Over the 10 plus years I’ve been writing about video game stuff, one thing that’s stayed constant is me writing about the most jankiest, clunky games out there, often in January. So much so that I almost considered making an event called “Jank-uary,” where people would play these particularly busted games as a celebration of the underdogs and trash of video game culture. Maybe I’ll still consider that in the future if there’s any interest.
Since it’s the start of a new year, what better thing to write about then yet another janky FPS? After all, might as well keep up my tradition of writing about this jank to start the year. This time with a developer I’ve talked about a few times in the past!
Alien Rage is a first person space shooter made by the present-day masters of budget label games: CI Games, the company formerly known as City Interactive. Released on Steam, the Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in 2013, the game came out to mostly uneventful fare, often being forgotten except by people like me who are a glutton for punishment as well as quality Eurojank™.
We’ve talked about CI Games/City Interactive twice before: Once in January 2019 when I wrote about the interesting-but-flawed Enemy Front, a World War II FPS that tried to be a bit more stealth-action like the old school Medal of Honor days; and again in April 2021 where I covered the infamous Terrorist Takedown, a rail shooter that was made during peak War on Terror, and for a long while was CI Games’ most iconic franchise before Sniper: Ghost Warrior came around.
Since I’ve played a myriad of the company’s work at this point, I know to go into this with the lowest of expectations. And boy those expectations were met and then some. The result is a game that doesn’t quite understand what it wants to be.
Taking place in the distant future of 2242 AD, humans find a new material named Promethium on a space rock, which they use to make a space colony. Then the Vorus, an alien race, come in and invade, taking over the Promethium, and starting a war between the humans and the aliens. Eventually the aliens burrow underground to further stop the humans in their tracks, and it’s all hinging on the help of one supersoldier named Jack to go in and eliminate the Vorus threat once and for all. Yep, in typical classic shooter fashion, they send one guy to do the job of a whole platoon. Though Jack is not alone in his journey, Jack is supported by an AI assistant named Iris and a soldier buddy named Ray. Guess you gotta give Jack someone to talk to, eh?
Alien Rage is a run-of-the-mill first-person shooter. Jack can hold three weapons: a sidearm and two human or Vorus weapons he procures throughout his journey. Standard WSAD controls for movement, left click fires, right click ironsights, F does a melee attack, and E is the catch-all use button, where Jack will activate keypads and climb over chest-high walls when prompted.
Middle mouse button activates a special alternate fire which changes for each weapon: A burst fire for the pistol, a grenade launcher for the SMG, etc. The player can hold a maximum of five of these overall, and can be used for any of the game’s weapons, so one must be careful when using them on a pistol rather than a rocket launcher.Continue reading…