Uniting Nintendo Communities since 2013

Review: From Space

Written by LHYonNPUK

The Apocalypse has never been so hectic - and fun!

Triangle Studios’ alien blastin’ squad-shooter has made it to Nintendo Switch! Whether you opt to take on the hordes solo, or with up to 3 friends, you’ll need to use every trick up your sleeve to survive the horrors that came… From Space!
From Space has a relatively simple plot that follows along its Arcade style structure. In Reagan-era America, circa 1986, a massive crystal smashed into Earth, closely followed by marauding Aliens, who razed the planet in search of crystal shards. Our plucky band of 6 characters are humanity’s last hope, and it’s up to us to arm ourselves to the teeth and kick Alien butt. We follow this slapdash squad of marines, lab assistants and firefighters on their quest to push back the invaders and save the World, starting of course with America. It won’t be easy, but they're the best chance we’ve got! 

From Space is an isometric shooter akin to classics like Alien Swarm. There are 3 classes to play as, each of which have multiple choices of specialists. There are the spongy Defense Units, featuring a hazmat suit clad, flamethrower-touting veteran, or the linebacker-turned-marine who slings a minigun about as if it was a 9MM. The Offensive units, which consist of a lab assistant with an experimental weapon, or a cool sniper…and lastly, Support units, made up of a Firefighter with a funky sci-fi weapon, or an engineer with an Auto-Shotgun. Each of these units contain their own unique perks and weapons.

It's time to dive into the chaos! Left stick is assigned to movement, ZL is dash, right stick to aim, and ZR to shoot - the most important button, as it saves lives and exterminates the aliens menace!  Clicking the right-stick in triggers a melee attack, perfect for breaking planks and dealing a little bit of damage to aliens that get too close. You have the option to manually reload your weapon, and you can use the Y button to cycle through additional weapons that may have been collected.

Skills and consumable items such as grenades and tripwires are assigned to L and R. We have a set amount of health we can recover by pressing Up on the D-Pad, which is indicated by how full the icon is. Not to worry though, we can also refill it using medkits.

Accessing either of the character or pause menus doesn’t actually halt the gameplay, which I found out to my own detriment, when I went to get a drink and returned to see “Game Over, you are eliminated”, with several Aliens standing where I left my specialist. 

This is a challenging action shooter, and you can often find yourself backtracking pretty far to manage the horde of Aliens. You’ll be conditioned to dread the Sometimes the arcadey jingle that heralds a new wave of spawning Aliens. Luckily, you can shoot barrels or cars to make them explode, resulting in massive damage to nearby foes. Make no mistake, this game will keep you on your toes.

Slaughtering Aliens and completing missions grants EXP, allowing the player to level up. This also gives access to rewards such as unlockable weapons and items. Additionally there's a perk system, letting you make your chosen Specialist even more formidable against the invaders. Killing Aliens also earns you Alien Orbs, which are an in-game currency for upgrading your weapons and perks to make them more effective.

Unfortunately, From Space is another example of a game that lends itself perfectly to local couch co-op play, but only supports Online Multiplayer, which works on an invite-only basis. During my review playthrough, I wasn’t able to join games of strangers, much to my disappointment. The game can be fairly challenging when playing solo, so It would’ve been interesting to see if playing with other human players would have alleviated this, and led to less instances of being outnumbered by enemies. Fortunately, there are occasions in single-player where NPCs will join you, however it’s a little annoying that you can’t have them join you for the full duration. Playing with allies wouldn’t make this game a walk in the park regardless as Friendly-fire is always on. Thankfully, you can revive your friends, provided you’re quick enough.

The visuals are dripping with neon style, which brings an arcade vibe to a modern game. The isometric layout and 45° viewpoint further add to that classic feel. The default hue and saturation really draw inspiration from 90’s Alien movies, and the games that accompanied them - Dark empty streets, survivors dotted about in safe havens, and glowing pink aliens wobbling about, looking for people to eat and crystals to keep. 

I found the character designs to be strong and unique. The faintly chibi design style makes it feel like I’m pretending my toys are in a classic invasion film. Despite their stature, I never felt as though I was losing my characters in the environment, in battles or camps of people, purely because their design stands out. The Aliens have similar shapes and  the same colour scheme, but their silhouettes are all different and so it’s easy to tell which variant of the blighters you’re facing in gameplay. It’s clear to see the developers' passion for the genre, especially during enemy introduction scenes - Usually a little animation plays before they tell you the Alien’s name, and give you a fun nerdy quote to go along with them. Even during the bigger waves of enemies, the screen never seems too busy which is something I think games of this type often suffer with.

The HUD icons are unfortunately quite small and are all fairly far away from each other. Onscreen text is relatively hard to read from afar, making docked play rather bothersome. There’s also no settings that allow you to change the font, text size, or HUD scaling. This meant I was having to be closer to the screen than I’d like whilst playing on a TV, but wasn’t so much of an issue during handheld play, even though the text is still very small. A few more options in the visual settings could be a really big boon here.

I think Triangle Studios manages to bring a nice harmony between arcade jingles and haunting synth music that would feel at home in any sci-fi movie. Ominous droning blares out in the early levels, as we’re recovering from an early loss and finding our feet, whereas uplifting tunes and fireworks play upon completing a mission or request. While the soundtrack is nice, it’s very of its genre and a lot of the ambient tracks are arguably not distinctive enough from one another. The game sounds best during enemy rushes or boss areas, and the ambient sound effects are always a treat. The guns each have their own unique sound effects and hitting different materials does yield differing sound bites.  The low hums of generators, crackling of electric currents and the dripping toxic mess all make the game’s landscape more immersive!

When it comes to performance, the game runs solidly on Nintendo Switch. There's little to no slowdown, even during the bigger hordes of aliens, and it runs at a smooth 30FPS in docked. With relatively short loading times and a file size of 2.5GB, it’s a great pick-up-and-play title. Though the game performs well, the settings are extremely basic and there’s not much in terms of accessibility. The game simply seems to be built to intentionally make you sit as close to the screen as possible, ideally in Handheld mode where the game perhaps shines best.


From Space is a fun-yet-tough action shooter that faithfully emulates the age of classic Alien shooters whilst providing a more approachable modern experience. The moment-to-moment gameplay is compelling, and there are enough missions and variety to keep you entertained. It’s unfortunate that there’s no support for couch co-op, and there's room for improvement when it comes to visual settings and accessibility options. Thanks to the relatively short but expansive missions, it’s a game that can feel longer than it actually is, and is definitely one I’d love to try with friends someday. I’m really happy to have had the chance to lock, load and blast my way through this particular apocalypse that came to Earth, all the way From Space! 


Where to Buy



Written by Luke Young

Edited by Mark McAllister, Jen Griffiths and Paul L. Russell

Graphic by Paul L. Russell