Alien Rage is a sci-fi orientated FPS. You take the reins of a hard faced space marine that is trying to save a small colony in…space. Throughout my time playing Alien Rage I was consistently being reminded of Bulletstorm; a 2011 release published by Epic Games. The main reason being that Alien Rage uses Epic Games’ ever popular Unreal Engine. Secondly, the game feels very, very generic.
One thing that isn’t generic in today’s gaming world is ‘boss fights’. Alien Rage allows us to conjure up hazed memories from our past gaming glories of defeating gigantic specimens. It reminds us of how stimulating a boss fight can be. By no means does Alien Rage provide the greatest and most epic battles you are ever likely to conquer; but the battles are still entertaining, and give you a break from the unmerciful killing of wave after wave of aliens in the rest of the campaign.
As for the campaign itself, there are 14 levels. This offers quite a generous amount of game time. Completion of the game took me just short of 13 hours, but the campaign does feel like a grind in many areas. This may be down to the poor storyline quality that left me not really caring about the characters. Neither did it offer me any real justification for massacring mass amounts of aliens. Aside from this, there is also the obligatory multiplayer mode in the game however matchmaking can be a problem, as there aren’t many people online.
If the grind of a campaign is something you enjoy, then you will be pleased to hear that there are three difficulties to choose from which can be altered at any time through the pause menu. The difficulties you can choose from are; challenging, brutal and hard. The latter of which provides a very difficult crusade to say the least.
Alien Rage also has a scoring system in the game. Each enemy you kill obviously adds to your score but the better the enemy, the more points you will receive. In each level there are also three bonuses, and three audio logs to collect. Finding these never seemed like much of a problem mainly because the locations you play in are often quite compact and there is never much opportunity to explore the environment. The scoring system could offer more replay-ability, however it would have been pleasant if developer’s CI Games had implemented a grading system. Something as simple as a bronze, silver or a gold medal rating would be an improvement.
Despite many of the games flaws there is some fun to be had with Alien Rage. Despite the characters being very common and one dimensional, they do often offer some great dialogue. I can say that, hand on heart, Alien Rage did provide me with a few genuine laugh out loud moments. Another plus point is the use of Unreal Engine 3 which means that, even on a high powered PC, although the graphics won’t blow you away the game does look rather respectable. Something that is now a standard from Unreal Engine 3.
Standard and respectable. Two words that also sum up the shooting and weaponry aspects. The shooting mechanics are responsive, I would maybe even stretch to very responsive at a push. Despite this; more, of everything, would be an improvement. Not only are there limited guns to choose from, there are also limited ways of killing an opponent. The game does however offer up many opportunities to blow them up. This can be done in one of two ways; either shooting a certain enemy type that can explode or by shooting an orange target. Whilst not original, an orange target is slightly more original than a red barrel but we are not “killing with skill” here.
In terms of AI, it also suffers from a lack of skill as well. To say it isn’t the most intelligent I have come across is somewhat of an understatement. I often saw the AI characters seeming lost, running back and forwards as though they seem to have a side bet with each other as to who can be killed the quickest. When not partaking in these suicide games they do come at you thick and fast. I would often try and employ a tactical approach to getting through each level; however at many times, tactics were thrown out the window and I just had to hold down the fire button and spray in multiple directions.
Another downside of the game is that I noticed a fair few bugs. There are a few occasions where my PC crashed. Luckily the check-pointing system is fairly generous, resulting in little progress being lost.
Alien Rage is far from being memorable. Despite its bugs and being as generic as its title would suggest, there is some degree of fun to be had here. The throwback nature of its boss fights are something I’m sure any gamer can take enjoyment from. But sadly they were not enough to make Alien Rage anything other than standard FPS fare.
MLG Rating: 5/10 Format: Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 / PC Release Date: 24/09/2013
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Alien Rage for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 5 days on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.