The Behemoth is a longtime indie developer known for creating charming and very humorous titles. These two elements really appealed to me in all of their games, from Castle crashers To The people of the pit. When I saw The Behemoth making a new game, I was really excited– especially since it was a return to their very first title developed. But the charm and humor can only go so far as when a game lacks depth or compelling gameplay. Invasion of alien hominidsThe PAX Online demo was just too basic and monotonous to be enjoyable.
Invasion of alien hominids starts off pretty promising, at least. I love the original cutscenes of The Behemoth and its weird, wacky music. The demo begins with an alien invasion, taking place 16 years after the first attack (Extraterrestrial hominid was released in 2004, after all). Next, we’re greeted with a brief tutorial that goes over the controls before we dive into the action. In Invasion of alien hominids, your little alien starts out armed with a blaster that can charge a more powerful attack; he can also dodge, burrow into the ground and jump over enemies, throw grenades, and jump higher while shooting the ground. That’s all there is in terms of movement and maneuvering. Certainly, Invasion of alien hominids feels good and controls itself well.
Players can choose their path of destruction on a grid-shaped map, all the way to an enemy HQ. Different sections of the city you are invading have different effects, so if you want to buy some new items you can just make your way to a store. Other areas have “enemy swarms” or armored enemies; some, like stores, might be more beneficial and give you more loot or currency. I don’t mind choosing your path to enemy headquarters, as moving from level to level doesn’t feel as linear as a straight path to the finish.
The real problem I have is combat. When you land on an area and attack, you need to complete a few objectives. Each level requires you to obtain information, which is done by killing enemies. It is so stupid. With the blaster, you repeatedly press the fire button to the point of straining your finger. The enemies are also so pitifully weak that there is no impact to fight. Once you’ve gotten enough information and uploaded it, you’ll have another goal to work on. It could kill purple colored enemies or chase a few robots. Then you collect more information and perform another goal. It’s always the same for all levels.
Objectives are the meat of the gameplay, but they seem so uninspired. There were only a few different lens variations, so you’ll likely run into them over and over again. After half an hour of demo, I felt like I had seen it all Invasion of alien hominids had to offer. This half hour also passed without incident. I really hope there will be a more diverse selection of lenses when released. Jumping around a 2D scene with a meaningless platform and flat gameplay doesn’t help. I haven’t had the chance to play co-op as there is no one around to do it, but even with friends I find it hard to believe it will increase my enjoyment when the core mechanics aren’t substantial .
At the very least, I like the cosmetics and gear in my games, and Invasion of alien hominids provides part of that. It looks like you’ll level up and get crates with new loot in them. Likewise, you can buy them in hiding places, which are stores. Loot includes new heads, weapons, and boosts. Heads change the way you look, and from what I’ve seen, they’re really unique and fun. This is something I expect from The Behemoth. I was given a propeller nose and wings on the side of the head, which also had an effect allowing my alien to do a double jump. Others add percentage modifiers like increased health. If it’s just stat boosts, that’s not very exciting. I would much prefer to have more heads that add new abilities like double jump.
For weapons, I found a minigun that fired extremely fast, but could not reload, and it also had to reload periodically. It was a breath of fresh air compared to the standard blaster, as I didn’t have to constantly press the fire button to attack. I also felt like it added a bit more oomph to combat, which might indicate gameplay picks up as you unlock more weapons. Boosts, on the other hand, are like heads but don’t offer a cosmetic change. Boosts alter your stats like adding life steal or increasing defense, but again, stat percentage increases are pretty unimaginative.
For all my reproaches, Invasion of alien hominids still has the signature style of The Behemoth. The art is a fantastic, cartoon-like look that never gets old. It’s a style that I learned to love, having grown up playing Castle crashers and Battle Blocks Theater. Unfortunately, the gameplay doesn’t feel like it has the charm or passion that they usually put into their games. I feel like Invasion of alien hominids just needs Following. Maybe over time Invasion of alien hominids will become a game worthy of the name. You can also try the Invasion of alien hominids demo on Steam during PAX online.
Will you try the Invasion of alien hominids demo? What’s your favorite The Behemoth game? Let us know in the comments below!