sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

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sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by Sigfig on Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:48 pm

ALRIGHT HERE WE GO

Alien Swarm (ASW as abbreviated in the source code) is a top-down cooperative shooter (like Left 4 Dead but from the sky) produced by Valve Software and distributed for free on Steam. It was released a few days ago (July 19th) and after waiting through horrible server performance and having do download from the Czech Republic I got to actually play the game and mess with the new tools.

Overall Score: 8/10
Alien Swarm is a really fun game and you should play it. However, it doesn't uphold the Valve tradition of "LOL WE'RE GONNA PUSH THE RELEASE BACK 2 MONTHS TO ADD MAPS". Alien swarm isn't packed full of content and seems to rely heavily on user-generated content.

Ups & Downs
+ It's not an FPS!
With Alien Swarm, Valve was able to step outside of their tested and proven "LOLOLOL LETS MAK FPS GAM" formula for game development, and was still able to offer the same quality in game play that they're known for.

+ Team play works excellent
When no one in the server is greifing, the teamplay element of the game shows it's greatness. Friendly fire is ALWAYS on, but this isn't a problem because it keeps players in constant knowledge of where their teammates are, and tends to keep players in tight formations and medics on their toes.

+ Tilegen
With the release of Alien Swarm, Valve released a secondary tile-based map editor and generator exclusively for the ASW version of the Source Engine. This editor is much more simplified than the default Hammer editor, and runs and compiles inside of the game. Level designers are already starting to use it as a rapid-prototyping system for layout generating, and some are producing modular content packs so that entire maps can be created with the editor. Tilegen isn't very polished but is very fun and is already proving it's usefulness.

= Relies on a community
Alien swarm seems to be Valve's response to the UDK in that it offers complete source code and the Source SDK for free, but does not allow access to existing content and mods. This allows Alien Swarm to be sort of a platform for a completely new mod community based off of the Source engine. Mapping has already started picking up for Alien Swarm itself, so the lack of content may in fact be countered by this.

= Player class system
There are 4 types of players: medics, tech people, special weapons experts, and officers. Out of these 4 classes, 2 are useless and 2 are extremely useful and must be protected.

- It's the L4D2 engine (now with less fps!)
There are no obvious graphical or performance upgrades in this engine and it's still the same bloated, directx based engine Source has always been. The ridiculous loading time to content loaded ratio has been improved, instead replaced with even more frustration in that ALL csg in the map is not calculated for visibility. The entire level section you're in is rendered at once, causing FPS drops over larger areas than they would otherwise cause.

- Community hasn't improved any from L4D
Unless you're playing with friends, you're not going to find a serious group of a players willing to play seriously very often. In hosting a few servers, I encountered many people who wanted to rush ahead even more than I did, which is saying something.

- Minimalistic content
It doesn't appear that there's going to be a shortage of community content, however I feel that Valve released the game before they finished all of the level design. There are about 7 maps in all in the game, and all of them are very short with not very many objectives. Most of them are played linearly which makes it even worse. There are many unused art assets and even a few NPCs (including a final boss) which didn't make it into the released campaign, which gives me the impression that either valve is going to release content later (hopefully free DLC like with l4d) or that they gave up and kept the content in for mappers.

(I didn't complain about the level/xp system because that's just a bias of mine.)

tl;dr: game is awesome but doesn't have much content and ders enemy
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Re: sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by duo34 on Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:03 pm

yes but it free so you need to factor that in so its actual score is 8.1/10
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Re: sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by Pielikey on Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:40 am

rules for reviews:
-)Don't put TL;DRs, it makes faggots just skip right over all that hard work you put in.

-) It seemed like you reviewed it from the standpoint of someone who is a developer, which is good, but you have to figure that most people don't know what the hell a csg or soundscape is. I'm pretty sure a large portion of the Alien Swarm community even uses the tile generator.

-) Personally I hate scores because I don't believe a complex opinion can be expressed in such a small number, because like what I said for tl;dr, most people will completely skip over the rest of the review after they read the score.

otherwise it looks pretty good
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Re: sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by Sigfig on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:36 am

i reviewed from the standpoint of a developer because that is how i look at games and is the way i can express the opinion i hold over the game best and plus it's something you're not doing
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Re: sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by Pielikey on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:24 pm

thats because I prefer to review gameplay instead of graphics engines
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Re: sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by le1ca on Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:37 pm

sigfig is just attention whoring as a developer
he'll get over it
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Re: sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by . on Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:07 pm

...........................


Last edited by . on Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by Pielikey on Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:07 pm

you both suck at making maps because sig never finishes and probuilder should of never started
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Re: sigfig reviews: alien swarm (for reals this time)

Post by Sigfig on Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:30 pm

le1ca wrote:sigfig is just attention whoring as a developer
he'll get over it

damn straight
been doing this shit for a few years now and no sign of stopping
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