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REVIEW: Alienation

Housemarque once again succeeded in making a great twin-stick shooter. The gameplay’s well known – run around and shoot everywhere, of course not in the same direction at the same time, while fighting evil aliens. If they get too close, a strong melee attack will finish them off, or you’ll dodge to the side to preserve distance while you formulate a new assault.


The story, although completely irrelevant and serves only to fill the time while you take a breath from all the shooting, still plays a part at the start – it provides you with an option of three armored suits made by UNX in an effort to defend the planet from the aliens. You can choose the standard frontline Tank suit featuring strong armaments, or a Bio-specialist one which is somewhere in the middle and can pack a punch and heal comrades, and finally the Saboteur which is always in the back and provides a bit more support than the Bio-specialist. Of course, each class has its special abilities, such as healing, dealing damage, or calling down nanobots to swarm the enemy. Looking at all the classes, it seems that the Tank is the most difficult to control, at least until he advances enough to invest in stronger armor and weapons.


Speaking of weapons, the class determines the primary one, while as a secondary you can choose between a double-barrel shotgun, revolver, or energy beam. The heavy weapons are comprised of a hand-cannon, rocket launcher, or flamethrower, and that’s it. This might come to bother you in time, because there’s not much diversity and prohibits trying out different combinations. You’ll get to upgrade your existing weapons from time to time with, for example, boomerang bullets, which is exactly something that should happened much more often because it provides both great fun and humorous situations. You’ll simply feel sorry sometimes when an upgrade comes along, because that would mean that you’ll lose mentioned improvements.


Alienation showers you with items from dead enemies and surrounding objects, which is something you’ll definitely want to take advantage of, because from what you find may depend how easy or if at all you’ll be able to survive the opponent’s next wave.

It’s also commendable that the game rewards your curiosity through a pretty open map system. Not only will you visit the same locations, only coming from different directions, but you’ll also have an opportunity to explore parts that have nothing to do with the mission. You’ll then be rewarded with hidden extras, of course only if you search thoroughly enough. On the other hand, we should mention that the game will include a surprise alien wave from time to time, where you’ll have to be prepared for tons and tons of enemies, no matter if you were exploring of your own accord or following the mission objective.alienation-screen-05-ps4-us-10nov15

This very reason proves that the game is designed for cooperative play. You can play by yourself, but if you have one (or preferably three) additional players in co-op, you’ll not only have a better time, but you’ll also increase your chances of survival.

On the negative side, there are certain bugs that are mostly related to being unable to go through certain parts of the map due to invisible obstacles, as well as moments when the game won’t progress even though you’ve completed your objective. All of this should be patched up, although that still hasn’t been done, even though the game’s already a month old.


Another potential problem could be the last mission, which is the only one that’s procedurally generated for some reason, and there are no save locations, and it lasts about four times longer than every previous mission, and to top it off, it’s unreasonably harder.


However, if we ignore this somewhat cheap way the game chooses to prolong the end, Alienation is a great shooter that’s worth playing with friends.


Author: Stefan Starović




  • Excellent co-op
  • Great graphics and fun


  • Artificially made more difficult
  • Few weapons

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