[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Alien_Swarm_Header_9289.jpg]]

->'''David "Crash" Murphy:''' ''Is it dead?''
->'''Joseph "Sarge" Conrad:''' ''Yeah. Dead 'n' ugly.''
->'''David "Crash" Murphy:''' ''[[TakeThat Reminds me of that last Commander...]]''
-->--''On Shieldbugs''

''Alien Swarm'' is a free PC title that began life as a GameMod for ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004''. Creator/{{Valve|Software}}, impressed with their work, subsequently hired the team (a la ''VideoGame/{{Counter-Strike}}'', ''Day of Defeat'' and ''VideoGame/TeamFortressClassic'') and in between helping out with ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' and ''Videogame/{{Portal 2}}'', they developed a [[GameEngine Source Engine]] remake of the mod, released on July 19, 2010. The game is played from a [[TopDownView top-down perspective.]]

Up to four players control a squad of {{Space Marine}}s who are sent to investigate a mining facility on a [[SingleBiomePlanet frozen]] frontier colony planet [[GhostTown that has gone dark]]. Turns out, [[LateToTheTragedy it was completely overrun]] by, well, a swarm of aliens. It could be considered analogous to a top-down ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'', although the setting is not quite as bleak.

Currently, the game only has one official campaign titled Jacob's Rest. This raises the question: "Who exactly ''is'' Jacob?"[[note]]According to background material, the planet the campaign is located on (Vereon XII) was discovered by a Jacob Cornell.[[/note]]
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!!''Alien Swarm'' provides examples of:

* ActionBomb: The Swarm Boomer. It's an Expy for the [[VideoGame/{{Half-Life1}} Gonarch]], so of course it must explode upon death. There's an achievement for killing it before it does so.
* ActionGirl: Wildcat is a woman and a [[MoreDakka Special Weapons specialist]]. Faith arguably counts as well, but is pretty much TheMedic more.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Completing any two missions in online co-op unlocks a hat. [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 For another game entirely]].
* AscendedFanfic: Before being turned into a stand-alone game, the Alien Swarm mod for VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004 appeared in the ECE (Editor's Choice Edition) UpdatedRerelease of the game.
* AttackItsWeakPoint: [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Shieldbugs.]] Complete with a big "shoot here" fleshy part on its rear.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Chainsaw. It can tear bugs apart... but so can the standard melee attacks, and those are less likely to get you killed or wounded. However, unlike the standard melee attack, you can move freely while using it. A good chainsaw user can simply run into a mob of aliens and leave chunky bits in his wake, while anyone attempting to punch his way through the mob would simply get mauled between punches.
** Also, the chainsaw is often used by speedrunners, as it can be used to both remove the boulders in the last mission without using the slower mining laser and break down doors faster than opening them by hacking.
** There are two hidden items in the game: The Assault Jets and The Blink Pack. Each can only be found on a specific stage. The first is your only jumping option in the game, but has very few uses and can't do much to enemies. The Blink Pack lets you teleport. It has unlimited uses, but a lengthy recharge time. It will also zap any enemies around both ends of the teleport. However, you're limited to teleporting to places on your screen, and only places you could reach on foot. Both take up a slot that could be much better utilized.
*** Scratch the impractical part, advanced players can combine both to abuse gaps between map props and easily solo any map where those items are present on the highest difficulties.
** The SmartBomb is certainly an effective weapon if you're being overwhelmed by aliens, but it's single-use and ends up being tremendous overkill in most situations. Most of the time you can get the same effect just by dropping a freeze grenade at your feet.
** The Grenade Launcher. Big splash range when things get crowded but causes extremely high friendly fire damage plus the shots arc instead of flying straight.
*** It becomes very practical on insane difficulty when there are large aliens on every map and you need to kill them as quickly as possible.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Without healing, a parasite will kill you, and spawn another four that pose a significant risk to your teammates. Better to die in battle, charging into the largest mass of aliens before dropping all your grenades at your feet.
* TheBigGuy: Wolfe. [[MightyGlacier He gets a health bonus and an Autogun damage bonus]].
* BloodKnight: Karl Jaeger lives for the glory of battle.
* BoxedCrook: Wolfe is an ex-con who chose military service over life imprisonment. In a less-seen variation, he turns out to enjoy the military far more than his previous life of crime, and sticks with it as a career.
** Vegas chose this mission over imprisonment for a NoodleIncident.
* BulletTime: The adrenaline rush. Happens automatically at some points in the game, but there is also an item that grants it. In both cases, it affects the entire squad.
** Also, whenever a character dies, we have a slow-mo cutscene of him or her dying. Generally, this is used to get the last edifying reactions from their squadmates. These are normally variations on theme of "oh shit", "noooo", "lol" or "[[AccidentalMurder oops]]".
* ChainsawGood: Oddly enough, the blade of this game's chainsaw is horizontally-aligned. Still chops the Swarm up good though.
** Probably because a vertical chainsaw would be harder to maneuver side-to-side through multiple swarm while being held comfortably.
* CharacterLevel: EXP is awarded at the end of various stages. To add to that, items and weapons unlock when you level up; thus, the more you play, the larger your arsenal.
** There is also the Rank system, where you can trade 26 levels for another Rank. This has no positive impact on the game however, and actually ''takes away'' your weapons if you choose to do so (level 27 being coincidentally the highest you can get).
* ComicBookFantasyCasting: Crash looks an awful lot like Creator/JeffGoldblum.
* CoolStarship: The ''Bloodhound''.
* CosmeticAward: [[AvertedTrope Actually averted]]. The game has many achievements but each confers the tangible award of an experience bonus. [[AndYourRewardIsClothes Of course, then there's the one that gives you a hat]].
** Some of these achievements can be redone every mission, providing the experience bonus each time.
** Then there is the promotion option at level 27. It resets your level and gives you a medal next to your level ingame.
*** Which is nothing but a BraggingRightsReward, since all it shows is how many times you've relocked your kit and reset your levels.
* TheCracker: David Murphy, aka [[MeaningfulName "Crash"]]. He apparently brought down an entire financial network at the age of 21. He's serving time with the military as a result.
* CuttingTheKnot: A chainsaw often opens doors faster than a player can hack the locks. You'll want to play a tech anyway though, since Vegas gets a large bonus to chainsaw damage.
* DifficultButAwesome: If you can master the grenade launcher, it's one of the most effective weapons in the game. If you ''can't'' master it, it's one of the most effective ways to kill yourself.
* DoomedHometown: Wildcat's parents and home colony were wiped out by a Swarm invasion. [[FreudianExcuse She wasn't keen on fighting before that]].
* DummiedOut: A look in the sounds folder reveals several Marine voice files that address a tech named Flynn, who is not present in the game.
** Alas, poor Flynn. His fate is unknown - he was present in the ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004'' mod, but was replaced by Vegas for reasons unknown. Could have been voice actor troubles.
** There also exists a fully working Queen alien, complete with massive "boss" health bar on top of the screen, but she doesn't appear anywhere in the game's original campaign. You can still place the entity in maps or spawn it from the console.
** Also, the Shaman, a small (about the size of the parasite) green bug that [[ShootTheMedicFirst restores health to other members of the swarm]].
* EasyModeMockery: Playing on Easy cuts your EXP gained by half, making leveling up more of a chore to do.
* ElevatorActionSequence: On the second level, atop a massive cargo elevator. Features BulletTime, a ZergRush and CrowningMusicOfAwesome.
* EnemyDetectingRadar: Tech characters are equipped with a motion tracker that causes the swarm to appear as red dots on your map. [[ShoutOut Complete with the distinctive pinging sound]] from ''Film/{{Aliens}}''.
* TheEngineer: Crash and Vegas.
* EverybodysDeadDave: Midway through the campaign, you send some files to your VoiceWithAnInternetConnection, who informs you that the entire colony has been wiped out, if you had not deduced this yourself. The course of action he recommends? NukeEm. [[MemeticMutation It's the only way to be sure]].
* ExplodingBarrels: But of course.
** The green ones leak gas or chemicals that are hazardous to marine and bug alike instead. Very hazardous. Good for covering your back.
* {{Expy}}: The Autogun is the [[Film/{{Aliens}} smartgun]] in all but name.
** Parasites to the Facehuggers, to the point where Valve would probably owe 20th Century Fox royalties if the game wasn't freeware.
* FriendlyFireproof: [[AvertedTrope Averted]], though how much damage it does depends on the difficulty. On Easy, the game will register the hit and count it against your XP gains but no damage is dealt.
** The Tesla gun however is FriendlyFireproof under pretty much all circumstances. It's [[JustifiedTrope justified]] because it's programmed to ignore human biosigns.
** There is a special absorption system in place to limit the amount of FF received, at least early on. It drops off over time, though.
* {{Game Breaking Bug}}s: Originally crashed on loading for some people. A patch fixed that, though.
* TheGambler: Vegas joined the military to flee his debts to TheMafia.
* GameMod: Like ''VideoGame/KillingFloor'', it started out as a mod for ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004''. Valve hired three of the original developers, who then remade it on the Source engine in their "spare time". Like other games on Source, it also supports custom maps.
** Plus the mods for the game itself that the community creates. The game is also fully open-source, meaning you can edit the files however you want.
* GatlingGood: The Special Weapons class starts with an Autogun, which is like a less powerful minigun that can lock onto targets. You can unlock an actual minigun when you reach level 17, which trades off accuracy for a faster fire rate.
* GoombaStomp: If you land on an enemy after jumping with the Assault Jets, they go squish.
* GunsAkimbo: Dual pistols and Personal Defense Weapons are available. The pistols' description notes that they are [[LampshadeHanging issued in pairs]].
* GunshipRescue: The DropShip ''Bloodhound'' gives you covering fire twice over the course of the campaign.
* GratuitousFrench: Leon Bastille throws some French in here and there, with [[ForeignCussWord "Merde!"]] standing out.
* GratuitousGerman: Jaeger sometimes yells [[ForeignCussWord "Scheisse!"]] when a parasite jumps on him. He also taunts the drones in German occasionally.
* GratuitousSpanish: Vegas usually spouts some "Ten cuidado, bastardo!" ("Watch it, bastard!") when shot at.
** Of note is that the Captions for some of his lines are translated to Spanish even though they're in English and viceversa.
* GrenadeLauncher: Underbarrel varieties appear on many basic guns, while a stand-alone rotary-chamber version is also available.
* HackingMinigame: Techs must play it to unlock doors and access encrypted files, so the rest of the squad must [[HoldTheLine hold off the aliens]] while they do.
* HarderThanHard: Insane difficulty. The game on Normal difficulty is challenging enough, this makes the swarms faster, stronger and spawns them in more places (you get parasites on the first level). It demands good teamwork otherwise you won't get very far.
** An update outclasses Insane with Brutal difficulty for people who say Insane isn't hard enough! How hard is it? Hard enough that ''none of the developers could complete a mission on Brutal difficulty!''
** Onslaught mode, another new feature added to the game, can be borderline NintendoHard since the aliens now are randomly generated and a huge swarm may randomly appear to slaughter the team, just like in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead''. As if this and Brutal difficulty wasn't enough, Valve also added a Hardcore Friendly Fire option that makes all friendly fire deal full damage to teammates and people who are set on fire stay lit a lot longer. [[UpToEleven And yes, this can turned on for Insane and Brutal difficulties.]]
** There's an achievement for beating a mission on Brutal with Onslaught and Hardcore FF turned on. Have fun!
* HealingShiv: An unlockable weapon for Medics. Very similar to [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 a certain other Valve game's]], but with limited ammo, and you're able to heal yourself with it.
* HealThySelf: Along with the medical beacon and the unlockable Healgun, first aid kits, although they are self use only. Marines that are low on health will have their PowerArmor emitting sparks.
* HoldTheLine: Happens a few times. The first time there's a [[SuspiciousVideogameGenerosity conveniently-placed]] re-deployable SentryGun a few rooms back.
* HilarityEnsues: When a door gets destroyed and falls on a player or the aliens.
* {{Homage}}: To ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'' and ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'', with a few nods to ''TabletopGame/SpaceHulk'' thrown in.
* InventoryManagementPuzzle: You can only carry one of the game's many equippable items at a time. It's your choice whether to take something that benefits you ([[HealThySelf Health Kit]], armor upgrade) something that harms the Swarm (tripmines, rocket pack) or something that helps the team ([[StatusBuff Damage amp beacon]], flares, [[WeldTheLock Welder]]).
* KilledOffForReal: Unlike ''Left 4 Dead'' and many other multiplayer shooters, players who are killed stay dead until the next round.
* KillItWithFire: One of the unlockable weapons that everyone can use is a [[FireBreathingWeapon flamethrower]].
* LaserSight: All weapons in the game have one equipped. Pretty much necessary, given the top-down camera. The deployable tripmines also use these.
* LeeroyJenkins: Players who attempt to speed run a map and not tell anyone else (which will usually get the Leeroy killed or their team killed) and/or guys who mishandle power weapons like the Flamethrower and constantly cause friendly fire damage with them.
* LudicrousGibs: The basic Swarm enemies usually burst into [[AlienBlood bright green gibs]] if enough damage is dealt to them. This includes if they've been ''[[MegatonPunch punched]]'', though this may be due to the fact that they're MadeOfPlasticine.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Two inventory items allows you to unleash a flurry of homing missiles at a whim.
* TheMedic: Faith and Bastille. Also fits into the CombatMedic role. [[TheChick Faith is particularly said to be gentle and emotional]].
* MercyKill: If there are no medics, healing packs, or shock armor left, an infected player has no chance of survival. Better to burn them to death than wait for a swarm of parasites to emerge from their corpse once they die.
* MookMaker: The last level features a giant spider-like enemy which spawns tiny suicide bombers, and releases a whole pile of them on death.
** If a parasite kills a player, it also releases a bunch upon death. Protip: Don't stand near a player who will be killed by a parasite. And don't stand near other players if you're going to die to one!
* MoreDakka: The Autogun really lays down some covering fire, but the Minigun does even more, at the cost of accuracy.
** X33 Damage Amplifier item does exactly what it says for characters standing in it's radius, ''doubling'' damage done for the duration.
*** Including damage to teammates. As if shotguns weren't dangerous enough...
* NoodleIncident: Several of the marines mention previous battles where things got pretty rough, to which Sarge replies that he hopes their current mission doesn't get that bad.
* NukeEm: The ultimate outcome of the campaign.
* OneBulletClips: Averted. When you reload, you lose the remaining bullets of the previous magazine.
* OneHitKill: The officer class has access to napalm mines that can kill even Shieldbugs on contact.
** Getting flattened by a falling door will do this to you.
* OneHitPolykill: The Special Weapons skill Piercing Bullets gives each shot fired a chance to pass through multiple enemies in its path.
** Also see the Railgun and Scoped Rifle.
* OneManArmy: Averted. You can't start a campaign without at least two people. Unless, of course, you enter a console command. You'll probably die if you go it alone, though, even on easy.
* PaletteSwap: The Tesla Cannon and the Mining Laser both share the same models with different colors.
* PowerArmor: What the characters wear, [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience color-coded]] based on their class. Officer = Green, Medic = White with red stripe, Heavy Weapons = Bluish grey, Tech = Yellow. There are also some design differences; medics, officers, and techs have different flavors of backpack for their armor while the heavy weapons character has what looks to be an ammo drum.
* TheQuietOne: Flynn is a man of few words.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Half of the characters have a shady, if not downright criminal past.
* RecursiveAmmo: Jaeger and the Hand Grenade Unlockable. ''Normally'', the Hand Grenades are basically a copy of the standard Assault Rifle's Grenades. It's worth noting, however, that the Explosives skill increases the damage by 10 per point, and adds one cluster munition to the main grenade per point. Jaeger has Explosives 4. That's ''five'' explosions from ''one'' grenade dealing 120 damage ''each''.
* SergeantRock: [[Literature/HeartOfDarkness Joseph Conrad]], aka "Sarge". Apparently he's [[SoleSurvivor one of the few people]] to survive a Swarm invasion and knows how to beat them.
* SendInTheSearchTeam: They even [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] this by naming one of the playable characters [[Literature/HeartOfDarkness Joseph Conrad]].
* SensorSuspense: Intentionally, as one of its many ShoutOut s to ''Film/{{Aliens}}''
* SentryGun: Comes in five flavors! [[GatlingGood gatling guns]], [[KillitWithFire flamethrowers]], [[FreezeRay freeze rays]], [[ShockAndAwe Tesla sentries]] and [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill high-impact autocannons that prioritize larger targets]].
* ShockAndAwe: The Tesla Cannon. It slows enemies down and can deal damage to them through doors. [[HandWave It's programmed to ignore human biosigns]] and is therefore FriendlyFireproof. There is also the Tesla Sentry, which does this for you while you take the shocked Swarm down with your own preferred weapon.
* ShoutOut: Several in the achievements, such as [[Film/{{Aliens}} Another Bug Hunt, Nuke From Orbit]], and Film/{{Close Encounters|Of The Third Kind}}. There's also an exploding enemy called the Swarm [[VideoGame/Left4Dead Boomer.]]
** Wolfe and Wildcat have a very similar relationship to [[Film/{{Aliens}} Drake and Vasquez.]]
** The achievements for beating the entire campaign on whatever difficulties clearly take the idea for their icons from ''VideoGame/{{Halo}}''.
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: Officers have access to a nasty pump-action shotgun called the Vindicator. It features an underbarrel [[KillItWithFire incendiary]] GrenadeLauncher.
** Jaeger gets a bonus(+ 70) to it's already high damage(105). Yeah, anything he so much as looks at that isn't a shieldbug is pretty much dead.
* SmallGirlBigGun: Wildcat. [[LightningBruiser She has movement and reload speed bonuses]].
* SmartBomb: A deployable item that subjects any Swarm within range to a MacrossMissileMassacre.
* SmokingIsCool: Jaeger. Also, [[VoiceWithAnInternetConnection Williams]], the pilot aboard the ''Bloodhound''.
** The unoffical Telic campaign expansion for the ''[=UT2004=]'' mod added a cigar equipable by Sarge. Given that it did nothing but took up the equipment slot, its whole purpose was looking cool.
* SoloCharacterRun: Requires a console command, but is possible. Done for bragging rights.
* [[SonOfAWhore Son Of Political Prisoners]]: Bastille was born in prison.
* TakeAThirdOption: Doors either require a key card to unlock or need a tool to unseal it if it was welded shut. Other doors require a Tech to hack it open. Sometimes, you can find a way around the doors, but if the first two options won't work, you can just take a chainsaw and rip the door down. [[OneHitKill Just be careful with where the door falls down!]]
* TheresNoKillLikeOverkill: The Smart Bomb tends to kill ''every'' single thing on the user's screen.... and still have some left over missiles flying around.
* TokenMinority: Vegas is the only black person in the Valve version of the game. On the other hand, it has two women, Wildcat and Faith.
* VideogameFlamethrowersSuck: Averted. Now that the Tesla Cannon is no longer the undisputed King of Weapons, the Flamethrower has mostly taken its place. Why? A single puff of fire ignites an enemy (only prolonged fire ignites teammates, thankfully... but when it does, it isn't pretty), making it highly ammo efficient. Each puff is weak, but the burn damage is high; a single flamer sweep can turn a horde of drones into a staggering, flaming mess: no squad members injured. Only an idiot goes into a nest of Parasites without one. Oh, and its alt fire extinguishes fire... how's that for handy?
* WeaponizedExhaust: The two hidden items, the Blink Pack and Assault Jets. The first is a teleporter which has a side-effect of electrocuting everything around you at start and finish. The other is your standard rocket jump boots, and can light enemies on fire if you're next to them when you take off.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: Any level that requires a Tech marine will become an instant failure if they are killed. Sometimes it's a good idea to have two Tech guys as a backup plan.
* WeldTheLock: If you have the Welder equipped, you can weld doors to temporarily hold off the Swarm. You also find some doors already welded that if unwelded, may reveal extra items if not the way forward.
* WholePlotReference: To ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', [[AliensAndMonsters if]] [[SpaceMarine it]] [[EnemyDetectingRadar wasn't]] [[EveryBodysDeadDave obvi]][[NukeEm ous.]]
* ZergRush: As expected from a race called ''the swarm''.
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