Just in time for the release of the recent Men in Black 3 summer movie comes MIB: Alien Crisis. This new game isn’t based on the film, but it does feature favorite characters from the series. Play as an artifact thief turned MIB agent who gets caught up in an alien conspiracy and must use his shooting skills to save the world from alien conquest. Alien Crisis plays like an on-rails shooter comparable to what you’d find in the arcade. In fact, they probably named it Alien Crisis on purpose, as it’s similar to another popular arcade shooter called Time Crisis (360 version reviewed here).
As an on-rails shooter, you’ll automatically run from cover to cover area. In each wave you’ll hide behind cars and dumpsters, and then peek out to aim at aliens and shoot them. Just make sure to be ready to run for another cover space if they throw explosives at you! You can switch weapons and upgrade the ones you have after each level, as well as switch side effects that you can activate, like a shield or freeze ray. Press in the right analog stick to zoom in and snipe far away aliens. Defeated aliens may drop health pickups or ammunition, just point the cursor over them to collect things. Sometimes you may have to help steer the flying MIB car as you blast aliens, while other times being sneaky and shooting cameras and ensnaring guards will be your task. Just be careful not to shoot too many other objects that might alert people to your presence, as you don’t want to blow your cover and have to start the mission over.
Play control takes a little getting used to, but the good thing is the game is compatible with the Top Shot gun controller, which came packaged in a couple of Cabela’s hunting games last year. This helps bring the arcade experience a little closer to home, although controls still take a little time to figure out. Plus the game can be pretty difficult, especially during boss fights. You can play the story mode or challenge yourself to VR missions solo, two player simultaneous, or four player hot seat.
Sometimes in story mode you must interrogate aliens and ask the right questions by pressing certain buttons. These parts of the game move the story plot along, but disrupt the arcade action shooting parts a bit. A little less story wouldn’t have hurt the game at all. Really the main big problem with Alien Crisis is the graphics, as they look like PS2 era visuals. Normally I wouldn’t complain about bad graphics, but when they make it hard to see what’s around you, then I have a problem. Even so, if you enjoy mindless arcade shooters, and the MIB movies or cartoon series in general, then you might like this one anyway.
MIB: Alien Crisis is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, and Violence. Even though you shoot guns, they are silly weapons and you only blast aliens who disappear when defeated. No blood. Some of the story sections have slightly off color humor, but if you are OK with your kids watching the movies and cartoon, they’ll be OK with the game, too. Reading skill is helpful, and some gamers might get frustrated with the high difficulty.