In Alien Shooter: Vengeance, players must select from several mercenaries and then work their way through several levels of alien attacks. To accomplish this task, gamers must locate the non-player characters located in each area and obtain the information to complete a necessary objective. After finishing the mission, players can remain in the environment to explore and locate hidden areas or continue on through the story. After each stage, gamers are rated on performance and will earn experience points to spend on active and passive statistics such as weaponry, speed, armor, and health. A variety of weapons are available, and gamers can revisit the armory as they progress to obtain bigger and better artillery.
Developed by Sigma Team, Alien Shooter: Vengeance is a third-person shooter that drops you into an expansive sci-fi world of classic hack 'n slash gameplay. The story itself is pretty bare-bones. It's the postapocalyptic future and you're working as a mercenary for the MAGMA Energy Corporation. Awful and dangerous experiments were held there and now they are beyond control. The end result is that suddenly there are hundreds of aliens running around in all their facilities, killing everyone in sight. Now lots of ugly aliens need to be blown away!
In the game you begin play by selecting a mercenary from a list of pre-made characters. Each is a little different in terms of their skills (night vision, quick learning, enhanced healing ability)which affect things such as their weapon proficiencies, sight range, and experience rate. Once you have your character picked out and you've spent your extra stat points, you're dropped outside of a research base that is experiencing a slight problem of alien infestation. Your job is to get into the base, locate any survivors, and shoot everything that moves.
The game works just like your standard isometric action-RPG. In that regard I would describe it as Shadowgrounds meets Diablo in the bloodiest alien frag-fest in recent memories. You will shoot, and shoot, and shoot some more until your experience meter is full and you get a level-up. As I mentioned, the game has a fairly simple character advancement system where you can enhance skills as you advance in levels. Each time you level, you will gain 5 skill points that can be put into your character to increase your stats. Depending on how you spend these points you will be able to move faster, gain strength, use more powerful weapons, implants, armor, and other useful items. The skills primarily deal with specific weapon categories - shotguns, pistols, grenade launchers and the like - but also include attributes such as accuracy, strength, health points, and dexterity. You can either level up your main stats like strength, or specific weapon stats like becoming a better shot with shotguns or pistols. Some of the more advanced weapons and armor require a minimum level of proficiency before they can be equipped.
The campaign is lengthy and difficult at times. The levels in the campaign build are the typical sci-fi corridor settings - in other words, nothing you haven't seen before. However there are some environmental portions that you have to be aware of. Fuel barrels are all over the place; not only can you shoot and explode them but if a horde of aliens happen to be around you blow them up as well. Everything from pistols, sub-machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, flame throwers, energy weapons, and even a welder are included. Sadly, you don't have any grenades which could have been very useful in tight situations. You can attain and upgrade your arsenal by purchasing them through kiosks throughout each mission. You get some money for completing a mission, but a lot more cash can be found by breaking open chests and boxes you find along the way, plus dropped weapons are pretty expensive when you sell them. I never really had a money problem and always had enough cash to pick up a new weapon+ammo I wanted once I built up enough skill to have it. Vehicles are also present in the game. When you first get to climb into the driver seat you may find that the armored car - complete with a rotary mini-gun.
You will be massively outnumbered, surrounded of a horde of aliens not knowing what to shoot first. Despite the challenge, the game isn't frustrating. On normal difficulty I was able to move through the levels at a brisk pace, occasionally restarting but never rehashing to the point of boredom. Objectives generally consist of escorting or protecting scientists or civilians. Along the way you also deal with the usual locked gate or missing key card to impede your progress. Yet whatever the mission goals, the action is always fast and furious enough to excite even the most narcoleptic gamer :-D The action is hard-boiled and satisfying.
In addition to the campaign there's a survival mode where you blast bugs until you drop, a survival campaign mode, and multiplayer over LAN or direct IP connection. Multiplayer allows you to play the entire game with a friend in co-op modes along with deathmatch, arena mode and more. In survival mode you start out slow, with a few small waves of enemies and lighter weapons, then before too long you find yourself completely surrounded by hordes of aliens. To help you deal with the onrush of enemies, you are given increased firepower as time progresses to help you decimate the attacking force.
All in all, the Sigma Team did a decent job, despite minor shortcomings. If you're the kind of gamer who enjoys killing lots alien creatures/bugs in a variety of ways without doing much else, then this is the exact game you've been waiting for!
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Armies of Exigo, Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, Arcatera: The Dark Brotherhood, Alien Logic, Archangel, Arx Fatalis, Amulets & Armor
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