|This game seems to be getting horrible user reviews. I've also read that it's short, but being a shooter that's to be expected. Having played the first few missions, I kinda like it, and I'm really wondering what people are expecting that they've given it such low scores.|
First: yes, missions, you go sequentially through a story that has a distinctly "Starship Troopers" feel with military bases and colonies being beseiged by large scaly flying aliens who look kinda like the guys from the old Defender game but with a green glow. Your meat'n'potatoes lasers sound like the old Defender lasers, which is a nice touch, and the scaly aliens pick up colonists who you have to scoop out of midair before they're used as mutation agents by the aliens, just like the old Defender, but it's hard to find many other similarities. You can fly backwards, which is nice, and strafe--in fact your ship controls rather like a hovercraft, I like it. There are additional ships to pilot, possibly there's a faster one, I haven't uncovered them all yet. You get points for rescuing colonists, fullfilling mission objectives, etc, and can use these to buy weapon upgrades to your ship.
Graphically things are peachy smooth with a thick dusty red/orange Martian look that is also maintained through the menus. Nice and atmospheric. Oh yeah, and the heat distortion behind your thrusters when you hit the throttle is a great touch. The one full combat mission I've been on had tons of aliens everywhere around my base and looked very impressive, and I got to shoot a lot of things while mission objectives updated and scrambled around me. It was fun and brief and I look forward to more. Lots of nice CGs and high production values throughout. If my ship had been faster with beefier guns, I'd be in love, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to cash in my points for faster ships and bigger guns shortly--the speed and power meters on the two starting ships are pretty low, so I'm optimistic that the action will get thicker and faster as I progress.