It’s well-versed territory – an isolated space ship in the deep outer reaches of the universe, a swarm of aliens and a lot of weaponry. Yes, it’s yet another attempt to recapture the tense atmosphere of James Cameron’s classic film, Aliens.
Alien Breed: Impact is itself an enhanced port of Alien Breed: Evolution on the XBLA (Steam users also have access to Impact), and comes from Team17, the talented folks behind the Worms series. It is a top-down shooter heavy in action and short on brains. Not that that is intself a bad thing, so long as the Aliens are flowing, and the weapon upgrades keep coming.
|In space no one can hear you yadda yadda.|
What hampers the overall experience is the lack of a story worth playing, or a mission structure that elevates beyond fetch quests and tedious switch-flipping. The bare-bones story relies on the player having a basic understanding of how Aliens, Predator and similar films operate. As a concession to the downloadable format cut scenes are not animated – instead told through ugly, comic book-style drawings.
In between slaughtering aliens you’ll be wandering towards checkpoints and be forced to divert down empty hallways to track down keycards and hack into computers to open locked doors. Unfortunately the mission structure doesn’t divert from that formula much, and as such the levels themselves, though rendered well, are utterly forgettable.
|Yep, this is as cliche as it gets, but it is good fun.|
Thankfully blasting the aliens themselves is good fun, and will keep you entertained for many hours. Though there’s only a handful of weapons, they’re all upgradable, and tracking down credits to improve your gear is a good incentive scheme.
Alien Breed is also the kind of game that really shines in multiplayer, when the difficulty level is ramped up. Unfortunately that might prove difficult at this stage, as the online community is limited in size. Still, this is a game that is fairly new, so perhaps things will change in the future.
All up, Alien Breed is quality fun, bit it’s limited by the fact it’s a download title. It’s short and to the point, and intense while it lasts, but it’s also the kind of game that, were it a retail release, you would return after a weekend for something else. You won’t be able to do that with this game, so be aware of that before you cough up $20 for it.