Backlog Quest II: Day 28 – Aliens: Infestation – Kills bugs dead

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Dear Journal,

Today I killed some Xenomorphs with some of the toughest hombre’s this side of Jupiter.

Aliens: Infestation is another game that ties into a movie made in the 80’s, taking place shortly after the events of the Aliens film.  A group of Marines are sent to the Sulaco to investigate what happened to the crew, as well as investigate the events of LV-426. Or, in other words, the exact same plot of the upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines game (I’ve not referenced that twice in two reviews, perhaps I’m starting to let my excite become to obvious).  Of course, the marines find nothing but death and face huggers, which also bring death.

In a traditional 2D visual style, you make your way through the Sulaco and several other locations in order to find out what has happened and prevent further tragedy.  The game actually looks great, and it is a shame that it came out before the 3DS. The backgrounds have a great amount of detail, as do the characters, and all around does a great job of just looking and feeling like the Aliens universe. The various Xenomorphs in general tend to look particularly good in the game.

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The 2D visual style does lend to some oddities in combat; namely when attempting to shoot fast moving enemies that manage to run past you. It can be hard to change the direction you are firing on a whim.  Also, as is often the case in a 2D style game that is not a platformer but has end bosses, said end bosses can be very hard to avoid making death rather easy.  Beyond that though, once you get the hang of combat and the controls of the game it comes rather naturally (though controls could be explained better; I did not realize there was a run option till mid way through the game).

No means no!

No means no!

Aliens: Infestation is partly a survival game and partly about exploring various areas to find what you need to explore the next area. Supplies are fairly limited and enemies respawn each time you make the level re-load (elevator, enter a vent, etc.), making the “communications rooms” where health and amo are restored vital. Also an interesting element to the game is the “life” system. There is a typical health bar, but death is permanent. Well, for the marine that dies. At any point you have four marines in your squad, as you search the various installations you find other marines separated from their squads (some more violently than others) and if you have an open spot on your squad they join up. This was one of the more interesting and well thought out ways to handle this, seriously WayForward, kudos on that part.  Also of note, each marine has slightly different dialogue for the moments they have something to talk about. A nice touch.

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Beyond simply surviving, much of the game simply consist of going around the ship looking for the access card to level 4 so you can find the power-loader keys so you can find wrench so that you can get to the room with the access card to level 5 and so on. It has been compared to Castlevania in terms of the game map. This can get a little waxing, namely the walking back and forth around the ship over and over. It gets better as the game progresses because you start to learn the ship and also how the game works, but at first it can be a little off putting.

In fact, that’s probably the biggest obstacle to overcome with Aliens: Infestation. It is really hard to get into the game at first. Once you do, it gets a lot better very quickly, but the first half hour or so of the game (maybe even longer) is surprisingly light on Aliens and with so little of the game’s “rules” explained it can be a little frustrating to figure out at first. Once the learning curve is overcome, Aliens: Infestation becomes a surprisingly enjoyable romp through the Aliens universe and a great game to play if you are eagerly waiting for Aliens: Colonial Marines to arrive.

Tomorrow I question many things after playing Kung Fu Panda 2 for Kinect.

Final Rating: 8/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: NDS/3DS
Time to completion: Hours
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: $9.71
Current Price: $9.79 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: $9.99 is worth it if you are an Aliens fan.
Why you should buy it: Great game set in a universe that hasn’t has many great games.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: You don’t own a DS/3DS and don’t plan to.

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.