The story also takes place in America for the first time, in the soon to be decimated city of New Detroit. There’s a tiny little bit of plot thrown in but all you need to know is that the Earth is under attack from aliens and their giant genetically engineered pests. The insects are just the first wave- soon you’ll have to contend with giant robots and spaceships as well.
Besides the thousands and thousands of ants you’ll shoot to pieces there are plenty of other flesh-hungry giant insects and arachnids to contend with- spiders, wasps, mechanical spiders, daddy long legs and praying mantises. Along with that there are lots of other things that will do their best till kill you like spaceships, dropships, robots, giant robots and even more giant robots to contend with. Every time you think you’ve faced the biggest enemy in the game another one comes along to destroy your expectations. You’ll face these creatures among a city littered with buildings and skyscrapers that will be taken down by your own fire, intentionally or not.
Fortunately you’ve got a large arsenal to play with, the usual mix of rifles, shotguns, rocket and grenade launchers, as well as some more experimental equipment. You’ll also run across tanks, mechs and turrets that provide invaluable help. As mentioned before there are now different classes, four in total. Trooper’s the typical soldier, Tactical allows you to deploy turrets and other equipment, Jet lets you zip around with a jetpack and Battle has all the heavy armor and weapons. As you play as each one you’ll gain experience and levels that let you unlock new weapons and abilities, which you’ll certainly need as you try harder difficulty levels.
Thankfully you can bring along a friend or five. The game supports two-player splitscreen, three players online, and six in a fight-till-you-die survival mode. The game’s a lot more fun with a team flying around, but the enemies do get quite tough the more people you add.
If there’s anything to complain about is that at times it doesn’t feel like there’s enough. The graphics have been improved greatly over the last game, but the number of enemies onscreen seems to have suffered as a result. The last game saw dozens upon dozens of enemies swarming you all at once, but this game never seems as crowded. There are also times when the (still very) large number of enemies on screen causes a bit of slowdown, but this might be considered a perk as it almost adds to the old-school feel of the game.
The campaign is fairly short too, the designers seeming to prefer longer, fewer missions, but you can’t say you won’t get your money’s worth here, especially considering that it’s a budget title and can be found for under 40 bucks. After finishing the campaign you can play a completely remixed version and even attempt either one at a few more difficulty levels- the hardest of which will certainly break down even the hardest of gamers. Plus there’s the co-op play, the different classes you can level up in order to get new weapons and abilities, and a survival mode with tons of levels to play with.
Of course, we’re talking about a game that consists solely of shooting, shooting, and shooting some more, hearing insects squeal and chitter in pain as your bullets and rockets rip them to pieces. Some might call this repetition, others- genius. The game is just fun as hell, a pure gameplay experience. It’s the type of game you’ll zone out and lose yourself in, shouting in amazement every time you down some giant robot and watch it topple over in flames, knocking over a couple of buildings in the process, and then realizing that there’s a horde of spiders jumping at you from behind. Forget looking for cover, going for headshots or worrying about tactics- just keep that trigger finger held down, and aim for the big glowing red parts if you can.
Is Insect Armageddon for everyone? Of course not. Anyone who refuses to play games without a storyline and relatable characters, people who don’t like having fun, entomologists- none of these will appreciate this game.
Fuck’m. The rest of us will keep reliving our Them! fantasies.