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Alien Swarm by DeDy (updating 24. 1. 2011)

Alien Swarm is available for free on Steam. The game mechanism is perfect for 2 up to 4 players, still I would like to suggest a few enhancements. I have only changed access to missions and how players are rated, while also enhancing the single-player mode.

The player commands a space station on the planet’s orbit. The station serves as a depot for raw materials from the planet’s mines to be transported to the Earth. The station is made up of detachable modules that may be attached to a space ship. The ship arrives about once a year. i.e. three storage facilities made up of modules are used in turns. While one is being loaded with raw materials on the planet, another is being unloaded on the Earth. The third one is being transported by a tug ship through the space. Serving as a supply point for colonies on the planet, the station is manned by 12 people – 2 commanders, 2 scientists, 2 technicians, 2 soldiers, 2 pilots and 2 navigators – and houses a sickroom, laboratory, workshop, living quarters and a canteen. In emergencies, it can provide shelter to hundreds of people.

The planet is dotted with colonies, mines, research centres and military bases. The game begins when shields fail (sabotage) and panic breaks out following an attack by local fauna. The player will choose which colony to fly to in the orbit and will attempt to rescue the survivors. 8 characters are available (pilots and navigators are non-playable characters). All locations (approximately 20-30 differently sized maps) are available from the game start. The EASY, NORMAL, HARD and BRUTAL levels are available to one, two, three and four players respectively. The tasks will be determined by the difficulty level. Performing a task gives the player a bonus weapon or equipment. After performing all tasks for the location at the EASY level, the single player can proceed to the NORMAL level.

Number of players per level
EASY – single player
NORMAL – two players, alternatively a single player after completing the map at the EASY level
HARD – three players, alternatively two players after completing the map at the NORMAL level
BRUTAL – four players, alternatively three players after completing the map at the HARD level

The more difficult the level, the more tasks are available on the map.

Example 1: A new player is alone, i.e. all maps are only available for play at the EASY level. The player chooses a map and must find an access key and rescue two survivors. After completing the task, the player receives a reward, e.g. grenades, and can proceed to the NORMAL level. Two new tasks are added here, i.e. finding why the shields do not work and gaining control over the ammunition store. The reward for completing the tasks is a new weapon, e.g. an automatic shotgun.

Example 2: Another player is involved, able to play the game in a four-player mode from the beginning. That is why they choose the BRUTAL level. The above two tasks for the EASY and NORMAL levels are available, plus additional tasks for the HARD and BRUTAL levels. The HARD level requires players to find food provisions, load them for transport to the space station and rescue someone. The BRUTAL level requires players to find two energy batteries and put the colony’s energy shield into operation. Rewards include, e.g., an assault rifle with a grenade launcher and a personal energy shield at the BRUTAL level.

The player will see available maps, showing the attained difficulty level and the items/weapons obtained at that level. If players start the game at the BRUTAL level, the task at the EASY level will include more enemies for added difficulty. The same applies to the NORMAL and HARD levels. Certain tasks may be performed by a specific character only. Doors must be hacked by the technician, laboratory analyses conducted by the scientist etc. After completing all maps at the NORMAL level, the player may choose promotion and play from the beginning without the equipment obtained. NORMAL = bronze medal, HARD = silver medal, BRUTAL = gold medal. The saboteur who deactivated the shield is a third enemy party, currently an unknown attacker from the space, a predator.

New features:
Grenades that get teleported to the place highlighted by the aiming device and explode immediately.

A scientist whose DNA or eyes give him/her access to secret laboratories.

Czech original text