Tag Archives: Aliens Vs. Romans

REVIEW: Aliens vs. Romans

Good news for anyone that had grown tired of my incessant whining (borderline, and besides, I call it ‘artistic longing’), Aliens vs. Romans (80 MSP) made its late April launch and has been in the hands of a patient indie crowd for just under a week. So, after a pair of so-so, tide-me-over side projects and a handful of trailers that were set to stunning, is Aliens vs. Romans as groundbreaking as it claims?

Yes and no. The game attempts to rewrite history by providing an alternate ending to the fall of the Roman Empire— Aliens did it. Awkwardly-somersaulting aliens with energy-based weaponry, to be exact. To take the republic back, you’ll need to commandeer said guns (and try some others that are graciously beamed down to you) in order to forcefully evict said extraterrestrials. Set in our hero Jonas’ hometown of Coloseo, you’ll fight wave after wave of enemies in a mid-sized arena with decent cover and vantage points.

Trailers and screenshots make it plainly evident, but I’ll go ahead and still state the obvious: Aliens vs. Romans is a beautiful game, right up there with Shark Attack Deathmatch in terms of XBLIGs that can match the visual fidelity of Arcade or even Retail games. So, ‘groundbreaking’ as far as looks, yes. If you’re not a shallow ass, though, you’ll know that you should never date a game based on appearance, as it’s what’s on the inside, the personality, that you should praise and pay attention to.

In this regard, A vs. R isn’t bad either. There’s only so many ways to dress up a wave shooter, and this game tries on every dress in the store. Your ultimate goal is to take down the mothership terrorizing your town. In the interim, you have your prototypical numbered rounds, where you’ll simply gun down every alien, sure, but these are bookended by other wave types that inject some needed variety. This includes ‘Predator’ battles (cloaked foes), ‘Turret’ waves (stationary guns that pack a punch), and ‘Dropship’ segments (lock-on missiles are your friend), all while working with new weapons (a shotgun type, scoped varieties (including thermal vision), and a grenade launcher) that are doled out over the course of the fight.

Aliens vs Romans - Screen

Hate to see you go, love to watch you blow up.

While the controls, AI, and weapon variety are solid, Player Health can be an issue, particularly against the stationary turrets and mothership / dropship missiles, which can end your life in one volley. Yes, to be fair, health regenerates. You can earn extra lives, too, and it’s not like the game is unconquerable in its current form, though the absence of a continue option or saved progress might impede some players. It’s on the short side in content, as well. The lack of additional modes, scoring, and / or an unlimited run means A vs. R is limited. You can bring down the mothership in roughly 35-40 minutes (about 15 waves), with only a hint at future trouble (i.e., the obligatory sequel setup) for your reward.

Aliens vs. Romans does a great job in remixing the bored-to-death formula of most wave shooters, but it still falls victim to the same genre faults of repetition and subsequent tedium. It’s a good trade for a dollar, just a superficial joy, with no incentive to return to it once you’ve cleared it. To put it another way, Sick Kreations’ alternate Rome is a beautiful place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

New ‘Aliens Vs. Romans’ Trailer Shows Off The Sights and Gunplay

Aliens Vs. Romans has been an intriguing moniker since its first ‘teaser’ video months ago, promising a great deal without actually showing anything. A new trailer, just released by developer Sick Kreations, offers up much more info on the upcoming FPS this time around, unveiling not only the pretty visuals behind the title, but a gameplay clip to whet the appetite. The nearly two-minute video shows the player, able to equip several guns with varying zoom and effect, mowing down aliens (or are those the Romans?) within a multi-tiered level, some nicely-detailed architecture for ambiance. Also shown later is split-screen co-op.

Only the one environment is revealed in the video, so it’s still unknown if players can expect a change of scenery or layout. Also no confirmation if the single-player is an actual campaign with a story and / or different levels, or just a solo run through enemy waves, as the trailer would suggest. For the moment, however, the guns impress, the gameplay looks good (it runs practically solid at 30 FPS throughout the clip), and I’m excited for the eventual release.

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Aliens Vs. Romans is simply ‘coming soon’.

‘Aliens Vs. Romans’ is Such a Tease

No, seriously. So much so that I guarantee this story contains more info than the 42-second teaser trailer released by developer Sick Kreations, announcing their brand new IP, Aliens Vs. Romans. Fitting the developer’s M.O., the game will be an FPS.

If you take the title as its word, looks like we might see a Caesar Vs. E.T. or Russell Crowe Vs. ALF duel. Could happen, you never know. What is interesting, though, is the wording of the trailer, promising not just a single-player portion, but co-op and multiplayer as well. The rest is guesswork. As you can see or did see, the trailer isn’t much, just text, with a few seconds of their previous, previous, effort, Nuclear Wasteland 2030, mixed in, which isn’t all that reassuring if that’s their inspiration (I thought the game was kinda lacking). This game does, however, mark the first time the whole Sick Kreations team is together on a project since NW2030.

Still, with no visual or contradictory evidence to support a judgment, I have to sit on the optimists’ side of the fence for this announcement, as they’ve built up some cred with me after their decent multiplayer followup End of Days. That recently-deposed FPS favorite of mine (thanks to Avatar Laser Wars 2) is evidently still going strong, having received numerous patches for bugs and added content over the last few months.

And you can always check out those games while you wait, as there’s currently no release date for Aliens Vs. Romans is eyeing a late Winter 2012 release.