SEGA's booth was fairly lavish this year, with huge signs, flashy lights, ladies dressed like Colonial Marines, and ... one fairly quiet man, wandering around with a DS. He was completely nondescript, fairly easy to miss, and could in fact have looked like a regular PAX attendee.
What he held in his hands, however, was Aliens: Infestation.
I'm rather angry that the game was so hard to find, to the point where I'd have totally missed it had Max Scoville not excitedly called me over while miming a "second mouth" with his hand. Aliens: Infestation is Metroid with Xenomorphs, and it's fantastic.
As if my hyperbole wasn't enough of a clue, Infestation plays like a sidescrolling shooter with a variety of large, open maps designed for exploration. Like all good "Metroidvania" games, there are plenty of closed-off areas that require special tools found later in the game, encouraging backtracking. Such areas include elavators that require keycards and gooey blockages that need to be burned away with flamethrowers.
The game starts with four playable Marines, each with their own personalities, and up to nineteen are encountered and collected throughout the game. When one Marine dies, another takes his or her place, and trust me, they can die. In fact, they can even fall prey to a Facehugger, becoming impregnated and eventually giving "birth" to a Xenomorph. Marines taken down by Alien Warriors will be dragged to a nest, and players have a limited amount of time to stage a rescue, lest they too become unwilling mothers.
As far as combat goes, this is a brutal game with little room for forgiveness. Aliens are more than happy to burst from floors, skitter on ceilings, and relentlessly pursue fleeing players. Xenomorphs hate standing still, and will dash across floors, sometimes even performing their own little feints to confuse players. Every Alien is a threat, and players need some nerve to take them down.
Players get access to the obligatory Pulse Rifle and a pistol. Holding the left shoulder button makes a Marine hold its ground so directional fire can be utilized -- crucial to tackling ceiling-loving Aliens. More weapons can be unlocked, along with grenades and other unique tools.
As well as standard exploration and combat, there will be Power Loader combat and sections where you're firing from a speeding vehicle. The demo also included a particularly challenging battle against an Alien Queen, in which I had to fend off multiple Facehuggers while throwing explosives in the bitch's head. She took down three of my Marines before she amusingly fell face-first to the ground.
I absolutely loved what I got to play of the game and I'm very much looking forward to playing more. The beautiful sprite-based animations, comic-book personality, surprising atmosphere and panic-inducing challenge sets the scene for what might be one of the best Aliens games ever made. I can't wait to get my hands on more!
|2:00 PM on 10.12.2011|
Review: Aliens: Infestation
Videogames owe a lot to Aliens. The movie classic gave us the archetypal space marine, then pitted them against a nest full of drooling Xenomorphs, the titular Aliens that have served as a blueprint for so many videogame enem...more
|9:20 AM on 10.04.2011|
Time for another Aliens: Infestation trailer you BITCH!
Here's another trailer for WayForward's Aliens: Infestation, which is due to to hit North America on October 11. It's shaping up to be one of the best DS games in recent memory, but of course that won't be known for sure unt...more
|8:00 AM on 09.27.2011|
Bishop's knife trick is an Aliens: Infestation minigame
In news that finally cements my unrivaled excitement for Aliens: Infestation, it's been revealed that the famous "knife trick" scene from Aliens will be in WayForward's DS adventure as a playable minigame. The news come...more
|11:45 AM on 09.23.2011|
How Aliens: Infestation aims to make 2D pixels scare you
It would have been easy for WayForward to make Aliens: Infestation a straight scrolling shooter, but the studio hopes to raise the bar and make a game that's genuinely pants-wettingly scary. In a new developer blog, director&...more
|12:00 PM on 09.19.2011|
Have another sexy Aliens: Infestation trailer!
A second trailer for WayForward's promising DS game, Aliens: Infestation has emerged, and I am stoked as all bloody buggery! While I'm a little sad that the guitar riff from the last trailer isn't present, this is still a ba...more
|10:15 AM on 09.09.2011|
Aliens Infestation is an Aliens game BASED ON ALIENS!
The headline to this article may look very redundant -- after all, saying that an Aliens game is based on Aliens is like saying Call of Duty has some guns in it, right? Not quite. Director Adam Tierney makes a good point...more
|4:45 PM on 09.02.2011|
Aliens: Infestation trailer is short but so very sweet
SEGA has released a trailer for Aliens: Infestation, showing off some of the lovely gameplay that got me so excited at PAX. Developed by WayForward, the game takes elements from Metroid and Contra, then adds Xenomorphs for a...more
|5:45 PM on 08.29.2011|
Aliens: Infestation release dates announced
A number of us at Destructoid are excited about Aliens: Infestation, the upcoming Nintendo DS release from WayForward and Gearbox Software. The game was playable at PAX and while I didn't have time to swing by and check it ou...more
|11:15 AM on 07.20.2011|
Sega finally announces WayForward's Aliens: Infestation
Great news for Aliens fans and Jim Sterling: Sega has finally officially announced Aliens: Infestation for the Nintendo DS. The side-scrolling action game, as we already knew, is being developed by the 2D, side-scrolling mast...more
|10:00 AM on 04.23.2013|
SimCity, Colonial Marines, and The Silence
Recently, John Walker at Rock, Paper, Shotgun wrote a compelling article on SimCity, and how Electronic Arts' maintenance of radio silence has demonstrated total effectiveness in getting everybody to shut up. The basic argume...more
|12:45 PM on 04.05.2013|
Aliens: Colonial Marines Wii U canceled
Those of you left caring may have noticed Aliens: Colonial Marines missed its Wii U release launch window. There's a very good reason for that -- SEGA finally decided to shoot the lame dog in the head, and has quietly cancele...more
|8:00 AM on 04.03.2013|
SEGA admits Colonial Marines trailers are unreflective
Following an upheld complaint with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority, SEGA Europe has admitted that trailers for Aliens: Colonial Marines do not reflect the game's final (shoddy) content. The complaint was upheld...more