A totally free online 3D multiplayer deathmatch game which some say is the best first person shooter ever.
Alien Arena is a frantic Quake-like FPS game made from the open sourced Quake 2 source code. In short, the action never lets up, the graphics compliment the game's theme, the sound design well illustrates the game, and the game is polished to the point of being blindingly shiny.
Graphics: Back in the day, the game sported a spiffy 50's retro look, but with new releases, this has changed. Now, the game takes on a more industrial like setting, with an entirely new level of map detail to accompany it. Some of the maps just look stunning. Overall, it's good. 9/10
Sound: The sound design fits the wacky style the game had in releases past, and even with the radically different theme, they still fit the game. You can tell what things are happening just by the sounds (always good), and much like the regular Quake games, they can still be used to plan accordingly in 1v1 matches. You also get the feeling that you're in the universe with the ambient music, that ever so subtly makes the game feel better. This doesn't stop some of the sounds from being a bit out of place, however, such as the disrupter/beamgun fire sounds. Some of the weapon sounds are also just small blips, like with the blaster. But in the end, it doesn't really matter all that much, because you get absorbed in anyway. 8/10
Gameplay: Gameplay is where Alien Arena shines when given the chance. Unlike many new FPS games, Alien Arena focuses on fast paced deathmatch instead of slower, tactical action. So, even though some people may feel alienated (no pun intended), when given a chance, the action is much more intense than in similar games. There is also a lot of polish in this area. The weapons all feel like you're actually firing them, unlike in other games, and the newest release, 6.10, featured a Quake 3 style ammo/weapon pickup system, that made the game flow better. And all this polish gets shown off in multiple game modes. There's your standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag, but in addition, there are some lesser modes. Deathball is almost deathmatch, except there's a ball that you can take and put through the goal for extra points. All out Assault is deathmatch, but with vehicles, some of which haven't been touched and improved upon since their initial release, so this may be a little odd when you first start out, but the vehicles add a new focus on the Z axis, and the gameplay is more diverse because of it. Team Core Assault is a team mode (well duh), where the goal is to disable the enemy team's three power nodes and then destroy their power core, while preventing the enemy team from doing the same. Lastly, cattle prod is a silly mode where you and your team guide cows to the capture point. There are also multiple mutators, such as instagib, rocket arena, and joust. But all of these things would be wasted if the gameplay couldn't properly integrate with them. Luckily, this isn't the case. Each mode feels as natural as the last, and all are fun to play. On a more advanced note, the game keeps up the Quake tradition with trickjumping. The normal things such as strafejumping/bunnyhopping, rocket jumping, plasma climbing, etc. are all included for the players that can do them, but even niftier is blaster jumping. This gives the blaster a use other than weakly firing at opponents and hoping to whittle them down. Lastly, the weapon balance in the game is good, but not perfect. So, there is some incentive to nab the vaporizer/beamgun and horde it all over everyone, but skilled players can get around this and bring the match back to the norm. It's all intense, teeth grinding action in the end, something that most freeware games fail to pull off properly. 9/10
Various: Alien Arena sports a helpful community surrounding the core to make the game even better. Weekly tournaments are organized, and clan matches are a norm in the community. Of course, just like anywhere else, there is some drama, but nothing too terrible to drive you away. Also, to address what the other reviewer said, the two executables are entirely different. One launches directly into the game, and the other is the multiplayer server browser. Both are good enough for getting into a game, but the server browser, named Galaxy, also has ways to check your player stats and even chat in the IRC channel. This is where the community hangs out, and if you have problems with the game, such as the ones the other reviewer mentioned, like having trouble getting into a game, just ask in there and someone is sure to help you. Even the guy who constantly develops the game hangs out in there, so you can tell him (Irritant) any feedback you may have. He's glad to hear it.
Overall: 9/10 (not an average)
Not absolutely perfect, but better than most of it's competition. GrueTamer out.
I really did not enjoy this game. It was pretty annoying after the medium-large (for freeware) download, although I know that isn't a problem for some of you. I just would like to warn you that it may NOT be worth your time.
Graphics: The graphics were decent, I would even say pretty good. Still, there were some things that seemed out-of-place in the levels I played and the distance scaling was strange (they didn't shrink as much as they should have at large distances.) The individual models are, for the most part, well animated, but there's just something that doesn't click. The graphics appear blocky... they're all good but they don't fit together well enough.
Sound: Sound effects are about average. I just didn't notice them most of the time. Probably because of the music. Yes, you can turn it off, but the default tunes are really annoying and repetitive. I would think with a game this big they could put more work into the music.
Gameplay: This is every game's chance to shine. If it has good gameplay, to me the graphics and sound don't really matter that much. Unfortunately, Alien Arena falls short. I must admit, I only played the AI. But that was because I was unable (after 10 minutes of dedicated searching) to find out how to join games in the lobby, where the lobby was, whether there was anyone else there, or if there even WAS a lobby! Surely someone who isn't completely computer illiterate should be able to find a MP game after a couple minutes. Anyways, I will say this about the AI: It is either too good or too bad. At any distance, I could defeat them easily. They would simply stand in the sights of my sniper rifle or rocket launcher, occasionally moving a bit. When they got within 5 meters of me, however, they used the melee weapon with incredible accuracy and I found myself dead in under a second. Strangely, they seem to be able to move faster than you can. Not very polished. About the levels and weapons-- For the most part these were fine, although some weapons were useless in both modes or far overpowered. The levels were varied, but I just didn't get into them that much.
Other Issues: The installation menu is rather annoying, making you look through a couple seemingly identical screens. Also, the game installs two executables, one for single and the other for multiplayer. It would have been better if they combined the two into one neat package. Also, this game is pretty big for what it is. One would expect with an increase in size an increase in quality, but it doesn't look that way. Many of the best freeware games are tiny compared to this one. (See Cave Story, LF2, and other examples.)
Overall: This game is average in most technical aspects, but the lack of solid gameplay and cooperative elements lead to this lower rating.
Clocking in at over 150MB, this dial-up unfriendly game is probably the most enormous game I’ve ever had to review. With forty plus levels, nine weapons, eleven different character types, online and offline play this is one game which will keep you up all night.
At first, I wasn’t sure what it would be like – a game which has received nothing but praise? Surely it can’t be all that great… oh, how wrong I was. Starting up the game is incredibly simple – upon loading the game, simply select which game you would like to play in and from then on, just strap yourself in for a bumpy ride. Very quickly there are people scurrying all over the place blasting all types of weapons: rocket launchers, a nice machine gun… some sort of plasma beam. It’s carnage left-right-and-centre, but with a sense of fun.
The mayhem, the speed and the intensity of the fire fights in this game are truly unparalleled by any other freeware game that I’ve played to date. I urge you, person who plays games, get this quick and don’t look back.
This game's graphics aren't are amazing for freeware and the weapons are great too. You can change weapons with the mouse roller which makes gameplay easier. Don't be fooled, this game is awesome!
Lag. Lag. Lag. That's about all I have to say. It's basically a rip off of Unreal Tournament '04 so if you want something similar that doesn't suck and doesn't lag get that.