Video Game: Alien Rage
Alien Rage is a 2013 Sci-Fi First-Person Shooter developed by City Interactive, a Polish studio best known for the military shooter Sniper Ghost Warrior. The game is built on the Bulletstorm engine (itself built on the latest iteration of the Unreal engine) and intended as a throwback to earlier, more arcade-like sci-fi FPS games (like Unreal), with high-impact weapons, large numbers of enemies, and huge boss fights. The plot involves a Space Marine infiltrating a Promethium mining facility that has been taken over by a hostile, militant alien race known as the Vorus.The game features an arcade-like scoring system with the player's performance in each level being scored based on various things such as headshots, explosion kills, etc. During the game, a deep-voiced announcer will loudly proclaim each special kill as you perform them. Earning enough points will slowly unlock perks such as larger magazines, higher damage, more health, etc.
This game provides examples of:
- Awesome but Impractical: the final gun. It is very powerful, shooting a continuous stream of energy, but by then you're facing Elite Mooks aplenty and they're very armored, meaning even it takes a while to bring them down, and headshots are the only way to go. Too bad the final gun shakes all over the place, and the beam effects make it hard to aim, so scoring headshots is easier said than done. Oh, and it goes through ammo insanely fast.
- The submachinegun. It fires ludicrously fast - faster than the minigun, even - but for all the damage those bullets do you might as well be tossing hundreds of cotton balls.
- In general the human weapons. They tend to be significantly more effective than their alien counterparts, but you only find a few refills every now and then, so you'll either be using them as long as their ammo lasts and then dropping them, or just not bothering altogether and going for the constantly-replenishing alternatives that you can collect from most fallen enemies.
- Boring Yet Practical: the stock pistol is fairly weak (at least until you upgrade it much later on), but it's surprisingly effective at scoring headshots against the Elite Mooks that populate the later levels.
- The alien assault rifle. The damage is mediocre at best, but it fires fast, doesn't need to reload and every other enemy drops one.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: The audiologs gradually reveal that, as genuinely savage and brutal as the Vorus are, the only reason they attacked the humans is because they were provoked by a rogue human officer, Peytton.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both the ship's A.I. and the pilot have a lot of snarky things to say about the situations the Space Marine gets himself into. As expected, the A.I. is a lot more deadpan about it.
- Excuse Plot: As you'd expect from a game called Alien Rage, the plot is simplicity itself; Aliens want to kill you. Kill them. That being said, there is a surprisingly large amount of dialogue for an arcade-like shooter, and even an ongoing side plot found in collectible audio logs scattered throughout the levels.
- The Faceless: The real face of the Vorus are never seen. Most Vorus wear hoods that completely conceal their faces. Other Vorus wear lizard-like helmets, but those are just helmets; it's unclear what the head underneath actually looks like (although given the prevalence of the lizard motif, it's not a stretch to imagine that they look like lizards.)
- Giant Spider: The game's final boss is a giant mech in the form of a spider. According to your A.I., it's an effigy of the Vorus' god.
- Gunship Rescue: At the very ending, IRIS appears in all her gunship glory to save your armored butt, giant minigun mowing down all in her path.
- Hitbox Dissonance: Scoring headshots on enemies is harder than it appears, because they all wear hoods or crested helmets that make their head appear much larger than it actually is (you need to aim below their eyes to score a proper hit). Also, apparently because you are a fat space marine, your own hitbox is huge and you'll find yourself taking hits even if you think you're completely behind cover.
- Magikarp Power: Pick the right perk, and your pistol becomes a rapid fire handcannon.
- Mission Control: Through the game, Mr. Space Marine has ongoing banter with his ship's pilot and their female A.I. coordinator.
- Elite Mooks: Vorus Elites appear in the last several missions. They're robotic/cybernetic enemies armed with lightning guns and having almost as much health as a Giant Mook. On the plus side, you can still instantly kill them with a well-aimed headshot.
- Giant Mook: Large, slow, armored enemies armed with miniguns appear as an uncommon enemy type. They can take a lot of hits, but since even the basic Mooks require a ton of bullets to kill, on relative terms they're only somewhat tougher than normal. The main challenge they pose is that you can't instantly kill them with a headshot. And then there's the Vorus Centurion, who's essentially the Battlelord from Duke Nukem 3D.
- Mini-Mecha/Humongous Mecha: Mechs of varying size appear throughout the game as bosses or Boss In Mooks Clothing.
- Nintendo Hard: Your relatively low health, the very slow rate of health regeneration, the Hitbox Dissonance coupled with destroyable cover, the fact that explosions clip through cover coupled with almost every enemy in the game being able to fire grenades from their rifles, and the extremely aggressive and numerous enemies make this a VERY, VERY difficult game. It is apparently intended for people who speedrun Halo on Legendary, or products of late 20th century genetic engineering.
- Obviously Evil: The Vorus are savage, lizard-like aliens who worship a giant spider.
- Regenerating Health: The game uses the usual regenerating health mechanic, and all the hiding behind cover while this occurs does somewhat conflict with the fast paced, arcade-like game design.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The logs make it clear that the Vorus have outgrown their bloodthirsty phase after nearly fighting each other into extinction and destroying their planet. They have since converted to a religion that considers all weapons untouchable unless absolutely necessary - which they'll enforce with extreme measures. The irony seems lost on them.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: The first 3/4ths of the game are insane. Once you unlock the tier 3 perks that increase your health, health regeneration, and resistance to explosions, the game becomes much more balanced.
- A Space Marine Is You: No surprise there.
- Shout-Out:IRIS: "Now you're thinking with portals!"Space marine: "What?"IRIS: "Uh, nothing, software glitch."
- Unobtainium: Promethium. The humans need it to solve Earth's energy crisis, with humanity's fossil-fuel based global infrastructure having less than a couple decades of life left. The Vorus need it because it's the fuel that makes space travel possible for them, and they're a nomad race that lives on their ships.