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Where have you heard that name before? It was a mod for UT 2004 until Valve hired the team and put them to work on Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 and Portal 2. But they were also secretly working on bringing Alien Swarm to Steam.

And they did a splendid job with porting this to the Source engine. After playing the first mission I can say it looks and feels great, kind-of like a top down version of Left 4 Dead. But with aliens instead of zombies. There’s an offline practice mode but this game is at its best while in the 4 co-op multiplayer, dropping sentry guns, welding doors and covering choke points.

There’s even a set piece during the first mission that’s probably a homage to Half-Life 1 where you descend with this elevator platform just like in the shooter and you have to defend yourselves.  From what I’ve seen there are 8 characters split into 4 classes and a lot of weapons and items to be unlocked (they say over 40).

With the game (did I mention it’s free?) you also get the SDK so that you can mod it as your heart desires, the latest version of the Source engine, a tile based editor, Steam Cloud, Steam stats, matchmaking and achievements. Best part? The game has a random mission generator. Yeah, that’s right, after you get bored of the main campaign you don’t even need to mess with the editor. Alien Swarm can generate random missions for you.

This is by far the best and feature right free game in while.

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