Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop event - Extended Recap
By Lapper Snapper

(This is not the full event recap for this week. Read that one here!)

On Sunday, 19th November, after a long break, 7Smoke had an event on Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop and once again put themselves in shoes (or rather spacesuits) of the T.W.A.T. space marine team in an attempt to fight off the ever-growing alien menace! While we began slightly skeptical of the event, since we managed to get only 5 instead of the maximum amount of 8 players, all those thoughts vanished as soon as we began our mission and were replaced with grand strategies and tactics. You see, instead of getting re-accustomed to the game and its pace by playing on Normal, we instead chose to play on the Hard difficulty setting, as we always do in this game, diving head first into the merciless claws of the countless alien bugs. This left us with no room for doubt or error and demanded full co-operation between us if we ever wanted to reach the end of our campaign. The first two or three attempts on level 1 were met with quick failure, forcing us to restart, however we soon got back into the familiar feeling of the game and breezed through the first two levels relatively without much trouble, even managing to complete the second level on our first try. That’s when things started getting out of hand.

No one is quite sure who it was, but someone jinxed us by exclaiming that “this was easy”. The game did not like that at all and, with level 3, plunged us into total despair. Endless onslaughts of alien hordes so big that our games began lagging. Walls of living biomass, blocking any progress unless someone has a flamethrower to destroy them (as luck would have it, occasionally these individuals would die mid-way to these walls, losing the essential tool in a sea of murderous aliens and leaving us with no hope of recovering it). Pan, however found a more prankish use for the flamethrower by setting a biomass bridge on fire while some of us were still on it, causing Lone Wolf to fall off when he attempted to cross it faster. Following this was a narrow bridge section with a big, push-happy alien on one end, and an angry horde right behind us, which meant we’d have to try and take our chances in crossing the bridge before it catches up, all the while hoping that we don’t get thrown off the bridge and into an abyss by its giant guardian. Needless to say, quite a few of us met our end there. Eventually, some of us managed to reach the end of the level and call an elevator. We loaded our guns, prepared our defences and.... We failed in seconds? What!?... Ok, so it turns out that not only do we have to get to the elevator and survive a wave of aliens while it arrives, but we also have to protect the generator that powers the elevator too. Eventually, we pulled ourselves together somehow and got on the elevator, completing the dastardly level 3.

That brought us to the final level, which Csaba pointed out was a boss level. He refused to comment on it further until we saw for ourselves, so we proceeded. What followed was a terrifying first encounter with the alien Queen, an enormous creature, hell-bent on murdering us. What made it worse, is that apparently conventional space-guns don’t hurt her. No, we needed to put the world’s slowest charging industrial mining lazer to use if we wanted to kill her. So we did. Countless bugs and several dead marines later, it finally decided to fire, obliterating the Queen completely... and triggering a flood of lava, thus sending us on a race against time to reach the elevator to the surface, while also avoiding her angry orphaned children. Needles to say, we failed several times. The most infuriating failures were at the hands of one especially finicky rock that we needed to jump on, which was very selective about the people that wanted to land on it – you had to be pixel perfect, anything else and you’re thrown down to a fiery grave. Undiscouraged by these hurdles, we tried time and time again, eventually reaching the end, leaving the lava flooded mines and all terrible memories of bloodthirsty bugs behind us.

As you can probably tell, our fight was not an easy one, but that made the feeling of reaching the end and seeing that “Level Complete” screen all the sweeter. The event was a very emotional one in general, with screams and groans of failure, but loud cheers and applauds of success. Owlet described it very accurately after the event ended: “AS makes you feel really badass when everything is going right”. And with that, the event ended. The aliens, for now, lay defeated and the T.W.A.T. team retires until they’re called upon once more.