Fleeing from a doomed Earth, the last humans alive are in a cryostasis within three ships. Unfortunately, aliens are pursuing them, and the only things that can save the humans are the security droids!
Super Mutant Alien Assault is a procedurally generated action platform which will pit you up against a series of levels. Each level is infested with hordes of aliens, and it’s up to you to stop them. Armed with your trusty weapon – or not – you’ll need to fight against these aliens with whatever you happen to find in the levels.
When it comes to the levels, the vast majority of what is within Super Mutant Alien Assault is randomized. After choosing your initial loadout – more on that in a bit – you’ll be thrown into a level and given one of a handful of objectives. While at first you’ll only encounter a few objectives, this number will quickly grow the more you play the game. Some levels will ask you to simply kill all of the aliens until time is up, others will have you working to keep the pressure down without anything exploding, while another has you delivering energy tanks to another part of the room.
The biggest thing to note about Super Mutant Alien Assault is that it’s hard. Very hard. You are going to die a lot. The good news is that so long as you complete at least an area, you’ll work towards unlocking new weapons, perks, and so on within the game! These weapons will prove to be very handy when it comes to trying to make progress through the levels.
At the end of each section you’ll need to face down a boss. As expected, these bosses are hard, especially since they always come with buddies who are also out to kill you. While at first you’ll only have three bosses available – one in each section – you’ll eventually be able to unlock additional bosses to fight. This can be both good and bad, especially if there are particular boss fights you find challenging (looking at you, original area one boss).
The weapons are all over the place in what all they do and are useful for. Within Super Mutant Alien Assault’s two-player mode – the mode I spent the majority of my time playing – things like the mortar can prove to be a deadly hazard if you aren’t careful. Meanwhile, projectiles such as the chakram can prove handy for trying to nail that one ramming beast who will likely murder your face should you get near it.
As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to unlock the ability to start your run with a particular item. This starting item can help to give you an advantage, and may prove to be extremely vital when it comes to trying to make it all the way through in a single run. In the normal mode, you’ll only be able to choose one item to bring with you, while in Endless you’ll have the ability to choose an item in each available slot. Do note that unless you choose a weapon for your loadout, you will be going in without the ability to fight back (except with certain special abilities).
Along with weapons that you can randomly get from the machines that spawn in the levels, you are also able to get grenades. These grenades also come in a variety of forms, and can be just as deadly to a second player should you mistime or misaim it. Some grenades you’ll be able to remotely detonate, some will go off as soon as they impact something, while others are simply mines that can be placed and will only go off once something – or someone – steps on them.
While you’re playing the levels, sometimes crates can spawn. These crates can give you special abilities, perks – bonuses that can help improve your gameplay – or one-time benefits. From my time playing, I never found it to be a bad idea to try and break these open when able just to try and find out what was within.
Despite how difficult the game is, I enjoyed my time playing Super Mutant Alien Assault. The simple, pixel-graphics are more than enough for this challenging platformer. While I did do a bit of work on my own at the game, I found the game a whole lot more enjoyable with a co-op partner. Having a co-op partner can make some weapons even more of a pain to use, but the benefit of having an extra body and the ability to try and help each other back up once you die is huge. The game is perfect as a “pick up and play for 10 minutes” sort of game, which may be a good thing, especially if you keep dying and get frustrated easily! I give the game a recommendation, especially if you have someone you are able to play the game with.
Super Mutant Alien Assault Review Score
This review is based off of a copy provided to me for free for the purposes of reviewing the game.