Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Aliens Infestation (DS) review

Over the years there have been numerous games featuring the Xenomorphs from the Alien series with some being fantastic, some being good and some being not so good. Unfortunately Aliens Infestation falls into the not so good category.

Don't get me wrong there are good points to the game like the graphics which are big and vibrant with some parts being a little tense due to the colour and atmosphere of the game. The alien bosses take up a good chunk of the screen when fighting them, the last one in particular. The weapons are really good (a shame that there are not more of them included) and there is a level where you get to ride along in the armoured car like thing and the last boss is huge and there is a tracker and well that's about it. Oh, you can also use a loader to fight bigger aliens with.

I wanted to like this game I really did but there is far too much wrong with it. The plot is the standard fare of a ship being found that contains the aliens aboard it so I won't go into that as it's what you would expect for it to be. What I will go into is everything else as that's where the problems are such the music and sound effects, the music barely changes and after a while the tracker noise just starts to do your head in with the way that it sounds.

The main problem though is the repetitiveness of the game play. Now I really enjoy the Metroid and Castlevania games so have no aversion to backtracking but here it is just so dull as it is so predictable. It mainly consists of being that a door is locked so a key must be found or something needs blowing up so explosives must be found and that really is about it. There are boss fights interspersed with all of this but they are not that great as despite them filling up the screen they are pretty easy to kill, especially the final fight in which I didn't even need to look at the screen. I just found a safe spot where I couldn't be touched and held down the button for the flamethrower until it died. Don't even get me started on the giant alien that looks like an elephant.

Talking of enemies, there are pretty much four enemies in the games which are xenomorphs, facehuggers, humans and robots. Each of them pretty much has one palette so the variety of things to kill rapidly drops and the re-spawn on the enemies is terrible as they all reappear where they were killed. Do a little jump when an alien jumps out from you, not when it jumps out from the exact same spot for the fifth time that you have to make your way through the room.

Talking of variety, there are fifteen marines in the game that look different and have different dialogue when you meet them and that is all that is different about them as once they join your squad they are completely interchangeable with each one having exactly the same weapons and skills. It is a completely missed opportunity to give them their own skills related to areas in the game and when one dies you just head to a room and add another to the team.

The thing is though it that it's a real shame the way the game turned out as there is massive potential to it and just a few tweaks would have made the game so much better. Again, by giving the marines different skills the game play could have opened up more. Need to blowtorch through a door, well instead of having to wander round looking for a blowtorch why not select the marine who can open the door but maybe has a smaller weapon making it more tense. Having the enemies attack each other would be good as well like when you enter a room with a human and an alien and they both ignore each other to concentrate on attacking you, would have been so much better if everyone was attacking everyone. Ditch the re-spawn in the exact same places, if you are going to do it do them in slight different places at least. Any or all of these things could have made the game much more enjoyable.



  1. I had a lot of similar problems with this game, After I had sent a big alien boss out of an air hatch or something, I just lost interest. It seemed to be the same thing over and over again, plus none of the characters were in the slight bit interesting.
    Could have been so much better.

  2. I agree with everything you say, the game was just not interesting enough to enjoy. One other good thing was that at least it was short.

  3. Oh, this makes me kind of sad. I've been on the fence about this game for ages now--part of me wanting to buy it because I'm a big fan of Alien/Aliens (duh), and part of me avoiding it due to hearing negative rumblings about it. Anyway, it sounds like I was wise to wait. Still, it makes me sad that yet another Alien/Aliens game fails to offer the kind of interest, intrigue and excitement this franchise deserves :(

  4. Yeah, it seems to be that when they make Alien games bad they certainly make them bad.

    That's a bit harsh on Infestation actually as it's not a bad game so to speak, it's just dull and could have been so much better. The game is only about four hours long so might be worth a play if you can find it really cheap just to satisfy your curiosity.