Aliens: Fireteam - Left 3 Dead with Xenos

I played this one, and found it kinda meh, but also open the possibility to one day play one game like Dying Light but with Xenos. A big area with quests, weapons crafting, and lots of xenos.

What make this game kinda meh is the combat with the xenos is what it is, feels like monsters in a videogame, are has eventfull has killing other orc. The maps themselves too, dungeons on a RPG, nothing much happens on the levels other than doors opening and elevators. Theres no element in the game that make you say “wow”. Production values are simply okay. If it where a day of the week, this game would be a tuestday.

It is a rather simple game, but on higher difficulty levels it becomes quite challenging. And the lack of voice or chat starts to be a bigger deal.

I think it is fun, but my main criticisms would be:

  • Absolutely no randomization of levels. It would make the game much more interesting if you did not always progress through exactly the same layout with exactly the same encounter pacing.

  • The color palette is rather monochromatic. I get they are going for authenticity within the game universe, but…that is a lot of dark grey.

  • Challenge cards are seemingly designed at random in terms of how much more difficult/easy they make a level versus the reward adjustment.

And, I would argue, a different and better game. Sadly, there’s no real incentive to try harder difficulty levels, much less any indication that you’re playing a compromised version of the game on the lower difficulty level. :(

Don’t random spawns break this up somewhat? Or are you finding that they don’t add enough? I don’t mind that it’s a series of encounters that you’ll learn and optimize, with room for occasional mishaps as you move from set piece to set piece.

But, yes, something like a Left 4 Dead or Back 4 Blood AI director would have been a real boon to this game and probably a compelling bullet point.

The Challenge Cards are so cool…and so haphazardly integrated. If only they had managed to rig up a better progression system that encouraged players to experiment with the Challenge Cards, Aliens: Fireteam Elite would have reached a whole new level.

@Jinsai, are you still unlocking stuff? Or have you exhausted all the progression? With all the classes maxxed out, I feel pretty close to that point myself. Whatever weapons or attachments I have left to discover don’t feel like much of a hook.

-Tom

@tomchick Yes, I am still unlocking things (I guess, the game doesn’t make it real clear what’s left!). I have all the classes (I think?) up, and enough of the guns to get the point.

Played a few rounds on Extreme, which is exciting when you are on a good team and incredibly frustrating when you aren’t.

The higher difficulty levels are really how the game should be played.

One issue is that some of the classes require sophistication and experience on the entire team’s part to work – if you’re playing a Doc, for example, everyone else has to play differently than they normally would.

Also wish people would read more carefully about what happens on higher difficulty levels – n00bs with flamethrowers are far more dangerous than praetorians!

I don’t mind that the game is a little simple and grindy, lacking the AI “directors” of L4D or B4B. But as you note, Tom, it would be much more engaging with a little more of that chaos or spice.

I am also not terribly excited about the whole matchmaking system. I set up a run, might even play a 100% benefit card (2x health, for example), and then find that 10 seconds after we load, the team has bailed. Do I waste the run trying and certainly failing with Bots? Or just quit and burn a perfectly good card?

Started playing this a couple of weeks ago and so far my friends and I have been loving it. I’m surprised to hear folk saying it’s not polished. Maybe I haven’t been playing enough AAA games or need to stop with the ‘rough around the edges’ indies! ;) Or… maybe it’s just had some polish since release.

Yeah, we’ve never played below Intense (the ‘intended experience’) because we didn’t want the game to feel like bubblegum and, so far, having just wrapped up the first chapter (first three missions), it’s been seriously tough but lots of fun trying to co-ordinate positioning, abilities, moving together, falling back to bottlenecks, holding angles and barking at each other. We’ve been slaughtered several times on each mission but the best thing is that you don’t get much for failing so you can’t just keep grinding away at that difficulty curve; you have to get better so you can succeed and earn credits, gear and upgrades that way. It makes the rewards all the sweeter.

We started the game at combat rating 200 or something and Intense made the first few missions 500, so we were well under. I hope our power curve doesn’t catch it up too much though. I know those big drones are getting easier to take down now…

Fireteam has certainly grabbed us more than Back 4 Blood did and I particularly like how the game makes a big deal of the ‘challenge cards’. When one of those gets deployed you get this big musical swell that says ‘Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen.’ It feels weighty and tense. Miraculously, both times we’ve used one, we’ve succeeded too, despite getting hammered every previous time!

I love how every mission finish has been an honest-to-god fight for survival though. Such a thrill and makes us want to dip our toes into the next mission straight away.

The arsenal is actually really exciting to toy around with and unlock too. I got a flamethrower last night and my buddies were all ‘whoa!’–abandoning the Smartgun was not what I expected to do so quickly. I think the class synergies, proximity buffs, abilities, consumables, attachments and Tetris-style cores and modifiers system are really interesting too. Keen to know how they all develop and overlap with each other.

The second chapter is a cool new biome so that’s also exciting!

It is. I will say though, even compared to AvP 1999, which sampled the movies, it’s not quite got the weight or impact of the original sounds to me. That said, I’ve grown accustomed to it now and I actually think the soundscape is pretty damn good with the suitably Horner-esque music and certain audio cues for the prowlers, bursters and drones etc. My friends laugh at the musical flourish for headshots but I really like that too.

Totally this. As a demolisher, when I’m stood in the right spot next to an ammo crate with the Smartgun equipped, it’s just awesome to let rip. Even the pistols feel good.

Yeah, the escort AI on mission 3 was a bit dodgy at times!

This rhythm is something I’ve come to appreciate more and more. It’s great if you need to take a quick break of course, but knowing you’ve got a big fight at the press of a button allows you all to take a moment and prepare by exploring the environment, identifying bottlenecks, where to position yourselves, really digging into your class/gear/ability synergies and placing/timing all your deployables. Then there’s that exciting moment when you hit the ‘unpause’ button…

Oh that’s amazing. Playing co-op has denied me that sight!

Yeah, I’d love to see something like this as far as the level composition goes. I know there are a few bits where you can end up checking out different rooms/areas for objectives. Mixing the enemy spawns up even more would be great too, but we’ve found they’re just different enough as is to keep us on our toes.

Yeah, and I still say that the technician’s Magnum is one of the best guns in the entire arsenal.

So we finished this last night and I can’t wait to go back in with different classes and different gear on harder difficulties. The challenge cards are exciting and bonkers too. At one point we had a ‘Tactical Cam’ card that emulated the fuzz from Aliens on the marines’ video feeds and while we were all apprehensive at first, we thought it was super cool in-game. Unfortunately our friend lost his connection and couldn’t rejoin so we had to quit out and we lost the card :(

Our first playthrough was on Intense and I think that’s the absolute best way to play it. You’re less focused on the rhythm and ‘repetition’ of the game and more on simply staying alive and co-ordinating with your teammates. You also have to use your consumables and time your abilities and reloads. Honestly, I’m surprised how much we’ve all enjoyed it! A big victory for Game Pass and cross-play.

Some of the environments are tremendous, and I also enjoyed the enemy variety too, from your standard xenomorphs and Working Joe synths to Fifeld-like Prometheus humanoids and four-legged armoured tanks. It’s a really effective and considered slice of the Aliens world and I particularly like the structure or flow from Aliens metal bulkheads to Covenant exteriors to Prometheus interiors to Aliens hive.

I played as a demolisher the first time round so going to transition over to gunner. It’s going to be difficult hanging up the smartgun. My friends went technician and phalanx and are pivoting to demolisher (figure you need at least one of these badasses on your team) and doc. Going to try Extreme and Insane, see how those go. There’s also the other modes to try as well. Oh shit, I just remembered the recon as well… hmm.

This guy gets it!

If you’ve only been using the smartgun, don’t quit your demolisher just yet! The most bad-ass guns in this game are strictly for the demolisher, and you should definitely try more of them than just the smartgun. Basically, the demolishers get to have all the fun while the other classes support him. :)

-Tom

I did play with the flamer and loved it until we got to the synths then I needed that blind cover-fire from the smart gun. I later unlocked the grenade launcher and RPG but only got to try the RPG which for its brief outing felt underwhelming. I had my eyes on the mini-gun but just fell short of it before the final mission!

I’ve got a feeling that Extreme and Insane will whip us back to our old classes.

I will say though: the… Tempest v4(?) is a fantastic rifle with the right attachments on it.

So we started a new campaign on Extreme and… ho boy.

^^ I picked up the minigun for the demolisher and that thing’s a beast. Even with our badass marines we were still struggling to take the xenos down fast enough though. Damn. We’re well outside our comfort zones again now!

New stuff coming!

That’s exciting! My siblings and I just finished a co-op run of the main game a few weeks ago. This game doesn’t get enough credit.

This game is dead on PC gamepass, waited 15 minutes and zero joins.
Guess I am playing with droids. :P

The player base on this has been scattered to the four winds. I revisited it about a month ago with some friend who had it on Game Pass and were eager to explore the harder difficulties with me. But I couldn’t use my Steam install to join them, because there’s no way for Steam to play with the version Microsoft is selling. So I had to start a brand new character, which basically meant all the harder difficulty stuff would require hours of leveling. The whole confused mess made me not want to play anymore.

Which reminds me of a certain other cooperative shooter that effectively died this year. :(

I’m really bummed how this and Back 4 Blood were scuttled. Basically, really smart multiplayer designs kicked to the curb and left to die by inept multiplayer support.

-Tom

Sweet baby Jesus, the droids are bad, one kept tossing grenades at his own feet.

D:

Guess its back to Deep Rock Galactic for me.

Who knows maybe the new DLC will revive the AFE playerbase?

This is actually the case with DRG too. Had a bunch of friends on Game Pass play it then later another bunch wanted in on Steam. I bought it on both platforms (before I subbed to GP) and they’re both separate eco-systems which is annoying.

On Fireteam: we tried doing a campaign on Extreme with our fresh-out-of-Intense-fully-maxed-out marines and it felt absurdly difficult. I think we managed to do the first level and it was thrilling, screaming-into-the-headset tense stuff. Everything we play these games for! But the second level we never got past a certain corridor no matter what strategy we used. Standard xenos just ate bullets. We came to the conclusion that without certain classes, Extreme was nigh on impossible.

Our original Intense difficulty class combo was demo (me), tech (friend A) and phalanx (friend B). After banging our heads on Extreme we went into horde mode (Intense) to level some other classes up: gunner (me), tech (friend A) and demo (friend B). We once got to wave 20 and could comfortably get to 10. When we went back to the campaign on Extreme we still got our asses kicked, pal. We even brought two demos(!!) at one point (mine maxed out). We couldn’t work out whether it was the tech not bringing the firepower, the gunner and demo not being high level enough, us not being good enough or a combination of the above. It didn’t feel like a ‘git gud’ issue; it felt bonkers, like we were nowhere near powerful enough to tackle that difficulty. And there’s Insane above it!! We wished there were a collection of horde mode maps to play because we loved jumping into that mode but got tired of the one map. To have a whole game’s worth of areas but only one horde mode map seems crazy to me.

We’re all really looking forward to the new DLC though. Hopefully that will give us the levelling leg-up we need.

I play both on Game Pass and have had no problems finding games lately, though I am not yet playing on the hardest difficulties and that might be the difference.

Game Pass being it’s own closed silo is idiotic beyond belief.

think that’s up to each dev/publisher. several games are full cross. seems silly the ones that are not though.

@tomchick look LOOK!!!

Crossplay on July 26th.