Review: New York, Paris and Tokyo. You'd think everyone would move away after all the alien invasions and monster attacks.
0 Day Attack on Earth
was the last game released on the Xbox Live Arcade in 2009, and quite simply, Square Enix probably should have postponed the attack until 2010. At least.
Developed by Gulti (who also did last year's fine shooter compilation Raiden Fighters Aces
), 0 Day Attack on Earth is an overheard twin stick shooter depicting the seven-day war between humanity and a race of aliens over the cities of New York, Tokyo and Paris.
Believe it or not, the choice of genre is practically a strike against the game. There are a ton of twin stick shooters on the XBLA and many of them are quite good. Some (like Geometry Wars
) are among the cream of the crop for this generation of gaming. However, it quickly becomes apparent that 0 Day is out of its depth when compared to some of the better twin stick shooters on the XBLA. And even fans of the genre (such as myself) won't find much to like here.
Players fly into each battle with a trio of (poorly) computer-controlled wingmen and attempt to blast the larger aliens out of the sky in less than five minutes. Why five minutes? Who knows, but each level has a time limit that will often become a problem. A variety of alien fighters and an impenetrable red mist hang over the rest of the city, corralling players into smaller and smaller battles against monsters that often take up large parts of the screen.
Winning the "day" requires players to destroy the larger aliens that populate each section of the city. The smaller fighters can actually be ignored (unless they attack that is). To destroy these mecha-monstrosities, players will park in front of their gaping maws and unload laser cannons, missiles, whatever they've got. Lather, rinse and repeat a handful of times throughout each level and that's the entire game. The same commanding aliens appear in level after level and the few of them you fight in each level (five minutes ticks away very quickly) make a game that's just not very exciting.
Maneuvering around the map is equally boring. With the overwhelming amount of impassable red mist around and a physical border at the edge of each neighborhood, these massive cities become a lot smaller in 0 Day. Top that off with a wildly ineffective set of AI teammates, and the game becomes not just boring, but frustrating. 0 Day includes the option of replacing those AI wingmen with real people in a multiplayer session over Live, but there's never anyone playing 0 Day online. you can sucker one to three of your friends into buying it, the game experience becomes a little better.
0 Day does have one bright spot and that is the cities themselves. The New York, Paris and Tokyo of the game have been rendered from satellite imagery to create a very real feeling alien invasion. It looks absolutely fantastic and it's almost a shame these maps weren't attached to a better game.