Release Date: May 22nd, 2012
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3, Wii
Rated: T for Teen
They are the best kept secret in the universe. They are considered the first, last and only line of defense against the extra-terrestrial villains living among us. Their compound is well kept and hidden; working in secret and existing in shadows. They, are the Men in Black.
Men in Black :Alien Crisis is developed by Funlabs, a company mostly known for their Cabela titles. While they have worked a few shooters in the past, none have been quite like this. Which makes you wonder, as one would any video game based on an upcoming theatrical film, can it evenly, or outshine the movie itself?
The story begins somewhat similar to Will Smith’s intro into the MIB series. You are art thief, Peter Delacoeur, planning a nice getaway from a recent job when all goes south and you suddenly find yourself in an other-worldly battle as henchmen planning to take you down are wiped out by extra-terrestrial creatures.
You get a fair share of human to alien combat, with an Adorian Elite Guard even, as it becomes your only way to survive. After experiencing a battle between life on the other side, you’re approached by a man in a black suit named Frank, better known as Agent F.
The game sounds fun, especially considering what it is based on, but there are a few things that make it feel like less of a modern shooter and more like a throwback arcade game. For example, when taking more damage than you can withstand, you earn health by killing alien scum and shooting health icons as they appear onscreen, making Men in Black: Alien Crisis feel a bit more like Time Crisis. As you move from one point to another with limitations, you slowly feel the game begin to lose its credibility.
Audio throughout Men in Black was actually quite pleasing. Dialogue between Peter and other characters plays smoothly. The sad part is the audio is better than the character animations.
Graphically, Alien Crisis is not up to par for the consoles it’s been prepped for. It doesn’t scream horrible as for what it is, graphics are decent.
Controls are not too complicated. Left bumpers allows quick cover and aim with the left analogue while navigating with the right analogue. One downside, however, is the lack of being able to adjust your sensitivity to aiming. The level is set to default, however you do have the opportunity of using the “Top Shot Elite,” giving you more of a House of the Dead / Time Crisis feel.
Another reminder of it’s similarities to games like Time Crisis, is how Alien Crisis drags you along automatically through the chapters. During action scenes, you can laterally move your way behind objects, but never take “full” control. So, as soon as a grenade is landing in your direction, there’s no backing off; just left or right.
This does change during investigations, however, as you are allowed to free roam certain area to locate clues and talk to other witnesses.
When taking on certain bosses, the cutscenes doesn’t fit well with your gameplay. When you’re in a certain area taking on the boss, a cutscene appears, displaying the enemy’s new line of attack. Though in the scene you dodge attacks, you continue where you originally left off during the fight.
Outside of the story mode there are two additional modes you can choose from. The first mode is called V.R. Challenges. It’s simply run and gun against the clock. As you progress in story mode and unlock new weapons those weapons automatically become available for the V.R. Challenges.
You can also play with a friend through co-op, though it is local only as Men In Black:Alien Crisis, with the exception of leader boards, has no online availability. However if you feel the need to challenge a friend, you can play Hotseat, which allows you take turns in a score based challenge.
All in all, Men in Black: Alien Crisis isn’t horrible, it just unfortunately lack in some areas of entertainment and replay value. Some gamers may enjoy it, maybe even a bit more with the Top Shot Elite, but not enough to say it’s worth buying.
Overall Rating: 2.5/5