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"Is this going to be a stand up fight, sir, or another bug hunt?”
It’s another bug hunt, private. But it’s a FREE bughunt. A free bug hunt that was originally a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, but was converted to a full game for Steam’s Source engine.
The new version of Alien Swarm allows solo-play or online multiplayer to control a squad of grizzled space marines. Players choose between eight characters, then customize a loadout of weapons and equipment, to engage in top-down shooting action. As players level up they gain access to unlock-able weapons and equipment.
The story and setting should be recognizable to any James Cameron fan: you’ve lost communications with a space colony, and “a Xenomorph may be involved”. Your marines can weld doors shut, set up auto turrets, and use motion trackers in their fight against the space bugs; it comes a close as possible to being an Aliens game without actually violating trademarks. It’s all very familiar, but the developers present it so earnestly that it comes across as a loving homage, rather than hackery.
If the missions included in the game aren’t enough for you, it comes with a Software Development Kit so that you can make your own mods and maps. It’s a “tile-based” system, which makes it much easier to use than the Hammer editor that comes with most of Valve’s games. Alien Swarm modders can just piece together maps using pre-made rooms, rather than having to create each wall floor and ceiling individually, so expect a quick surge in new material crated by users.
Alien Swarm is available now and can only obtained by downloading it from Steam. “Alright sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I love the Corps!”