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Alexandre Guimond

Alien Swarm review

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Free things are always good, right? Some people have trouble accepting presents from others, but they don’t seem to mind when the present is sent by Valve. They gave us Portal for free a couple of weeks back, and now they are releasing a brand-new title following the company‘s newest workforce acquisition in the form of Alien Swarm.

Straight from the community, the team behind the game was given all out support from Valve to create a new overhead team-based shooter. With the complimentary release came the source code engine in order for all amateur creators to produce new and exciting stuff for the game. Alien Swarm is free, but will it sophistication be deep enough, so that it won’t be forgotten by the masses in a few months?

A great video game company usually makes great games, Valve is no exception. Even if Alien Swarm has a rudimentary concept and is quite conservative in content, being free is a great way to spark interest in it. The game is heavily based on teamwork and takes several things from many of Valve’s greatest titles such as: Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2.

The game uses the good old class system, having a medic, an assault, tech and officer to choose from. Technicians hack computers, access doors – medic keep the squad alive – assault blow stuff up, and officers support everything in between, from damage to combat efficiency; basic stuff, really. Customization is available in each classes, and is not as restrictive as it might seem. The quantity of weapons you’ll unlock is large, and the game has several gadgets and upgrades to personalize your experience.

The leveling system is fast and simple granting you experience points for pretty much everything you do in the game, from achievements, to kills, or even heals. It rewards you for playing a pure healing-focused medic as well as a versatile trap laying assault berserk. Alien Swarm gives you the liberty to choose however you want to play, and you won’t have to grind at all, since the leveling system is so quick; two whole campaigns should unlock everything.

Of course, the content is lackluster, but knowing Valve; it will most probably be supported by added bonuses, new weapons and maps. The foundations have been laid with Alien Swarm for incredible user-driven content, as well as direct support from the main team. The atmosphere is great, highly reminiscent of Event Horizon; if you have the uncontrollable urge to babble the space marine way, then you’ll fit right in. There’s even an achievement called “nuke from orbit”, I mean c’mon, that’s just plain recognition right there.

But that’s what’s so great about Alien Swarm; it provides a great claustrophobic and hectic experience for any alien slaughtering fans. The game is essentially Aliens: The Game, it is fantastic and FREE, but still a quality Valve game. Minimalist and yet very entertaining; the game is full of charms and hard as nails. There’s no reason not to get it.

The game is available for free on Steam

Alexandre Guimond
Assistant Editor

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Updated 06-09-10 at 07:38 by SteveSawyer



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