GameOver Game Reviews

Game & Publisher Enemy Infestation (c) Ripcord Games
Overall Rating 68%
Date Published , , ,

Divider Left By: Cyrus Divider Right

Aliens attacking! We must fight back. The human race must survive!

Recognize that plot from anywhere? It is perhaps the most overused plot in the history of video games, movies and books. At least twenty titles are released every year with this plot and most of those titles are crap. Sure, there are the exceptions like Quake, Doom, X-Com and several others. It takes a good game to stand out from the rest and in this reviewers opinion, Enemy Infestation from Clockwork/Ripcord games is a title worth picking up. This game is an all-around package: Good plot, good graphics, good sound, fun multiplayer and a good interface. None of these categories stand out as exceptional but they are all above-average. This makes for a great combination of graphics and gameplay and a game worth playing.

Enemy Infestation is basically a real time strategy version of X-Com. The plot is as follows: Aliens have invaded a remote Earth colony and the humans are struggling to fight back. Your mission is to gather information about the aliens, develop weapons that will combat them and fight back the invasion. The game handles all the developing and such but you still must collect tissue samples to gain the necessary knowledge about the aliens. All of this collecting, fighting and researching sounds like it would be complicated but it isn't. The game presents it in a straight forward manner and the interface is excellent for this game. Obviously the designers took a tip from X-Com's excellent interface.

Graphics 18/25:
Graphics in Enemy Infestation are excellent. The backgrounds have been hand-painted in the Ripcord tradition. They provide a great backdrop for the game. Every now and then I would pan around the screen and see a power plant or other large object. My mouth would immediately turn into a smile and the only word from my mouth was "Cool." The people that you control look life-like but are very small. That is my only complaint about this game's graphics. The camera view is too far away. It makes objects very small and sometimes I found it difficult to click on the object that I wished to click on. Every soldier has a facial picture and their own personality which really adds to the game. Also every main object has its own info-screen which describes the objects abilities and use. I found that very useful when I didn't exactly know what the effects of the weapon I was using were. The aliens are very standard aliens, they are hunched over and look like gargoyles. Nothing very special. All of the intro screens are crisp and very good looking. Everything also loaded and scrolled quickly. The scrolling was smooth with very little, if not unnoticeable skip. Overall a good job by Clockwork/Ripcord.

Sound 16/20:
Good sound. The sound was clear, and made the mood. There were not many environmental sounds to distract me and the weapon sounds were very good. Speech was used often throughout the game and it was very clear. Each character had their own voice and their personality was well conveyed through the speech samples. My only complaint about the speech was that when describing your mission it often sounded robotic and slow. I didn't really mind because I would much rather read my assignment then hear it. A couple of the sounds became a little bit repetitive but it was not prevalent enough to make it overly annoying. The music was also very good but it suffered from being a little bit too fast paced for the game. The music gave me a large sense of urgency that wasn't really necessary. I would have preferred some less fast-paced, more creepy music. Another neat feature would have been A3d or Soundblaster Live! support.

Gameplay 19/25:
The interface was good, the plot was good, the graphics were smooth which infers the obvious: the gameplay was good. The game has an entire training episode which teaches you the various abilities of each character and how the interface works. I found that extremely helpful and allowed me to dive into the game quite quickly. The game also had several new ideas to it. When you first discover a weapon you do not know its effects on the aliens or its damage level. After you use it, the purpose of the weapon becomes clear. Imagine my frustration when I discovered a new weapon only to find that it caused the enemy to multiply. Another neat thing was that the aliens start off as pods which quickly turn into small aliens which then turn into larger aliens. This gave me a sense of kill quickly or be overwhelmed and it made me think that much quicker.

Multiplayer 3/5:
Multiplayer is supported through IPX or TCP/IP. It is fun but not as fun as many other real-time-strategy games. I found it to be the weakest part of the game.

Fun Factor 11/15:
I normally hate Real-Time-Strategy games but I enjoyed this one but wish that the game wouldn't rush me as much as it did. I spent about three hours playing this game and loved discovering new items in each level as well as new abilities with my characters. Overall a very fun game.

Overall Impression 8/10:
I liked this game a lot and give much credit to Clockwork/Ripcord games. They put together a solid package and I highly recommend picking this one up.


Divider Left By: Phire Divider Right

Enemy Infestation is a game I found similar in concept to Jagged Alliance yet I found that overall, Jagged Alliance was more enjoyable. Enemy Infestation uses an Isometric view in which you control four crew members who is each specially trained for a specific position. The classes include an examiner, soldier, leader and others. With the use of these crew members your mission is to eliminate all alien life from the area. Some missions also ask you to perform various additional tasks also required in order to complete the assignment. For example, you may have to eliminate all alien life as well as save a designated amount of human life.

The graphics in Enemy Infestation are generally pleasant, but do contain a few downsides. For example, some of the buildings and objects can look real while others look awful. The use of animation in the humans and aliens lacks originality specifically the fighting animations, which are a joke. When you encounter an alien you may just see a single animation of a soldier doing a kick which doesn't even touch the alien and yet it does damage. There is also no option to run and moving the mouse around to use different views is quite annoying as the cursor is not very responsive. The transparency effects, such as smoke, are terrible: it hardly resembles real smoke.

The weapons of Enemy Infestation are also unimpressive. For instance, one of the weapons I found was a "Remote Control" (yes you read it right). What the hell were the people who made this game thinking? A laser that shoots out of a remote control to kill aliens? That's not the only ridiculous weapon: you can also pick up hair spray and a fire extinguisher. The fire extinguisher could have been a decent idea but when I discovered it could actually kill the aliens, I didn't jump for joy to say the least. If you had the capability to use it as a diversionary weapon, then I could understand its inclusion. Another aspect of fighting I don't understand is the hand to hand combat which, if used to kill an alien, results in a ridiculous animation where the alien just crumbles away. Another horrible weapon is "The Big Orange Gun" which shoots some sort of orange substance. This is only a sampling of the mass of idiotic weapons present in this game.

Most of the sounds in this game are unoriginal: it even seems as if some of the sounds are from Starcraft. In fact, parts of the game itself resemble Starcraft as well. There is a pretty sufficient amount of speech: it usually comes up when you engage aliens or are required to perform a task, such as healing a wounded human. But for those of you who played the Jagged Alliance 2 demo, you should know that JA 2 has A LOT more speech than this. This game includes aspects of the combat element of JA using a non-turnbased system. Overall Enemy Infestation isn't all that fun and I can see replay value being nil. One of the plusses of Enemy Infestation is the ability for multiplayer. I don't know of its speed over TCP/IP and I can also guess that since the game is pretty boring single player, it cant be that enjoyable with multiplayer.

The multiplayer in this game runs quite fast with 33.6/56k modems, the only problem is the actual multiplayer game ends very quickly because basically all you do is go around killing the aliens and they greatly out number and out power you. I tried a game with my friend and the game was over in a matter of minutes, maybe 5 minutes to be exact. There is not much excitement to this and I was expecting a lot more from this game. The bottom line is that Enemy Infestation is boring, lacks originality, and includes some pretty ridiculous weapons. If you are looking for a game in this vein, you should wait for Jagged Alliance 2 as it is sure to blow Enemy Infestation away.

Graphics: 15 / 20
Sound: 12 / 15
Gameplay: 13 / 25
Fun Factor: 10 / 20
Multiplayer Play: 3 / 5
Replay Factor: 2 / 5
Overall Impression: 5 / 10


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