Battle: Los Angeles – Review

Xbox Live Arcade Title
Release Date: Out Now.
Price: 800MSP
Singleplayer: Yes
Split-screen: No
Co-op: No
Multiplayer: No.

It’s time for another movie tie-in, but this one is slightly different as its been released onto Xbox Live Arcade for the mere sum of 800MSP instead of getting a full retail release like most do. However, Battle: Lost Angeles still fails prey to the film tie-in curse.

The game’s story follows the film’s plot closely, which means there really isn’t a plot. Aliens invade and it’s up to you and your tough, and rather generic, marines to fight them back and save the day. Hoorah.
The characters are dull as planks, and while the film makes some attempt to flesh them out with backstories the game doesn’t even bother with that, instead it seems to assume that you’ve watched the movie and thereby know who the hell these people are. Voice acting isn’t going to save them either as lines are delivered woodenly, and they have an echo to them that sounds exactly like they were filmed in a small booth.

The gameplay takes the form of an FPS, and in today’s market you’ve got to be pretty damn special to stand out. While Battle: Lost Angeles does get some of the basics right, it still feels rather clunky compared to other FPS titles. While weapons feel chunky enough to fire and iron-sights work well enough, you’ve only get access to three different weapons -M16, Rocket Launcher and Sniper Rifle – and only one type of enemy to really fire them against, not counting the flying drones you get to fight a few times.
Outside of the gunfights are your character moves in a rather clunky manner with a very short sprint and the slowest ladder climbing speed since a dying sloth attempted it. You’re a marine for crying out load, get up the damn thing.

You’ll occasionally be asked to flank the enemy to take out a moving heavy machine gun, blow up a flying drone or man a machine gun, but variety isn’t exactly rampant here.

However, variety isn’t really required when you can complete the game on Normal difficulty in around one and a half hours – maybe two hours at most. While the 800MSP is pretty cheap it’s hard to count such a short play-time as value for money, and with no multiplayer or co-op to back it up there’s nothing that’ll keep you coming back to play.

A saving grace comes in the form of graphics. The ruined setting of Los Angeles looks pretty good for an Arcade game with plenty of detail. It really does look like it’s been hit hard.
The downside is the marines are stiff in their movements, especially when climbing ladders.
The game’s cut-scenes are told through some rather daft comic book-esque sequences, which are occasionally animated. They don’t look that great on the eyes, and they get worse when the animation kicks in on some of the scenes. Things only get worse when they add the voice acting to the scenes.

Battle: Los Angeles somehow hit the “mediocre at best” branch when it fell out of the tree. The shooting is competent enough in places, but lacks the fluidity and smoothness that is now required to come anywhere near the top of the pile. It’s enjoyable in a mindless way and the voice acting will make you smile, though not in a good way.
Even for 800MSP it’s hard to justify the short campaign though.

The Good:
+ Grenades are fun.
+ “quick Marines, under this pipe! MOVE MOVE MOVE” voice acting and dialogue so bad it makes you laugh.

The Bad:
– It’s how short!?
– Plod, shoot, plod, shoot.
– Feels clunky.

The Scores:

Graphics. 7
Actual gameplay graphics look pretty good, but animations look stiff and cutscenes don’t look too great either.

Sound: 5
No real music to speak of and terrible voice acting. The background sounds of warfare are semi-decent, and guns sound good eno

Story: 4
Aliens. Kill. The story isn’t so much bad as practically non-existent.

Gameplay: 6
A bare-bones competent shooter, but only just.

Lifespan: 5
Even for the low price of 800MSP this is a short game.

Overall: 5.5
Only if you’re having FPS withdrawals should you consider picking this up, and even then the trial version is almost as long as the full game.

Categories: Reviews

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