Alien Resurrection Review
By Contributing Writer Chris George
The dark and violent nature of Alien Resurrection is a far cry from the
norm at Argonaut Games, most notably the ridiculously cute action/platform
series Croc. However, Alien Resurrection does have one important thing in
common with Croc: It's an all-style, no-substance game that is more annoying
than it is entertaining.
The only thing Alien Resurrection has going for it is the sense of
atmosphere created by the graphics and sound. Background sound effects such
as terrifying screams help to set the mood in an otherwise slow-paced story
line, and the steady frame rate allows things like fog and steam to be
present with causing slowdown. On the other hand, the graphics are also
somewhat pixelated, and the story is presented through text rather than
The most frightening thing in the entire game isn't the aliens, it's the
control. Controlling this game is like finding a needle in a haystack: It's
damn near impossible to do, and it's just dumb luck if you're actually able
to do it. The targeting crosshair flies away from enemies at the slightest
attempt to move it, which makes it unbearably hard to keep your crosshair on
a moving alien for more than a few seconds at a time.
A balanced game is challenging in a fun sort of way, while an unbalanced
game is challenging in an unfair way. Alien Resurrection is an unbalanced
game if there ever was one. The developers chose to rely on the oldest
trick in the book for first-person shooters: Making enemies pop up behind
you and attack before you have a chance to defend yourself.
This is annoying when it happens it any game, but it's especially grating
in this game due to the poor control. By the time you're able to turn
around and shoot the enemy, it has probably already taken away a
considerable amount of your health. Also, getting up close and personal
with the aliens should add to the feel of the game, but it actually detracts
from it. The aliens are so grainy and pixelated when they're up-close that
it's hard to see what the hell is going on.
In yet another shallow-minded design decision, Argonaut Games decided to
make the Artificial Intelligence artificially stupid in order to make up for
the shortcomings of the control. I only say that because I can't imagine
any AI programmer trying to make smart enemies and coming up with this.
Quick! Alert Id Software, I think someone has stolen the AI code from Doom!
The aliens jump out from vents and run towards you in a straight path, or
drop from the ceiling and run towards you in a straight path, or they just
plain run towards you in a straight path. Plus, shooting an alien has the
same effect no matter where you shoot it. You could shoot it in the leg and
it would be just as damaging as shooting it in the head.
I can't recommend Alien Resurrection even as a rental due to the high
aggravation factor involved and the all-around poor design. You should buy
Aliens vs. Predator for the PC if you want a good Alien game, because you're
certainly not going to find one on the PlayStation.
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