Free To Play Fridays – Alien Swarm


One of the first free-to-play games I had played on Steam, Alien Swarm offered tense multiplayer isometric shooter action against bugs/aliens. Like other multiplayer games on steam like Left 4 Dead, Alien Swarm requires players to have quick reflexes as well as apply squad tactics.

In Alien Swarm, players take control of a four-man squad of IAF Marines. Each marine had a specific classification as well as weapon and tools loadouts. Combat is reminiscent of other isometric/top-down shooters from yesteryear like Smash TV, Loaded (PSOne), and Shock Troopers. And, if you’ve ever seen James Cameron’s Aliens, then you’ll have an idea of the tension and feeling of dread the game aims for with its gameplay, locations, and enemies.

Find out more about Alien Swarm (Source) after the break.


This multiplayer top-down shooter blends squad-tactics with cooperative play. Each player picks a character (with a fixed class) and each of these marines have their own speciality that can help at certain points of each mission. For example, Tech soldiers are faster at setting up sentry guns and unlocking doors through hacking. They’re also much faster at welding doors closed; helpful for when the team is overwhelmed and need a quick escape.

Each marine has an unlockable arsenal of firearms, the more you play and the better you do, the faster you get them. Different weapons work for different situations; the pump-action shotgun is great for short-range, room clearing attacks, the Special Weapons marine uses a customized autogun that’s incredibly effective when mowing down corridors full of aliens.


One thing to note is Alien Swarm is not for gamers looking for a casual game with relatively easy difficulty. Even on it’s easiest settings, Alien Swarm is unbelievably hard. It’s extremly easy to run out of ammo and health packs, and life bars are easily dwindled with just a few undefended attacks from the aliens. However, this difficulty actually works well for those looking for a challenge because it really requires squads to communicate tactics and plan on-the-move.

Alien Swarm Features

  • Tactical, 4 player co-op action game with a top-down perspective
  • Complete game code and mod tools
  • Unlock persistent items by gaining levels
  • Over 40 weapons and equipment with countless loadout configurations
  • 4 unique classes and 8 unique characters
  • Matchmaking, Steam Cloud, Steam Stats
  • 64 achievements
  • Tile-based map generation tool
  • Powered by Source and Steam

Alien Swarm System Requirements


  • OS: Windows® 7 / Vista / Vista64 / XP
  • Processor: Pentium 4 3.0GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB for XP / 2GB for Vista
  • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible video card with 128 MB, Shader model 2.0. ATI X800, NVidia 6600 or better
  • Hard Drive: At least 2.5 GB of free space
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card


  • OS: Windows® 7 / Vista / Vista64 / XP
  • Processor: Intel core 2 duo 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB for XP / 2GB for Vista
  • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible video card with Shader model 3.0. NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better
  • Hard Drive: At least 2.5 GB of free space
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming.

Posted on January 4, 2013, in Free Gaming and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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