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A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda is the first chapter of a futuristic action platformer series. On 30th May 2094 a space ship encounters an unidentified object in the Junk Sector. Twelve days later a team is sent in to investigate what has happened. They discover a fluorescent gas contaminating the station's air supply, overriding all circuitry. Dr. Julia Carson, who leads the team, sends a sample back to Earth but is soon reported to be held hostage along with the other survivors. The United Earth Chairman sends you to rescue her, equipped with a compound based on the sample, making your character immune to the zytron gas.

The player's character Ares is a robot with flexible armor. He is assisted throughout missions by Valkyl, a woman acting as a tactical support satellite. She provides information and briefings. Also, by fighting enemies, a Valkyl bar can be filled up. Ares can use it to call in her Valkyl Zypher Cannon attack, freezing the screen and damaging everything that is visible, similar to the support attack employed in the Streets of Rage series. The main character can be moved around, jump and duck. Additional movement options such as mid-air jumps and sliding are unlocked gradually. Aiming is controlled through a cross-hair separate from the main movement and it can be pointed towards any area on the screen. The basic starting weapon is a Zytron Blaster. The player moves through side-scrolling areas with minor platform sections and elevators, defeating enemies and a large boss at the end of every level.

Defeated enemies leave behind three types of materials (yellow, blue and red) that can be collected. By accessing the recycle menu, these materials can be converted into repair kits to restore health, weapon upgrades and different types of grenades. Most special attacks are performed through these grenades and they are also often needed to open up hidden areas. HE grenades blow up gas canisters and EMP grenades disable electronic gates. Enemies respawn as soon as you leave a screen, so returning to an earlier area always makes it possible to stack up on repair kits or other items. Additional items are data cubes and power cubes. They are usually hidden and provide new game content (character and enemy information) and additional power-ups respectively. There are also a few stations where health can be replenished entirely.

There are five main stages and after every stage Ares receives a new weapon, which can be upgraded further in the recycle menu. Halfway through the game the player also gains a new suit with new abilities.

Screenshots

A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda Windows Using an elevator and enabling a checkpoint
A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda Windows The health of bosses is shown near the bottom of the screen
A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda Windows Blowing up a crawling enemy
A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda Windows The third weapon you acquire sends out waves.

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The Press Says

ZTGameDomain Jan 31, 2011 9 out of 10 90
Mash Those Buttons Dec 18, 2010 4.2 out of 5 84
Level Up News Apr 05, 2011 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
DualShockers Jan 14, 2011 8 out of 10 80
Indie Game Reviewer Mar 26, 2011 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
IGN Feb 25, 2011 7.5 out of 10 75
That Gamer Hub Feb 04, 2011 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Realm of Gaming Feb 07, 2011 6.5 out of 10 65
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Mar 27, 2011 65 out of 100 65
Eurogamer.net (UK) Jan 28, 2011 6 out of 10 60

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Sciere (251284) added A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda (Windows) on Feb 06, 2011