Today, we send our lights into space, with one of the coolest games I have played in a while in Super Mutant Alien Assault. Made by Cybernate, this game gets an automatic tick from me because it is a co-operative single screen multiplayer game, which is a sentence that makes me very happy to say when it is attached to a good game. It gets a second automatic tick for being published by my new favorite publisher, Double Jump Communications (previously Suprise Attack Games), which I have linked to an interview I had with Chris from Double Jump Communications.
The game is a 2D single screen shooter set on various randomly generated space vessels with alien sized holes in the hull. Your objectives on each shop differ, from simply surviving, to charging up the hyperdrive, to good old boss murdering. The way this game feels is just incredible, the controls are super tight, you can stop on a dime and land jumps on a knife’s edge without too much trouble, and shooting is satisfying as all hell, with some guns even going so far as to give kick back that knocks you across the screen, which adds an element of strategy.
Super Mutant Alien Assault also has a roguelike element to it, where you unlock more guns and power ups the more levels you pass, as well as new characters and new difficulty levels. As good as the gameplay and progression is that honestly isn’t the best part of the game.
Between the gameplay, graphics, music and sound, I honestly can’t pick a feature that I would point out to be the crowning achievement. The graphics are of a pixelated variety, which I have gone on record to say I don’t usually like, but Super Mutant Alien Assault does it so well. I honestly can’t explain the appeal but they are just so striking they catch your eye from across the room.
The sound is, what in my limited knowledge of electronic music, what I would describe as space dubstep. It’s yet another thing that I am not usually a fan of, but the first time I heard the drop as the kids are calling it, timed with a hyperspace jump in game, I fell in love. It’s that one little thing that shows the amount of care that has been put into this title.
All the weapons, aliens, characters, and objects on screen all have excellent sound effects. The satisfying firing sounds of the guns are particularly noteworthy, as you can really feel the shot ringing through the floor, especially if you crank up the sound like I find myself unable to not do.
The most important thing about this game in my opinion, though, is the multiplayer. The game is really fun in singleplayer; I find myself firing it up every couple of days for a couple of infuriatingly hard runs. But when you add in a second player, the intensity dial gets turned up to 11, and the game just becomes a mad rampage of shooting grenades accidentally at each other while trying to avoid enemies charging at you, or trying to revive your useless teammate while you take on the rest of the enemies on your own. I’m looking at you Stephen …
I honestly can’t recommend this enough. If I was reading this from someone else I would be sure they were being paid to write this review, but Super Mutant Alien Assault is just THAT good. The fact that it currently is in early access, as always, may give pause, but this game is so close to being finished I can taste it. If you can get another person to come around to destroy aliens with you, I can’t recommend this enough, just make sure you crank the bass.
This was yet another game I found at PAX, and as a result I have an interview with the lone solider in this fight, Chris Suffern, below. Alternatively, you can check out the game here on Steam Early Access
I think I may have fanboi’d out a little here, but the game really does deserve it. Are you going to pick this up? Do you have a suggestion for another Indie to look at? Let me know below, or on Twitter @kotmfu