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505 Games presents The Swarm : First impressions not impressed

The premise of The Swarm is promising, but can it deliver?
The premise of The Swarm is promising, but can it deliver?
505 Games

505 Games U.S. and Buka studios has announced a May, 2010 release date for their new game The Swarm. The game is being described as an action-packed third-person shooter that drops players into the middle of a nuclear fallout in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia after an alien invasion. To fight off the alien invaders, players will be forced to make a choice. Absorb alien DNA to access powerful skills at the cost of gradually becoming a monster, or retain their humanity.

The game is described as using a unique adaptive combat system. Adam Kline, president of 505 Games U.S. explains, “This is not your standard third-person shooter. The game’s adaptive combat allows players to mold their characters, draw them into the alien takeover and force them to make tough decisions typically not found in other shooter games.”

Players will wake up in an alien laboratory and quickly find themselves fighting in a resistance against the invading aliens to find a cure against the alien mutation. Throughout the game, they will have the opportunity to enhance their performance with alien DNA that increases attributes like stamina and health as well as making themselves more adept at fighting tougher enemies. The option to absorb new abilities will be unlocked through DNA mini-games and puzzles. Players will build and change DNA chains to improve different abilities such as increased regeneration, energy weapons, or even claws. Aside from the alien abilities, players have access to a variety of weapons including several different guns, plasma projectors, grenades, and many melee weapons.

The premise of the game sounds interesting and if done right The Swarm could be a good game. But with that said, the game isn't looking all that impressive yet. Two trailers can be seen here and here. While some of the designs of the aliens do look interesting such as the dropship at 1:04 in the first trailer, the rest of the game looks uninspired. The smaller environments look dull and repetitive at times but the more grand scale outside environments look more impressive (but still not perfect). The first thing people will probably notice is that the graphics look unimpressive by 360 standards but any real gamer will know you can't base a game's quality on the graphics so this can be ignored for now. What can't be ignored however is game play and The Swarm just doesn't look all that impressive. The third person shooter elements look clunky and unrefined and the melee combat looks bland. Granted, the combat looks a little better the more evolved you become, but then the game begins to look a lot like Prototype...just not as impressive.

These are only first impressions though, the game still has another three months before it comes out. Here's hoping that The Swarm will get more polished the closer it gets to release.