This is a guest review by fenr1c
You know how it goes; there you are a highly trained space marine hoping for once to catch a break. No such luck I'm afraid. Even a routine transfer from one spaceship to another goes horribly wrong and once again, our hero is soon knee deep in trouble and alien remains.
As our hapless hero prepares for transfer, an incoming message warns him that the vessel he is supposed board has instead been overrun by a horde of aliens. To make matters worse, his one ally, an A.I. unit called Mia has had her hard drive more than corrupted; she has been reprogrammed by the games bad guy and is now out to get our hero in any which way she can. So what's a guy to do, but lock and load and get wasting aliens again.
That really does some up the plot, pretty much the same as the previous two outings, except that the second game had a different hero by all accounts. So then knowing that, is this game worth getting? Good question.Gameplay
The controls are pretty basic and standard for this type of title. Move character with the left stick, aim to shoot with the right, fire and use weapons with the R2 button and use L2 to use med kits etc etc. X helps you interact with items, collect credits, ammo etc dropped by dead marines and to manipulate consoles and controls throughout the spaceship. Be careful though, one slip of the finger and you could fire accidentally or use a health kit. They strike me as being a little too sensitive, but as long as you are careful there's not a problem.Graphics/Sound
The sound is where this game works the best. The atmosphere is engineered to send the occasional shiver up the spine. Disembodied laughter, the distant sound of aliens snarling and emerging from pods before they attack; the beep of the Alien style motion sensor and the malfunctioning computer giving a stuttering warning that you should evacuate by heading towards the life boats a.s.a.p. Yes, the atmosphere is there alright.
The action is shown from an overhead view point and the lighting effects work quite nicely. There are showers of molten metal and sparks from time to time. Free advice, stay clear of the molten metal it will truly drain your health if you get splashed by it. Fires are also another hazard that should be avoided; yeah that should be a given but the fire is a continuous source of damage until it burns out.Gear/Gimmicks
There are not that many to be honest. There's a standard machine gun, shot gun and pistol package but it does provide you with the option to plant an Aliens style turret gun. Grenades are an option, from stun grenade to high explosive; I think you get the picture here. The motion sensor doubles as radar that shows you the way to your next objective as well as shows you the whereabouts of incoming alien menaces. You can also pick up hardened armour, a very useful add on that absorbs damage until depleted. Save points also act as shops where any credits found can be spent on extra health kits or upgrades to both gear and weaponry. Be careful and spend wisely though, as stock is limited in supply so make your decisions wisely. The wrong choice can be pretty impactful.Overall Impression
The game has clearly been influenced by other games and some of those influences are from fairly recent releases as well. The sound and overall lighting effects remind me to an extent of Dead Space; the motion sensor is a throwback to the alien games and the way you can aim and shoot is directly influenced by Lara Croft: The Guardian of Light. And yes it does work in some ways, but does not in others. Like Dead Space there are areas with little or no oxygen so it's best to get those legs moving.
Multiplayer sees co-op with someone using a second controller or over the Playstation network, providing that is, you can find someone in the lobbies. To say they are scarcely populated is an understatement. But it's the alternative play modes that perhaps work the best.
There is the by now standard horde mode, where wave after wave of beasties come after you, so keep moving and keep shooting. There's the nasty free mode. Here you play levels that are mapped differently but the main thing that really keeps you on your toes, is the fact that there are no save points throughout the level. So fight to survive from the beginning too the end and sigh with relief when it auto saves before resuming the next stage.
So in the end what you get is a game that looks fine, plays a-okay but just falls short of delivering the goods. It's not a disaster by any shot, but it just doesn't have the oomph you feel it could have. On the plus side it is cheap, just 6.99 in the UK on the PSN, so at least you won't feel ripped off price wise.
I know some of you will think that this is a short review but I have reported all that there is to report for the most part. It is fun and challenging but it gets repetitive to say the least and my interest sometimes wavered. If the online community warms too the game then multiplayer Space Hulk style conflicts could be on the cards but it seems to have escaped notice so far. It's a shame that this game promises more than it actually offers.