I never played the original Alien Breed which received cult status all those years ago, so I went into Alien Breed being new to the game. I have looked into the original to see what all the hype was about and from what I have read, Alien Breed: Evolution is very impressive and stays as close as it can to what made it so good all those years ago on the mighty Commodore Amiga!
I know people have slated Team 17’s latest game (the fanboys who just can’t let go), but I don’t see what they’re complaining about. I found this to be addictive as hell and couldn’t put it down, especially after first having a preview of it when we attended Eurogamer Expo 2009 in Leeds back in October.
The storyline of the game is a ship called the ‘Leopold’ crashes into another ship near a planet’s orbit and they then start to be pulled into the atmosphere and it’s up to you to get the ships power back online and avoid certain doom. But of course, you have hoards of aliens trying to stop you along the way.
You have the choice of Single Player or playing with someone else in Co-Op mode. I’ve not really sunk my teeth into the Co-Op mode yet (but have had a dabble and it’s great fun), because I’ve been too immersed in the single player story.
I was impressed with how easy it was to jump straight into the game play well and not just get used to the controls as the game ends. You control you character with the left analog stick and with the right, you can control where to aim your gun which makes things a hell of a lot easier when you’ve got aliens coming from every direction which includes breaking through the floors! As with most shooters, the RT button is used to fire everything you’ve got with the LT button uses your items.
A nice little feature is the ability to change the camera angles using the RB and LB buttons, which you will find extremely useful along the way, and the D-pad is used to cycle through your weapons (left and right) and items (up and down).
I was very impressed with how nice this game looked. I didn’t notice any lag during the game and there’s a parts of the game that have a lot going on screen at once. To say that this game has such a small file size and can still produce these images with such attention to detail is a credit to Team 17. I’m a sucker for attention for detail and quite often will I just stop playing and look at the screen (I’m a nerd!). Even though the planet is only seen from certain camera views, it was good to see that the clouds can be seen moving around in the atmosphere. I know this isn’t an amazing thing, but it’s a sign that they’ve taken the time to make sure every little thing looks nice throughout the game.
The insides of the ships look great and really add to the feel of the game, with their dark and eerie corridors, and things like fire, explosions and water look great. The lighting throughout is brilliant and some of the best parts are when the only light you have is that which comes from your torch.
A great ‘top down’ shooter that has left me hungry for more and cannot wait to get my hands on the second episode which is due out early next year and the third and final episode released not long after (as we were informed by Team 17 at the Leeds Gaming Show – Eurogamer Expo). Are there any bad points to the game? No. I could say it wasn’t long enough, but there’s still another 2 episodes to play. It would have been interesting to see a first person version of the game, but that would take it completely away from what made the original so good in the first place. I would highly recommend buying this from Xbox Live……well, what are you waiting for?
3.5 out of 5