Alienation is a game steeped in mediocrity and garnished with a light touch of "meh." I grabbed my copy about a month or so ago from Play-Asia's PS4 sale. It was only $20, and it involved killing aliens; that's all I needed to get sold. Needing a pallet cleanser after my series of extremely long games, I figured that Alienation sounded perfect.
Alienation is a twin stick third person shooter. You move with the left stick and aim with the right stick. Right trigger fires your weapon, right bumper uses your melee attack, and triangle changes weapons. You can equip up to three weapons - primary (your machine gun), secondary (revolver or shotgun), and heavy (flamethrower, rocket launcher, or minigun). The game is broken into 20 levels, the first of which is a tutorial. Levels 2 through 19 are a hell of a lot of fun, though. Level 20 would be fun, but it's merciless. In the first 19 levels, there are respawn points throughout the level, and activating one respawns you at that point if you die. The enemies respawn, but you don't lose your objective progress, so it's fairly forgiving. You also have six difficulties from which to choose. The last level has no difficulty settings, and there are no respawn points - die at any point, and it's game over. This is also the hardest level in the entire game by FAR. It's not that it's unfair, per se, but given how starkly contrasting it is with the previous 95% of the game, it's just too jarring a change in my opinion.
Graphically, the game looks pretty good. It's not a marvel or anything, but it looks nice. The camera is fairly zoomed out, so you don't see any texture issues, and the framerate stays pretty smooth throughout. The sound design is...bland. It's not bad. But it's not impressive. The music is okay. The voice acting is okay. The sound effects are okay. Nothing really stands out, though. It's just...okay. Same with the story. Aliens invade the planet, you're part of a military force armed with power armor that fights to retake the planet. I lost interest once it started getting more detailed than that. It's basically every post-alien invasion game ever.
The one shining point of the game is the multiplayer. There's no local multiplayer, which is a MAJOR bummer, but the online co-op is great. When you choose a mission to play, you're automatically given the option of starting a new game (which you can set to either public or private) or joining a game from the list of ongoing missions other people around the world are playing. I had a lovely (and extremely helpful) Japanese fellow join a few of my missions and help me out. The guy was like four times my level, so I don't know if he just pitied me or what, but he tore through the aliens like tissue paper whereas I was having to fight tooth and nail just to advance. The extremely small player base does negate this positive aspect somewhat, but if you can find a mission online, it really is a lot of fun, even without knowing the other folks or an option for voice chat.
Overall, Alienation is an okay game. If you happen to see it cheap (which is unlikely; the game doesn't seem to be all that common) and you like alien shooters, I'd say give it a try, but it's definitely not a game one should rush out to buy. It doesn't do anything remarkably well, but it is a decently fun romp for what it is. If anyone does have this and wants to play, however, definitely hit me up.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.