Theseus Return of the Hero Review - A fun yet mediocre spin-off
Sometimes you need to just be able to shut off and play something that is utterly mindless. I love a good old fashioned over the top action shooter from time to time. There is no better developer for mindless action, than Sigma-Team. So, I decided to try out their free spin-off to the legendary Alien Shooter, Theseus Return of the Hero.
Theseus Return of the Hero is an isometric shooter developed and published by Sigma-Team and is a spin-off of the Alien Shooter series. Theseus released September 26th, 2005. While Theseus is a good old fashioned over the top action game, like Alien Shooter, it does very little different. It feels the game was developed to keep the fans happy while waiting for Alien Shooter 2 along with being a marketing tool.
Who is Theseus and why is he a hero?
That is very much the thought that goes through my mind as I play this game. While Alien Shooter gave some form of bare bone storyline, Theseus, gives you absolutely nothing. You are simply thrown into the game with no idea of the events that led up to this or who Theseus is.
All you are given is his name and that he is some sort of hero.
I am in no way fussy about an over the top action game having a deep plot or not. It's not quite enough to just give the player a character with a name and title however, you should at least give players some insight into who they are playing as. Sigma-Team does not do this at all.
Basically, what we get is a game with a character that has no backstory, no personality, and absolutely no plot what so ever, apart from killing aliens. It is quite a disappointment. With previous titles, the developer at least puts some effort into a plot.
Kill tons of aliens while saving survivors
While the core gameplay to Theseus stays the same as Alien Shooter; you also save survivors that are scattered around the map. This new objective is only optional, but completing it grants you extra money at the end of the stage.
Aside from that, it is still mindless over the top action involving killing tons of aliens. There are a total of ten levels to complete, each with their own objectives. At the beginning of each stage, you get instructions of your objectives and the ability to buy new equipment and upgrades.
You obtain money from secrets, destroying objects, completing a level and it is sometimes dropped by enemies. Enemies also drop power-ups, health, ammunition pickups, and armor. Certain levels will also contain turrets that help deal with large groups of aliens; one comes in the fashion of a grenade launcher and the other a tank cannon.
While killing an army of aliens is always fun, it is still repetitive as ever. The turrets are good fun and the shop and upgrades give the game some depth. The optional objective of saving survivors also gives the incentive to explore the maps fully.
There are three difficulty levels to suit players of all abilities. Each of the difficulties are well balanced, with Easy giving the player an unchallenging experience, while hard delivers a challenge for veteran players. Survival mode also returns from Alien Shooter.
The objective is to survive as long as you can while killing as many enemies and score as many points as possible. At the end of each wave, a boss variation of an enemy appears. When defeated it drops a new more powerful weapon.
Just like in the campaign, enemies drop ammunition and health pickups, powerups, and upgrades. Just like in Alien Shooter it is a lot of fun and can be quite addictive when attempting to beat your previous records.
It is a fun game, and if you love Alien Shooter or over the top action you will enjoy this. If you don’t enjoy repetition, or games that aren’t much more than the original, then you won’t.
A few minor improvements and additions
Theseus does bring a few minor improvements compared to Alien Shooter. The sound effects are redesigned, making them a bit more realistic. Some of the new enemies that were designed for Alien Shooter 2 were implemented to show them off. The environments are completely new giving the levels a sense of freshness.
The weapons have been redesigned, while decreased the amount from nine to six. At the end of the level, you are given a stat screen that shows how many enemies you killed, time was taken, and all that good stuff. This gives completionists and speed runners something to work towards; this was lacking in Alien Shooter.
A new soundtrack was made for the game. While it is a bit quirky, it is still fast paced and it adds to the overall experience and action of the game. Overall, the additions to the game are welcoming but do little to enhance the gameplay.
A game to keep fans happy and a marketing tool
Theseus Return of the Hero feels like nothing more than a game to keep the fans happy during the wait for the Alien Shooter sequel, while also doubling as being a marketing tool.
The game is covered in billboards saying “Alien Shooter 2 coming soon.”
Sure enough it gives you more Alien Shooter along with some additions and improvements; however, it feels lacking and somewhat lazy. The complete lack of a plot and background to Theseus is disappointing; it leaves the game without a sense of direction with its levels.
If you have played Alien Shooter, there isn’t a whole lot of reason to play this other than for more levels. It is still fun and any Alien Shooter fan will love it. If you are looking for something to improve or refine on Alien Shooter, then you will be disappointed.
Theseus Return of the Hero is available for free and can be downloaded from Sigma-Team's website.
You can find my review for Alien Shooter Complete Pack here on GameSkinny.