SUPER MUTANT ALIEN ASSAULT
leap forwards, two leaps back, we’re waiting for the crate leap
While we’ve been busy watching pop eat itself
over the years, the games industry has been doing much the same.
We’re at the point where a game inspired by older games – in this
case Super Crate Box - has inspired another game, which in itself
harks back to that distant time known simply as ‘the eighties’.
Super Mutant Alien Assault, a progression of the less super
mobile version, subscribes heavily to that school of thinking that
games should punish you – for further reading please refer to
Meat Boy. There’s no mollycoddling save for the odd tutorial, you’re
in space and it’s fight or die.
The story? Three spaceship
fleets get the hell out of Dodge super-pronto, with the last of the
human race in stasis. You’re but a humble robo-servant, yet it falls
upon whatever your robo-equivalent of shoulders is to save the
meatbags from extinction.
So begins an unlockables frenzy,
as you jump, dodge and shoot at relentless invading alien scum,
who have an annoying habit of getting all radioactive, thus
embiggening them and making them even harder to eradicate. The
longer you take, the more glowy foes you’ll have to deal with.
There’s little in the way of pattern memorising here, as each of
the mere (but punishing) 12 levels utilise a degree of random
generation and increasing amounts of schlep quests while taking care of core business. At first it’s a grind to start
unlocking weapons and special moves with any sort of decent grip.
But as you tame more of them things start to gel somewhat – plus you
can couch co-op it with a friend (or enemy if you’re so perversely
inclined) to up your odds of survival.
The world didn’t need
yet another pixelised throwback, but Super Mutant Alien Assault is
here now – and it belongs.