Space Invaders: Invasion Day Impressions
We visit Sammy's ECTS booth to check out the company's upcoming Space Invaders remake for the PlayStation 2.
On a recent visit to Sammy Europe's booth at ECTS, we were shown a version of Space Invaders: Invasion Day, which is scheduled for release in Europe next week. Despite its radically different appearance, the game remains true to its roots and adds a number of interesting new features to the equation.
Our demonstration of Invasion Day kicked off with a look at the game's lengthy intro sequence, which, like those in the Tekken games, introduced us to each of the three playable characters by showing the ways in which their lives were affected when the invasion commenced and the aliens caused chaos and destruction in the city. Parts of the intro movie were reminiscent of Independence Day, while the aliens themselves bore more than a passing resemblance to those in Starship Troopers.
Despite having the appearance of a standard third-person action game, the gameplay in Invasion Day is actually a lot like that in the original Space Invaders arcade game. The chosen character strafes from left to right along the bottom of the screen as the enemies attack from above, objects such as oil drums provide cover to hide behind, and although the enemies' movements are far less predictable than those in the original game, they're far from natural and definitely appear to adhere to patterns. Fans of the original Space Invaders will also be pleased to hear that, on more than one occasion, we spotted a flying saucer moving across the top of the screen.
The enemies in the game come in numerous different shapes and sizes, and while most of the enemies in the early levels require only a single shot to kill, the aliens get bigger and tougher as you progress. Killing certain enemies or blowing up destructible objects will reveal weapon power-ups that are useful for taking on larger enemies, but another neat feature of the game is that every shot you take that hits an enemy makes your next shot a little bit more powerful until you miss or are hit yourself. A counter in the top left of the screen keeps track of your combo score, and if you're able to control your trigger finger and make sure that every shot counts, it's possible to power up your standard weapon quite significantly.
If aliens do successfully make it to the bottom the screen and threaten your safety without the need for projectiles, it's actually possible to perform a damaging roll maneuver. The move is primarily used for evading enemy fire, but it also proves very effective when hand-to-hand combat becomes necessary.
Space Invaders: Invasion Day is currently scheduled for release in Europe next week, but no North American release date has been confirmed at this time. For more information, check out our previous coverage of the game.
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