Review by sknmak

""The Conspiracy is no longer a theory" Area 51 is worth the purchase"

"The Conspiracy is no longer a theory". Area 51 proves that aliens do exist! First of all, this is a First Person Shooter and a very good one at that. I'm not gonna get deep into the storyline, but you and your team has to investigate another missing team. Team Delta was the initial Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Teams sent by the military. Now your team, Hazmat team bravo, must find the missing team and try to discover the source of the deadly virus. This is when you start the game and follow the story of Ethan Cole. Ethan Cole is on the Bravo HazMat Team and he is a soldier. Your team consist of 3 other soldiers: Jack McCan, Mitch "Crispy" Chrisman, and the leader of the team, Anthony Ramirez. Now to the important aspects of the game. The game has beautiful graphics and beautiful FMV's. The game resolution can be played on a HDTV at 480p. The gameplay is really good. You (the reader) will be happy to know that the gameplay is very reminiscent of Perfect Dark (N64) and Goldeneye 007 (N64). Of course the gameplay is better, because the gaming technology has upgraded and is faster than the N64 processors.

The controls are great so you can enjoy to game to the max. Everything in the game is fine tuned. The enemies AI will give you a good challenge on Normal and Hard mode. The enemies all look great, the lighting effects and shadows are cool too. The game has a great deal of realism, thanks to the graphics and animations. The voice acting is actually good in this game. As you play through early parts of the game, you can feel the intensity from the good voice acting. You will reach checkpoints throughout the missions/levels in the game, and there is a autosave feature. The enemies look amazing and will try their best to kil you. Some enemies will also melee attack you if you get to close to them. Other types of mutated enemies have greater abilities and doesn't solely depend on weapons to protect themselves. These enemies have incredible strength and can crack and shatter bones in a matter of seconds. They can also use various guns to kill you, but remember they don't have to use weapons to chase after you, and kill you! There are plenty of different types of enemies in the game to keep you occupied for a long time.

The weapons in the game are great. There are 6 weapons in the game, including 2 alien weapons and 2 different types of grenades (alien based grenades and human made frag grenades). Ethen can also dual-wield in the game, making him deadly to enemies. The game automatically lets Ethan dual-weild when he finds a weapon that he already has. Once the second weapon has a empty clip, Ethan will descard the weapon and use his weapon So although you can dual weild in the game, you can't dual-weild the entire game. You will have to find weapons similar to yours. I liked the realistic dual-weilding Midway put in the game. All of the weapons looks cool. There's also a device that Ethan wears on his arm to scan certain items (and even the air and nitrogen), that will will unlock features and information about the game storyline and extra's. This device is very reminiscent of Metroid Prime's scanning feature, except you unlock extras etc. Now the controls are superb and very responsive. I've had to glitches and no problems out of the controller. I must admit that the preferences for the controls are very vague, but you can customize some important things, such as: Invert Y Axis, horizontal sensitivity and verticle sensitivity and other controls. You can tell Midway really tried hard on Area 51. Area 51 supports 2-4 players on multiplayer and up to 16 players on Xbox Live.

The storyline is pretty good, it'll keep you occupied for awhile. The storyline goes from good, to great, to bizarre, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. In this type of game, it's a good thing. The game starts off really good, as far as the action goes and does not over do repetitive things, such as find a key to unlock a door, boss battle, repeat. This game has you doing a ton of things, but you basically are trying to find your way out alive. Through twists and turns in the events throughout game, you will eventually be able to use Alien enhanced physical abilities. You will go through a few biological mutations. You can this mutation at will, but it is limited. You will have a Mutagen bar, when this bar is empty you can not use your biological mutations. When the bar is filled and you use your bio mutations, the mutagen slowly decreases according to your actions. Mutagen can be obtained by either taking "Mutagen" needles (shots), or using your parasite abilities, which feeds off of enemies health while using your biologiacal mutation abilities. Ethan strength also enhances while using his bio mutations, which infilcts critical melee attacks on enemies. Ethan view also changes while using the bio mutation, making enemies easy targets by analyzing their body heat. There is one downfall, while using the nio mutation, Ethan becomes unstable and is not able to use his "human" weapons, causing him to rely on his bio abilities (parasites etc.) and melee attacks. Area 51 is a hit and miss title and really deserves a purchase from your local gaming retailer.
Area 51 receives a 7 out 10

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics are superb. 2005 video games brought some amazing graphics, and Area 51 proves just that. Even nowadays the game is beautiful. There is minor to no noticeable lag. Just about all of the textures in the game are well developed. The lighting effects are greatly done which makes the game feel more realistic. The enemies all look great and scary at times. The character models all looks great, as well as the textures on the weapons. If you are lucky enough to play the game on a HDTV in 480p (Xbox version) then you will be very, very, very pleased with the graphics! The blood and everything is realisitc, I couldn't believe my eyes during some of the game and FMV's.

Controls: 9/10
The controls are really good and very responsive. There is basically no lag in the controls at all and no annoying glitches. The control scheme is good and basic things can be customized in the option menu to help gamers feel even more comfortable. Anyone can create a user name and set their control preferences, so there will be no confusion for gamers in the control category. This function isn't new to the FPS genre, but atleast Midway cared enough to include it. There's not really much to ssay about the controls other than they are great and top-notch in Area 51.

Gameplay: 8.3/10
This part was hard to rate, since a lot of things goes along with gameplay. The game starts off fantastic and gets better and better by the minute. The missions/levels all make sense and follows the storyline, so you don't have to worry about any BS mission in this game. The enemies AI will give you a great challenge, which makes the gameplay more exciting. Enemies will hide, ambush you, throw grenades and basically think as if they were a human player. Some enemies have incredible strength and can attack you and move very quickly. You are able to use alien abilities which is pretty fun, but the game wasn't heavily built around this feature. It is a good ability to have, because you can summon parasites and drain enemies health to fill your health bar up. The game can get repetitive at times, like game such as Halo. Meaning on some of the missions, you will have to fight enemies over and over and over to accomplish basic checkpoints, like finding away to unlock a door or a gate. Although you will fight spawns of enemies, the game will give you a good run for your money. Your heart will be pumping through the great action. Just give the game a chance and I think you will like it a lot.

Fun Factor: 8/10
The game is really addictive once you get into the storyline, hell the game is really addictive from the very first level. Ethan Cole seems like your average soldier which makes the game feel realistic. The surrounding characters will give you a great feel of realism from the great voice acting and animations in the game. There are secrets to be unlocked through the game. The music fits the game perfectly. Area 51 can also be scary at times, thanks to certain "types" of enemies and dark areas in the game. This game supports Xbox Live and enhances the mulitplayer play, because you can instantly search for a game, host a game, or find friends and play. The graphics are great for multiplayer games as well. This game should be really cheap now, so go out a buy it, trust me it's worth it.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/29/07

Game Release: Area 51 (US, 04/25/05)

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