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Game Profile
Totally Games
PLAYERS:   1-4
July 10, 2007
Alien Syndrome

 Written by David Taylor  on March 22, 2007

First Impressions: "Get away from her you bi..." Wait! This isn't that kind of Alien!

Many younger gamers probably haven't heard of Sega's 1987 sci-fi action game Alien Syndrome. The game was a top-down shooter in which the player controlled troopers whose job was to eliminate an alien menace threatening mankind (is there any other kind?). The game appeared on various consoles in the late 80s including the Sega Master system and, surprisingly, the NES. As of late Sega is dusting off a lot of their older franchises for the newer consoles (Shinobi, etc.). The veteran company is doing the same later this year with an Alien Syndrome sequel on the Wii.

The game takes place 100 years after the original. The player controls Lieutenant Aileen Harding, a hot, ass-kicking heroine (a video game stereotype, but hey I'm not complaining). The story begins when Earth loses communication with a terraforming colony. Harding is sent to investigate where she soon discovers that, not just aliens, but EVIL aliens are responsible.

Like its predecessor the new Alien Syndrome is primarily an action game. However, Sega has added a number of RPG elements. As the player goes through the game, he or she can upgrade Harding's abilities such as speed using a stat system. In a style reminiscent of Deus Ex, the player can also select certain character classes including demolitions expert, tank, and sharpshooter.

Sega estimates gameplay to run more than 20 hours. There are over 15 levels, including side quests. In terms of the alien hordes, there are 100 different enemies, 15 sub-bosses and five major bosses. To say there will be green blood all over your hands by the end of this game would be a gross understatement.

Sega reports that the game features over 80 different weapons. These include staples such as a flamerthrower and laser rife to a ?nanobot swarm,? that engulfs enemies in a mass killer microscopic machines. In other words, you can sadistically kill aliens in so many ways that Jeffrey Dahmer would turn green with envy.

A droid also accompanies Harding through the game. The player uses this droid to store items and weapons. Much like the familiars in Symphony of the Night, the droid can also join the fray. Let's just hope it isn't annoying and effeminate like a certain George Lucas created gold robot.

The player uses the Wii nunchuck to move their character. The nunchuck's tilting function controls the camera. The Wii remote aims Harding's gun. A simple tap of the A or B button lays waste to an antagonistic alien.

As with the original, the player views the action from a top-down perspective. The graphics are 3-D rendered in a style similar to many recent RPGs. The game will also feature a four-player cooperative mode.

Final Thoughts
Sega certainly seems to know how to raise the bar with their remakes/sequels. It's clear that by adding RPG elements into the mix, Sega hopes to significantly enhance the depth of this new Alien Syndrome. Some of these mechanics remind me of great action-RPGs like System Shock 2 and Deus Ex. With a dark sci-fi storyline and great gameplay, Alien Syndrome could be a spiritual successor to these classics.

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