Well, after playing quite a bit of the first “Alien Shooter” game (and completing “Zombie Shooter”), I was curious about what the second “Alien Shooter” game would be like.
Thankfully, there was still a sale running on GOG a few days before I originally prepared this review (in late 2016), so I was able to pick up a copy of “Alien Shooter 2” for 79p. I think that it costs about a fiver at full price though.
And, since I completed “Alien Shooter 2” a few minutes before I started writing this review, this will actually be a full review, rather than a partial review or a first impressions article.
Plus, like with the other games in this series, I should probably warn you that this review contains unrealistic/cartoonish GRUESOME IMAGES and BLOODY IMAGES.
So, let’s take a look at “Alien Shooter 2”:
“Alien Shooter 2” is an isometric third-person perspective action game from 2009. One of the very first things that I will say about this game is that, unlike the first “Alien Shooter” game, this one actually has something of a story to it. In other words, there’s actual voice-acting, NPCs and even the occasional set piece.
Of course, some of the voice acting is kind of funny, such as the voice acting for this character. I literally laughed out loud when he said “deep in the bowels of this place” in a serious voice.
And, yes, there are set pieces like this one too.
In other words, this is more like a “mainstream” game in some subtle ways. A few of the levels are somewhat more linear than usual and all of the levels are vaguely story-based. Whilst this detracts from the timelessly thrilling gameplay slightly, it’s something that you can get used to after a while. Even so, most parts of this game are just as thrillingly fast-paced as the first “Alien Shooter” was. And, thankfully, this game isn’t as easy as your typical mainstream game is 🙂
However, before I go any further, I should probably point out that the controls/perspective can take a bit of getting used to. Whilst I’d had a lot of practice with the previous games, one annoying feature in this game is the inclusion of vehicle-based segments (including at least one vehicle-only level).
The vehicles use a totally different control scheme to that used for normal character movements (eg: directions are from the perspective of the vehicle itself, rather than from the perspective of the overhead viewpoint) which can confuse the hell out of you and cause you to swerve around wildly until you finally get used to another set of controls…. only to then have to get used to the “normal” controls again once you leave the vehicle.
Seriously, why couldn’t the vehicles have used the same movement controls as the rest of the game?
The difficulty curve in this game is kind of strange too. Ironically, some of the earlier levels and one level in the middle of the game are more difficult than the later levels. This is mostly because, by the end of the game, you have such powerful weapons and such impressive stats that you may as well be playing with “god mode” enabled.
Yes, as soon as you get one of the better rocket launchers, the difficulty drops from “hard” to “easy” LOL!
Yes, even though the last two levels contain five bosses [well, sort of…], it only took me two attempts to beat both levels. Whereas, one level in the middle of the game took me at least six tries to get through!
Another reason why some levels are almost unreasonably difficult is because of the game’s saving system. Whilst this game now allows you to replay previous levels, it still uses the dreaded checkpoint saving system (only saving when you’ve completed a level). Given that one difficult level in the middle of the game is literally half an hour long, having to replay the whole thing every time you fail will probably cause you to ragequit more than a few times.
Yes, getting to this part of the level isn’t too difficult after a couple of attempts. But, unless you picked up the hidden rocket launcher (or found enough in-game bonuses to buy it) earlier, then you won’t stand a chance in the last part of the level.
On the plus side, this game has received some fairly cool upgrades. Not only are there more characters, weapons and stats available, but you also get to choose an upgradeable ‘perk’ at the beginning of the game. The best one to go for is probably the “vampirism” one (which gives you health every time you destroy a monster) since it complements the aggressive playing style that you’ll need to use. Not to mention that it makes the final boss battle a lot easier too.
Plus, the perk selection screen actually has a sense of humour. Seriously? Humour? In an action game from 2009? Maybe there’s hope for games after all….
But, unlike other games in this series, you can’t use bonus items you find whilst playing to buy extra lives. You only get extra lives on the rare occasions that a monster drops a “+1” power-up. I don’t know why they left this feature out, since it makes a couple of the levels more difficult than they should have been. But, for the most part, it doesn’t affect the game too much.
Graphically, the game has been given a huge upgrade compared to the previous game. The lighting in this game looks beautiful, and most of the locations, animations and monsters are more detailed too. Whilst this gives the game a lot more atmosphere and allows some parts of it to be even more ludicrously gruesome than the first “Alien Shooter” game, it does come at a cost. If you’re using an older computer, then expect some fairly long loading times both between missions and when you load up the game itself. Still, if you set the graphics to minimum, then the actual gameplay itself will still run at a decent speed.
Fun fact: This game came out at least a year BEFORE “Brutal Doom” did, and yet this one monster death animation somehow manages to be more splatterific than all of “Brutal Doom” combined.
And just check out this awesome lighting! Yes, there are some parts of the game that are set during boring daylight, but the gloomy corridors are the best parts of the game.
The game also contains the usual survival modes etc… too. I didn’t really have much of a chance to check these out but from, what I saw, they seemed to be pretty much what you would expect.
All in all, this is still an absolutely brilliant action game. Whilst it lacks some of the pure thrilling simplicity of the first “Alien Shooter” game, it’s still a fairly solid action game.
Yes, some of the changes in the sequel don’t work that well (vehicles especially!) and the difficulty curve is a bit strange, but it’s still the kind of thrilling action game that could probably put most modern mega-budget games to shame. It may look a little bit more like a “mainstream” game, but it’s still pretty much the same thrilling action-fest that the first “Alien Shooter” was.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get at least four and a half.