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Alienation Review

Housemarque has a great reputation as a studio, having brought us Super Stardust, Resogun and Dead Nation, so it's no wonder then that it's latest title, Alienation, is highly anticipated amongst fans. We were never in any doubt that it would be a quality addition to the studio's already stellar line-up and thankfully that's turned out to be the case.

If you've previously played Dead Nation, then you'll immediately feel at home with Alienation, since it takes the same top down guise as its older cousin, although don't be fooled into thinking this is just a re-skin with aliens, because Alienation has a lot more too it than meets the eye.

One of the first choices you'll make in Alienation is to choose a class. There are three in all: The Tank, which offers more HP and deals the most damage; The Bio-Specialist, who is basically a healer with tech abilities and the Saboteur, who as the name suggests, can sneak around and perform special attacks. All three help to balance the gameplay well and given that there is the option to either play four player couch co-op or jump online with friends, there's good scope for playing together as a team by utilising all three classes abilities.

What's great about Alienation is the action. The minute you get started and are shooting at enemies from all angles, any thoughts of tactics or even what button to push, goes out the window. Enemies come at you from everywhere, and there's lots of them. By the end of one level I had managed to take down 758 aliens all on my own. It's tricky too, as you'll often run out of bullets and have to swipe at this constant swarm of aliens while you reload. Sometimes, if you run out of bullets and grenades, you'll be using your special dodge ability just to get out of the way of their bullets and attacks, while frantically hunting around for some pick-ups. One minute you're walking along, discovering and opening chests for pick-ups that are unique to you and the next minute you're in a state of panic as aliens flood out of nowhere, surrounding you and forcing you to think on your feet and fast.

Obviously you can play on your own, but having a team beside you really helps. Being able to have someone to revive you when you're down is a godsend, otherwise you're having to rely on the numerous spawn points that you must remember to activate in order to get back to where your character last lived.

With so much going you'd be forgiven for not taking notice of the wonderful graphics and the highly detailed environments which accompany them. The lighting really brings out the detail in each building and abandoned vehicle, all of which is backed up by a solid frame-rate which doesn't falter no matter how many enemies make their way on to the screen.

Alienation is packed with missions, mini-bosses and challenges and as with any great action/RPG, you'll earn XP as you progress, allowing you to upgrade your characters active and passive abilities. You'll also find plenty of weapons and equipment lying around, which adds to the level of customisation and of course, gives you more firepower to take down the increasingly difficult aliens.

Any weapons you find are each assigned a level, stats, and rarity and if you don't like those you do find, then you can turn scrap them for raw materials, which in turn gives you currency which can be spent on re-rolling weapon stats.

Alienation is packed with hours upon hours of gameplay and is a collectors dream. Whether playing on your own or with up to four friends, you can't help wonder where the time has gone, because once you start this game is one big time sink. Alienation has me extremely impressed and I've no doubt that countless more hours will be put into this game by myself and anyone else I can convince to play it. Housemarque sure knows how to make an addictive game and in Alienation it's managed to surpassed even my wildest expectations.

(Version Tested: PS4)

Words by:

Joe Anderson


+ Highly Addictive
+ Packed with levels
+ Plenty of loot to find


- Quite tricky on your own

Edited On 26 Apr, 2016

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