As some of you may know Alien Breed, developed by Team17, started life as a title on the Commodore Amiga and was released way back in 1991. Last year Team17 brought their alien shooter to the Xbox Live Arcade with Alien Breed: Evolution with upgraded graphics and now we see the release of Alien Breed: Impact on the PS3 which is essentially the same game but with a few added extras to give PS3 owners the best version of the game.
It starts with Theodore J. Conrad, an engineer on the spaceship Leopold, having a conversation with an android named Mia when all of a sudden their ship crashes into an alien vessel. The ship is unknown to them and as they quickly find out the crew aren’t so friendly – or human. Taking the role of Conrad you must work your way around your ship, killing any aliens you meet and trying to detach your ship from the alien vessel. While trying to complete this task you must also protect the survivors of the ship. The game is split into five chapters with an added prologue that wasn’t featured in the Xbox 360 version.
Controlling Conrad is quite simple; you move with the left analogue stick and aim with the right. Weapons and items can be changed using the directional buttons and fired using the triggers so there isn’t much to think about while you battle the aliens throughout the ship. Using the left and right bumpers you can change the camera angle but it feels very clunky as you cannot simply hold down a bumper and move the camera around, you are required to press it each time you want to get a different angle which I found to be very awkward when I was fighting a large number of aliens and needed to change my view quickly. As you usually find yourself fighting groups of aliens coming from all directions, the camera is vital to making sure you don’t get hit, so the constant tapping of the bumpers was very annoying.
You have a nice selection of weapons at your disposal to take out the aliens, ranging from a pistol with infinite ammunition to a flamethrower that is very useful for taking out large groups of aliens. The weapon I used most of the time however was the machine gun which fired very fast and allowed you to keep your enemies away from you while killing them swiftly. You are also able to upgrade any weapon or item you find in the game via Intex terminals that are spread out throughout the ship using credits that can find on dead bodies, in lockers or on the floor. These upgrades improve such things as reload times, clip sizes and the damage a weapon can produce or how much a first aid kit can heal you. These terminals also act as save points and shops that you can purchase items and ammunition from.
Graphically, the game looks quite nice with eerie dark corridors and raging fires. This, joined with the sounds of incoming aliens, explosions and broken equipment made the game feel very atmospheric. The flamethrower weapon looked fantastic and seeing the burning aliens running around like headless chickens was rather entertaining.
Sadly, this isn’t enough to make the game worth a replay. Killing aliens becomes very repetitive and can be done with any weapon rather than having specific weapons for different aliens. You also don’t tend to come across aliens that often and when you do they are in large groups that can be easily taken care of. It wasn’t until the later levels that I found the aliens to be a challenge, but I only died a few times throughout the entire game so they could have done with a little boost. Bosses are equally as easy to defeat, usually requiring you to use the environment to kill them and figuring out how to use the environment doesn’t take long.
Alien Breed: Impact is frustrating as it has the foundation to be a great arcade title but needs to be tweaked here and there in order to make it a game I’d be willing to revisit. Playing the co-op mode with a friend was the only reason I did play through the game again and I must admit was more fun than slugging my way through the single player. Pick up Alien Breed: Impact if you are looking for a few hours of mindless alien slaughtering but don’t expect much else.
- Nice graphics
- Co-op was entertaining
- Annoying camera controls
- Enemies are too easy to kill