October 22, 2013 7:00 AM | Anthony Swinnich
Alright soldier, listen up. Your mission is two-fold, but simple. First, locate and interrogate the deserters of the Interstellar Military Consortium. Then, use the knowledge they bestow upon you exterminate the encroaching alien threat. By any means necessary. These are your orders. Now boot up Astralis on XBLIG and get this mission under way.
As a third-person shooter, Astralis is well made. The waves of alien creatures that float your way provide little challenge one-on-one, but can overwhelm in large groups. While you have powerful weaponry -- like shotguns, grenade launchers and plasma pistols -- at your disposal, you have incredibly finite ammunition, so it's important to fire accurately. You won't survive long kicking your way through crowds.
Venturing out on your own into the open alien world is possible, but know that doing so is dangerous due to the need to constantly replenish your firepower. The path the game provides you is sign-posted on a map blatantly, and it feels a bit like a guided tour, but it definitely alleviates some of the frustration inherent in wandering.
Following the path the game provides also brings you toward the deserters your seeking out. Interrogating them will provide clues about what happened before your arrival, and point you in the direction you need to go next. Plus, you get to pass judgement on them for their actions through dialogue trees, which is a nice incentive for reading what they have to say.