(XBLA) 0 Day Attack on Earth
Another day, another invasion for the ole earth, huh?
Posted 3 years ago By - Zach R.
I’ll admit it. It’s been a while since I’ve been behind the wheel(?) of a fighter jet and fended off an alien invasion. For a while there I was starting to wonder if aliens had found a better place to invade. Well, thanks to Gulti and Square Enix, Earth has once again become a hotbead of alien-invasion activity, with their newest XBLA shooter, 0 Day Attack on Earth. A word of warning, however: if you’re going to suit up for this war, you’re better bring some friends with you.
0 Day’s basic premise is the age-old story of an alien invasion on earth. Your job is to take out the invasion, either single-handedly, or with up to three friends. There’s no real story provided here, you’re simply thrust into the business end of a fighter jet and asked to save the world. Being that the game is a dual-stick shooter, having little to no set-up isn’t much of a surprise, but it does take a bit away from the game in the personality department.
The gameplay is about what you’d expect from a dual-stick shooter; if you’ve played any of the countless others out there, this one holds no surprises. Essentially, you choose a vehicle, start the level and tear apart the invading forces by pushing the right stick in the direction you want to shoot. It’s gameplay in its simplest form.
At least until you start playing, that is. While playing single player, you take on the role of the lead fighter in a group of four and it’s down to you and three AI controlled pilots to eliminate Earth’s newest threat. That’s easier said than done, however, as often the AI simply flies in circles around the map, occassionally shooting down the odd threat and generally being as useless as possible. Being that the goal of each level is to take down the large "mothership" aliens, this can be more than a little annoying. These large crafts are a bugger to take down solo and with the AI not overly keen on assisting you in any real capacity, frustration sets in pretty fast.
So friendly AI is terrible, but what about the not-so-friendly AI? The larger ships, aka your key to level completion, are generally easy enough to cope with. It’s the smaller, faster and uber-aggressive mini-ships that will likely cause you the most problems. While most of the smaller enemies can be dispatched with by a few shots to the cockpit, there are some that have more health, and are able to sneak up on you thanks to the abundance of enemies that clog the screen. In truth, it’s the little ones that are the most dangerous, as there are some that will latch on to your ship and drain your health if you don’t see them quick enough. If that happens, you’ll need to fly into friendly fire to get those suckers off you, and if I haven’t made it abundantly clear enough already, getting the AI to assist is an exercise in futility.
0 Day hasn’t left you without a bail out, however. If you find the levels are getting too clogged, you have three A-bombs that will clear the screen of most small enemies with a simple tap of the RB button. As each level is timed, this will come in handy when you find yourself in dire need of a clear path. However, if you’re under the impression these bombs will significanlty lower the health of the bigger guys out there, think again. They’re seemingly invincible when it comes to these bombs. There’s really no other option for the bigger baddy’s out there than to chip away at their health with underpowered guns and a couple of ineffectual guided missiles.
So, solo play is a bust, but the game has multiplayer, right? Yes, there is the option to play the game in co-op or versus modes. Co-op is ultimately the better of the two, as it’s essentially the solo game with competent and responsive accompaniment (depending on your friends, anyway). The gameplay changes dramatically when all four players are actually helping out and not just flying around aimlessly. Versus is standard capture the flag, protect the control point fare. Neither is executed poorly, but there’s nothing to set these apart from the vast number of games already employing said modes.
The multiplayer also has one critical problem: there’s no one to play it with. Three days of random attempts to hook up with someone online made it crystal clear that unless you have a friend who has purchased the game too, you’ll be resigned to playing solo with the brain dead AI. (Eventually, I had to bribe someone on my friends list with a code in order to test the modes out).
Graphics & Sound
One thing Gulti did right with 0 Day is the mapping system. Using satellite images of New York, Paris and Tokyo, the map system is pretty darn neat. Unfortunately, you can’t interact with the city, so it’s merely a pretty background that serves no ultimate purpose other than to remind you of where you are in the world.
The aliens themselves are decent looking, but the onscreen action becomes too fast and furious to really admire any intricacies that may have gone into the character designs.
Audio-wise, the game is absolutely abysmal. Constant pilot chatter and unremarkable music do nothing to enhance the experience and will likely have most reaching for the remote to mute the sound, as the constant droning of the pilots can be slightly maddening if you listen to it for too long.
At the current price point of 1200 MSP’s, 0 Day Attack on Earth is a bit too expensive to recommend to anyone who’s not a hardcore fan of dual stick shooting goodness. To be honest, even the hardcore dual stick fans will likely be put off by the frustrating AI, dead online community and lack of innovation.
Gulti know how to design a fast and exciting shooter, that’s clear. However, the flaws here tend to outshine any glimmer of greatness 0 Day Attack on Earth may have had.
+ Background mapping that uses satellite images of real cities is pretty neat.
+ Decent number of unlockable ships.
- Friendly AI is completely void of the I.
- Audio is annoying. Music is overpowered by incessant chatter from pilots.
- Online is completely dead.
- Expensive considering its faults.
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Release Date : 2009/12/23
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Square Enix
Developer : Square Enix
Category : Shoot’Em’Up
ESRB : E10+
7.0 / 10
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