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The title Aliens might make the association of a shot'em up type of game; well, that is slightly wrong because it is one of those walking & talking games. Having said that, I can now start describing the game itself. Everything starts in year 2121 when Colonial Intelligence Command (CIC) commences their very first terraforming mission. In these missions, they utilise the combined resources of Earth and try to terraform other planets, so that the planets can support Terrans (that's us!) who need to escape the pollution and overpopulation of Earth.
Now, we are in year 2157 and the USS Sheridan is returning to Earth from its latest CIC forming assignment. The crew of the ship has to work in harmony in order to establish goals but it is sometimes hard to get along with the other members which causes a few problems. The crew of this spaceship is made up of four characters: Mission Commander Hericksen (you), Captain Williams, Science Officer O'Connor and Doctor McGuiness. We have three men and one woman on the ship and you can get information about these characters based on their health, physical strength, mental strength, hunger, nerves, etc.
Let's turn back to our subject. In 2157, the USS Sheridan receives some SOS signals from Planet B54c which is located in Epsilon sector Barnard-234. Receiving an SOS from a colony could mean an epidemic, environmental failure, anything. Even this close to a settled colony, space is cold, dark, silent - the way Aliens like it.
That is the story behind the game where you are the Mission Commander of the USS Sheridan. It is suspected that there are aliens in the ship. Also there is the issue of people being possessed by aliens, so it is hard to trust anyone. During the game you talk to others and try to find a solution to this alien issue.
Although I have said that it is a good game, I did not say anything about the game being perfect. There are some points that I would like to reveal to you which are not pleasing. First of all, it installs 57 MB's to your hard drive. I believe this is too much for a game like this because even though a big chunk of the data is on your hard disk, the loading process is still extremely slow; you have to wait for ages! Secondly, if you play the game long enough, you can have direct access to your MS-DOS prompt (without your consent!). What I mean is that, after a certain period of time (like 5-10 minutes), it resets the computer in the middle of the game. This has happened to me twice and I still do not have a clue as to the cause because for the first time my good old Soundblaster Pro was working fine! I had music and speech which is very rare in my case! Still, I would like to put the blame on my soundblaster because it has always caused me some trouble with many of the games that I have played. These are the only shortcomings that I have observed; besides that everything looks fine!
Let's look at the game from the good side. The graphics are beautifully prepared; when I say beautiful, I mean it! The sound effects and speech are disparate (maybe because of the fact that they worked with my soundblaster!). From the setup menu, I got the impression that any soundblaster could work with the game. I do not have precise information about the memory requirements, but I am deadly sure that it I will not work with four MB's (talking from observation!). There is a cool intro at the beginning of the game that you have to watch every time you want to play the game which can become a little distracting! The game is made up of two CD's and during the game, when you are required to change CD's, you see the image of a CD-ROM drive on the screen which opens and closes. That is one of my favorite scenes related to the game.
The game Aliens is the adoption of the movie Alien. Sound, speech and graphics are magnificient. The two shortcomings of the game: (1) it resets the computer after a certain period of time and (2) although it installs a big chunk of data on the hard drive, it is still slow in loading the game. Despite these problems, it is worth playing because it gives you the impression of how it feels to be in a spaceship floating in space.
486 DX2-66 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Hard drive required with 20Mb minimum,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card with 512Kb,
Microsoft mouse and 100% compatibles,
Creative Labs Sound Blaster, Pro, 16 and AWE32; Gravis UltraSound; Pro Audio Spectrum.
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