There is no story to speak of. You are – by all accounts – a normal human stuck in the middle of an alien invasion. Your only goal? Survive.
You begin each level armed with only a pistol, hardly effective against large groups of aliens. In order to survive you must upgrade constantly; to do this you must spend currency earned with each alien kill and yellow cash cube found hidden in explosive crates and barrels scattered throughout each level. At any time during your playthrough you can bring up a weapon wheel which will allow you to purchase base versions of six weapons: Pistol, Shotgun, Machine gun, Plasma gun, Rocket Launcher, and Laser gun. This wheel also allows you to swap between your purchased weapons on the fly.
Shotguns are great against large groups when cornered or against enemies able to dodge regular fire, while the machine gun is great at taking out multiple enemies from a long range. The plasma gun, when fully upgraded, spouts fire in three different directions and is capable of easily clearing out entire rooms in mere seconds.
Each weapon can be upgraded a total of three times, with each upgrade growing increasingly more expensive. Most players will not be able to upgrade more than one weapon fully per level without grinding.
Unfortunately there’s a catch. With each level you are stripped of your upgraded arsenal and forced to begin again with only a pistol. I understand this logic, as otherwise the game would quickly become too easy as most players by the end would have fully upgraded all weapons. Still, it is hard to start a new level with a simple pistol after knowing the damage a fully upgraded weapon can unleash.
There are two modes available: Campaign and Survival. Campaign mode features 6 levels while Survival mode features 12 arenas. Each mode is available to play on Easy, Medium, Hard, or Insane with up to four players. A tutorial mode does exist, but the basics of the game as so simple that most players may never take advantage of the training.
One analog stick controls movement, while the other controls the direction you aim in. Holding in the right trigger fires. Aside from the upgrades mentioned earlier, various special abilities can be found littered throughout each level including shields, mines, a turret gun, and beams of light which surround you. Pressing the left trigger allows you a small burst of speed to escape particularly hairy situations, while pressing a single button can either use a medkit or one of your special abilities. Some pick ups give you a temporary weapon boost, although it is short lived. After you have upgraded your weapon fully these upgrades can teeter on the edge of being unwelcome as it will take over as your primary weapon for a short while.
Thankfully, all weapons have unlimited ammo so you do not need to think about reloading or finding more ammunition during the rather intense fire fights. A helpful instant upgrade ability exists with the push of a button which will upgrade your current weapon if you are holding enough funds. This helps when too overwhelmed with enemies to bring up the weapon wheel.
While you can upgrade your weapons, you can never upgrade your character. You begin with 4 health bars, each hit removes one, while each medkit used replaces one. You cannot store more than one medkit at a time so plan accordingly before jumping into new areas.
Each level in the campaign is broken down into four areas with similar objectives. The first three areas involve the player having to reach a safehouse, while the last area has the player destroying a giant alien egg while being ambushed by nonstop hordes of enemies. The first parts of each section have various areas where you must break through walls or activate terminals and then survive an ambush while fire is extinguished, gates are opened, etc. These sections and the alien egg ambushes serve as the best parts of It Came From Space… and help break up the monotony that sometimes stems from running through similar looking dark corridors.
Speaking of dark – It Came From Space… is extremely dark. The game boasts a rather monochrome color scale with only your flashlight, dimly lit hallways, the alien’s eyes and mouths, and flickers from your weapons providing a lighting source. Because of this enemies are sometimes hard to see; especially when their back is turned and their glowing eyes are not visible.
Overall, It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains is an enjoyable, yet short shooter, boasting quite a bit of replayability for those who enjoy co-op and playing on progressively higher difficulty levels. This is the perfect game to play with a few friends on a Friday night.
It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains is available now on Xbox One, Ps4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows. Thanks to Triangle Studios and All In! Games for providing Fan Fest News with a review code.
Richard Allen is a freelance writer and contributing editor for various publications. When he’s not writing about video games on FanFest.com you can find him on Broadway World or in Graffiti Magazine. He can be contacted via email at [email protected] or [email protected] You can visit his website at facebook.com/richardallenwrites