Alien Rage is right up there in the list of bad names with such shining examples as Englebert Humperdink and Spotted Dick.
Developed by CI games, or ci, or Si, however you say it. The most basic way to describe the game is a run of the mill first person sci-fi shooter. Playing as some Gears of War looking bald dude with the help of your trusty pilot and the ships AI, you are tasked with destroying a Vorus base.
The Vorus while being very generic in terms of name and behaviour, by which they run into your gunfire getting their faces blown across the walls, are well designed and none of the enemies look bland. These meat bags come in a variety of flavours. Anything from cloaked melee attackers to hulking grenadiers who explode upon death right up to massive mechanised monstrosities. Mmm, tasty armour plating.
There’s no way to deny that visually, Alien Rage is pretty impressive. Wherever you look the screen is bombarded with lighting blooms and shiny metal. The machines that surround you in your mission as the bringer of mass alien genocide maintain the hulking industrial design while on closer inspection being intricate and…well space ship future like. Why they went to so much bother with the environmental detail though is confusing. For 90% of the four to five hour campaign, you are embroiled in hectic shooting. Ducking, weaving and sliding between cover points and vantage points to shoot yourself out of trouble.
Looking past the visuals after the explosions and blooms burn your retina, the game itself is quite shallow. As states previously, the main single player campaign is only maybe five hours long. This may be a budget title but with the age of the indie dev in full swing the community expects more gameplay than this from a £15 title. There are some things which extend the gameplay like the scoring system. Alien Rage borrows heavily from bulletstorm in offering explosion points boosts, headshot streaks and the customery sliding kick.
Oh, and audio logs. Simply because every game these days needs some superfluous collectable to feed the achievement junkies amongst us.
Sound in the game is on the whole pretty remarkable. The musical backing while often the same song doesn’t get dull and adds to the atmosphere. Interestingly while the writing is shoddy at best the voice work still makes it good.
Weapons fire has the kick to sound like you’re actually firing a real weapon while not being intrusive to gameplay. But do you ever feel that you just want to play a game where your character sounds like he’s making a donation at a sperm bank while running? Then this is most definately the game for you!
Issues are abound however within the whole game. While yes it looks gorgeous there’s more often than not way to much going on in view when it comes to combat that spotting enemies becomes a game of Where’s Wally.
The games problems follow into a few more areas. The Mutliplayer for example is on the whole pretty standard. However when playing it you can tell there’s an almost total lack of inspiration. Everything looks nice enough and runs okay but there’s something missing. That spark. The sign of a game developed to be the best it can be.
Rather, Alien Rage Unlimited takes the time to give you brilliant presentation and impressive sound design and drape it without much care or attention over a shallow repetitive slog of gameplay. If less time had been given to the graphical presentation and more time focused onto providing deeper gameplay., it could have faired much better. Another couple of man hours on the writing. Just a pinch more time on providing environments other than the corridor after corridor elevator after elevator gameplay we’ve seen a thousand times already.
In essence, Alien Rage is far from unlimited. There is a great deal of potention sewn into the tapestry only for the tapestry to be hung precariously over a freshly laid dog egg. For a fan of sci fi shooting or burning out your graphics card Alien Rage Unlimited is one to consider picking up.
Take that advice with a punch of salt though. Looking beyond the sparkling curtains you will find not much worth giving your time to.