Jun 13, 2012Allow me to disclaim this review by stating I completed the game on "Normal" difficulty in about 8 hours or so (including death and reloading).
Let's get the good stuff out of the way. I really like the fresh IP growing here. The story is solid, if a little cliche, and the world-building is very well done for such a short game. The game paces itself well, and I really love the soundtrack. The game requires a modicum of strategy, and it's next to impossible to run-and-gun. The level design is interesting, if a little linear. The ReCon hacking mechanic is a neat little quirk that's far too underused.
Finally, the graphics are great. No, they're downright gorgeous. The human faces are unique and recognizable, and even on the highest graphical settings I was playing quite smoothly. The clear surfaces ripple and reflect light in a realistic manner, and the shadows are very well-done.
Now, onto the reason for my low score.
The weapon choices are mediocre at best (the melee attack becomes useless within two maps and I rarely found myself using the shotgun or flamethrower due to their ineffectiveness at long range), and the explosives (rockets and grenades) are about as effective as a bunny's fart if not aimed perfectly at your target. I found myself relying very heavily on the sniper rifle early on, since the primary automatic weapon was not yet effective against the enemies in the game. Somehow it feels like the enemies get weaker later on... I have no possible explanation for that except the game becomes more balanced the longer your play it.
The same physics applied to objects is applied to the player, when normally the player is much stronger. Even a slight incline on a "smooth" surface (such as the lid of a container) was enough to send me sliding slowly backwards. The vehicle physics are "meh" at best. Once heights high enough to induce fall damage arrive, there's next to no feedback when fall damage takes place, and the height at which your character takes fall damage is very, very low.
The writing is perhaps the weakest aspect of Alpha Prime. The dialogue is very forced, and the characters tend to be stereotypical. The woman who shouts in your earpiece is sexually promiscuous, the black character uses "punk-ass" as many times as is legal, and the main antagonist is a cruel military commander, taking pleasure in torturing prisoners. The hero is a disgruntled prospector, one of the few people not affected by exposure to the game's MacGuffin, Hubbardium. The intro cutscene features two throw-away characters and the protagonist, Arnold, drinking in a bar. This scene becomes an exposition dump as the female love interest strides in, wearing shiny latex and a plunging neckline, taking a seductive pose on a table while she speaks very seriously about a rescue mission she wants to recruit Arnold for. It lasts for almost five minutes, explaning events that happened before the game and still somehow not cutting down the cutscene content later on in the game.
The voice acting ranges from good (the antagonist's dialogue is strong) to laughably parodic (Paolo Bellini delivers his lines with a disinterested monotone and hilarious Italian accent), and the overall quality of the game suffers for it. I feel that the poorer VA jobs suffer mostly from the poor writing: many crutch phrases pop up during the dialogue, and the tone and vocabulary of the long-running characters tends to change over time. Additionally, the dialogue pacing is very sporadic. The lines tend to flow with each line of the (hilariously typo-ridden) subtitles, so longer sentences get broken up with awkward pauses in the middle of clauses.
Most of the other negative reviewers already complained about the difficulty, so I'll just clarify things a bit: The game is not hard due to engine mechanics. The problem arises from poor design: Enemy weapons are extremely powerful over long ranges and the enemy AI has near-perfect aim. These combine to make traversing a single hallway inordinately difficult.
The final problem is the lack of an autosave feature. I know it's petty, but this isn't 1998 here. Upon death, the only options are to load from the start of the level, load from the last Quicksave, and return to the main menu.
Overall, the game has lots of very good ideas. New IP, a solid story, amazing graphics with a low performance threshold, a design document that's essentially Valve's "Raising the Bar" copy-pasted, and a strong gameplay hampered by poor AI, weak player weapons, hilarious voice talent, and a silly script. If this game hadn't been $2 on Steam when I purchased it, I would have felt as disappointed as I felt when I paid full price for Mirror's Edge. As it stands, I can only say it's worth about what I paid. Buy it when it's on sale and give it a shot, but be prepared to throw your keyboard against the wall in frustration.… Expand
Dec 23, 2013To start off this game is fairly awful. No not like it's old school NO this is NOT how old school games should be remembered the bad voice acting and overly long cut scenes as well as the poorly executed game play with the wonky controls and weapons that seems to have little to no effect on enemy's. However i can comfortably say that the game poses difficulty.... in an unfair manor as the enemies shoot right through walls. the story isn't terrible but it was fairly standard. The graphics for its time are fairly decent so i cant give this an overly bad rating a below average of 4 is exactly how this game preformed. it is below average and i honestly wouldn't recommend playing this game it is okay BUT its a very rough ride all the way through. All the AI are just pathetic But what i think saves this game from a worse rating is its excellent use of bullet-time which is well done to say the least. now the level design its well done for it's time but nothing to be amazed about there are places where you will get stuck or be clueless in the exact direction you should go. But it isn't worth buying all in all perhaps if it was cheaper but even then it isn't worthy as a game that deserves the praise it received.… Expand
Jan 4, 2011Alpha Prime takes what was standard 10+ years ago and throws it all into a 2007 game. Had this come out in 1998 or so it would have earned a Metacritic score of around 80, I'd guess, but its design is almost embarrassingly outdated today. However, I grew up with the evolution of shooters through the 1990s and Alpha Prime is a satisfying throwback for gamers in their 30s, like me. I give this game a solid 7 because it's now a $5 direct download from Amazon, except that it was part of their 2010 end-of-year sale and I paid literally pocket change for it: $1.25. This game is still worth $5 easily, almost *because* there are plenty of amusingly nostalgic gameplay elements for people who have been around a while.… Expand
Oct 3, 2010Hell.This game is really hard even on easy difficulty.If you headshot an enemy you wont do much a lot more damage than shooting him in the leg.But they would.You can die a lot especially if youre a beginner.The story is far from new as for the weapons they kinda look a bit old.Almost no vehicles just a rusty buggy and the final boss was far from hard to beat.Even a 5-years old could beat him.Lol.Still the gamplay is pretty ok and doesn't have bugs.Many.… Expand
Nov 21, 2010Great game, especially at the price of $10 that I got it for. This is just a good old school style shooter, no special physics and crazy alien weaponry. The story was interesting and the voice acting was amateur, but charming in its own way. As simple as the game is, it's good that it wasn't overly long and it managed to keep me entertained the entire way through. I'd highly recommend it, and now it's only $4.99 on Steam.… Expand
Jul 2, 2011Classic FPS players will probably love this game. I wouldn't call it average - I think it just stays true to many of the aspects that make a great FPS game. It delivers challenging game-play with excellent graphics, good sound, and maybe not-so-great cut-scenes... but fortunately you can skip right through the voice acting if you dont like it. Its definitely worth a few dollars for several hours of fun.… Expand
Oct 13, 2013If you're going to focus a lot on story exposition and cutscenes then I suggest possibly getting a proper writer and voice recordist in. Some of the dialogue seems to have been written by dice and recorded in totally different places. As to the game mechanics. Very average.
Apr 24, 2013+Action action action +Story was pretty interesting +I liked the characters +Visuals are alright, marginally worse than Doom 3 but still pretty good +Fairly middle length at 5 hours -environments don't have much variety even the last cavern styled place but you really can't expect much else from a low oxygen environment on some rock. -Hopping onto the tram feels awkward considering the jump causes you to bounce off stuff as soon as you so much as nudge the ceiling or edge of something, they really should have turned off that bounce affect to give it smooth movement like half-life
-falling damage is ridiculous, you can't fall more than 1 meter without taking damage, made me scared to do anything… Expand
Feb 24, 2014I pride myself on being fairly forgiving on games, if they have at least one redeeming characteristic. In this case, there is none. I have never played a worse FPS in my entire life. I'm able to play through [most] FPS games on the highest difficulty setting with very little trouble, due to the fact that the games have decent mechanics that allow for the player to use the environment to their advantage in order to stay alive.
Not so in this game. Yes, you can take cover behind things such as boxes, but if you do, you are pinned down completely. Most rooms have at least five enemies in them, which are horrible AIs that have been equipped with instant-detection capabilities, inhuman reaction time and accuracy, and apparently endless magazines of bullets. In the four hours I played this game, I never once saw an enemy reload. All they did was aim directly at the player and spam bullets until you either died or somehow managed to kill them. Then, once they're dead, they [most of the time] drop their weapon, only for the player to pick it up and realize that the magazine size is only good for [at most] five seconds of continuous fire.
As for the health system, I have never before encountered such a heavily-skewed health scale in my life. Enemies can take twenty bullets to the face before going down, but you can barely take two to the chest. This wouldn't be so bad if there were more resources available to the player, but medkits are few, far between, and extremely ineffective.
The weapon selection in this game is extremely limited, and so is ammunition. Never before have I played a game for over an hour and still only have two guns. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting Borderlands 2-esque gun variety, but even games that only allow you to carry 1-3 weapons at a time generally have a few more unique weapons that you encounter. Additionally, while you will pick up ammunition from fallen enemies, you generally only get a handful of bullets, even though the enemies are capable of laying down a continuous stream of bullets for an indefinite amount of time. (I tested this out. I crouched behind a box for ten minutes in a room with one other enemy. There was literally no interruption in the stream of bullets, and he never moved from his original position.)
Game mechanics are completely messed up. The control scheme is decent, but nothing is as responsive as it is in almost every other game I've ever played. For some reason, you have to crank the mouse sensitivity up incredibly high in order to have any sort of decent cornering/aiming speed, even if you have a mouse with on-the-fly DPI switching and you turn the mouse all the way up. The "peek" function is worthless, because apparently even though you're only extending your head out from behind cover, the hitbox extends all the way to the floor, as if you were crouching next to the box, rather than peeking out from behind it.
Graphics are so-so. Artistically, it's very well executed, and I have no complaints about model quality, texture quality, ambiance, etc. The problem I have with the graphical style is the fact that everything looks like it's been wrapped in plastic or sprayed with a glossifier of some sort. I have this same complaint about DOOM 3. It really breaks realism of a game when literally every surface is shiny. Even games developed on the Source engine are more believable than this, despite the age of the engine and its limitations.
The music is decent, but extremely repetitive. If you're a fan of things like Deadmau5, you'll probably really, really enjoy the style of music used in this game. However, if you expect any sort of variety in a song, you will be sorely disappointed.
The characters are very human and believable, so this is the one aspect of this game that I cannot fault for any reason.
Overall, I would consider this game to be terrible. I have gotten frustrated at games in the past when they're incredibly difficult, but I have never in my life actually gotten angry enough to immediately uninstall the game after closing out of it; until now, that is. Had I not gotten this in the Bohemia Interactive Humble Weekly Sale along with ten other games for $6, I would feel shafted by it and would likely try to get a refund. Do NOT buy this game unless you enjoy horrible mechanics, crappy gameplay, underdeveloped AI, and/or general lack of creativity. Even Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is better than this trash.… Expand