Aliens: Fireteam Elite - Review
Games in the Alien universe are divided into two types: horror and action, but these genres never maintain the necessary balance between themselves. The last successful iteration was Alien: Isolation, which plunged users into the abyss of fear at the Sevastopol station.
Now the pendulum has swung towards the unrestrained destruction of the creatures in their natural habitat — the hive by the colonial Marines.
It is worth noting right away that Aliens: Fireteam Elite is designed for cooperative passage in a team of up to three people. Playing with bots is possible, but not welcome, since only a live partner can provide significant support in the extermination of xenomorphs.
The Aliens: Fireteam Elite campaign consists of four chapters, each of which is divided into three small stages of half an hour, during which a team of infantrymen explores the area, is engaged in search and rescue operations, cleans corners from monsters or just tries to survive.
The plot of the game takes place 23 years after the original trilogy. The crew of the Endeavour spacecraft receives a distress signal from the Katanga orbital station. The squad sent to the rescue quickly discovers something is wrong: the staff is absent, and the location is teeming with xenomorphs. Trying to find out the reasons for what happened, the Marines go in search of a scientist who called for help.
As one of the heavily armed soldiers, players will visit the Katanga oil refinery, the surface of the planet LV-895 and even look into the queen's lair. Users are waiting for the iconic scenery from the films "Prometheus", " Testament "and other creations of Ridley Scott, the disclosure of the secrets of the corporation" Weyland-Yutani " and the sea of fanservice.
Most missions take place in cramped spaces and narrow corridors, causing a feeling of claustrophobia. The xenomorphs will squeeze the Marines into a corner, creeping unnoticed along the walls and ceiling, crushing them with numbers and attacking stealthily. Fights sometimes last a couple of minutes, and before moving on, the squad needs to destroy all the creatures.
A series of races from room to room is replaced by a defense in the great hall. The Marines start a timer that counts down for 2-3 minutes, and defend themselves from the attacks of aliens in all available ways. For survival, it is necessary to install consumables in the form of turrets, mines, traps and other accessories. You can get them in boxes scattered nearby.
Xenomorphs are divided into four main types: cannon fodder, attacking from afar, near and healthy monsters. The latter pose the greatest threat and can simply sweep away the entire defense, destroying turrets and traps. As they pass, the infantrymen will meet face-grabs and other opponents. In total, the developers have included more than 20 varieties of creatures in the game.
There are five unique classes to choose from for the extermination of aliens: shooter, bomber, technician, medic and scout. Each of them has its own abilities and advantages. The shooter shoots quickly from a machine gun, throwing grenades at the enemy; the bomber uses heavy weapons and "smart" cartridges that are independently aimed at the target; the technician places turrets and electric traps; the medic heals and gives damage amplifications, and the scout uses radar and organizes the supply of ammunition and life.
It is not known why, but the last class is initially blocked and opens only after completing the game. He does not pull on endgame content and does not give any advantage over other characters.
In addition to class abilities, the members of the squad have different types of weapons. The arsenal includes the best representatives of the destruction of aliens. Players have access to: pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, flamethrowers and much more. They differ in the rate of fire, the range of destruction and other characteristics. Weapons can be equipped with body kits and pumped. From a medium-range rifle, players are free to make a long-range shotgun with a sniper scope, a machine gun can increase the accuracy of shooting, and a flamethrower can increase the reloading speed.
The main advantages of Aliens: Fireteam Elite are undoubtedly worth recording an action. Fights with xenomorphs are presented in the best possible way. Despite the fact that the enemies are standard for the genre as sponges for bullets, it's a lot of fun to shoot them. Thank you for this is a high-quality impact that highlights the enemy, and a large defeat zone (hitboxes). The aliens who have been shot in the head squeal funny, and fried to a crisp - fall in death convulsions.
Unfortunately, there were some disadvantages. The lack of active reloading from Gears of War does not spoil the impression of shooting at all, but the inability to recharge in a jump is very annoying. Sometimes you have to run away from a crowd of monsters, hiding in the far corner to replenish ammunition. This is not always possible, and at high difficulty, the enemies literally tear the hero apart, while the character stands motionless and convulsively takes out the clip.
From the above-mentioned series of Microsoft fighters, the game under review has learned a system of shelters. At the beginning of the passage, it raises questions, since the alien AI is set up for a constant attack. Xenomorphs will not hide behind a wall, and only a few of them spit. However, closer to the middle of the campaign, new enemies appear in the form of androids, which can not be destroyed with a rush. Robots that have rebelled against humanity use sniper rifles, install turrets and painfully fry with a flamethrower, in general, use the capabilities of classes against the players themselves.
Questions are also raised by the lack of a "sit down" button, which is necessary when shooting three people in narrow corridors, and a useless melee strike. Xenomorphs leave behind a puddle of acid, so they need to be destroyed at a distance, and an elbow strike is too slow and short. Throughout the game, there will not be a single situation when the player does not receive damage after applying a melee strike.
The interest of the game is added by its second undoubted plus — the musical accompaniment created in the best traditions of the works of James Horner, for which the composer was nominated for an Oscar. The melodies sound bright and rich, emphasizing what is happening on the screen. The music makes you rush into battle or look around in search of hidden aliens, when cheerful motives are replaced by an alarming intonation. Alas, the sounds of shooting are not so good, although they allow you to distinguish the roar of a machine gun from the chirp of a machine gun.
The developers turned out to have a rather curious pumping system. The game offers users three difficulties to choose from, noting the recommended combat rating for each of them. The figure consists of the player's overall level, class status, weapon capabilities and perks. The first accumulates throughout the entire passage, and the second-for playing a certain class. The most interesting thing is that some of the open perks can be transferred to other classes as weapons.
For example, a scout is able to use not only a rifle, but also a machine gun, a medic can share a pumped pistol with a shooter, and so on. Despite the fact that the arsenal has more than 30 types of weapons, it falls under certain class limits. The same applies to perks that can be used by other members of the squad. To do this, the developers have come up with a special grid with cells. It is necessary to insert strips and cubes in the manner of "Tetris", filling the slots and increasing the rating of the character.
Unlike competing games, Aliens: Fireteam Elite allows the shooter to quickly pick up a fallen comrade, and the medic can carry more ammunition. The flexibility of pumping will help players customize the hero for themselves. This solution emphasizes the character editor, in which you can choose the gender, appearance and even voice for the hero or heroine. The latter is more of a minus than a plus, since the speech of the created character is very out of the overall picture — it sounds quiet and muffled, and turns on only at the moment of detecting a hidden enemy (that is, at a critical moment).
The perk cells come off in the grid as you level up, and after reaching the maximum fourth level, the player fills them all. The first abilities have little effect on the balance, but later ones can significantly increase the chances of winning.
The Aliens: Fireteam Elite campaign is held with great interest: players explore locations familiar from movies, destroy aliens, break into the crowd of xenomorphs with a glint in their eyes, pump up, "mold" their own character and call for friends to help. After the final, new difficulty levels and an additional "Horde" mode are opened, where a team of Marines fights off waves of enemies, trying to survive as long as possible.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite will bring a lot of fun for its 6 hours of complete passage, and then the problems begin. Players who are eager to continue the adventure will be bitterly disappointed in the form of poor replayability and a disinterested audience. At a higher-than-average difficulty level, it is almost impossible to find anyone. Potential partners, even after pumping to the maximum values, sit in easy mode.
The sharply increasing complexity adds fuel to the fire. At the maximum values, team members can be raised only once per level (instead of five on the average), there are very few first-aid kits and other consumables, and the fire on their own is turned off by 100% (on the average it is disabled). At the same time, it is impossible to revive a fallen comrade at the checkpoint.
In addition, Aliens: Fireteam Elite supports a cross-platform game only within one family of consoles, splitting buyers into parts. Players are forced to run the search again and again, spending several tens of minutes in the lobby, while on average difficulty, partners are instantly found. The search itself is organized unsuccessfully and does not allow you to connect to the started match.
To add a thrill and some variety, the developers have introduced a system of maps that can be displayed at the beginning of the mission. Local mutators allow you to complicate the situation by disabling the interface or the inability to move when shooting, as well as impose positive effects in the form of increased health or an increased amount of wearable ammunition. Debuffs after completing a level are rewarded in the form of a multiplier for the amount of experience and currency received, but they do not give anything for buffs.
The earned money can be spent on the purchase of weapons, modules, perks, consumables and appearance items. The merchant is on the Endeavour ship, which serves as a local hub, and is always happy to help. There you can also discuss items found during the mission that shed light on the plot twists. The inserts themselves look cheap and deplorable. The interlocutors do not open their mouths during the conversation, but only bulge their eyes, forcing them to close the dialog window and no longer delve into the story. The developers have decided on a full voice-over, but its quality leaves much to be desired. The actors are overplaying and do not seem to understand the script.
Despite this, the plot is spelled out well. Fans of the universe will find a lot of interesting things for themselves, and the famous knife game from the film, made in the form of an emotion, will cause undisguised delight.
Disadvantages are added by several bugs. Aliens: Fireteam Elite looks like a standard child of the pandemic era, when developers work at home and are not able to resort to the help of testers. Fortunately, there is nothing in the project that cannot be fixed with a couple of major patches. Although everything happened during the passage: sounds were turned off (only music was playing), vibration disappeared, the possibility of lifting and installing objects disappeared, and, for sweet, the first door on the level did not open.
The version for new consoles features improved graphics, increased resolution and exclusive 60 frames per second. They did not use special controller chips.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a pleasant cooperative shooter based on the famous universe, which will dilute a couple of boring evenings with a sea of fun and shooting. It is interesting to go through the project once and switch to something else, despite the abundance of classes, looks, perks, pumping and other attributes of a long-playing project. The reason for this is the completely linear backbone of the main game — a story campaign, which is interesting to follow once or at most twice.