Alienation (video game)
Alienation is a shooter and role-playing video game developed by Housemarque and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released in April 2016 for PlayStation 4; the game is an isometric twin-stick shooter in which one to four players defend themselves against an alien invasion on Earth through increasingly-difficult levels. Players can choose one of three character classes, each with its own abilities. Players can upgrade their weapons with collectables, known as upgrade cores; the development of Alienation was hinted at in early January 2014 and announced at the 2014 Sony Gamescom convention. In 2015, the developers released classes and its first trailer. According to Sony, the game would be released sometime in 2015. After another three-week delay, it was released as part of a Sony promotion releasing six games in seven weeks. Since the release of Alienation, Housemarque has updated the game with free and paid expansions, it received positive reviews, with praise for the twin-stick elements and cooperative multiplayer feature.
Reviewers criticized the lack of a local co-op mode, added, the game's lack of variety in regard to weapons and ammunition. Alienation is an isometric twin-stick shooter game set in a future in which aliens are invading Earth. After a large portion of the population has been murdered or mutated, humanity's fate rests with a group of four soldiers from UNX; the game features a single-player mode, a local co-op mode, a multiplayer mode that allows four people to play at once, with each player controlling a heavily-modified soldier from one of three character classes: Bio-Specialist and Tank. Each class has its own weapons, movement mechanics, abilities, can be "leveled up" to level thirty; the Bio-Specialist create poisonous trails. The Tank is able to create a shield behind which players can stand and can "blow everything away", allowing players to maneuver more easily; the Saboteur has the ability to become invisible, can call in airstrikes when needed. Players defend themselves against hordes of aliens through increasingly-difficult levels.
In multiplayer mode, players can revive each other and use checkpoints in the levels to respawn if they die. Players can find new weapons in random drops. Many weapons contain slots for the insertion of "upgrade cores". Random items and loot, such as new weapons and upgrade cores, drop at random intervals and when enemies are defeated; the class of a drop differs by rarity. Unwanted items can be converted into metal, used to re-roll a weapon's statistics. Aiming is accomplished by targeting a blue laser in the direction. Players can "melee", knocking down many enemies at once to give themselves more space; when a player accumulates enough experience, they "level up" and can spend points on three active and three passive abilities, chosen from several options on a trio of skill trees.. Each ability has a cooldown timer, requiring players to use them strategically. Points may be switched from one skill tree to another at any time; when a player dies, their experience multiplier is reset. When Alienation's story mode is completed, the player unlocks missions with bounty-like assignments and quests with special items as rewards.
The player unlocks more difficult enemies, more powerful weapons, the ability to complete difficult, procedurally-generated, levels set in the alien's space craft. Two types of "keys" are unlocked at the end of the game. UFO keys are used for "loot runs", ark keys are used for player-vs-player fights. Alienation was developed by Finnish video game company Housemarque and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, it was released on April 26, 2016 on PlayStation 4. The game, first hinted at in January 2014, was announced at the 2014 Sony Gamescom conference. In a question-and-answer article on the PlayStation Blog in April 2014, Mikael Haveri of Housemarque said that they are inspired for many of their games by other games. Haveri cited Dark Souls and Demon's Souls as examples, saying that they "take a concept like and try and improve it or put a twist on it". According to Haveri, Alienation would have content, he noted the chance of references to other Housemarque games, similar to the incorporation of Resogun ships into Dead Nation.
In April 2015 the developers released details about Alienation's gameplay, saying that it would feature three character classes, "plenty of loot and a ton of weapon customisation". Details about enemies were posted; the same day, Housemarque released a two-and-a-half-minute pre-alpha gameplay video demonstrating the cooperative gameplay feature. In early 2016, Alienation was showcased at Sony's PlayStation Digital Showcase. Sony announced that Alienation would be released sometime in 2015; the game was delayed until March 2, 2016, further pushed back to March 23. Another delay postponed its release until April 26, when it was part of Sony's PlayStation Store Launch Party 2016 promotion: six games released over a seven-week period. Since Alienation's release, Housemarque has added downloadable content to the game. Ranked leagues and a local co-op mode were introduced in early July 2016. Other customization options, including bullet colors, were added. Two new difficulty levels and new "hero levels" were added.
On July 5, a season pass and the first DLC were introd