Is Bond too boring? Bauer too bland? Bourne too blasé? Throw all that other junk out the window and step into the boots of our unnamed, unburdened-with-backstory white male hero, who after copious amounts of debate and study I have dubbed Paul. Paul is the single most manly person alive, with baseball hat and sunglasses combined with his trademark tactical.. shirt.
You may be asking, but what about the game? I will inform you. Upon starting Alpha Zylon, three tantalizing choices of mission await. I, like any good person, played them in order, and will describe them as such.
DESERT WMD SEARCH: Run through the desert avoiding tiny mines, LMG-wielding Middle Eastern people, AK-47 Middle Eastern people, and white Hummers driven by no one. If you survive long enough to reach the bunker, watch out! Bombs are falling everywhere. Proceed on past the bunkers while carefully knifing every AK wielding terrorist to proceed to the second stage of the first mission, a sniping mission set in a bustling plaza.
Unfortunately, I am not as manly or skilled as Paul, and this is where my first mission ended because despite my sniping expertise in keeping the nuclear weapons traders alive, I couldn't kill the ghost hummer that shows up to buy nuclear weapons without also killing the trader. I hung my head in shame and moved on.
JUNGLE PREDATOR RAMBO PREDATOR: In this scenario, you must stealthily knife white blond dudes as you avoid caltrops that are, at best, eight pixels wide before deploying and approximately the same brown as everything else. This is a challenge, but one I was mostly up to (aside from when the caltrops sucked me in when I clearly made the jump over them). If you progress far enough in JPRP, you can save some brown hostages in white suits who are either waiters or just impeccably dressed, who then speak incredibly racist gibberish and run away. I died too many times to caltrops and had to once again bow out gracefully.
MANHATTAN CHASE: Run along rooftops after speaking with the exact same model of the hostages from JPRP, now a rich penthouse owner in New York. As you run, shoot approximately 200 black people with your Desert Eagle and avoid the mini-gun toting black people hanging out of windows. This is a 2D platformer where you jump and shoot, but unfortunately my journey ultimately ended early here too. After two very successful runs both culminated in me falling through a building and to my death, the game crashed and Paul presumably retired. I only know this section is officially called Manhattan Chase because upon crashing, Windows told me that was what it was called, leading me to believe each level has its own executable. That's dedication, folks. That or the third mission's name is the executable's name for all three which doesn't make sense but not much in Alpha Zylon does.
After I finished fighting across three very racist and confusing and deadly environments, I realized Alpha Zylon isn't a game. It's a work of art, a statement
if you will. Much like Alpha Zylon is hell, so is war. War is hell. War is often racist and confusing and innocent people, like Paul McDiesalot, often get hurt. So is Alpha Zylon a very shoddy 2D platformer with 3D sniping segments, dotted throughout by strange racism and broken English? No. Alpha Zylon is a look at war through the lens of gaming, as Spec Ops the Line approached but done much more masterfully here, of course. Alpha Zylon is a stunning and emotional look at how war can ruin lives in all manner of places, no matter what race you are.
A quick note I originally forgot to add, the music in this game is sublime. Ranging from strange percussion to insane techno desert loops in the sniping mission, Alpha Zylon's composer is a virtuoso who can stand next to the likes of Elfman, Williams, and Zimmer, elevating Alpha Zylon to cinematic perfection.