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Customer Review

on 17 November 2007
I was given this game by my brother - he bought it on release and after installing it, registering it with Steam, and then waiting several hours for the mandatory automatic Steaming update to download, he discovered that it would not run on his computer!

I inherited it then as an unknown quantity - I hadn't read a review, seen any screenshots or otherwise been aware of the existence of this game until my brother passed it to me. This is probably because this type of game is not my typical fare, and playing this has reminded me just why that is!

At its best, there are (VERY) short periods of this game (VERY SHORT INDEED) that are genuinely exciting, but that really is IT as far as good stuff goes! Now onto the bad stuff.

Firstly, most annoyingly, this is a dreadful console to PC conversion. On Xbox 360 this might be OK, but since I'm playing a version for PC, I would like info about controls to be for the PC, not an Xbox controller - as a previous reviewer stated, screens actually pop-up during play to tell you which button on the controller will enable you to complete the next pointless endeavour. You change weapons by pressing the mouse wheel, which unless you know how to change the settings in XP, will minimise the game, and dump you back to the desktop every time! The whole control system is a mess.

Story - although this game has a fairly good story, and certainly a suitably epic sci-fi type one, I listing it in the poor section, since (as stated by another reviewer) you never really seem to play any part in it - you will be much to busy killing thousands of aliens in hive after hive after bloody hive to feel remotely involved in the story - another opportunity missed!

Graphics - fairly well executed and colourful, but totally uninspiring - after a couple of levels you couldn't care less where you are, and since every level seems to involve the same endless repetition, terrible (terrible design) alien foes and pointless objectives, thats probably fine. Constant cut-scenes interrupt the play, and they are corny and often without relevance - and I couldn't find a way to escape from them early. With this and the graphics, you can forget about ANY atmosphere whatsoever.

Gameplay - aside from the awful controls, there are some very poor gameplay settings and concepts here. The worst (for me) is the thermal energy idea. Apparently the whole premise of the game is that the aliens on this particular planet contain huge thermal energy, that can be harnessed by mankind. Only by killing them can the energy be released, at which point it lies in pools on the ground, which you absorb by running through them. The developers decided that you have to collect this energy to survive, and at the start of the game you have about enough to last 2 minutes unless you kill something. Crucially though, after killing it you have to run to where it falls and collect its pool of energy - this is an incredibly intrusive and frustrating feature, since many of the enemies are easily killed and appear in vast numbers, releasing only enough energy for a couple of seconds of life - its like collecting gold coins in Sonic the Hedgehog - not what I want out of a modern PC game. And if you decide to try to get through quickly without bothering to kill all the enemies, you're still knackered because instead of losing health when an enemy attacks, you lose energy (expended automatically to heal you) and enemies in such huge numbers drain you very quickly indeed - so you have absolutely no choice but to play the game in the only way possible because of this ridiculous feature!

If you don't collect the energy, your survival suit shuts down and you die - which actually comes to feel like a release after a few levels of this rubbish.

If you are primarily a console player who dabbles on the PC, then you might like this, but then again you would have played it on the console where it belongs and avoided this terrible attempt to cash in by porting it to PC. Experienced PC gamers should avoid this one like the plague.
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