Invasion From Beyond
|a game by||GTE Interactive Media|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 4 reviews|
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The latest PlayStation space shooter. Invasion From Beyond slyly mixes the gameplay of StarFox with the campy atmosphere of B-movies like Mars Attacks. While it's too early to tell if this 3D shooter can even remotely achieve the resounding success of StarFox on the Nintendo 64, the early signs are somewhat promising: the game delivers eye-catching graphics, more than 30 missions, and arcade-style action with just a touch of strategy. GT also reports that the game will run at approximately 50 frames per second, and if that's true, Invasion will--at a minimum--be a wickedly fast fragfest.
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Based on the alien-menace themes of movies, Invasion From Beyond challenges you to defend your country from attacking Martians by using a variety of fighter planes armed with the latest weapons. Your missions range from normal blast-em-up mayhem to "suck-o-matic" transportation of helpless civilians to safe houses. In this early version, you could choose from only one view and flew in areas that were too small. This Invasion will need to be stronger at its release--or the battle may be over before it begins.
Remember the movie Independence Day? Well, if the game by the same name didn't do much for you, it's time to gear up for Invasion From Beyond developed by U.K.-based King of the Jungle, published by GT Interactive. The game puts you behind the controls of a series of craft, while you must save the Earth from an onslaught of aliens in a somewhat 1950s B-movie fashion.
After starting the game, the first thing you'll notice is the speedy frame-rate. We're talking fast here--at least 50 frames per second, usually around 60 fps. This is a good thing when you're in the heat of battle since it makes the action seem that much more intense. You may think graphics would suffer with such a fast frame-rate, but you would be wrong. Invasion From Beyond has great graphics and little pop-up. And the pop-up that does exist is done in a friendly way, so clumps of mountain don't appear out of nowhere. In addition, there are plenty of snazzy effects--lots of flashes, explosions, weapon trails and starbursts. So how'd King of the Jungle do all of this and keep the frame-rate high? Basically they built the engine and graphics library from the ground up. "We chucked the Sony graphics libraries as we need to do things our way to keep the speed at maximum," said Stephane Koenig of King of the Jungle, producer for Invasion, "Generalized graphics libraries just don't cut it."
Once you play into the game a bit, you realize the action is only part of the fun and plenty of mission objectives await. Some missions will have you escorting allies around town while they gather info from various sources on how to destroy the aliens, while other missions put you in a Defender-esque situation where you must rescue humans and transport them to a safe location.
There are a large number of craft that you can control, some of which are unlocked after playing through the game or by killing a large number of alien ships. Some of the ships resemble those in Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars, while others look like something from a cheesy 1950s sci-fi flick. Each of the ships can be outfitted with different weaponry--more than 60 of them--ranging from standard laser-types all the way to heatseeking missiles and beyond. One weapon in particular looks like one of those cool rail guns from Eraser.
There are a huge number of alien craft to destroy in the game, which usually come in waves as mission objectives are sent to you via an in-game transmission. By the end of the third mission or so you'll swear you've killed the entire alien race. You'd be swearing in vain, though, because there would still be some 15 more missions to play through, all of which have more alien ships (of all shapes and sizes) in them. In between killing aliens, rescuing humans and completing mission objectives, you'll have to stop by your base to recharge.
Any good game gives you tons of stuff to do. That way, when you finish the game, you feel as if you've accomplished something. Well, Invasion From Beyond will certainly give you this feeling...ten-fold! But beware: This game is so amazingly hard at first you'll go crazy trying to figure out how to finish each level. In addition to having to kill hundreds upon hundreds of alien crafts, you must fulfill a variety of mission objectives on each level. And these objectives are no walk in the park--many of them require several steps to complete. Screw one up and you fail that level. But the objectives are great since a game, type,could.Ve easily been just about fiction. Still, King pf the Jungle could've created a more gradual tamp with the game's difficulty. The trajning_adeas just don't prepare you enough for what real missions are like. With repeated plays--and yes. I did want to go back even though I was frustrated as all hell--you'll get the hang of how IFB works, and have a great time doing it. On top of the game play, the graphics and frame-rate are mind-blowing. I can't believe they kept the frame-rate this high with everything that's goingon on-screen. In addition, the game's 1950s cheesy sci-fi motif is extremely entertaining. Overall, IFB is a solid title that'll definitely give you your money's worth.
Right from the get-go, lemme say this is an amazing-looking game, with an ultra-smooth frame-rate and crisp detail. Better news: There's a darn good game under the snazzy visuals. Most missions pack a surprising number of objectives, and your ability to snag scientists and power-ups to build new ships and weapons adds more depth than you'd expect from a shooter. It's a tough game, though, so prepare for frustration.
Although it's very tough. IFB is a campy, sci-fi action/adventure game in the vain of Attacks or Independence Day. Initially it seems like a mindless blast-test, but it's soon evident there's much more depth. The real backbone is the multiple mission objectives on each stage and the classic "save the earth" plot. At times it seems chaotic and overwhelming, but overall IFB provides a challenging and rewarding experience.
What's this? I hadn't even heard of this game before it landed on my desk a couple of days ago (great marketing, guys!). Invasion From Beyond is definitely a unique little shooter, but after only a few missions, I began to rapidly lose interest. The quirky mission objectives get repetitive, and the weaponry is a bit lacking. Still, it's a great game to rent, especially if you're one of those sci-fi/alien freaks. Real nice graphics, too.