Alien Rage is a 2013 first-person shooter video game for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 (through Xbox Live Arcade), and PlayStation 3 (through PlayStation Network) developed by CI Games, then known as City Interactive, using Unreal Engine 3. The game has single-player and competitive multiplayer modes. In its single player campaign, players are put in control of an elite soldier named Jack which is sent to destroy a mining facility and its aliens after they turned against and killed the humans that they had shared the facility with.
Alien Rage is a first-person shooter, in which players fight through several linear levels, killing a variety of aliens. At the end of every few levels, players fight a larger alien in a boss fight. Players score points by killing a large number of aliens in a short period of time, or by killing them in special ways, such as by using explosions or shooting them in the head. These points can be used to upgrade the player character, for example by boosting his resistance to damage or by increasing the amount of ammunition that he is able to carry. Players are able to carry two weapons at a time, and also have a pistol with unlimited ammunition. The player character can use both human- and alien-manufactured weapons in the game, and alien weapons use a cool-down period instead of having to reload. Weapons in the game include assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, and miniguns. The game is intentionally difficult; its easiest difficulty level is called "challenging", and the next easiest difficulty level is called "hard".
Alien Rage takes place on an asteroid which humans and an alien species known as Vorus were jointly mining for Promethium, a highly efficient but extremely dangerous source of energy. After the Vorus turn on the humans and wipe the miners out for violating the agreement of not weaponizing Promethium as planet-cracking weapon, Jack, the player character, is sent to the mining facility to kill the aliens and destroy the facility.
Alien Rage received average to poor reviews upon release. At Metacritic, a video game review aggregator, the Windows version of the game received an average score of 52 out of 100, based on 27 reviews, while the Xbox 360 version revived a score of 46, based on 10 reviews.[B]
Alien Rage's Steam Store page advertises it as "a truly intense, old-school styled shooter game," but that is not exactly the case. While it is certainly intense and mercifully free of quick-time events, it is more of a run-of-the-mill modern shooter. For example, the levels are linear battles through an asteroid mining facility and alien mothership; there is a checkpoint save system; you can carry only two weapons at a time (in addition to a pistol that never runs out of ammo); health regenerates; there are sequences where you have to mow down multitudes of aliens with a stationary minigun; and strategic use of cover and precision aiming through gun sights are often essential for victory. If you have played a first-person shooter made in the last 10 years, then you have already experienced most of what Alien Rage has to offer.
The main thing that differentiates Alien Rage from the next "one man must obliterate an enemy army single-handedly" FPS is its difficulty. The level of challenge provides fleeting moments of pure adrenaline, and though Alien Rage is often extremely taxing, it feels fair. For example, the checkpoint save system is generous, and enemies aren't crack shots who can shrug off a barrage of bullets. However, they can lob grenades just like you and always have plenty of buddies teleporting into the fray.
A typical minute in this fast-paced game involves sprinting behind cover to get out of range of an enemy minigun, using your weapon's sights to remove an overgrown Jawa's head, and bashing another alien to death before a grenade explodes in your face. Alien Rage has the uncanny ability to bring you to the verge of quitting before you complete a section or conquer a boss. There is a fleeting sense of accomplishment, or at least relief, that accompanies such victories.
The other thing that differentiates Alien Rage from countless other sci-fi shooters is its score system. Besides giving you bragging rights, your score unlocks perks that grant bonuses to gameplay elements such as your maximum health or the damage of certain weapons. You can change your perks on the fly. So if you wander into a room full of exploding barrels, you can exchange one of your three active perks for resistance to explosive damage. Your score is based on many factors, but getting kill streaks sends it into the stratosphere. Kill streaks are earned by racking up at least five kills of the same type in a row. Constantly crushing alien skulls earns you a high score, but you get even more points by executing a variety of kill streaks in the same level. Thus, you have an incentive to diversify your tactics.
For example, you get streaks for killing aliens with the pistol, explosions, headshots, and your weapons' secondary fire mode (secondary fire ammo is a limited resource shared between all weapons and replenished by power-ups). You can get multiple kill streaks at the same time by shooting five aliens in the head with your pistol's secondary fire mode (which counts for pistol, secondary fire, and headshot streaks). You can always replay a level to try to increase your score, which is the only incentive to do so, unless you want to find all the audio logs that explain why humans and aliens couldn't share the universe's most efficient source of fuel.
The main problem with Alien Rage is how generic it is. You've seen these weapons before, and you've shot these enemies before. You fight a lot of aliens with cloaking capabilities, minigun-toting aliens in heavy armor, aliens that explode on death, spider bots, and turrets. Additionally, most missions are forgettable, linear forays through the repetitive asteroid mining facility and alien mothership. The only notable exception is the mission where you don a mech suit and crush aliens under your feet.
The boss fights, which generally take place within an enclosed arena, are as uninteresting as most missions. It doesn't help that the bosses generally look like giant humanoid aliens wearing more armor than a heavy tank. Unless you remember them for the frustrating hour-long struggle you went through to defeat them, you'll probably have forgotten most of these bosses shortly after the next level begins. You'll have no problem figuring out how to kill a given boss, but the execution can be extremely difficult. For instance, one of the hardest bosses, the robot at the end of the mech stage, can kill you in two hits, and you have little room to maneuver when trying to dodge his attacks.
Ultimately, Alien Rage is a hard game to recommend. In spite of its sense of speed and unrelenting challenge, its monotonous level design and lackluster atmosphere grow tiring, and few people are taking advantage of the barebones multiplayer modes. Admittedly, it provides quite a rush at times, and beating it on hard or brutal feels like a major accomplishment. Yet, such feelings are fleeting. You'll be as quick to forget Alien rage as a UFO abductee is quick to forget details of extraterrestrial probing.
Alien Rage is a 2013 Sci-Fi First-Person Shooter developed by City Interactive, a Polish studio best known for the military shooter Sniper: Ghost Warrior. The game is built on the Bulletstorm engine (itself built on the latest iteration of the Unreal engine) and intended as a throwback to earlier, more arcade-like sci-fi FPS games (like Unreal), with high-impact weapons, large numbers of enemies, and huge boss fights. The plot involves a Space Marine infiltrating a Promethium mining facility that has been taken over by a hostile, militant alien race known as the Vorus.
This game provides examples of: Awesome, but Impractical: the final gun. It is very powerful, shooting a continuous stream of energy, but by then you're facing Elite Mooks aplenty and they're very armored, meaning even it takes a while to bring them down, and headshots are the only way to go. Too bad the final gun shakes all over the place, and the beam effects make it hard to aim, so scoring headshots is easier said than done. Oh, and it goes through ammo insanely fast. The submachinegun. It fires ludicrously fast - faster than the minigun, even - but for all the damage those bullets do you might as well be tossing hundreds of cotton balls.
In general the human weapons. They tend to be significantly more effective than their alien counterparts, but you only find a few refills every now and then, so you'll either be using them as long as their ammo lasts and then dropping them, or just not bothering altogether and going for the constantly-replenishing alternatives that you can collect from most fallen enemies.
Boring Yet Practical: the stock pistol is fairly weak (at least until you upgrade it much later on), but it's surprisingly effective at scoring headshots against the Elite Mooks that populate the later levels. The alien assault rifle. The damage is mediocre at best, but it fires fast, doesn't need to reload and every other enemy drops one.
Deadpan Snarker: Both the ship's A.I. and the pilot have a lot of snarky things to say about the situations the Space Marine gets himself into. As expected, the A.I. is a lot more deadpan about it.
Excuse Plot: As you'd expect from a game called Alien Rage, the plot is simplicity itself; Aliens want to kill you. Kill them. That being said, there is a surprisingly large amount of dialogue for an arcade-like shooter, and even an ongoing side plot found in collectible audio logs scattered throughout the levels.
The Faceless: The real face of the Vorus are never seen. Most Vorus wear hoods that completely conceal their faces. Other Vorus wear lizard-like helmets, but those are just helmets; it's unclear what the head underneath actually looks like (although given the prevalence of the lizard motif, it's not a stretch to imagine that they look like lizards.)
Giant Spider: The game's final boss is a giant mech in the form of a spider. According to your A.I., it's an effigy of the Vorus' god.
Gunship Rescue: At the very ending, IRIS appears in all her gunship glory to save your armored butt, giant minigun mowing down all in her path.
Hitbox Dissonance: Scoring headshots on enemies is harder than it appears, because they all wear hoods or crested helmets that make their head appear much larger than it actually is (you need to aim below their eyes to score a proper hit). Also, apparently because you are a fat space marine, your own hitbox is huge and you'll find yourself taking hits even if you think you're completely behind cover.
Magikarp Power: Pick the right perk, and your pistol becomes a rapid fire handcannon.
Mission Control: Through the game, Mr. Space Marine has ongoing banter with his ship's pilot and their female A.I. coordinator.
Mooks: Elite Mooks: Vorus Elites appear in the last several missions. They're robotic/cybernetic enemies armed with lightning guns and having almost as much health as a Giant Mook. On the plus side, you can still instantly kill them with a well-aimed headshot.
Giant Mook: Large, slow, armored enemies armed with miniguns appear as an uncommon enemy type. They can take a lot of hits, but since even the basic Mooks require a ton of bullets to kill, on relative terms they're only somewhat tougher than normal. The main challenge they pose is that you can't instantly kill them with a headshot. And then there's the Vorus Centurion, who's essentially the Battlelord from Duke Nukem 3D.
Mini-Mecha/Humongous Mecha: Mechs of varying size appear throughout the game as bosses or Boss in Mook's Clothing.
Nintendo Hard: Your relatively low health, the very slow rate of health regeneration, the Hitbox Dissonance coupled with destroyable cover, the fact that explosions clip through cover coupled with almost every enemy in the game being able to fire grenades from their rifles, and the extremely aggressive and numerous enemies make this a VERY, VERY difficult game. It is apparently intended for people who speedrun Halo on Legendary, or products of late 20th century genetic engineering.
Obviously Evil: The Vorus are savage, lizard-like aliens who worship a giant spider.
Regenerating Health: The game uses the usual regenerating health mechanic, and all the hiding behind cover while this occurs does somewhat conflict with the fast paced, arcade-like game design.
Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The logs make it clear that the Vorus have outgrown their bloodthirsty phase after nearly fighting each other into extinction and destroying their planet. They have since converted to a religion that considers all weapons untouchable unless absolutely necessary - which they'll enforce with extreme measures. The irony seems lost on them.
Schizophrenic Difficulty: The first 3/4ths of the game are insane. Once you unlock the tier 3 perks that increase your health, health regeneration, and resistance to explosions, the game becomes much more balanced.
A Space Marine Is You: No surprise there. And his name is Jack.
Shout-Out:IRIS: "Now you're thinking with portals!"Jack: "What?"IRIS: "Uh, nothing, software glitch." Not to mention that this isn't the first sci-fi setting to have a fuel source known as Promethium
Every time Jack (the space marine) picks up the minigun, he refers to it as a Big Fucking Gun.
Vorus Centurion: "(speaking Vorus language)"Jack: "What the hell is he saying?! IRIS can you translate it?"IRIS: "Yeah, but I don't think you wanna know."Jack: "Try me."Vorus Centurion: "Say hello to my little friend!"Jack: "You're right, I don't wanna know." Unobtainium: Promethium. The humans need it to solve Earth's energy crisis, with humanity's fossil-fuel based global infrastructure having less than a couple decades of life left. The Vorus need it because it's the fuel that makes space travel possible for them, and they're a nomad race that lives on their ships.