When the sky darkens and the distant rumblings of mechanical thunder overwhelm the noise of cars, screams, and fleeing pedestrians, instinct tells us to seek refuge, fight, or go home. But what if there’s no escape? Nowhere truly safe? And the military we have naturally relied on for safety and protection is no longer present? What do we do then?
Alien invasion games have always toyed with these fears, plunging gamers into a dizzying no man’s land. Filled with the dread of science fiction disasters, Arrival: Zero Earth from indie developer Jounitous Game Studios uses the immediate threat of a War of the Worlds apocalypse to echo with a gasping frenzy the feelings of vulnerability that highlights our fears of the unknown and the unexpected.
Arrival: Zero Earth takes place in the snow-filled world of Finland during the 1990s. The game adopts the formula of viewing the invasion through the eyes of the townsfolks assembled to fight off the invasion. Your army is comprised of different unit types and is well-armed to take on the mightiest alien armada. The simple movement of the WASD keys or controller moves your unit to where you need them to go and despite the ominous-looking Tri-Pod invaders, your fearless men and women never once look terrified at the threats looming from above.
Arrival: Zero Earth from indie developer Jounitous Game Studios uses the immediate threat of a War of the Worlds apocalypse to echo with a gasping frenzy the feelings of vulnerability that highlights our fears of the unknown and the unexpected.
The Tripod-looking aliens are faithfully rendered to the original movie which begins to blast away at your army with their lethal death rays. Firefights become wonderful moments filled with colorful explosions, smoke, and flying debris. But they also come to an end rather quickly; and without a way to move and shoot at the same time, outcomes generally rely on which side has the most stamina and the better weapons.
I’m hoping the developers flesh out the gameplay balance a bit more and even add a Hero-type personality to the mix so players can feel more vested in their army and to its cause without it feeling monotonous because as it is now, you’re just leading a bunch of faceless sprites into the fight.
Overall, I enjoyed the demo and look forward to the final release. Arrival: Zero Earth has enough interesting moments and unique gameplay elements to make it successful. I’ll be following this one closely.