The Final Word game review
Now in the days of Half-Life and the similar first-person shooters that are on the market, it's interesting to look back at where the genre came from. Alien Trilogy was released mid-lifecycle for the Saturn before quickly turning around and showing up on the PlayStation. It received favorable reviews and brought a good deal of new material to the world previously dominated by Doom and Quake. First off, it provided a story; a familiar one to those who have seen the movies, but changed a bit in order to accommodate the parameters of the game's design. Alien Trilogy also went heavy on the mood and atmosphere, staying true to Ridley Scotts' first "Alien" movie that was saturated with suspense and tension.
Graphically speaking this game maintains what one can expect from the Saturn. There are some pixalization issues, but for the most part it gives you what you need. The colors are sometimes limiting; black aliens on black backgrounds can be a difficult thing to see. Within the context of the game it's fine, but it also serves as a reminder of how dated the hardware that this game runs on is and how far the genre has moved since using this engine. If you are familiar with Quake for the Saturn, expect graphics that are a bit better.
The sound in this game is crucial to game play. Whether it's a soft scraping of a face hugger as it scampers somewhere in the darkness or the high pitched pulse of your motion tracker, the attention to detail in designing the sounds for this game is noteworthy. The music rarely detracts from the sound effects but there are some times where you might want to adjust the levels to allow for you to hear more in the game.
Gameplay is the real winner here. The story is full of interesting cut scenes, a multitude of weapons, and a variety of enemies to square off against. The level design is what makes this game a keeper. Weighing in at around 30 levels, the game constantly gives you a greater and greater challenge. As Ripley, you move first from the colony levels found in the movie "Aliens," to the prison levels from "Alien 3," until its final series of encounters on board the derelict Alien ship seen briefly in the first "Alien" movie. All three different areas have their own characteristics and do a good job at providing something new, just when what you are currently doing is getting tedious. Controls are easy to pick-up. The only problem is weapon selection, but even that can get easier with time.
Alien Trilogy offers you plenty in terms of game, but once through it don't expect much more. This is a first-person shooter before the days of cooperative play or on-line play with a console. The game has very little replay value other than going through and trying to find every single secret there is. If you are into that kind of thing, good for you, I wish I had that kind of time. If not, this is a game that you can pick up cheap for your Saturn, play the smack out of it for a week or two, turn around and trade it in for something else. This is a great game that should be in the library of every FPS fan.
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