Looks like it’s time to take a look at Alien Crisis. This is the first Men In Black game that I’ve played and one of the only ones to have ever come out. It’s a pretty fun game and you could tell that some effort was put into it, but at the same time you can also see how the developers were a little lazy at times. There are parts of the game where there is no real explanation on how to handle a boss and that can make it last a lot longer than it really should. One boss took me nearly an hour until I realized that the game was actually showing me the wrong weak spot. That wasn’t very helpful.
The game revolves around a guy named Peter. He’s a thief who used to be a respected archeologiest until he started having theories about aliens living among us. He was discredited so he decided to get back at society by stealing things. He gets in a little over his head when aliens show up, but he dispatches them with his gun skills. The Men In Black organization is intrigued so they blackmail him into helping them, but as the journey goes on, Peter starts to realize that being a hero may not be such a bad thing. It may be a brief realization though since the Earth may not be around for much longer!
Unfortunately, Peter’s not a good character. He’s modeled after James Bond in a sense so while he makes a lot of good puns and one liners while in imminent danger, he also gets his undesired traits like constantly flirting and most of his lines are about that. It’s too bad that we can’t get a character who’s super confident and everything without being a flirt. Wait a minute The main heroine is the hardened agent who blackmailed Peter into joining. She’s no nonsense and keeps reminding Peter that he’s not ready for this line of work. I could have sworn that she has the same voice actor as Black Widow. She’s a good character and by default, she’s basically the best in the game. As you may expect, she’s naturally possessed at the end so the rookie (Peter) can save the day, but I guess she takes it well. If we ever get a sequel, their dynamic will hopefully be more like the duo from the original Men in Black films since Peter will have some more experience. The dog makes some cameos here and there, but his role is not as big as it could have been. There’s also a professor who tried to outwit Peter and the MIB a lot, but he always fails in the end. One thing you’ll have to think about though is whether you should be rooting for MIB or not. After all, they did destroy a guy who came to Earth for an arranged marriage as part of a truce between races, right before they murdered his partner. Well, you know what they say..Don’t Mess with Earth!
The gameplay is your standard shooter, but it’s not totally first person like you would expect. You can still see your character and to an extent it can almost be called a third person shooter. I wouldn’t really call it that because you can never move forwards or backwards, but sideways is always an option. You can choose to hide behind a wall and strike out at the enemies or you can just stand tall and keep on blasting them. Either way, you should have the edge here as the enemies can’t stop you so easily. One health pack is enough to get you back to around full health although I imagine that this will change on higher difficulty modes.
You have around 6 different guns and they’re all pretty useful. I really like the machine gun, but the others have their uses. The two weakest ones have unlimited ammo so you’ll go to them when you’re desperate or in a tough spot. Those two situations are almost identical though. You also have a few gadgets to help you out like anti gravity grenades that send enemies into the air and a freeze ray that can really come through in the clutch. There’s also a barrier, which I highly recommend using as it can block all enemy fire and will never shatter. If you’re low on health then there’s no reason not to use it and it recharges very quickly as well.
I’m going to give this game some props for the fact that it didn’t stop at just making one gameplay style. There are several levels where you have to play in a different way in order to win. For example, there are 2-3 car chase levels where you’re flying through the city and blasting away at the aliens who are chasing you. You have to be careful not to his civilians or cars as you do and it makes for a fun level. There are also the sneaky levels which are all about strategy and silently taking down your foes. I’m always up for a stealth game even if I admit that they can be a little more irritating at times. Carmen Sandiego did this style best with Shattered Dimensions being a close second. Men In Black pulled it off quite well and would probably make it at number 3 here. The Batman games ironically get wrecked in this department.
The soundtrack is a little limited, but the tune for the main menu is catchy. The other themes are mostly non existent, but it’s your usual action fare. I wouldn’t say that the themes are bad and they’re fun to listen to in the heat of battle. The audio is interesting though as some characters sound robotic at times even if they’re trying to be charismatic. Ah well, I appreciate the effort at the very least. It can be annoying to hear the dialogue sometimes though since it is set to always replay if you lost in a level. I lost to the final boss several times before finally winning and to have to hear the same lines over and over again can get really old really fast. As for the graphics, they’re perfectly acceptable. It has that cash-in vibe, but the blasts are nice and colorful. I also like the designs of the enemies. The game did a good job of adding many different species unlike Battleship and the Iron Man inspired villain was also pretty hype.
I can’t say that there’s a whole lot of replay value to be found here. I read that the average completion time for this game is 2 and a half hours. I guess if you skip cutscenes and take out all of the enemies without a problem this can be true, but personally I’d expect the campaign to take you closer to 4 hours the first time. After that, you should have most of the trophies as well. The only things left to do are get the rest of them and maybe play around with the challenges a little if you really want too. I would say that the game is worth the current price although if you spent 60 on it (Not sure if this ever was 60 though. I personally doubt it) then you probably got ripped off.
The only real negative that I have with the game are the boss fights. As I mentioned earlier, the game really leaves you to your own devices, which means that you need to put on your detective hat and figure out what’s happening. Unfortunately, since the moments where the boss is actually vulnerable are few and far between, it can take a while. I lost to one of the bosses over 10 times before defeating her and I still don’t know what the problem was the first time. I basically just got lucky. As for the final boss, I did figure out that I was shooting the wrong target, but man did it take a while! The bosses were certainly the weakest part of the game, but they could have been worse.
Overall, Men In Black Alien Crisis is a pretty fun shooter. I found the actual gameplay to be better than Battleship, James Bond, and several other shooters. I even preferred it to Metroid Prime although that game naturally did have a better plot and more of an epic vibe. The story mode here did feel like a decent movie though and the snappy dialogue made for a believable main character. If you didn’t know any better, you could have easily thought that the movie probably had the same plot as the game although they are completely different. The writers thought it through and made a full on story mode so props to that. This may be a bit of a cash-in, but there was clearly more effort put in than usual. I’d recommend checking this title out.