10 best games to take on alien scum
With Alien getting another chance to prove itself and Halo cementing its 2014 release, we found the best alien-bashing titles on Xbox.
Mass Effect 2
Reapers to the left of us, Collectors to the right and there we were, stuck in the middle with even more aliens. In Mass Effect we made a distinction between aliens we can have a friendly chat with and those that kidnap humans and shoot at us on sight. That seems like a fair line of division to us. Anyway, for its action chops, great team mechanics and suicide mission build-up, Mass Effect 2 remains a great action game. The fight against the Collectors was a great step up from the Geth in Mass Effect and for us still a little stronger than Mass Effect 3.
Saints Row IV
Few franchises would be arrogant or just plain crazy enough to poke fun at series that go into space when they run out of ideas in one game, and then throw aliens into the mix in the next game as if it wasn’t a big deal, but Saints Row is one of them. We have to applaud the audacity of it. The fact is that, thanks to Saints Row’s inherent ridiculousness and willingness to make a fool of itself and all the gaming industry, it gets away with the alien element of this sequel rather well. What’s more it managed to blend it into yet another fun farce of a game.
Following the industry-changing experience of playing Halo on Xbox, there could be only one unanimous feeling among those who finished it; ‘I hope the next one is set on Earth’. Halo 2 would ultimately only spend a brief amount of time defending Earth directly; the fight is taken to the Covenant in this sequel. With both the Elites and Brutes against you still in this game, you have a wide variety of extra-terrestrial life forms to lock in your crosshairs. With such engaging action, it’s no wonder that Halo 2 remains one of the most popular games released in the series.
Gears Of War
There’s something rather intimate about the relationship between the Locust and the COGs in Gears Of War. Few games have brought you so close to your alien antagonists, letting you smell what they had for breakfast that morning. And that was really GOW’s party piece, getting you in nice and close so you could unleash Lancer justice on these pitiful invaders. They simply couldn’t have expected that you’d be taking a chainsaw to their chests. It’s a magical moment that almost makes
you thankful they invaded in the first place.
Our most recent experience with handling alien incursions on our precious planet, Defiance was an interesting mix of Homefront, Borderlands and World Of Warcraft, made all the more curious by a tie-in TV show. Some didn’t take to its structure or held the relatively poor show against it, but we loved the community aspect of it, the exploration and the PvP combat. As far as MMOs on Xbox 360 go, this is about as good as you’re ever likely to get. And then there are those massive alien monsters. We couldn’t get enough of them either and we made humanity’s last stand.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
The aliens are invading and you must stop them with overwhelming firepower and no small amount of tactical nous. XCOM came to the Xbox 360 with a passionate if slightly niche fanbase that helped bolster its reputation. Now it’s considered to be one of the few examples of a strategy game being done right on consoles, shedding the weight of PC to Xbox 360 control schemes and mechanics as if they were never really a problem in the first place. Now, we have one of the best alien invasion titles established, we’re excited to see what comes next.
The Orange Box
With Half-Life 2, Episode 1 and Episode 2 on one disc, The Orange Box offers the best value for money in this list if your aim is to shoot aliens in the face. If you also want to play some of the best FPS games ever made in the process, then thankfully you’ve got that too. Gordon Freeman’s fight against the Combine is one of the best examples of videogame story-telling, balanced with action gameplay and thankfully the mix of aliens, zombies and human security deliver a great variety of experiences. You too can become the saviour of humanity.
Space Invaders: Infinity Gene
It’s the original alien smashing game and it was given new life in this hybrid reinterpretation on Xbox 360. Evolution is the key term as you take the original analogue movement of the arcade game, moving only left and right, and eventually gain 360 degree control in what becomes a manic, musically frantic shooter. By adding in features such as weapon upgrades and ever-increasing power as you chain attacks and stay alive for extended periods, Taito managed to find a way to make this well-worn game something new and engaging.
Earth Defense Force 2017
Like a trashy Eighties action movie we know that EDF is pretty much awful, but we love it. It’s the videogame equivalent of bacon-flavoured popcorn; ludicrous, logically flawed and yet strangely compelling so long as you don’t eat too much. Fighting off an invading horde of giant insects with such low-res graphics and flat textures should have caused an acid reflux response, but we actually found it to be pretty moreish. Once we saw our first bug go pop, we couldn’t stop, working our way around and taking on larger enemies through the game.
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
If we can’t get close and slice up our aliens with a chainsaw or be given the chance to out-think them tactically, then we like them to be very, very large. Lost Planet upheld the Capcom tradition of pitting you against monstrosities to new levels as you fought for your life against massive snow worms and all manner of other terrifying creatures on an inhospitable planet. The combination of environment and enemy types offered a great challenge, but unfortunately not one whose potential could be fulfilled in later instalments.