*gasp!* A videogame with ALIENS? Wow! - Review By Fragmaster
Do you enjoy games that challenge your mind? Games that test your intellectual abilities with clever logic puzzles that require clever deduction and strategic wizardry to master? Games featuring an engaging, deeply involved storyline, complete with tastefully done references to the works of great bards?
If you know how to feed yourself, then you have the level of intelligence necessary to play Incoming. The plot is the same recycled garbage used in tons of other games of this type and probably isn't worth repeating, but here it goes: In May 2008, UFO's launch an attack on the international moon base. The puny Earthlings have to evacuate. So the aliens keep on invading (hmm… invaders from space… what a concept!), establishing an alien base in the Arctic, and probably killing nearly a dozen seals in the process. Finally, the governments of the world join forces and begin work on a secret alien tracking base or something. The manual is kinda vague regarding the exact purpose of this facility, but I'm sure it's important. Anyway, everthing goes swell, until the aliens found out about it. Now it's your job to blow up all the aliens with a variety of different vehicles.
Incoming touts itself as "the ultimate multiple vehicle shoot 'em up!" While that's obviously an exaggeration, it's not far from the truth. There's a lot of stuff to shoot, from a variety of alien planes and tanks to military bases and alien installations. The environments are somewhat interactive, so if you shoot at a building or something, it'll probably blow up in a huge ball of flame, with the remains scattering over the surrounding landscape. There are a nice variety of vehicles to play with, including gun turrets, tanks, helicopters, and a variety of fighter jets and bombers.
Kill the aliens, blow up something, then kill some more. That's Incoming!
Incoming is split into three gameplay modes: campaign, arcade, and split screen (multiplayer). Campaign is the main gameplay mode, in which you attempt to complete a set of scenarios. There are six campaigns (Africa, The Arctic, North Atlantic, U.S.A, The Moon, and Alien World) with ten missions or phases in each. After you solve a scenario, you get a debriefing screen that tells you how well you did and awards you with points. Arcade mode is nice if you just want to jump into a vehicle and shoot up stuff, and there's the addition of powerups to make things a little more interesting.
Incoming isn't exactly spectacular looking. Its overall look seems a bit dated, but since this is a Rage Software game, the special effects are nifty. While these graphical flourishes don't really add to gameplay, massacring aliens never looked better. The interface isn't bad, but it does take a little while to figure out how to read the oddly shaped waypoint arrow. In-game HUD is busy, as there are like fourteen different pieces of information, but it's not bad.
The alien world apparently features a giant hoop for alien tigers to jump through.
This is also the only game I've seen that allows you to adjust RGB color values. What purpose does this serve? Well… have you ever said "Gee, I really like this videogame… but it sure would be better if the graphics were greener!"? Well, here's your chance to, um, live out your wildest fantasies. I guess.
The controls aren't that great, a side effect of being able to mess around with a bunch of vehicles. Auto-aiming is almost obscene, as you can destroy targets even when you can barely see what you're shooting at. While a little auto-aiming does make shooting down targets easier, Incoming's is a little too "good." In addition, the weapons themselves are kinda weak. They're mostly all puny lasers or boring rockets. Yawn.
The controls aren't very good, so the auto-aim is insane. Bah.
There are a bunch of graphical "issues," including many instances of blatant pop-in. There are also some clipping issues if you decide to ram yourself into the scenery. And since the other camera views are worthless, it's beyond me why two buttons are dedicated to switching between them.
Incoming doesn't have a tremendous amount of depth. The missions objectives are pretty mundane - blow up this, kill all these aliens, go here, etc. It gets old, and sometimes exactly what you need to do is unclear. The difficulty level isn't bad, although perhaps a little bit on the easy side.
Multiplayer = Boring!
Multiplayer split screen mode is pretty lame. The already shoddy controls are made worse by your small field of view. You would think that Rage would have used a horizontal instead of a vertical split screen. Oh well. You can play in either deathmatch or co-op modes, but neither are worth your time.
Audiowise, Incoming is a mixed bag. There's some really bad sounds, like the gun turret that sounds like a popcorn popper. Most of the music is OK, but none of the tracks get you into that "I wanna blow #*($#@ up" feeling.
The Final Word
Eh, Incoming may be worth a rental… but unless you're really hard up for another DC shoot 'em up, pass this up. Incoming lacks personality, it's rather simple, and is only slightly better than mediocre. There are some nice ideas and more variety than you'd expect from a shooter, but Incoming just doesn't have what it takes to be a great game.
Highs: Lots of stuff to blow up, variety in vehicles, OK graphics.
Lows: Simple, clunky controls, bad auto-aim and multiplayer.
Other: 1-2 players, VMU Compatible, Jump Pack Compatible.
(out of a possible 10)
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