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Written by  :  *Katakis* (38222)
Written on  :  Dec 09, 2005
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars2.25 Stars

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Boring to start with, but gets difficult much later

The Good

The Electric Dreams version of Aliens is based on the action segments of the movie. You control Ripley, as well as five other characters, who must escape from a base that is situated on the planet LV-426, quite some distance away from Earth. During their travels, they must kill aliens that they encounter, including warriors, face huggers, and queens. Their mission gets difficult from time to time. You control each of the six characters using a first-person perspective, in which you use the joystick to guide your camera left or right, and press [Space] to open doors. You can switch between characters at any time during the game.

When I got into Aliens, the first thing that I noticed is the interface. At the bottom, you have the six character names on both the left and right of the screen, and each half is separated by the huge picture of the character you are controlling, and the health and ammo indicators at either side of the picture. The indicators have a vertical display, not horizontal. The set-up of this interface is clean, and the elements are not just put in anywhere unlike other games.

The graphics are good. Although all that you are looking at are walls, the walls themselves are well drawn, consisting of gadgets that are not interactive. The color of the walls are blue and red on the early floors, but are green on later ones. It is possible that the higher up you go, the more colors that you see, but I haven't made that far yet.

The sounds are also good. The game lets you know when an alien enters the same floor you are on – by a sound similar to what motion detectors sound like, and the sound gets faster meaning that you are in danger of being eaten by an alien. Gun shots are also heard.

Getting your six characters through the complex involves some strategy, as you have to know when you can start taking each character through the base, what floors you need to travel to first, and if there are any aliens on your floor, find out if you can go to another floor without the need to shoot it. It is best not to shoot at all, since shooting can often attract aliens to your floor.

The Bad

Unlike the Amstrad CPC version, the C64 version lacks the cool music while you play, and the shooting of your weapon produces a thumping sound, rather than an actual gun sounds. Speaking of weapons, it would have been nice to have infinite ammo, but you don't, and I had no idea where to get more ammo if I needed it. (Actually, you do get infinite ammo on Floor 028, but that's the only floor I got to so far.)

The game starts out boring, as you first have to travel from floor to floor and see if there are any aliens that are already there. The higher difficulty when you get further into the game is supposed to make up for this, as aliens appear on floors that your comrades are on every five seconds, and you find out that you need to switch characters more often so that you can deal with them. I can only get up to level six in the game – the level in which the lights are turned off, making it impossible to find aliens, unless you shoot your weapon to light up the room.

Some floors have walls that are covered with mucus cocoons, which reveal hidden doors when shot at. Shooting at these cocoons wastes a lot of ammo, as you're trying to find out where exactly among the shit is the door. There are a lot of floors in the game, and it is very easy to get lost without some map that you can refer to.

The Bottom Line

Good action game based on the movie of the same name. All you have to do is get six people through the complex, while shooting aliens that you may encounter along the way. Getting through the complex itself can be quite a challenge. Aliens may be boring when you first start, but it gets more and more difficult as you proceed further into the game. Activision's version is much better than this.