Alien Shooter Vengeance: needs more AI, less aliens


Do you like games which throw wave after wave of enemies at you for no apparent reason? Do you like mindless games where you just have to hold down the fire key to unleash massive damage?  Do you like enemies that look pretty much the same, except for their size and/or color?  If your answer to these questions is ‘yes’, then Alien Shooter Vengeance is for you.

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Imagine Geometry Wars.  Now imagine those simple polygonal enemies replaced with different sized and colored sprites of aliens and giant bugs.  Now take out the different enemy patterns of Geometry Wars and replace it with a "move in a straight line toward the player" enemy pattern.  Add in some realistic bullet sounds, small rooms and corridors, ammo and health littered throughout the rooms and you’ve got Alien Shooter Vengeance.


Alien Shooter Vengeance isn’t a bad game at all.  It’s just not that good.  The game starts off with the player having to meet someone in a seemingly abandoned military base or something.  The plot is negligible (and I skipped most of the mission text because there were so many grammatical errors), so let’s just say that the goal of the game is to shoot aliens.  Hey, at least the title of the game is descriptive.  In an isometric manner, players must go through bases and take on hoards of aliens to get to the next checkpoint.  The hero can be controlled with the keyboard and mouse where the keyboard dictates movement and the mouse aims the gun.  It’s also possible to just click areas with the mouse to get the hero to move there, which is what I did. There are access cards to fetch and doors to open on the way as well as the usual assortment of weapons to pick up and health to restock.  As the player racks up more kills he also gains experience, which leads to a level-up, which gives skill points that can be put towards attributes like health, armor, weapon accuracy, intelligence, etc.


All this leads one to think there’s a decent amount of customization when it comes to characters, but that’s misleading. I put all my skill points into sub-machine-gun specialization and went through some levels without much trouble.  On normal difficulty, there are enough health power-ups dropped by enemies and in storage crates that I didn’t really need to put any points into armor or health stats.


It saddens me to think that in this day and age, there are still games that try to get away with primitively stupid AI.  All of the enemies in Alien Shooter Vengeance move in a straight line from their spawn point to the player.  I can understand this in old games like Robotron, but in the age of 2ghz processors enemies should be smarter.  Anyone who has survived for more than a minute in Geometry Wars will think the enemies in this game are easy to beat.  Just move around and hold down the fire button while pointing in the general direction of the enemy.  It also doesn’t help that enemies get stuck on objects like fallen tables and continue to just walk into.


It seems like the developers tried to compensate for stupid AI by putting an absurd amount of enemies in the game and gave them high respawn rates.  In one part of the second mission, I was just standing in a room holding down the fire button of my sub-machine gun while pointing at the spawn spot of an enemy that kept spawning over and over again. Yes, I’m a spawn killer, but in this game, it’s the fastest way to proceed into the next room. After a set amount of time, the enemy finally stopped spawning and I could move on.


Considering the bad AI, I was surprised by the attention of detail the artists gave the game.  The graphics aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re pretty decent to look at.  The sci-fi setting is pretty well enforced thanks to the lonely metal corridors, blinking buttons, and random malfunctioning electronics in the level.  An equal amount of detail was put into sound. While the musical score is your generic heart-thumping ass-kicking music, it’s nice to hear bullet shells falling with a "clink" on the floor whenever I shot.


If you’re looking for a suspenseful, post-apocalyptic, edge of your seat alien-shooter, this game isn’t for you. If you just want a mindless top-down game with more enemies than you can shake a stick at, exploding barrels, a bunch of guns and you don’t mind mediocre voice acting, by all means try out Alien Shooter Vengeance.

Louise Yang
About The Author
Former Siliconera staff writer who loves JRPGs like Final Fantasy and other Square Enix titles.