• Publisher: Midway
  • Release Date: Apr 25, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
Buy On
  1. The enemy AI on here smokes that which is found in Bungie’s FPS masterpiece, since everything here is vicious, blood-thirsty, filled with hatred, and most of all crack shots with whatever weapons they hold.
  2. With its immense array of story, online, arcade, and mapmaking modes, few can compete. Still, if you are looking for a killer FPS for the PS2, look no further than Area 51. It’s a real treat.
  3. Sporting some exceedingly sharp sharp, audio that will leave a player with beads of sweat on their brow, a story that could make their head feel as if it might explode (yet is still enjoyable to watch unfold), and solid frantic shooting mixed with duck and hide combat tactics all blend together to create one fantastic gaming experience.
  4. 90
    Its otherworldly sets... are done up in such bewildering detail that you'll want to wipeout P.O.ed spacemen if only to have a more leisurely look-see at all their busy, mind-bending contraptions.
  5. Cinematically seamless, you'll only get thrown out of the gameplay by pre-rendered cutscenes, because everything else is handled in the game engine.
  6. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Guns, aliens and conspiracies make for a top-notch shooter. [Jan 2007, p.106]
  7. One of the most intense first person shooters to be released this year.
  8. An intense and enjoyable alien and mutant killing frenzy.
  9. 85
    From its chaotic beginning to its clinically insane conclusion, Area 51 provides just enough classic FPS action and technical goodness to merit a great rating and honest recommendation.
  10. Game Informer
    With guns firing at full tilt, and mindless carnage taking center stage, Midway has a surefire hit on its hands. [May 2005, p.108]
  11. It’s a surprisingly well-done FPS that not only looks good but also feels good on the PS2.
  12. Fast and riotous, with plenty of crud-faced mutants to shoot down, but the moment the chaos stops, so does your grin. [GamesMaster]
  13. Pelit (Finland)
    A traditional 3D shooter that borrows elements from Doom 3, Half-Life 2, Halo 2 and Metroid Prime.An awesome game? Not quite, but decent enough. [July. 05]
  14. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    While technologically astounding and generally satisfying in terms of gameplay, Area 51 could have used a deeper, clearer story and another five to 10 hours of play time. [March 2005, p.86]
  15. 80
    Dialogue is fantastic. The script's professionally written. Foul language is common, yet used in the appropriate context. Weapons come off as carefully balanced, and won't disappoint.
  16. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Sucks all these sci-fi staples together into some kind of cliche black hole that also happens to look killer and deliver serious scares and thrills. [June 2005, p.96]
  17. For PS2 owners in particular I can think of no finer FPS on the system at the moment. Given that it's technically pushing the machine further than anything else, features 16-player online multiplayer, an action-packed single-player campaign that's no pushover and provides an interesting and well-conceived twist on the saturated shooter genre I'd happily nail my hearty recommendation to all PS2 owners looking for a shooter to get them through the summer.
  18. A strong game, but it succeeds kind of in spite of itself. It would've been nice to see a lot more originality in the game, but Area 51 is a fun ride, regardless.
  19. Every aspect of Area 51 is performed with quality, but with borrowed style that's familiar yet doesn't breed contempt.
  20. 80
    While there are problems--too cutscene-heavy, some lame objectives, and the fact that there are infinitely more zombies than little green men--Area 51 is more than enough to make a believer out of you.
  21. Area 51 is a good solid shooter with a decent storyline and rather nice graphics for a PS2 game.
  22. An average shooter that doesn't offer up more than a handful of satisfying thrills throughout its single-player and multiplayer modes. You'll certainly play worse FPS games in your lifetime, but you'll also certainly play better ones, too.
  23. Play Magazine
    But here again, another fun idea inevitably joins what feels like a game thrown together out of genre spare parts. [May 2005, p.39]
  24. Cheat Code Central
    Most of my differences with Duchovny may be personal but nobody would argue with me that his performance in Area 51 is atrocious. He is to videogame voiceovers what Perry Como is to rock and roll.
  25. 70
    A solid FPS with a great storyline, it just doesn't bring too much new to the genre, and at times feels very familiar.
  26. Pelaaja (Finland)
    There are not nearly enough decent fps—shooters on the PlayStation 2. That’s why Area 51 is a very welcome release on the console and even on the Xbox and pc, both of which have a much better collection of fps-games than the PS2. Midway's Austin studio has produced from a technical and visual point of view one of the PS2’s finest, if not the finest fps-game. [June 2005, p.52]
  27. AceGamez
    A good, solid shooter that has a lot going for it but fails to achieve greatness, lacking that often indefinable sparkle that makes for a classic.
  28. Nothing here is original or groundbreaking, and what may seem cool at first quickly gets dull and tedious after about five minutes.
  29. Area 51 is the antithesis of what first person shooter fans want. It is actually a better offline title than it is online.
  30. One of the highlights of Area 51 is definitely the weapons. There’s a very good variety of weapons at your disposal, all of which are standard to most first-person shooters.
  31. 65
    It gets off to a promising enough start, but then it stumbles, then trips over its own feet, then chokes on its own vomit, then dies a slow, miserable death.
  32. 65
    Area 51 is in no specific way a bad game, it's just an exceptionally dated game. The player's objectives aren't much more evolved than an old Doom or Turok game, and the graphic presentation isn't up to par with the genre's best.
  33. PSM Magazine
    It's a decent, but far from an otherworldly experience. [June 2005, p.74]
  34. Lacking any innovation, the best this game offers has already been done.
  35. Edge Magazine
    Area 51 is entirely without inspiration, an exercise in slick, crowd-pleasing cookie-cutter cliché from the Jerry Bruckheimer school of entertainment manufacture. It is absolutely not bad, almost never broken, and usually a good deal of fun. [July 2005, p.92]
  36. Despite some decent multiplayer and a few neat features, Area 51 is a much less intriguing game than military facility. We wish it were a little more out of this world.
  37. games(TM)
    There are moments when player adrenaline levels will rise above the base level, but they are so few and far between that in the end most will decide that slogging through the copious average sections simply isn’t worth the effort. [June 2005, p.116]

Awards & Rankings

#34 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#48 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 56
  2. Negative: 4 out of 56
  1. Sep 2, 2013
    A 100% classic! A perfect choice if you're looking for a great FPS, the story and suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat and whileA 100% classic! A perfect choice if you're looking for a great FPS, the story and suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat and while the gameplay is the same as other FPS, the multi-player will keep you from ever growing bored online. One of the game modes online titled "Infection" is the funnest mode I ever played online in a action game.

    As I already mentioned the campaign gameplay is not much different from other FPS, but the story is so intense, the atmosphere is so creepy and the voice acting is so believable you will be hooked and may even lose yourself and begin to believe you're in an Alien or Predator movie.

    This review may have come too late for many as now we're on the verge of Xbox One and PS4, but if you still own a PS2 or Xbox, please pick it up, you will not be let down. A very rare 10 out of 10.

    FYI: Brian Warner (Marilyn Manson) does the voice for Edgar (the main villain) and he does a great job.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 6, 2017
    This game reveals the truth of the area 51 and is a game that I love from its gameplay, atmosphere and the power to gather survival horrorThis game reveals the truth of the area 51 and is a game that I love from its gameplay, atmosphere and the power to gather survival horror with a fps seems incredible for me in such an old game.

    It is a great game highly recommended 8/10
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 14, 2013
    This game is definitely an oldy nowadays, but anyway I purchased this game back on the PS2 and honestly I thought it was a great FPS shooterThis game is definitely an oldy nowadays, but anyway I purchased this game back on the PS2 and honestly I thought it was a great FPS shooter and I gave it an 8 out of 10. Full Review »