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Alien Rage (Video Game Review)

Alien Rage is the newest release from CI Games that places players into the boots of a badass space marine battling against alien hordes to save the day. Unlike the disaster that was the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines from earlier in the year, Alien Rage likely won't split gamers' opinions on whether the game is good or not, and the new game is not based on any other storyline, so it won't have the pressure of comparing with other high quality releases for a franchise either. Alien Rage is a great arcade shooter that doesn't spend too much time setting up a narrative and instead focuses on a good variety of guns and supplying plenty of enemy encounters for players to blast their way through.

The storyline in Alien Rage is nearly non-existent and can be summed up as a game that borrows heavily from other works in the science fiction genre but still provides some fun scenes when switching from one mission to the next. Players take control of the biggest and baddest space marine around and run in guns blazing to take out the alien threat. The game's main character endlessly spouts off corny wisecracks throughout the game that make most other action games look mature in comparison, but there are a few good laughs spread across the lengthy campaign as well. All in all, Alien Rage has a forgettable storyline, but players hardly need a reason to shoot their way through the next room full of bad guys in this type of game, so it's easily forgivable.

Alien Rage has many of the same features as most other first-person shooters, but there are a couple of key differences here as well. Progressing through missions in the game rarely amounts to more than shooting through a room of enemies and moving on the next, but there are many different enemies to encounter in the game including alien enemies that walk on two legs and fire guns like humans, giant mech battles and encounters with some monstrous extraterrestrials too. Players will have many different tools at their disposal to dispatch these foes all with science fiction influences. Most weapons have two modes of fire that may shoot automatic rounds, single shot bursts, grenade launcher rounds or even lasers. This gives each weapon in the game an added strategic element that must be considered before heading into combat.

In total, there are 14 missions in the campaign of Alien Rage that take players several hours to complete. Additional difficulties are unlocked after defeating all of the 8 massive bosses in the game to add some replay value, as players desperately attempt to complete the Brutal difficulty setting. Another large portion of the game will be spent earning experience points by killing enemies and completing missions. The points are then used to unlock additional perks for soldiers in the game's campaign for a variety of different effects such as more powerful armor. While the perk system isn't exactly new for the first-person genre, Alien Rage uses it where it is rarely seen to make the single player campaign of the game all the more interesting.

Alien Rage is built on Unreal Engine 3 and is definitely a great looking game. Plenty of lights, lasers and explosions light up the dark machinery in science fiction shooter. Guns in the game have nice designs and look and feel good; there is plenty of kickback for heavy weapons and hit boxes react as they should and change when firing from the hip or aimed down the sights. The level design in Alien Rage takes a bit of a hit and seems to recycle many of the same items across multiple rooms, but for a downloadable title that is this pretty, it's hardly a deal breaker. Destructible environments are a plus too. Character models are equally impressive and help create some memorable boss encounters players will love.

Alien Rage has a nice presentation that provides exciting enemy encounters on foot or battling it out in giant mech robots. Both the player and enemies can gain access to mechs, and one entertaining boss encounter features the machines at the forefront of the battle. All of the action is intensified with arcade like notifications that tell the player when Double Kills, Headshots and other special conditions are met. Sound design averages itself out with good sounding guns and some neat sound effects, but much of the voice acting in the game falls flat and doesn't do a weak storyline any favors.

Multiplayer is also included with Alien Rage. The multiplayer mode doesn't offer much in the form of innovation, but players can battle it out with up to 8 players in Deathmatch sessions or up to 16 players in Team Deathmatch. There are several maps in the multiplayer that are inspired by the game's campaign, and each seem to do a pretty good job of balancing large teams with safe spawns and nicely designed areas for heavy gunfights. The multiplayer is another mode entirely separate from the campaign, and players will start with nothing unlocked in the mode from their single player progress. Downloadable titles don't always include a full single player campaign plus online multiplayer, but the multiplayer in Alien Rage adds even more content to an already fun game and makes it a great value at $19.99.

Players looking for a new first-person shooter for cheap can definitely do a lot worse than Alien Rage. The game offers an entertaining and lengthy campaign plus a fun multiplayer mode and plenty of unlockable content such as audio logs to give players a lot of value for the 20 bucks spent to download the new title. The game looks great and plays better in nearly every aspect including the 10 powerful weapons that add a layer of strategy to the endless shooting and piloted mechs that are sure to excite science fiction fans. Alien Rage is quite possibly the best science fiction shooter released this year and a great new title to pick up this week on Steam.

Alien Rage is now available for PC via Steam and can be purchased for $19.99. Fans will also be able to pick up Alien Rage on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in a couple of weeks for $14.99.  Alien Rage is rated M by the ESRB for Blood, Strong Language & Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Alien Rage website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-16
  • 14 Alien Packed Levels
  • 10 Unique Weapons
  • Online Leaderboards
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer & Publisher: CI Games
    Platforms: PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE Arcade & PC (reviewed)
    Release Date: September 24, 2013

    Score: 7.5 out of 10

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