With a name like “Alien Shooter” you pretty much know what to expect when starting up this game.
Alien Shooter is an isometric action game in which the player must shoot his way through swarms of alien like creatures and complete mission objectives. You use twin stick style shooting to make your way through generic bases to flip switches, place dynamite and shoot some more. You choose from one of two characters, which are two of the most generic and bland main protagonists I have experienced in a while.
The main game is set in a military base, which you’ve guessed it has been taken over by aliens. The setting never changes from a dull grey colour and the bases become more complex and even more tedious to slowly walk around. The objective is to go through each section to clear them out. You do this by heading to the spawn spots and placing dynamite. There are varied aliens that slowly become more challenging and numbered, filling the screen as you leave a bloody mess as you make your way through each stage.
You can use a range of weaponry, which can be picked up during levels. There are the dual wielding pistols, the shotgun, an ice-ray, a flame-thrower, a missile launcher and more. As you progress through each stage you acquire credit to upgrade your characters speed, strength, accuracy and health bought from the in-game shop.
This is about all there is to say that’s good about this game as the controls are fairly horrendous. You are able to toggle between “Auto Aim” that means you automatically lock on to targets. I found this fairly tedious as it locks onto the nearest target. Even if you switch this option off you don’t really have the ability to shoot in a full 360-degree radius. This might be a draw back from the artificial inaccuracy built-in to the game but for the PSVita, it really doesn’t work. Also the player’s movement feels very clunky and forced. This game is extremely repetitive. Very early on in the game I began to realize how stunted the gameplay felt. They have tried to mix up the levels by having aliens burst through walls or lights turning off but this never really adds much to the overall experience.
The game basically just doesn’t have much to it and what it does offer can be found in other games at a much higher quality, such as Helldivers or Dead Nation on the Playstation 4. At times I found that the frame rate would drop when there where lots of enemies. This combined with the jarred shooting mechanics made the game feel fairly horrendous at times. The bad news is, there probably won’t be a patch to improve performance on the Vita.
I actually thought that the soundtrack was fairly decent and suited the games style fairly well. Alien Shooter first released on the PC back in 2003, it was a basic but enjoyable top down shooter with fast paced game play that was a little ahead of its time. It’s a shame that this version on the Vita has not worked well at all. It looks and feels old, its tedious and repetitive. Alien Shooter just doesn’t have enough substance to its game play to keep it interesting when compared to modern-day top down shooters. If you’re looking for a modern twin stick, isometric style shooter its more worth your time playing something like Helldivers or Dead Nation.
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