Perspective: Side view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Gameplay: Arcade, Platform, Puzzle elements, Shooter
Setting: Sci-fi / futuristic
Published by: Softdisk Publishing
Developed by: Inner Circle Creations
Excellent "side-scrolling" action, the complexity of the gameplay almost crossing the line between arcade and 2D-shooter, which some after its release even called "Doom in 2D". Agree that, if only for this reason, it already deserves attention.
Alien Rampage has one wonderful (for me, anyway) plot feature: there are no unnecessary, boring and uninteresting people here - only monsters. So, our hero is such a hefty green-skinned guy with a white comb on his forehead, of course - very cool and brave. His space fighter crashes on an unknown planet (on which everything looks by no means friendly), but at the last moment he managed to eject. This is good, only now our hero and his ship have landed at completely different points, and now we have to help the greenskin find his vessel, and for this - to move through the territory of the mysterious planet.
Alien versus aliens - this is only now, when there is already Zax: The Alien Hunter, it does not look new. And for those times (1996) - a real squeak of fashion. An amazing variety of enemies in everything, from appearance and ending with behavioral features, wild creatures of the unearthly jungle, hired killers (!), It is not clear by whom and for what purpose, assistants, traps, riddles and, of course, the most colorful bosses hired to destroy our hero - that's what Alien Rampage is all about.
The gameplay is quite standard for an arcade with a side view, which is good, the only feature that catches the eye at first is the relatively slow progress in the level, because often the enemies are seriously "baked". However, our hero is not a bastard - he can run, jump, even climb the vines in the jungle - and that can. Most of the battles with enemies take place one-on-one, at this moment "strips" of the lives of our hero and the enemy are displayed at the bottom of the screen.
There are, of course, bonuses, there are not so many of them, most of them are “tied” to improving the weapons we have (because at the beginning of the game we have only one rifle). But the assistants, about whom it was mentioned, you must see for yourself. Let me just say that usually (but not always) these are such fat creatures with light green skin, whose help is sometimes extremely important and even somewhat unexpected. For example: there is a very high platform in front of you that you cannot jump onto. No problem - call the "troll" and he will give you his back so that you can climb onto the platform. And there will be other creatures, which, for example, will need to be protected ... Just keep in mind - not everyone here is against you, only a large part, and some are even important in the plot.
Because - yes, paradoxical as it may seem, there is a plot here, and, although very sparingly, it develops in the course of the action. But we will not talk a lot about it, but we will focus on the schedule, because it is simply magnificent here. But this should not cause any surprise, for there are two reasons for this. Firstly, this is 1996 - the beginning of the era of "heavy DOS". Secondly, the decisive role in such an impressive result was played not by advanced technologies (let's face it - they are not here), but by the imagination and efforts of the developers. The locations to be visited by our green-skinned protagonist are very diverse: there will be jungles (in which you have to spend quite a lot of time from the very beginning of the game and wander there both on the ground and waist-deep in water, and even in trees, like the Predator ), and the catacombs of strange cities, and cemeteries, and various futuristic-cyberpunk factories, or laboratories, and even a dilapidated eerie-looking city ... And all this is drawn well, just magnificently, with amazing clarity and attention to even the smallest details of the environment ...
And the enemies? What wonderful enemies here - so many different species and genera, and each of them has a completely "adequate" place! It makes sense that lizard people live in a swampy jungle, skeletons in a cemetery, and robots somewhere in laboratories, right? But all this diversity fades when meeting with the first boss ... But he is only the first ... I warn you right away that the bosses here are real works of surrealistic fantasy, such creatures are very difficult to imagine. But if you admire their beauty, then very soon you will have to see a completely different beauty - the animation of the death of the main character ... It is also beautiful, but unpleasant - despite his "features", it is difficult not to love him.
There is even a surprise in the game - the second game mode. True, it is not available from the very beginning, but when you find something. If we compare with "modern" games (and for me these are the last of those that are compatible with Windows 98SE), then at the end of the game you will experience something similar to the moment when, at the penultimate level of Chronicles of Riddick, we get control of a robotic suppressor ... Really , here everything will be a little different, but still at this moment the game will turn into a real action, albeit with a very peculiar perspective of the view.
There is even a surprise in the game - the second game mode. True, it is not available from the very beginning, but when you find something. If we compare with "modern" games (and for me these are the last of those that are compatible with Windows 98SE), then at the end of the game you will experience something similar to the moment when, at the penultimate level of Chronicles of Riddick, we get control of a robotic suppressor ... Really , here everything will be a little different, but still at this moment the game will turn into a real action, albeit with a very peculiar perspective of the review.
However, comparisons with the present are inappropriate here. It would be much more correct to compare Alien Rampage with the masterpiece, Judge Dredd, released a year later. Of course, as a game (especially in graphic terms), it looks a little more powerful, but the gameplay in AR is definitely more dynamic, "bloodier" and more varied, and the hero himself is more abrupt - this cannot be taken away. You can even say that Alien Rampage is almost the best "heavy" arcade game of the mid-90s in all respects.
The background of each screen in the game is drawn in advance - but this, firstly, is more than normal for that time, and secondly - for a similar genre it is even better. Moreover, perhaps this is what gives the graphics such charm. But "dynamic" elements, such as: models of the protagonist and all kinds of enemies and friends, various "special effects" such as blood, explosions, shots and other things - are animated at the highest level. The atmosphere here literally beats over the edge - the atmosphere is absolutely amazing, like the main character himself. No people, no global problems, no salvation of the world - all this does not matter, only the salvation of oneself through the path of blood and destruction, which is only a response. You rarely see this.
The verdict is just great. One of the few games that is simply impossible to tear yourself away from. If someone from the fans of "strong" old platformers has not seen this miracle yet, it is strongly recommended that you familiarize yourself with our nameless brutal greenskin as soon as possible. And then he is a stern creature, he is not used to waiting for a long time ...