You know, if we ever sign up to be a space soldier, we wanna join
the Colonial Marines. These guys actually appear to value their
fighter peeps – if one goes missing they’ll even risk sending an
entire crew to find ’em, and hang the consequences. Respect!
So begins Aliens: Infestation, which kicks off pretty much
where the second film, Aliens (duh!), concluded, and does a
kind of linky thing to the coming-one-day-really-and-truly-honest
Aliens: Colonial Marines. You’re part of a crew quartet sent to
the Sulaco to find out just WTF happened to it, and to track down
that sole life form apparently still dedicated to respiratory
pursuits. Well, for starters at least...
Once you survive a punishing multi-multi-multi page text wall intro,
we’re talking a fabby 16-bittish platformer that owes more than a
few beers to Metroid and Contra. With enough tension
building to have Hitchcock getting chubbier in his grave, thanks
especially to some ace ominous orchestrations, you tromp about the
USS Sulaco blasting all manner of bugs, xenomorphs and big bads,
collecting new weapons (and upgrades for them), gathering tools from
wrenches to welders and yoinking swipe cards to allow you access to
hitherto inaccessible areas. Which swipe cards usually do. Get used
to serious backtracking, as well as much schlepping to red herringy
You’ll also collect new squad members hither and thither, which is a
good thing for you only have 19 lives then it’s game over man, game
over. There’s none of this namby-pamby endless life rejuvenation
shit so common in videogames nowadays. If one of your peeps carks
it, they stay carked. Take care out there!
Aliens: Infestation gives superb fan service – and we’re not
talking sending the old Dyson bladeless in for repair. It seems
reports of the DS’ death are greatly exaggerated.