Left 4 Xed? Check Out This Alien Swarm FPS Mod

Better than Colonial Marines
3761 AD. Seattle. A line of tourists is snaking around a wrecked skyscraper. If we listen closely, we can hear their guide: “… this is the cupboard where they found the ‘test heads’, and this is where they arrested Robin “Mad Hatter” Walker, who admitted to 243402 counts of decapitation. That’s the rebuilt Dota 2 annex. The war where the Dota 2 team attempted to secede from the union in 2103 caused a brief civil war, but it turned out their tactics when applied to a real world conflict just got them all killed. We don’t know what this place was: a cupboard where we found the skeleton and a crowbar. Just a handyman, maybe? Moving on to one of the more remarkable finds: a PC that was found in the rubble, still running a copy of Alien Swarm. And beside it was this Steam Greenlight page for a mod that turned it into a first-person shooter. What was Greenli…”

Present day. Craig’s front room: Ooh, a mod that turns Alien Swarm into an FPS. Neat. It’s not out, yet, but there’s a Greenlight page for it. This isn’t just the previously known console commands that shifted the viewpoint and didn’t add much else. No, the modder will be adding new models and animations, ceilings (think about it), a jump button (in the top-down version, there is only rolling), and maybe even Oculus Rift support. Hooray for Valve being not evil, and allowing this sort of thing. It is proof that they will never commit any crimes or acts of war. Here’s one of many trailers for the mod.

Yup, that’s first-person Alien Swarm alright. I’d recognise it


  1. Houd1n1 says:

    Hmm, lack of imagination seems concerning. Looks like a copy of a Half Life elevator part.

    • SaVi says:

      I could swear, that it is nothing else but top down camera deactivated and pov activated, which was explained in an official tutorial for the SDK years ago. Nice as a little sample, but a Greenlight game? Madness.

      • darkChozo says:

        I remember playing around with the first person mode back when it was making the blogorounds, it was way, way sketchier than what’s in that gameplay video. In terms of effort, this is probably akin to a full retexturing and remodeling of the game, or something along those lines .

      • Ansob says:

        It’s not on Greenlight as a paid video game, it’s on Greenlight as mod, so it can be added to Steam and downloadable directly from their content servers for free, like many other mods are.

    • Grover says:

      The part in the video is already in the base Alien Swarm game, the mod just offers a new perspective.

    • cunningmunki says:

      I believe you may have missed the point… slightly.

  2. reggiep says:

    I don’t get this. There are a billion first person shooters out there. Alien Swarm is fun because it’s top-down. And the gameplay is designed that way. Players can coordinate their actions because they can see what everyone else is doing.

    • Kein says:

      Pretty much. Problem is that Valva abandoned this game (it fulfilled it’s purpose) and fans are bored.

    • aliksy says:

      Yeah, not terribly interested. I think there were fan-made mods, but I don’t think they ever took off.

      I played it a lot when it was new. Fond memories of being the only surviving marine on hard. Played a medic with the medgun and flamethrower, spent the final 5 minutes of the mission running backwards and screaming. Good, good times.

    • Dominare says:

      Agreed. For me, the top-down POV is an integral part of what made that game fun. For example, in the scene used in the video, a key part of the tension as the platform descends is the fact that you can SEE the aliens emerging from the gloom as they creep along the walls of the elevator shaft… a few at a time initially, but more and more as you progress. That’s completely lost with the switch to first-person.

    • SomeDuder says:

      its a damn shame this project wasn’t explored further. iirc, valve wanted users to continue developing it, but that never really happened, apart from some half-assed mods. Shame, cuz I really ejoyed the coop campaign

      • Napalm Sushi says:

        I’d like to think that it would’ve just taken some minor curatorial work from Valve: periodically choosing the finest user campaigns submitted to them and rolling them into regular patches. However, after grabbing several SDK-built map packs during my brief trawls of the now defunct swarmarmory.com that were highly rated on the site itself, I didn’t personally find that a single one of them compared favourably to Jacob’s Rest. The professional polish just wasn’t there.

        As such, I don’t think anything short of continued official content updates by Valve would’ve saved Alien Swarm, which wasn’t going to happen to a free game running its course long before the F2P boom.

        It’s a shame indeed, and I get a bit of a lump in my throat when I catch sight of it in my Steam list.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Steam Workshop support would probably do a lot for this game.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Exactly. “Let’s turn this interesting top-down tactical game into yet another FPS. What could go wrong?”

      Although, from the technical point of view and as a novelty it’s pretty cool. I guess I’d play through the campaign once to see what the game looks like from a first person perspective.

  3. nimzy says:

    Once upon a time I investigated the possibility of turning Alien Swarm into a SS13 clone. The amount of work added up to a whole new game.

    Good to see someone still playing with it though. It showed a lot of promise.

    Now if only someone could add new levels to Moonbase Alpha we’d be reliving the summer of 2010.

  4. darkChozo says:

    Did they ever end up adding any new content to that? It was fun enough, but the single campaign got old fairly quickly.

    Actually, I’m kind of surprised that it didn’t get properly rolled into Valve’s F2P portfolio. Top-down seems to be the favored perspective for hat-based microtransactions of all sorts*, and Alien Swarm would actually work pretty well with a TF2-like drop system.

    *I count skins as full-body hats.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It would, if nothing else, have been a reasonable testbed for Workshop custom maps.

      But nope. The original UT2004 mod had them (and more official campaigns: two!). :/

  5. Moraven says:

    Makes me think of Starcraft 2 mods that change to to the non standard perspective.

  6. Rich says:

    Being able to play single player with bots would have been good.

    • welverin says:

      It had that, it just didn’t count towards progression.

      I know the lack of bot support is what killed it for me, the game just doesn’t work with less than four people and getting four people together to play the game just didn’t happen.

      • Rich says:

        I thought you could only play the first mission on your own.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I think pro types have soloed the whole thing, but that’s a mile away from it being realistically singleplayer.

          That said I’m sure I remembered it having some kind-of-a-bit-dumb bots.

          • Snowskeeper says:

            You can play any mission you want solo, but you can only play with bots on the first level.

  7. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    I really wish we had some clarity on what actually happened to Alien Swarm. I for one loved it, though the lack of maps outright killed it. Nothing else did, gameplay was good, progress was good, very little bugs. Only inactivity and abandonment killed it.

    Thinking about it maybe DOTA2 killed it and the cash cow that has become.

    • Syra says:

      Alien Swarm was great but it was DOA, it got released free to drum up some popularity for some feature of steam at the time and was barely supported at all. It was more a SEE WHAT WE CAN DO than a real game, which is a damn shame.

      • lordfrikk says:

        Honestly, Alien Swarm is more of a real game than most “real games” coming out nowadays. Saying it’s a shame that Valve dropped the ball on this doesn’t even come close to describing the reality. Valve :/

        • UNCL3LARRY says:

          *cough* CoD:Ghosts, *cough cough* Most declined game series ever, *cough* Ahem.

    • Nick says:

      I was really hoping they’d release other campaigns for a small fee or something, but sadly no.

  8. antenna says:

    I loved this game, such a shame it was abandoned. Nil interest in an FPS mod though.

  9. indyscout says:

    My mates and I achieved this through console commands
    here they are
    asw_hide_marine 1
    asw_controls 0

    • Muzman says:

      Last time I saw this done the problem was everything above was white because there’s no roof (top down and all that). Now there is.

  10. MCMLXXXIV says:

    There seems to be a lot projects springing up based on the “Left 4 Dead in Space with Aliens” mould. Good luck to the guys making this!

  11. Uncle Fassbender says:

    When Valve released this game, they also released the modding tools to go along with it, as the community were expected to keep it going. If the whole point of it is to be modded, then surely the next step for Valve would be to add Steam Workshop support?