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Area 51 The age-old conspiracy theories that revolve around the once secret research facility of Area51 have spawned ideas for almost of contemplation and study. Area51 the computer game by Midway games features Ethan Cole a hazardous materials (HAMAT) division soldier who has been sent in with his team to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a previous investigation team sent into the quarantined facility. The base seems to be under attack by an alien virus that infects any population with in its vicinity and turns them into flesh eating zombies. Apparently the aliens are in league with a secret organization known as the illuminati who are benefiting from the human and alien collaboration for unknown reasons. The story revolves around several US military conspiracies which are revealed through classified documents e-mail and video biographies found by Eth across Area 51. Discoveries such as the crop circles and the Ebola virus are explained and expose a dark and sinister façade of the military’s controversial research projects. The levels also reflect popular fiction (of facts) such as a television studio staging the moon landing by Neil Armstrong back in 1969 and specimens of extraterrestrial organisms used in biogenetic warfare. Ethan is accompanied by his fellow officers who promptly get slaughtered in the first half of the game. The game has few albeit useful weapons including the traditional assault rifle shotgun and the infamous sniper along with some rather amusing alien weapons. The auto-recharge plasma gun fires there balls of plasma that bounce off surfaces. In addition to primary fire, an alternate firing mode enhances the weapon, which in this case casts a laser beam that previews the path of the projectiles. Another alien weapons is a supercharged ion cannon that stabilizes upon contact and electrocutes living organisms around it for a few seconds. Ethan can also assume control of manned cannons which have an unlimited supply of rocket propelled grenades and are the primary means of completing some traditional hold-back the zombies attack levels in the game. Ethan as can be expected gets infected himself. (Not unlike his counterparts from other games such as Far Cry). This infection partially affects his mental status and allows him to morph into an alien at will giving him super human strength and a parasitic projectile that he excretes from his palm. Mutated he has infra-vision which pimps up the games appearance. Power ups for health and mutagen for the abnormal mutation are available across Area 51. The games opponents are mostly comprised of zombies so that compromises the need for any amount of Al. Illuminati soldiers exhibit a basic form of Al and don’t do anything stupid that would task the algorithms that mimic intelligence The game doesn’t have any stealth levels and is packed chock full with action throughout. Though the game follows a very typical theme it does a fairly good job of presenting it. The visual details portray the sci-fi atmosphere of the research facility with out any flaws and the alien mothership is rendered with top notch creativity just as anyone would imagine the technology in such crafts. The sound and music team has done its job well. They hired none other than the X-Files David Duchovny to voice Ethan Cole. Some how the celebrity voice-over seems to be the only thing that sounds effortless in the game. And he does have plenty of dialogue to speak before every subsection of the games levels when the game gets saved. Other than duchovny the chaotic action sequences with zombies wailing as bullets scream through the air catalyses the enjoyable experience adding immense value to game play. It’s a good game to NASA extraterrestrial cover-up aficionados for there are plenty of tiny white people with big doleful black eyes to meet in Area 51.