Super Mutant Alien Assault Review (PC)
Super Mutant Alien Assault is not just a mouthful to say, it’s also a blast to play. You take control of adorable little robots (starting with Otis and Axel but you unlock more as you play) and get thrown into the heart of the action aboard a tiny spaceship hurtling through the cosmos. It plays as a 2D Platformer with shoot-em-up gameplay at its heart and soul.
Super Mutant Alien Assault takes the form of a very accessible rogue-lite. The controls for both keyboard and gamepad are very standard, so it takes almost no thought to learn the games mechanics. As you begin playing, you’re introduced to the very basics of movement, acquiring and firing weapons, and the different game types. These include modes like Pressure, where you need to move around the platforms and make sure none of the jars of mysterious red energy bubble up to the top; Survival, which is a standard ‘kill all the bad guys’ mode; Hyperdrive, where you need to carry balls of fuel around the ship; and others.
Each mode is contained within a single stage, and four stages builds a level, or Galaxy. Like each room in the Binding of Isaac, a stage takes place on one screen with no way to transition to the next stage until you finish the mission in the area you’re in. The areas you play in are small and easy to navigate within a few seconds, which leads to frantic combat as the enemies spawn to fight you in waves. It should be noted that the enemies don’t wait for one wave to finish before the next joins the fight, so if you let enemies stack up things will get quite messy.
Any rogue-lite is made, or broken, by the tools it gives you to defeat your foes. Upgrades and weapons are an essential part of Enter the Gungeon, Crypt of the Necrodancer and Good Robot, and Super Mutant Alien Assault is no exception. Along with your standard firearms, which range from assault rifles and SMGs to Rocket 2DSchmup launchers and grenade launchers. Every weapon has different ammo counts, and when that ammo runs out, you’re down to your side-arm. Thankfully these have infinite ammo! When you begin playing Super Mutant Alien Assault, you’ll only have access to the good old Pistol, but like standard weapons, these unlocks come with time. On top of these, there are other items like Dodges and Double Jumps to help you out-play your enemies.
Back? Did you guess “Aliens”? Cause if you did, you’re right! You might even have said ‘Mutant aliens’ and that’s more accurate. Man, that title gives away quite a lot. The alien enemies spawn from various locations on the ship, and take a nice variety of forms. There are little fly-shaped aliens that spawn in swarms, demon dogs that leap around (and, later, their mutated big brothers; again, see that title) big wasps that drop balls of acid on you and, at the end of each Galaxy a big ol’ boss.
The last thing that absolutely needs to be discussed when talking about Super Mutant Alien Assault is the soundtrack. I’m not the biggest fan of techno or drum and bass, but Super Mutant Alien Assault has managed to create music that fits seamlessly in the game, doesn’t get irritating no matter how many times you’ve heard it looped, and that I found myself listening to when not playing.
Super Mutant Alien Assault is a whole lot of fun, with a good variety of game modes, weapons, enemies and music to keep you going. There’s a decent amount of content here, and with a price of £6.99 on Steam, I really don’t think you can go wrong. It’s a touch on the basic side, but it doesn’t suffer for that at all. If hardcore rogue-likes are your thing, like Isaac and Necrodancer, this will seem simple and maybe too easy. But I’d still recommend you give it a shot.
7 exploding aliens out of 10