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What was the plot, again? Tiroloco (24) 2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.2
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 3.3
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.7
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.6
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.6
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.3
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
(required for every game entry that isn't a compilation or special edition)
Overall User Score (9 votes) 3.4

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Aliens and video games go hand-in-hand, and their relationship dates all the way back to Space Invaders. Years back, Midway released their light-gun coin-op entitled Area 51; an entire game based around shooting up aliens in the secretive military installation where experiments are carried out. Midway has brought the title back with one of the most impressive first-person shooters around, especially in terms of its structure and storyline.
Game Chronicles (Jul 03, 2005)
Anybody who knows me knows I am a huge FPS fan so I came into this review with high expectations. For the most part Area 51 delivered a solid, fast, fun, and very challenging action-shooter, all set within a creative human-alien hybrid setting. Who wouldn’t love the chance to get a peek inside Area 51? The alien infection-mutation aspect gives the game just enough edge to keep it somewhat original in a sea of FPS titles, but in the overall scheme of things the Xbox version of Area 51 does pale slightly in comparison in the face of overwhelming competition. Still, there is no denying that this game is fun, with a great story and a totally professional presentation. Definitely worth adding to your collection no matter how many other FPS games you already have.
Area 51 doesn't reinvent the FPS wheel, but it doesn't try to, either. It sticks to the genre conventions that we know and love and concentrates on delivering one great firefight after another. With guns firing at full tilt, and mindless carnage taking center stage, Midway has a surefire hit on its hands. Whether you believe in aliens or not, no one can deny the pleasure that comes from blasting them off of our planet.
MS Xbox World (Jun 05, 2005)
I found Area 51 to be an interesting, atmospheric, engaging and most importantly fun to play shooter despite being a little mindless at times. With some cool gun battles, charismatic characters (which does include Duchovney’s mono tone style, which you will either love or hate) and a gripping plot means that this game is bound to please fans of the genre, as long as you don’t go comparing it to that other game which we all know about! It’s hard to find many faults with this title other than some repetitive moments and “no brainer” sections; there are a number of games that try but fail to capture the imagination yet Area 51 does just that and I think is a worthy addition to any Xbox Library if you are a fan of FPS games. An above average title and well worthy of a rent before buy or even just go out and buy it anyway.
XBox Solution (XBS) (May 19, 2005)
While Area 51 makes it’s best effort to provide a great storyline, it only makes the mark about half way due to some of David’s lackluster performances. Putting that aside however, the gameplay is fantastic, it’s a solid, fast paced shooter that will give you your fix for shooting the hell out of some aliens. This is a first person shooter that is worth the time and money, and certainly worth a rental at a minimum for shooter fans.
83 (Jun 24, 2005)
Als alter Akte X-Fan (I want to believe!) und Alien-Freund kommt mir Midways Shooter gerade recht und zwingt mich aufgrund der interessanten Thematik, gewürzt mit einigen witzigen Einwürfen, der beklemmenden Atmosphäre und einer gelungenen Präsentation einfach dazu, unseren Planeten auch vom letzten, fiesen Alien zu befreien. Vor allem die große Abwechslung während des Gameplays ist neben der gelungenen deutschen Synchronisation ein großer Pluspunkt. Schade nur, dass die Gegner einerseits nicht gerade vielfältig und andererseits auch nicht sonderlich intelligent ausgefallen sind. Auch ein paar mehr Waffen (besonders Alien-Wummen) hätten sicher nicht geschadet. Vor allem aber enttäuscht Schlaftablette David Duchovny, von dem ich mir wesentlich mehr erwartet hätte. Trotz der genannten Kritikpunkte ist und bleibt Area 51 ein überdurchschnittlich guter Shooter, der zwar wenig Neues bietet, euch dafür aber mit dem abwechslungsreichen Gameplay und der tollen Atmosphäre bei der Stange hält!
TeamXbox (Apr 27, 2005)
Area 51 is also a fairly long game for its type and it should give even the most veteran FPS fans 12-15 hours of excitement. The cut-scenes alone are with the price of a theater’s admission and the rest of the game looks very impressive, backed by solid gameplay that is both challenging and down right fun even if simplistic in nature. Anyone who seems intrigued by the game’s premises or feels the urge for some arcade style shooter fun should definitely consider checking out Midway’s Area 51 as it is well worth a serious look. Those looking for an interesting and engrossing single-player campaign should have no trouble getting right into the game’s action.
The game will take FPS veterans 15 hours or less to go through. Shorter games are good, as they allow players to actually finish a game and feel a sense of accomplishment, especially for those that are just getting into the genre. While it does feel cramped, Area 51 is fun to play. The story is a bit convoluted with nearly every sci-fi conspiracy thrown in, and half of it could have been tossed out in favor of a sequel. No matter – Area 51 is worth picking up and playing.
GameZone (May 11, 2005)
As a gamer that practically grew up in the arcades, it's great to see arcade classics resurfacing on our favorite consoles with better graphics and different gameplay mechanics. Area 51 has come to the Xbox and while the arcade original required you to pick up an attached gun, this is no Xbox light gun game. That’s right, the classic has been reworked into a first-person shooter that takes us deep into the mystery that is the secret military installation where the only close encounter you’ll experience is of the dangerous kind. Grab a gun because these “little green men” mean business.
XBox Front (May 02, 2005)
Jeder von euch hat mit Sicherheit schon etwas über die Gerüchte und Geheimnisse rund um die Area 51 gehört. Dieses top secret Gebiet, in dem angeblich in den 1940er Jahren ein UFO samt extraterrestrischem Personal abgestürzt sein soll, lieferte Stoff für unzählige Bücher, Filme und Forschungsbeiträge. Auf Basis dieser Gerüchteküche produzierte Midway einen First-Person Shooter mit Namen „Area 51“.
Area 51’s tight and often exciting gameplay, thrilling shoot outs (thanks to some occasionally smart AI) mean it’s gonna be a fair old battle to get to the end, but if you’re a first person shooter veteran then at times you’ll feel like you’ve been here before, and maybe you should be having more fun along the way.
Game Over Online (Jun 20, 2005)
We've been hit with more than a few remakes of classic games in the past few years. NARC, Ninja Gaiden, Prince of Persia, and Conker: Live & Reloaded were all based in whole or in part on older games. Midway's Area 51 is the latest game franchise to be resurrected, this time as a first-person shooter instead of a light gun game.
IGN (Apr 21, 2005)
In Midway's Area 51, David Duchovny portrays an ultra unlucky HAZMAT trooper, Ethan Cole, with slightly less emotional pizzazz than your average over-boiled carrot. To mar an otherwise polished and well presented title like Area 51 with such mallet-to-the-face drowsiness is downright inappropriate. It's a wrong that ranks right alongside topping crème brûlée with a handful of half-melted Skittles and a pinch of Reeses.
MAN!AC (Jun 03, 2005)
Geradliniger, schicker SciFi-Shooter mit Kurzweilgarantie. [...] Die Xbox-Version unterscheidet sich weder inhaltlich noch optisch von der PS2-Fassung.
Daily Game (Jul 28, 2005)
Area 51 is one of those games that at first blush, seems like just another "me, too" first-person shooter. Replete with the requisite evil aliens, heavy weaponry and "click here" puzzles, it's a game that's easy to underestimate. After sinking a few hours into it though, you'll quickly find a hidden gem of a game, that while it might not be the best shooter around, it's still a good load of fun and worth checking out.
HardGamers (May 21, 2005)
Bref, Area 51 n’est pas un mauvais jeu de tir sur Xbox. Ce n’est pas un jeu révolutionnaire et c’est encore moins un jeu accotant Halo 1 et 2, TimeSplitters ou encore Doom III, mais il n’en demeure pas moins que c’est un titre fort honorable de la part de Midway et ce, malgré des facteurs qui ont échappé à la compagnie et qui abaissent la qualité du jeu, comme David Duchovny. À tout le moins, Area 51 m’aura permis de passer quelques heures agréables devant ma Xbox à massacrer des tonnes et des tonnes de mutants et autres adversaires tout en me demandant ce que le gouvernement américain peut bien nous cacher et si certaines théories que j’ai, à priori, rejeté du revers de la main tellement elles étaient farfelues sont aussi fausses que je l’ai un jour cru…
Area 51 does a commendable job of being a good-looking and action-packed first-person shooter. The action eventually grows repetitive as the game relies too heavily on overwhelming the player with endless droves of enemies rather than engaging you in genuinely well-executed gunfights. Even with solid art design on the environments and your enemies, along with intuitive controls, it's hard to shake the feeling that you've done it all before. And if you are looking for an engaging story about government conspiracies, the plot here never ventures past grounds that have been all too well-tread. Even so, if you enjoy first-person action games, Area 51 marks a solid entry that should keep you occupied if not wholly entertained for as long as it lasts.
VGPub (2005)
With only a couple of things to unlock the only thing really keeping you coming back for more will be the multiplayer, which will only serve as a diversion from your other online games. The game is really good one time through, but to suffer through Duchovny?s trance inducing voiceover again sends a shiver down my spine. The action is solid though and plays out like Doom meets Half Life, but doesn?t do much to separate itself from the rest of the FPS pack.
74 (Jun 28, 2005)
Ich habe mich auch Area 51 so richtig gefreut – als bekennender SciFi-Fan und Shooter-Liebhaber hatte ich Hoffnungen in Midways Shooter, doch auch die helfenden Hände von John Romero und die Verschiebung um fast sechs Monate konnten offensichtlich nicht viel rausreißen: Designfehler, ein unausgewogener Schwierigkeitsgrad, KI-Mängel und insgesamt wenig Abwechselung haben dazu geführt, dass ich das Gamepad immer wieder zur Seite gelegt habe. Die Story ist zwar interessant, wird aber zu zäh erzählt, als dass sie fesseln könnte. Soll nicht heißen, dass Area 51 schlecht ist: Wer auf unkomplizierte Shooter-Kost steht, der findet hier genau sein Hauptgericht und kann sicher auch mit einigen Schwächen leben. Doch an besseren Konkurrenztiteln sollte es nicht mangeln: Doom 3, Project Snowblind oder Cold Winter gefielen uns im direkten Vergleich besser.
GameSpot (Apr 25, 2005)
It shouldn't take you more than a dozen or so hours to work your way through Area 51's single-player campaign, and the motivation for doing so will hinge entirely on how much you really get into the game's brand of action, as well as how much repetition of said action you're willing to put up with. In no way is the game devoid of fun, but FPS fans will often feel like they've experienced a lot of what Area 51 has to offer before, especially when it comes to the multiplayer. In the end, Area 51 turns in what amounts to the perfect rental for first-person shooter fans. It's a brief and infrequently enjoyable game that has some problems, but it does just enough right to make it worth a play...but probably not a purchase.
Gamestyle (2005)
If you buy Area 51 expecting a unique gaming experience then you will be sorely disappointed. It's terribly unoriginal with various moments taken from other games (sometimes done better). However, that's not to say Area 51 is a bad game - far from it. Fans of the genre will find plenty to enjoy, from the spooky setting to the non-stop action. Live users can also enjoy the excellent lag-free games that it offers, which certainly makes Area 51 a game to consider.
GameDaily (Dec 14, 2006)
Uncover all of the government's darkest secrets in Midway's frenetic first person shooter Area 51. While this spirited update to the 1996 light gun classic isn't nearly as polished or intelligent as some of the other games in its genre, it still provides tons of hardcore alien blasting and some slick special effects. The controls are spot on, the creature designs are fantastic, and the voice acting is top notch. It may not keep you from playing Doom 3, but you won't be committing a mortal sin if it does.
Worth Playing (May 28, 2005)
There are essentially two stances a person can take when it comes to the existence of Area 51, a government run research facility thought to be brimming with alien life and technology (among other things): either it doesn't exist or it does, and anyone telling you otherwise has fallen prey to the government's mind control scheme thanks to drinking too much fluoride-enriched tap water.
65 (May 27, 2005)
Passer après Halo 2 ou Project Snowblind n'est pas chose aisée. Néanmoins Area 51 est un bon petit jeu, qui malgré sa segmentation en chapitres, se veut fort convaincant. Ne cherchez pas l'esbroufe technique, ne vous attendez pas à une grande originalité, mais préparez-vous à une aventure mélangeant de grandes scènes d'action et une atmosphère bien solide...pour peu que vous aimiez tout ce qui tourne autour des extraterrestres ou des histoires de virus. Au final, le soft de Midway est un petit FPS bien sympa qui plaira en grande partie aux joueurs qui privilégient le bourrinage à la finesse ou qui ont terminé Doom 3 dans tous les sens.
GamingExcellence (May 31, 2005)
When all is said and done, what does Area 51 leave us with? It is a competent shooter with great mechanics, incredibly satisfying weapon feel and sound, a campaign that will last anywhere between 9 to 11 hours to complete, great visuals and excellent voice-acting. We are also left with a game that seems to have bitten off a little more than it could chew. Area 51 is a place of wonderment, wrought with exploration and wonderful sites. This game does not deliver on that premise at all. But if first person shooters are your thing, you could do a lot worse than Area 51. There are some truly memorable moments herein, but also the lingering feeling of wasted potential.
XGP Gaming (Jun 19, 2005)
With so many shooters out on the market these days, it’s hard to fully recommend Area 51 as a worthy purchase. Despite the lengthy campaign, it does get very repetitive and monotonous at times. It really doesn’t offer you anything you haven’t seen before in other shooters. On the multiplayer side of things, it can be quite fun at times but again it seems very average, like most everything else in the game.
X-Power (Jul 27, 2005)
Area 51 is dus op een vrij solide shooter uitgedraaid. De game heeft niet echt zware problemen, hij straalt alleen maar matigheid van begin tot einde uit. Alles wat je in deze game ziet en doet heb je al velen malen eerder gedaan. Het resultaat mag dan wel voor een 15-tal uurtjes, je aan je scherm houden, de algemene ervaring zal nooit uitbarsten van de kwaliteit. Desondanks zijn er veel slechtere shooters voor XBOX beschikbaar, dus als je op zoek bent naar een behoorlijk knalfestijn, dan kun je deze Area 51 zeker eens onder de loep nemen, maar al bij al blijft dit gewoon een leuke huur game of een titel om eens aan budgetprijsje op te pikken.
GameSpy (Apr 26, 2005)
Although it starts out with a bang, it's not long before Area 51 devolves into a run-of-the-mill shooter. It feels like we've traveled these claustrophobic corridors a million times before, and there's really nothing here to make you want to put down one of the far superior shooters that can be found on the Xbox.
Game Revolution (Jun, 2005)
But the bulk of the game takes itself far too seriously, so we are forced to admit that it falls short of other serious shooters. Despite some decent multiplayer and a few neat features, Area 51 is a much less intriguing game than military facility. We wish it were a little more out of this world.
The Game Hoard (Feb 06, 2018)
Area-51 falls into the same trap many first-person shooter games end up in. The gunplay is solid and there’s good challenge in shooting down targets, but there’s not much to set it apart, which is strange for a game that is set in the hot bed of American conspiracy theories. We do encounter mutants, aliens, the Illuminati… and yet things still feel pretty familiar. They do pick up near the end as the game starts to embrace them fully, but the start is such a long and boring beginning that it really holds back the game from what it could have been.
Bordersdown (Jun, 2005)
In essence Area 51 is a series of well-executed set pieces, meaning it could be argued that Midway intended the "all killer, no filler" approach which clearly couldn’t be sustained for a longer period of time. While not the worst example of its genre, Area 51 is only a must-play title for those obsessed with alien conspiracies, or those still hungry for more first-person horror after overturning the forces of Hell in Doom 3. For everyone else, the scariest thing about this game will be how quickly the credits roll, making it one title to be bought and thoroughly enjoyed essentially only on budget or rental.