Area 51 (PS2)
Stephen Mercado rates it:
Community rates it:
211 of 414 readers found this review helpful.
System: PS2 (reviewed) Xbox
Developed by: Midway Studios Ė Austin
When I first heard info brewing on a new Area 51 game, I rejoiced. While the original arcade game wasnít anything to really write home about, it was (and still is) one of my personal favorites. Then I heard Midway was to retool it into a first-person shooter, this made me very skeptical. FPSís have become this generation most played out genre. Too me, Area 51 would become nothing more than yet another Halo rip off. While I was right for the most part, turns out Area 51ís actually pretty good in itís own right.
At first glance, Area 51 resembles a crossbreed of the top three FPS games out; Doom 3, Halo and Half-life. Indeed for the first few stages, things look very generic, then the game starts to pick up steam when your character gains the ability to transform into some alien beast. While in this form you can dispatch enemies with ease and attempt to regain some health. This mechanic is very useful and is heavily needed for the last few stages when things become quite hairy.
The multi-player is a welcomed diversion, but thatís all it is, a diversion. While there are some neat, original ideas here and both versions offer online play, the gameplay is so unbalanced (Even more so than Halo 1) that the multi-player soon loses itís luster.
Outside transforming and some semi-decent multi-player, there isnít much else thatís different from the norm. You battle aliens and unravel a conspiracy taking place at Area 51. Itís not that itís bad in any major way, itís just that most of what Area 51 brings to the table has been already done and in some cases done better.
Graphics and Sound:
At the risk of sounding redundant, Area 51 looks pretty good, but at the same time, pretty generic. Player models look good and thereís absolutely no slowdown, but at the same time, the areas look pretty generic and the animations are clearly stolen from other midway games (such as The Suffering).
David Duchovney and Marilyn Manson (of all people) both lend there voices and both do a pretty stand up job. Manson in particular really stands out with a creepy raspy voice. Dochovney, however, doesnít sound as nearly good as he does in XIII. Sure he gets the job done, but on more than one occasion you could tell he was ďphoningĒ them in.
Score: 3 Ĺ/5
Like the rest of the game, the controls are tight and get the job done, but donít feel as fine tuned as the controls in other FPS games - Halo and Doom 3 come to mind. The control sticks donít feel as responsive as Iíd want them to be and cycling through your weapons can be a hassle. Unlike Doom 3, there isnít an option to map you guns to certain buttons, which makes it a pain to cycle through all the weapons, especially in the middle of dealing with enemies.
Score: 3Ĺ / 5
The main game is pretty short, roughly about 7 or 8 hours MAX, with next to no extras. Sure you could go back and try and nab all the bonus scans, but that shouldnít take too long since youíre given access to every level and checkpoint as you beat them. Area 51 does come equip with a multi-player mode, both online and off. Great fun for sure, but much like everything else about Area 51, it seems like other games do it better.
On the whole Area51 certainly isnít much more than a very fun rental: something to kill time untill the next big thing rolls around.
Final Score: 3/5
Added: Monday, July 18, 2005
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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