Being a lover of dark green, mouth-dribbling sci-fi materials, there’s a constant sting in the back of my neck that results from the Alien game I want still not existing. And don’t go pointing your fingers at what Gearbox are doing because that isn’t it either. Never have I wanted a game that spurts out “Double Kill” when I’ve somehow managed to kill two Xenomorphs. The point being, the aliens are supposed to be terrifying and hard as hell to battle with, but instead they’ve turned them into just another target to fire pellets at so the announcer can give you the positive reinforcement your parents never did. The enemy doesn’t even have to be Xenomorphs; it can be anything as long as it’s a bitch to kill, bleeds acid on me and is smart enough to use the environment to its advantage. Of course, the other demand is that the corridors that I’ll be walking around are dark and misty looking, slightly wrecked and are almost terrifying to look at due to the ambient sounds echoing around their steel gratings. Is that too much to ask?
“You play the part of Zak Thomas, who is a star fighter pilot attached to the CDF Goliath. The CDF Goliath has been tasked with investigating a loss of comms with one of its most distant outposts – Icarus 3.”
Surprisingly, from what I can muster from the pre-alpha gameplay of CDF Ghostship, the game actually gets one of those things right. The other element completely lets the whole dream down, but I figure that moaning about it may encourage the developer to correct this illness so that I may eventually get what I want. And there go the toys out of my pram. I’m not even going to show you the game’s teaser trailers because they’re deeply upsetting to me and completely absolve any hope that I may have for the game. So, what I am going to show you is the 23 minute long gameplay, which starts off well and then hits rock bottom before wavering up and down on the “Is this what I want?” scale.
Go on; watch it – watch all of it!
So what is it that I’m crying about exactly? Well, before I get on to that let’s have a look at why I placed any hope in the game at all. Mainly it’s that you’re on a huge spaceship with flickering lights that you can free-roam around. As the game is made in the UDK engine, the textures aren’t too bad, but the most important aspect is that, judging from the gameplay, the atmosphere is just about what I’m looking for. Dead bodies blood up the hallways; it’s dark and there’s a PA system that adds to the creeping sense of danger. Pressure locks, colored lighting and even steam is emitted at times – these are all the right ingredients.
“The player will have the option to play the game in first-person or third-person views. The game is single-player and we hope to provide a multiplayer survival mode on the games final release.”
But where the environments may excel, it’s let down by the rest of the game’s design, i.e. big white letters telling you exactly what to do, for a start. Some of the sound effects are a little off too, like when you jump the character seems to let out a belch on cue. Then there’s the weapons. First of all, though, you have a flashlight that has to be switched out for a gun, which is fine to an extent, but basically renders it useless most of the time, and people don’t like that, as we know from the complaints Doom 3 received. But yeah, back to the weapons – some of the guns seem pathetic. Shooting lasers can be fun, but you want big loud guns that send shivers down the corridors, and big flashing effects tied to them upon firing – not a “pew, pew”. How flaccid. However, I do enjoy the weapon that lets you look through a big screen to see in the darker areas that you have to bring up to your face.
Then, of course, we get on to the proper complaint. What is that?!
It’s like a turd grew teeth and a passion for eating faces. And you think that’s bad – they have two stubbly legs that they waddle on towards you in packs. That’s not scary or terrifying! It’s almost humorous. Except it’s not because now everything is ruined by these alien penguins. And apparently there’s going to be zombies in the game too. Sigh. Well, there goes that, I guess. I haven’t played the alpha myself as watching the gameplay has caused me to make judgements. But if you do want to play it, then you can help to fund the game and receive its current builds.