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Alien Dominion: The Acronian Encounter

DAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKA etc

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AKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKA!…. and rest.

Alien Dominion: The Acronian Encounter is one of the most ill-named PC games of recent times. It sounds like an add on pack for AI War. More appropriate names would include Alien Dominion: Hyperdeath Space-biff, Alien Dominion: Lovely Genocide or – of course – Alien Dominion: DAKKADAKKADAKKA.

Playing the half-hour time-limited demo, I have fired over 20,000 bullets and wiped out over 100 enemy fighters. On the second level alone. I wiped out another 100 on the first, and was half way through the third with a death toll inching towards 50 or so. It is a point and click adventure. The puzzle being “exactly how many people can I kill today?”.

It’s a rail shooter, basically, taking the “pew-pew-pew! I’m in a turret” set-up of the bit when Han and Luke get behind the guns in Star Wars and transforming into the game. In play – mainly due to the mixed-production-quality and the pop-rock-metal soundtrack – it reminds me of Star Fleet. I am, indeed, Barry Hercules. Level starts. Ships come at you. You shoot them. They explode. For 10 minutes at a time.

I can’t remember a shooter so monomanical since Walker on the Amiga. It’s not as good, but there’s something happily demented about it. A lot of it comes from the simplicity. It also reminds me of the sort of thing Rage released in the late 90s – who, before the commercial-suicide glory of Hostile Waters, were best known for a string of shooters with little to recommend them other than really pretty explosions.

This has really pretty explosions. Watch it in action.

It’s not just mindless shooting. You collect resources which you can spend between levels and… okay, it really is just mindless shooting. I’d personally prefer the levels to be a little shorter, as the 10-minutes of holding down fire is going to make your fingers fall off. The biggest problem – apart from what comes directly from its nature – is the voice-acting. While the actual gunner you play is a passable impression of the TF2 Heavy’s passable impression of 80s Arnie, the other two voices aboard your ship appear to be generated from some speech synthesizer, which contrasts unfavourably against the impressive visual flair for an indie game.

It’s enormously repetitive, but I played it for the half hour and suspect if I didn’t have more work to do, I’d have thrown down the 8 quid, 12 dollars or 9 euros for the full version. It’s very silly. It is what your mum thinks videogames are like. I dig it.

You can buy the thing or get the demo from the site.

Where was I?

Oh yes.

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Kieron Gillen

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Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.

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