Alien swarm is a free top-down view space shooter. It is offered free because it is an advertisement for the Steam gaming platform from Valve. Previously it was a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004. A similar game to Alien Swarm is Alien Breed which was released originally for the Commodore Amiga.
|flamer gun used on drones and two boomers|
Alien Swarm is a co-operative multiplayer game. You play in a team of 4 to complete the objectives of a mission. The story mode called Jacobs Rest has 7 missions each with different objectives. To succeed you must work as a team.
Before starting a game you choose your class. The 4 different classes in the game are tech, Officer, special weapons, medic. Each class has different strengths. Officer is good all-round, medic good at healing, tech is good at opening doors, and special weapons can use a chain gun. There are many weapons in the game including flamer(flame thrower), M42 Vindictor(shotgun) and Electric gun(IAF Tesla Canon). Characters can also carry items such as stun grenade or damage amplifier.
While doing objectives you will be attacked by aliens. There are multiple enemy aliens and some will need a specific strategy to defeat. The shieldbug for example is best attacked with two people, one person acting as a decoy and the other person going behind and shooting. At the end of a match you are shown detailed statistics about the movement of your team, the number of kills, deaths, and friendly fire. Not always useful, but can be interesting.
The story mode can be completed in 1-2 hours. The game does have good replay value because there are multiple difficulties, and a levelling system that unlocks new weapons as you gain experience.
Overall Alien swarm is fun and definitely worth playing.