Alienation: PS4 Review
Released by Housemarque
To say Alienation feels familiar is a massive understatement.
Developers Housemarque are responsible for one of the all time best games on the PS4, Resogun. That Defender style shooter has occupied my consciousness since playing it at a launch event for the PlayStation 4 way back when and its weekly challenges and expansions prove to provide fertile territory for anyone invested in shooters.
Which is why Alienation perhaps, feels like such a massive disappointment in some ways.
Essentially, a home guard attack on an alien invasion, this title wants to help kick ass as the hordes attack, but the fact it's just a rehash of Dead Nation (by the same studio) makes it feel massively underwhelming and unoriginal.
Coupled with the fact that tooling up and upgrading is so difficult to understand, this shooter's sole saving grace lies only in its online presence, which breathes a life into the twin stick shooter sensibilities within.
A solo game offers little thrills as you wander through levels, taking on baddies and leaving you facing hordes that are difficult to off on your own, even with your capabilities and using exploding cars and vehicles' radius to pick them off with some carefully timed bombs.
But it's when friends join you and it becomes a co-operative onslaught against the masses that the game begins to thrive and builds itself up into something that's a little more fun.
From dashing to melee, to aiming and shooting, this really is nothing more than a rehash of the mechanics of Dead Nation, a title that echoed out on the PS3 and embraced its zombie cornball 80s action vibe to full glee.
Unfortunately, this time around, with a muddled upgrade system that's confusing as hell and difficult to instigate, it has nothing new to offer the gaming world - and we've already had something similar with Helldivers, a game that works as both co-op and solo play.
Perhaps this is Housemarque's first mis-step in the gaming world, perhaps Resogun set the stakes so high that nothing could match up, but Alienation manages to pass the time while being both playable and perfunctory is to damn it with faint praise.