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Alien Swarm is a top-down co-operative shooter game in which up to four players team together to take on wave after wave of alien invaders. It is each teams’ duty to eradicate, avoid and delay these hordes as best you can.

About the Game

The backstory to the game’s narrative is that aliens have wiped out a small space colony, and the player is one of the many marines who are working hard to retrieve the site for a number of excellent reasons.

Each level that you play has a different science fiction theme to it, and players can choose between forty different weapons and consumables, as diverse as grenade launchers and assault rifles to mines and healing packs. This might sound like a lot of gunpower, but when you have limited space for ammo crates or hand welders, and all sorts of other goodies which might come in very useful in later levels, your skill at tactical thinking quickly comes to bear!

Each team requires a good mix of the classes – for more about which see below – and, in fact some levels cannot be completed without certain classes being present. For example, in the very high damage levels, your medic will earn his place in the team over and over. He or she will need to focus on keeping their teammates healthy rather than running up a good kill list.

You can fit out your character in the customisation section before each game, before loading them for bear, and heading off to the game. You need to win XP to level up, which, in turn, awards you plenty of new powers and weapons.

You will find your progress is never plain sailing. This is because of the frequent blockages stopping you in your tracks, and forcing you to clear the way by welding, shooting or hacking your way through. And, at the same time, you will be warding off the alien hordes who show no mercy to marine who is stuck in one place!

The alien swarms can spawn unexpectedly – they are highly unpredictable – and the aliens are always very unhappy to see you, attacking on sight! They can be fended off using weapons or by the environment, if you lead them into a trap, or set up some exploding barrels to blow them all up.

The Nitty Gritty

Each map is clearly laid out, and the premise is very simple, complete the objectives you’ve been given, then get to the exit as quickly and safely as you can, taking out as many aliens as you can along the way! This does not mean that the game is a walk-over though, you will have some hairy moments thanks to the cunning lay-outs and plentiful hiding spaces for the aliens to burst out from when you are least expecting it!

Watch out when you are shooting aliens though, as it is possible to take out your own team through friendly fire. The aliens are all different too: some spit acid, others explode, still others rely on overwhelming you by sheer force of numbers. They are all different shapes and sizes too, so keep an eye on nearby vents for little ones creeping up on you.

Speaking of little ones, infestation parasites are the worst, being tiny but mighty. Keep plenty of healing packs available and hope that there will be enough before you see off the last of the little beasts!

The visuals in all levels are fantastic, with isometric third person perspective and you will have no issues believing that you really are in space, trying to keep yourself and your team safe.

Keep returning to the game, even after you’ve completed it as new levels, some of them (usually the most challenging!) player-created, are coming along all the time, giving you new missions and goals to work your way through.

Have a Little Class

There are four different classes to choose between, each with two characters to choose between:

  • Medic: first aider, doctor, healer – these stalwart RPG characters have many names, and many skills, most of which will give your team the best possible chance of winning the level by keeping them healthy and happy!
  • Tech: great for hacking panels, downloading data, and solving any problems not solved by bullets
  • Special Weapons: if you need bullets, this is your guy, as well as more niche weapons like flamethrowers and chain guns!
  • Officer: the guys in charge seldom seem to do anything really, but the best ones have the best teams. This guy buffs everyone else to do their best
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