2007 Reviews

Alpha Prime

  • Review Date: 2011-04
  • Release Date: 2007-05
  • Developer: Black Element Software
  • Rating: 4.5

Alpha Prime, developed by European studio Black Element Software with their own engine, is another of the lower ranked 2007 action titles with a 59% aggregate. However in some ways that's quite a generous score.

I'll start with what's good about Alpha Prime; the looks. Both the engine and level design look good, well up to 2007 standards. It's your typical corridor shooter with very few outdoor areas, but there's plenty of details and nicely built indoor areas, akin to Doom 3 and Quake 4.

The story received some criticism, but I thought it actually wasn't that bad. How it was told was the problem, as there's no cinematics so everything is told over radio. Which brings me to the first major issue; the sound. On Vista and Windows 7 the sound does not work correctly. Apparently a patch is supposed to fix it, and putting the sound on low quality improves thing, but it's still very buggy. Most of the talking throughout the game doesn't work, you simply don't hear it and instead have to rely on reading the subtitles. There are likely to be many other sounds throughout the game which I never heard because of this glitch. Apparently it has something to do with the game not supporting Direct X 10.

What ruins Alpha Prime completely is the gameplay. There's not enough ammo, there's not enough health. The enemies are all hitscan so if you jump out in the open you'll go from 100% health to dead in about 3 seconds. Now this would be okay if you want to play the game more carefully like you would a war shooter. However the weapons aren't built for that! The shotgun is useless at almost any range, the machine gun has too much recoil and sprays bullets all over the place. The flamethrower is useless unless your a few metres away from the enemy. The sniper rifle is the only effective weapon, but there's little ammo for it.

Even with an unlimited ammo cheat, the game is still too hard on normal and it turns into a save/reload chore.

I played through to the end as the level design was decent, but the gameplay is too frustrating to be any fun at all and not worth the budget price of a few dollars.