Alien Earth was developed by the same guys who’ve made Shadowrun (1993), so expect a lot of the gameplay from that old classic to be found here as well. The theme is rather dire – the Earth is ruled by sadistic aliens who keep humans around in tribal colonies surviving in thick, overgrown jungles crawling with creepy killer bugs. You’re thrown into this dangerous jungle and have to fend for yourself, using items to create weapons and solving quests by finding and interacting with other hermits.
The game plays like a cross between an RPG and a top-down adventure. There’s combat, dialogue, exploration and an inventory window, and several use-item-on-environment puzzles. What it also seemed to have burrowed is Diablo’s painfully slow walking speed. With no option to run, you have to slowly crawl through the world, which is unusually large but not very interesting to explore – thank goodness a map function tracks your surroundings quite well, or the amount of idiotic backtracking in this game would have driven any player nuts. There’s also combat to be had, but it’s clunky with garbage hit detection.
System Requirements: Pentium III 1 Ghz, 256 MB RAM, WinXP
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