A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Initially, there's an admirable goal -- finding new homes for humanity’s DNA in order to save our species from extinction.The gameplay's focus on violent encounters erodes many of its positive themes.
Positive Role Models
While you assume the role of a starship commander, there's little known about your character or their background. Your actions in the game are both noble (in saving humanity) and excessive (in killing several aliens), often in self-defense.
Ease of Play
The game can be difficult: it tries to juggle gameplay from several genres, and the instructions aren't always clear. Plus, the interface is clunky, and the A.I. robot you can summon for help doesn't help much at all.
Violence & Scariness
You'll use futuristic weapons, from laser blasters and assault rifles to flamethrowers and more to shoot and kill aliens. Creatures often cry out in pain, splatter blood, and sometimes explode into chunks of flesh. Some aliens can be decapitated.
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"S--t" can be heard in dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Genesis Alpha One is a strategy action game that's available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. The game is about surviving in space, which includes combat against aggressive alien species using lasers, assault rifles, flamethrowers, and other weapons. Combat often results in blood splatter, dismemberment, and decapitation. "S--t" can be heard in dialogue with some regularity. There's also the possibility for some frustration and confusion during play because the game doesn't come with clear instructions and the interface can be clunky.
Is It Any Good?
While this game tries to fuse multiple game genres together, it results in mechanics that don't always feel connected, which can ruin the fun that you would have across the stars. Genesis Alpha One is a struggle from the start, with lots of trial and error tied to the interface and tasks. Once the large tutorial is done, the most rewarding feature is the resource management and ship building; once done, you can walk through the various corridors and sections you've made. Of course, you have to make something before you can use it, and choosing your crew ahead of missions is based on the Corporation you select, which determines what you start with.
But you'll soon feel "alone": there's no A.I. to help you; crewmembers seem to wander around (as commander, you somehow can't easily assign tasks), plus they have dumb or repetitive things to say when you talk with them. Also, you need to use a terminal in each room to enlist help instead of a central interface (on, say, a device in your pocket). But what's worse is that from pirates out to steal your goods to alien infestations, surprisingly there isn't a lot of excitement in Genesis Alpha One. Scanning debris to "speed up" analysis is lame and repetitive, and missions feel disjointed with one another. Combat isn't very gratifying either, largely due to short bursts of fighting with limited weapons and control. As a result, gameplay feels tedious, dry, and unfulfilling.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.