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Alien Front Online

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Released: 2001

Genre: Shoot-'em-up

Format reviewed: Dreamcast

Publisher: Sega

Developer: WOW Entertainment

Let’s face it, the fast-paced world of first-person shooters just isn’t for everyone. Quite aside from those like myself who suffer motion sickness, there are people out there who find the whole experience overwhelming and don’t have the reactions for it all.

That’s where a game like Alien Front Online comes in really handy. It’s not tremendously different from any other team deathmatch game in its operation, but when the game pits tanks vs weird alien tanks, you’re getting a slow trundle rather than speedy stuff. It’s a pretty fun arcade conversion, too – you can take the side of the humans or aliens in the battle for Earth, and each has a selection of different tanks for you to command. Personally, we tend to pick the aliens more often simply because their warped taste in techno makes for a better soundtrack than the patriotic army music the humans get. Combat arenas are suitably responsive to carnage, with buildings collapsing, fleshy alien structures recoiling and dying, and lots of footsoldiers that get squashed beneath the tracks of your tank.

There’s a substantial single-player Tactics mode added to the main arcade game, but the meat of the fun here was to be found with online multiplayer. The game even came with a microphone for you to communicate with your fellow players, which was a huge novelty 15 years ago. Of course, this has long since been disabled, but with fans making great progress in reviving online Dreamcast games, this could be an amazing blast to return to in the near future.