0 Day: Attack on Earth Review

In an age where games compete to be noticed amid countless others, especially on Xbox Live Arcade, developers need to create a product that will stand out prominemtly above the rest. While neat-looking Google-Earth-like maps of major metropolitan areas seem to be the thing that makes Gulti and Square Enix’s 0 Day: Attack on Earth do just that, dull gameplay and some of the worst friendly AI ever tear that interest to shreds. Combine it with a complete lack of fellow gamers playing online sessions and you’ve got yourself a game very unworthy of its asking price.

0 Day: Attack on Earth takes a basic premise — aliens attack Earth and only you and your crack fighter team can stop them — and leaves it at just that. Major metropolitan areas around the globe have faced severe destruction after the initial assault and now you have to stop the bleeding before humanity is wiped out. You have seven days to fend of the aliens in New York City, Tokyo, and Paris. Each day is a five-minute mission.

There are a couple of big logical problems right off the bat with this game. As you progress through it you fight off an alien race that doesn’t know just what kind of race it wants to be. In some levels you will be fighting off bugs, in some it will be snakes, and in others it will be ship-piloting, high-tech, intelligent lifeforms.

The second issue has to do with the cities themselves. They are done quite well as they are exact satellite images of present-day New York, Tokyo, and Paris with skyscrapers climbing upwards into the fly-zone of the game. However, this game is supposed to take place after these same three cities have faced severe destruction from the initial alien assault. The cities below show no signs of battle or destruction whatsoever. They also show no signs of the battles you wage in the game during the seven days of fighting. It would have been nice if the developers just mapped in a crater here and a few burning buildings there for some believability, but unfortunately they just left them as-is.

The game’s single-player mode doesn’t help to hide the game’s lack of immersion either. The level of difficulty goes from medium, to hard, to easy. You will be fighting mostly stationary enemies in Paris, the final city, while shielded and moving targets will float around Tokyo, the second city. The radar will show mini-boss aliens in orange, mid-sized aliens in green, and tiny aliens in white. The radar, however, doesn’t have an outline of the city you are in, nor does it pick up on the mysterious red clouds that float around each level. These clouds will damage and kill you if you linger next to them too long, but don’t even faze the enemies.

The five-minute time limit to each level drains a good amount of fun out of the game. Each mission becomes more a race to beat the clock and defeat the mini-boss or boss aliens instead of just wiping everything out and obtaining a high score. The biggest downfall of the single-player, though, is most definitely your allied AI. It is as if Earth chose the most inexperienced civilians to pilot their last fighters in this time of most desperate need. The allies will fly aimlessly around your vicinity just shooting at random across the map. They also cannot upgrade their weapons with boosts from defeated enemies like you can. If you’re lucky they’ll take out some of the one-hit aliens, but aside from that they are completely useless. The game features orange leech-like aliens that will latch onto the front of your fighter and drain your energy until it either kills you or your teammates kill it. If this happens, you might as well accept the loss of that life as your allies simply fly around, shooting constantly in the wrong directions.

Online multiplayer in the form of co-op and the competitive capture the flag and capture point modes could have salvaged this game. Unfortunately, no one ever plays the game online, nearly a month after its release. The multiplayer sessions are also entirely reliant upon the host’s connection, so anyone doing so with a mediocre connection will bring lag to the session. Unless you have some friends who are willing to play the game with you and have good hosting abilities, you might as well find something else.

In what could have been a bunch of fun shoot-’em-up levels over some very awesome maps of modern-day cities, 0 Day: Attack on Earth was a dissappointng mass of terrible AI, a non-existent online community, unbalanced levels, and a certain lack of logic taking away from immersion. This all goes without discussing the dull and bland two-song soundtrack and other lackluster audio pieces. You would probably have a much better time with Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved than with this game. Save your money and find something better.


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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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