is always far too involved. I just want to be able to stand there and mow down row after row of mindless enemy combatants – ones with A.I. so wretched that they will keep trying to attack head-on when you’re standing above them shooting and there is no way for them to reach you.
Enter Alien Shooter: Vengeance, the answer to all my prayers.
The plot? It’s a relatively incomprehensible story about a future where terrorism has changed the face of the world and caused a new type of capitalism to emerge, and the perils of science, and some sort of gate that has allowed alien creatures to come through it. You, the player, are something of a mercenary, called in to quell the uprising at M.A.G.M.A. Corporation and get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Following an incredibly slow load time the player is treated to relatively poor, almost pure top-down graphics, very reminiscent of a Diablo, or, if you’re as old as I am, a more accurate analogy would be Syndicate. The graphics are completely unremarkable, though a good deal of time seems to have been spent on how shooting an already dead enemy should lead to an explosion of body and other alien bits and pieces. After the aliens die though, there is a residual, almost radiation-like appearance to the screen. Still though, the blood is everywhere. Actually, one of the more odd moments graphically occurs after the player gets to drive around in an armored car. The game actually traces very well the tire tracks made by the car over the blood and viscera of aliens. It’s quite impressive. Completely silly, but quite impressive.
The game is mission based: go here and turn on the computer; go there and save a scientist; retrieve the critical discs from a database, etc. Successful completion of the missions result in the garnering of money (which can also be found alongside weapons throughout missions in wooden crates), which allows the player to buy ammo, weapons, armor, and various other upgrades. By killing enough creatures throughout the mission, the player can level up and choose various attributes (intelligence, accuracy, speed, etc.) to increase as well.
The number of aliens the game throws at the player is simply ludicrous, numbering on any given mission well into the two and three thousands and higher. This, in part, makes up for the complete lack of A.I. in the game. The aliens only response, ever, is to charge right at the player, making it pretty simple to mow down 50 or 60 at a shot, but moderately more difficult when 600 aliens appear from all different directions at once. Should the aliens only be coming from one or two directions, the best choice is often to simply retreat and continually shoot at them.
Despite the game’s complete lack of intelligence and plot, it is a blazing good time, and if you like shooters it’s definitely up your alley. There’s unquestionably a certain sense of accomplishment to mowing down the full complement of 2,477 aliens on a given level, even if I did just stand on a catwalk they couldn’t reach, while a drone took out the aliens below as I walked away for five minutes to get a cup of coffee. Seriously. I left the computer, went to the kitchen, made coffee, and came back while a computerized drone buddy of mine took out all the aliens (they were still coming when I got back).
In the mood to mindlessly blast away 3,000 aliens on any given level? Alien Shooter: Vengeance is most definitely for you. It’s not terribly difficult, but the levels are long enough, and the number of enemies plentiful enough that it’s more than distracting for a few hours. Good times.
Alien Shooter: Vengeance is rater M by the (ESRB) for Blood, Language, and Violence.