|Platform||360, PS3, PC|
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Alien Rage is about as straightforward as first-person shooters come. You have guns. There are aliens. You use your guns to shoot the aliens. Sometimes you have to open a door or blast through a wall before you can find more aliens to shoot, but for the most part, it’s all about the fast-paced gunplay.
Look at any screenshot of Alien Rage, and you’d probably assume that it’s a fairly generic game. The environments all resemble the same gunmetal corridor with a slightly different twist or turn here or there. The aliens or guns aren’t particularly memorable—in the case of the former, it’s hard to pick out a single distinguishing characteristic.
A lot of that sentiment carried over when I got to go hands-on with the game. I had an AI companion talking in my ear (how novel!), the two levels I played looked practically indistinguishable, and all the weapons I tried out fell into the standard, generic assault rifle/shotgun/plasma rifle categories I’d seen a dozen times over.
But, for as much as I struggled to immerse myself in the experience, there were a few things that seemed to offer a glimmer of potential goodness, however. For starters, the streamlined FPS gameplay had a decent old-school vibe that reminded me of Hard Reset, a similar throwback FPS that was a lot of fun but deeply flawed. I also appreciated the fact that the dialogue, however conventional, wasn’t played entirely straight; I actually got a handful of laughs during my half-hour playthrough. I’m still not confident Alien Rage will turn out to be worth your time or money, but it’s definitely not an entirely lost cause.