Reviewed: April 29, 2011
Released: April 29, 2011
Nobody said getting marooned on an alien world would be easy. In fact, itís pretty fair to expect that itíd be a rather difficult experience, but Alientrapís Capsized makes it fun nonetheless. Putting players in the shoes of a space marine lost on an alien world, Capsized hearkens back to the old days of 2d platforming on PC, setting the player to explore the alien landscape, fight off aliens, and solve objectives ranging from finding the exit of alien warrens to destroying idols or rescuing crewmates. |
Capsizedís biggest draw is its hand-drawn high-definition graphics. Everything in the game, from the cut scenes to the backdrops of levels and monsters has been drawn out; resulting in some of the most lush, vivid two-dimensional graphics youíre likely to find in just about any indie game. The only downside is that the level of detail in the backgrounds and doodads scattered around the levels tends to obscure the monsters, resulting in overlooking a potentially deadly threat, or wasting ammunition trying to kill a harmless background element. Itís something to get used to, but thereís definitely a learning curve in trying to pick out whatís important in a level.
The gameís music and sound effects are unfortunately bland, but the core gameplay has a definite appeal. With so much of the gameís time spent navigating mazes, Capsized gives the play an impressive number of options for getting around. With a gravity hook for climbing, swinging, grabbing objects, and throwing them, a jetpack with limited fuel, and a short-range repulsion blast that sends the player and whatever theyíre next to flying away, thereís no shortage of ways to get around.
In comparison, the shooting mechanics are a little lackluster. Players get a variety of guns, ranging from a combination machine gun/shotgun to rocket/mortar launchers. Each gun has a pair of fire modes, and though some modes are repeated (A shotgun-esque alternate fire exists for both the machine gun and railguns), there are a large variety of options. Despite this, though, the weapons, by and large, donít show the creativity present in the movement modes, and much of the combat just seems to be a break in the action between the much more fulfilling exploration. Iíd have much rather seen the gameís conflicts revolve around its movement tools, since they seemed much more developed.
The gameís enemies range from alien insects and dog-like monstrosities to alien humanoids with strange powers that rival your abilities to interact with your environments. While each of the enemies is rather detailed, their animations can be somewhat rough. The dogs are especially notable, as their animation often stops entirely once they make contact with you, while they continue to do damage. While the animation issues are understandable, given how this is an independent game with a small team, itís somewhat disappointment that the animations arenít as detailed and impressive as the gameís sprites and backgrounds.
Capsized also has a variety of competitive arcade modes, as well as cooperative gameplay. However, one of the gameís biggest disappointments comes from this, since the cooperative play is only local, which seems like a pretty major oversight for PC gaming. I was geared up to play with a friend on the other side of the country, when I realized that the game didnít support it.
All in all, Capsized is a solid game. If youíre nostalgic for the era of DOS-based 2D shooters like Duke Nukem or Commander Keen, thereís a good chance youíll enjoy Capsized. With its classic gameplay and a wide variety of ways to get around, Capsized is a good first effort from Alientrap and a good sign of things to come.