Platforms PS4 / Xbox One / Windows
Publisher Suprise Attack Games Developers Cybernate
Genre Action Platform Played Playstation 4
Satisfaction, Frustration, Fun, Boredom. All traits of Super Mutant Alien Assault, it’s a tough one. The game exerts both great and not so great qualities. Developer’s Cybernate have certainly found their groove in the niche market of retro-inspired indie games with their fun gameplay, unique art style and soundtrack. But it’s not to say this game doesn’t have its flaws.
Super Mutant Alien Assault follows a very straightforward and stereotypical alien story. Aliens are attacking Earth and the only defenders are some droids equipped with an arsenal of weapons and power-ups. While it’s a basic premise, the game provides enough basis to create an alien feeling environment in its various levels. The actual gameplay consists of a wave-based maps wherein the player must destroy a variety of aliens that spawn as a result of the impending invasion. All aliens and levels are randomly generated on each play through, meaning the difficulty can vary from super easy to very hard depending on what is spawned.
While the gameplay is fairly basic, it’s quite fun. Levels provide some weaponry which, depending on the randomly given weapon, allows players to either lay back and destroy aliens with ease or strive to beat that last one with the most basic weapon. The game does a good job at curbing the learning difficulty by explaining each gameplay mechanic or weapon before jumping into combat. It’s important for players to pick up weapons as soon as possible from one of the vending machines and boxes to avoid being ripped apart by those pesky aliens. Droids/Players can equip both a primary and secondary weapons in addition to grenades which comes to help in those moments when there’s no hope left and ammo is scarce.
A sleuth of power ups and abilities are granted to players as they progress throughout the levels, and by all means they don’t feel important. They allow players to side-dash, double jump and use a bubble shield and while they may sound worthwhile, they don’t aid players effectively when they’re struggling to fend off hordes of aliens. The aliens in particular can vary in size and difficulty, some fly, some don’t but you can be assured the majority are annoying and it gets pretty heated when dodging and attacking multiple enemies on screen at the same time.
The combination of randomness and varying difficulty amongst weapons, abilities and enemies keeps players on the edge of their seats but ultimately summarises Super Mutant Alien Assault itself, as either genuinely fun or insanely frustrating. Amongst all the alien killing there a few objectives to complete dependent on the level, one scenario involves moving batteries from one side of the level to another in order to charge a power source and achieve light speed, while another requires players to release pressure from canisters before they explode and injure them.
Super Mutant Alien Assault art style however exerts a fresh retro impression, reminiscent of the Super NES era of video games and the sound effects and soundtrack also exert a certain unique retro flair. Both audio and visuals appropriately accompany the fast-paced side stroller.
While Super Mutant Alien Assault captures player’s attention with its fast-paced gameplay and randomness after a few play throughs it begins to feel stale and unoriginal. Once players get stuck in the mantra of losing, trying again and losing again, the incentive to keep playing diminishes. This could have been aided with some form of power up or something to encourage players to keep going. The game relies too heavily on its difficulty and randomness factor to prolong gameplay, and begins to feel static in a player’s progression. Permanent power-ups or RPG-like elements could have helped create a more balanced game and steady character progression, but that’s overthinking it
Super Mutant Alien Assault is a great combination of quick gameplay with a great art style and soundtrack. The premise is basic but enough to get you initially hooked and playing the fast-paced experience. The weaponry puts you in the position to either conquer or cower as you oppose and defend against hordes of different aliens. While it’s combination of varying difficulty, randomness, enemies and weapons exerts the game’s best qualities it is also the game’s biggest downfall as it becomes stale and unoriginal after replaying levels over and over again. With a lack of character progression and relying too heavily on difficulty to prolong the game’s life, Super Mutant Alien Assault falls short. It’s a quick fun game that may entertain you for a few rounds, but nothing more.
- Fun Fast-paced gameplay.
- Great Retro Art and sound style.
- Great apporachability, easy to play.
- Randomness makes it spontaneous, initially.
- Power-ups don’t accomplish much.
- Game relies on randomness and difficulty to prolong the playtime.
- Lack of character progression or character accopmlishment.
- No Incentive to keep going after replaying levels.