Today I play a budget game that actually had some real potential.
MIB: Alien Crisis kind of screams money grab. Hell, the biggest selling point for this pseudo movie tie-in game was that you could go see Men in Black III for free if you bought the game. The game is also, very clearly, a budget game. That said, it is surprising how much the game doesn’t outright suck, or that there is even some real potential here for something better.
Alien Crisis is mostly a third person rail shooter. There are a couple of driving sequences and there is some basic control of your character (mostly the equivalent of strafing and taking cover), but for the most part the game guides you along. It is sort of an arcade shooter really, and that is made more evident from the fact that you can actually use the Top Shot Elite peripheral from your Cabela’s game with it. The gameplay is simplified no doubt, but enjoyable for what it is. Though to some extent Alien Crisis has a bit of an identity crisis. It throws in various other types of gameplay here and there reminiscent of other games (taking you from a third person shooter, to an arcade driving game, to a stealth game with camera that need to be taken out to even a point and click detective game at times).The driving sequences, and the few levels where stealth is more important than outright assault help to vary it up a bit though, so while somewhat fragmented in style it sort of works in the long run.
Visually there is no denying MIB” Alien Crisis’ budget status. The game barely even looks like Xbox 360 launch graphics. Some levels look better than others, such as the alien ship in a later level, but by and large the game just looks bad. Especially the characters. That said, the voice performances are all actually pretty top notch, and the guns and aliens in the game really do sound like they are straight out of the movie.
Story wise though is where MIB: Alien Crisis really scores some points. Getting away from Agents J and K, Alien Crisis has you playing as a new recruit. Think Indiana Jones meets Agent J. The story has you tracking down some ancient alien artifacts and uncovering a long buried mystery. Not only does this story work well, but I remarked several times during the game that this would actually make for an awesome live action TV series; a pair of MIB agents hunting down ancient alien relics/saving the world.
The story here really works and even when the simplified gameplay and visuals start to wear thin it keeps you playing the game. In the end you are most likely to remember the story over the other aspects as well, almost like a neutralizer targeting the bad memories of the game; making MIB: Alien Crisis a fun distraction for the price. The game only clocks in at about 3 or so hours, so the original MSRP (which is still hanging around $29.99) is an obvious no thank you, but many stores are clearancing it out for around $10 and that is a much more reasonable price.
Tomorrow I kick ass and like totally find myself in Brave: The Video Game.
Final Rating: 6/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: Xbox 360
Time to completion: ~ 3 hours
Gamer Score Earned: 700/1000
Price Bought at: $10
Current Price: $20.99 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: $10 is the right price for this.
Why you should buy it: Really enjoyable story.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Simplified and somewhat fragmented game play and dated visuals.