⚠️ Don’t forget to watch the feature video ✏️ For comments click on the headline and scroll to the bottom
Sorry Europe, But I Get Alienation Bragging Rights!
It is only fair. I was here first. I have been an Alienation fan since the game launched last year in April. (I pre-ordered that shit, ya dig!) I have also been a Housemarque fan since the launch of RESOGUN on the PS4! Not to mention the unfathomable amount of hours that I’ve put into Super Stardust HD on PS3! Oh, and did I mention that this super-talented team, that is Housemarque, now follows me on Twitter?! (Insomniac Games follows me too!) You know that you’re doing something right when a super-talented developer follows you on social media, especially if that super-talented developer is Housemarque, creator of Alienation; so my bragging rights are legit son!
For those of you who don’t already know, Alienation is a beautiful and brilliant, fast-paced, white-knuckle, top-down, twin-stick shooter, with RPG-like elements, for the PS4; and this month it’s free for PlayStation Plus subscribers in Europe. The rest of us (in North America) get Abzû instead, another noteworthy game, but more on that in a later post/let’s play.
Alienation has such incredible gameplay and is satisfying on so many different levels. It has leaderboards and high scores; fast and furious, arcade-like action; a variety of aliens to kill and loot to take; replayable missions with RPG-like progression; it’s all there. It even has a story to follow…not a deep story, but it’s there. For me though, the story takes a back seat. It’s all about killing the Earth-squatting aliens and being rewarded with higher level weapons, alien cores for upgrades, and exoskeleton suits with just the right abilities. If Diablo 3 and Destiny knocked boots and had a baby, then Alienation would be their illegitimate love child!
The Chain of Events Surrounding Alienation
You can call it a huge coincidence if you want to, but I found this latest PS Plus offering to be sweet, but at the same time, very bizarre…and it made me ask the question, “Why now Housemarque?” For, I shit you not, two to three weeks before it was even announced that Alienation was going to be one of the free games for the month of May, I decided to dedicate my Twitch channel to this incredible game! Bizarre, am I right, or am I right? I mean, there’s no doubt in my mind that the powers that be (at PlayStation) and the many developers, and/or publishers that they’re in cahoots with, decide all of these PS Plus offerings well in advance. And it’s not like I’m privy to this information, not by any stretch of the imagination. So how did these two uncanny events even come to pass?
I mean, I finally decide on a focus for my Twitch channel–it’s been two years since I last did a live stream on Twitch–and a few weeks later PlayStation has the audacity to reveal that they’re giving the game, that I chose to feature, away for free. Now, normally I wouldn’t be making such a big deal out of something like this–PlayStation Plus is a great way for developers (and publishers) to create more awareness about their games (not that Housemarque really needs this marketing boost)–but I have to plead selfishness here.
You see, I love the gameplay so much and I wanted to be the one to get gamers interested in this game again. As great as Alienation was, no one was really playing it anymore…well, no one was streaming it, I should say. It had waned, again, not because it’s a bad game; but because most games end up going to the back of the line, especially one year after launch, because a new year means more new games. The conversation changes and everyone wants to be engaged with the next new Triple-A, or indie, game.
So this was my attempt at bringing back an awesome game from yester-year, but the universe had different plans. Little did I know that the wheels were already in motion to get everyone (in Europe, that is) talking about Alienation again. PlayStation and Housemarque, blast you!
So, I Guess Everyone Will Be Shooting Aliens Now
I know…I’m such a selfish prick. I should be looking at the bright side because, realistically, I have next to no influence when it comes to gaming. There was no way in hell that my dinky little live streams were going to breathe new life into Alienation and engage gamers all over the world. It was a nice dream though. So I should thank PlayStation for doing that job for me. Besides, all I truly wanted was for people to jump back into this game again, or play it for the first time, and marvel at it’s brilliance.
So I got my wish, even though I didn’t have a hand in this so-called marketing. I still (very much) plan on doing my part by vapourizing alien scum on Twitch regularly, but that’s not all. Not only will I be twin-stick shooting my way through Alienation; I’ll be twin-stick shooting my way through RESOGUN and Dead Nation as well! Two other marvelous games from the Finnish Developer. I figure, why stream only one arcadey masterclass when I can stream them all?
Shout Out To RESOGUN And Dead Nation!
There. I just one-up’d all of Europe (well, two-up’d actually). You might be streaming Alienation now that it’s free, but my dedicated Twitch channel will also feature me shooting tons of voxel-based enemies (from RESOGUN), and blood-splattering zombies (from Dead Nation)! That’s right! The Gaming Worker has taken it upon himself to host the net’s first, Housemarque only, Twitch TV channel. This is something that Housemarque themselves haven’t even done on Twitch. Yes, they stream their own games, but they also stream a variety of games by different developers as well.
Hey, it’s their channel and they can do whatever they want with it. I’m just here to announce that I’m playing Alienation on Twitch, and that I came to this decision long before the free PS Plus games were announced, and even after that announcement, I’m still playing Alienation on Twitch; but not only am I playing Alienation on Twitch, I’m playing other Housemarque classics (on Twitch) as well (LOL).
I think that I’m the first Housemarque fan to do this, certainly the first in Canada, and I’m truly excited about that. These might not be the best games to stream from a non-stop-commentary, and Twitch-chat point of view; but the gameplay is fun, and addictive as hell, and I can’t wait to sink more time into all of them.
I Knew It! Nex Machina Was Just Around The Corner!
Housemarque has a history of giving their games away for free, but their timing for these giveaways usually makes the most business sense. RESOGUN was free when the PS4 launched in 2013. (I nabbed that freebie when I got my PS4 in 2014.) Dead Nation was free for PS Plus subscribers in 2014. (Some how I missed that one and I’m still beating myself up.) So both games were free at launch, which seems to be the sweet spot for gifting a game and creating that initial awareness. Just look at the insurmountable success of Rocket League.
10.5 million units sold with registered players reaching almost 29 million. That’s a lot of everything from a game that was free via PS Plus in 2015. Every indie developer wants to emulate this and rightfully so. Housemarque was no different when it came to gifting their games at launch, except in 2016.
Alienation wasn’t free when it launched last year, so why give it away now? And why just for European PS Plus-ers? This amazing, and yet, mind-boggling gift had me perplexed. Maybe Housemarque had analytics telling them that gamers in their very own continent weren’t playing the game, so they needed to do something to spike the activity. Gifting Alienation away would lead to a subscriber base of 26.4 million, which would create a shit storm of word-of- mouth marketing and ultimately lead to more sales. So that would be–you know–nice!
And maybe the cost of development was too high to gamble gifting Alienation away last year, but now Housemarque sees that they could have handled the launch in the same manner as their previous launches.
Or maybe, just maybe, the gut feeling that I had about their new, highly anticipated game, Nex Machina–which up until recently had no release date–was weeks away from being released! I couldn’t shake the feeling that the sneaky developer was up to something along these lines. For the longest time Nex Machina, aka The Jarvis Project (code named after legendary game developer Eugene Jarvis, who Housemarque combined forces with to create the game) had the release date of December 31 2017 etched beside it on PSN, but I new that had to be a placeholder.
My final thought was that putting Alienation on PS Plus, and giving it away for free, is helping them pave the way for the release of Nex Machina. This was their weird, ninja-samurai-black-belt-marketing type of way of getting us ready for their next amazing game (which will also be available on PC, I might add).
Well, you know what? I think that I hit the nail on the head, because just a few weeks ago they announced that Nex Machina will be released on June 20th! It was the best day ever for Housemarque fans, I’m sure. And so, with that, I’m also pleased to announce that, on top of streaming Alienation, RESOGUN, and Dead Nation, on Twitch; I will also be adding Nex Machina to the playlist once it drops! (I think this is my most exciting post ever, by the way!)
This Is The Mid-Season Finale
“Phew!” I’m so glad that I’ve reached the end of this post! You have no idea how long it took me to bang this one out, not to mention the insane editing and processing time that I had to go through. But it was totally worth it.
Back In January I teased a side project that I was working on, but I wasn’t ready to reveal what it was. Well, it was a Twitch channel that I was working on, but I basically scrapped the idea that I had for it and replaced it with this one. This new direction has me much more excited and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I don’t expect to be a huge Twitch sensation, or anything, but I know that I’ll have fun doing it.
I don’t have a set Twitch schedule yet, but I’ll most likely be streaming during the later hours of the evening, like at 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm EST. I would like to say that I’ll be streaming every Monday to Friday, but even I know that I won’t be able to commit to that. So if you want to know exactly when I’ll be live then follow me on Twitter for those updates, or just check my Twitch channel periodically.
Lastly, and it pains me to say this, but we’ve finally come to my mid-season finale. I’m going to be taking a short, but necessary break over the next few months because that crazy little thing that I call life is starting to ramp up. I have a couple major life events coming up so I need to go on hiatus. But fear not, because I’ll be back before you know it, and don’t forget that I’ll still be around most week nights via Twitch! I just won’t be able to write and make let’s plays videos until the end of the summer.
I still have tons of more content to create. Seriously, I’ve barely scratched the surface here. It really is a case of there’s too many games and just not enough time. Hashtag first world problems.
Play some games, but don’t forget to go outside and enjoy the summer!
Peace and blessings 😊