Housemarque returns with another solid twin-stick shooter. Following my favourite, Dead Nation in 2014, and their brilliant game Resogun, the Finnish developer brings us Alienation. Alienation is a co-op multiplayer game that wants you to kill as many aliens as you can. You’ll love doing it too because it’s so satisfying.
Alienation launched on April 26 for the PlayStation 4 and this time, Housemarque moved past zombies and given us aliens and the invasion of our Earth. It’s a standard alien invasion by all means but it’s what we’re going to do to these suckers that is just so damn fun. The Xenos have successfully overrun our planet and in turn have cost us precious resources and dwindled our population down.
The Unified World Government has various Exo suits that will turn the tide of war in our favour and here is where we are placed, as these soldiers who will take back the planet.
We learn about the story through pre-mission briefings and as banter throughout the story levels. It’s nothing deep but who cares when you’re finding ways to blow up aliens? There’s three different weapons you can choose from, your main, your sidearm, and, your heavy – each is satisfying in its own right as you point and shoot. There are also three classes to choose from each playing off the other to succeed in the game.
Enemies in this game are relentless and you will die many times. There’s also variety in enemy types so the change up to what you’re facing is a good, adding a feeling that you aren’t just simply killing the same monster over and over.
This ties into the visuals of Alienation, the explosions, the gunfire, they are beautiful I love seeing how the area reacts to the gameplay and while nothing groundbreaking, provides some nuance with the devastated war zone you are battling on.
I need to take a minute to talk about the lack of couch multiplayer. It’s become its own pandemic and affects both Xbox and PlayStation immensely. I really hoped to see it here because there’s so much potential to see that route open up for night time game sessions at a friend’s place. There is nothing here but online co-op leaving a sad afterthought for those who wanted local.
Playing with others online is a blast, it’s fun and frantic, and can be difficult on the higher difficulty settings. While playing on the normal difficulty, I noticed that other players who joined who were at a higher level made quick work of enemies. I’m unsure of whether enemies scale when others join, but higher level players did make the game much easier to get through.
EDIT: As of this posting, Housemarque has confirmed that couch co-op will indeed be patched in, hallelujah!
While not a memorable game, it’s a fun ride from beginning to end, and that’s okay. I don’t need to question the meaning of life after every game I play, or, wonder what to do with myself. I want to shut off my brain, have a beer and blast some aliens to pieces in the comfort of my home on my couch. That’s why Alienation is so good at what it does and is perfect for a night of fun.