The thrill of blowing things up with your friends has never really stopped being a fun thing in the realm of videogames. Alienation is a game I stumbled upon at Rezzed 2016 in the PlayStation area, tucked away alongside the myriad VR demo units that dominated Sony's presence at the show.
Developed by Housemarque, the studio behind Resogun, its focus is the destruction aliens by any means necessary, but usually via a very large and fiery explosion of some sort, usually caused by the player.
The world has been overrun by hostile alien beings and it falls to the player and up to three of their friends to annihilate them by controlling powerful exo-suits/mechs that can take as much as a pounding as they deliver. Represented in a 3D isometric viewpoint, the world maps are procedurally generated so each play session is never quite the same.
The primary weapon at the player's disposal is a rapid-fire gun that spits bullets across the map to devastating effect. Sadly ammunition is extremely limited and hard to come by. This forces the player to fire only when there is an actual target to shoot at, or else you're just spraying and praying.
Targets are typically aliens, but they can also be stationary vehicles that are filled with petrol. By shooting them you can cause the vehicle to explode and, if you're really lucky, take with it other similar stationary cars and vans that will eventually cause a cascade of explosions that will make the entire screen fill with fire and screaming aliens.
It should be noted at this point that friendly fire is in full effect in Alienation, thus any explosion caused by the player can also hurt them if they are too close. This caught me out more than once during my time with Alienation.
With Alienation taking a lot of its cues from Diablo it stands to reason that there are loot drops aplenty when aliens are eviscerated. These drops are suitably colour-coded to allow the player to form quick judgements as to their quality, with green being the lowest followed by blue and then purple. I didn't spot any orange during my play of the game, but it's probably there. This is a dungeon-crawler after all.
I was really impressed with Alienation although I did find the scant ammo to be quite problematic to the point where aliens became bullet sponges that stifled my progress significantly as I became overrun with the extraterrestrial beings. The presentation was well done and the explosions were particularly convincing. I will certainly be looking out for Alienation, which appears on PS4 today.