Review – Alien Breed: Impact
Developer: Team17 Software
Publisher: Team17 Software
Release Date: September 1st, 2010
Price: £11.99 | €14.99
Players: 1-2 players (Local & Online)
What I liked
- Decent Graphics
What I disliked
- Unrewarding Gameplay
- Explosions, everywhere
- Progress Bar
- Where are the Bosses?
Team17 brought gamers Alien Breed: Evolution to the XBL and Steam earlier this year. After some time, they added a couple tweaks and gave us PSN players Alien Breed: Impact. Did the devs take care of us or did they just slap a couple band-aids on this beast?
Jumping into single player, we take control of generic hero Master Chief, Isaac Clark, Theodore J. Conrad. We join Theo on board the luxurious spaceship Leopold minutes after being hit by a ghost ship. Generic Aliens are attacking your ship and it’s up to you and your android Cortana, Mia, to traverse through 5 levels of underwhelming and aged gameplay. There are five single player levels and three multiplayer. Each single player level takes approximately 40 minutes to grind through.
Starting off with Graphics, you’ll notice that they don’t look too shabby… but they certainly aren’t eye candy. As you have seen, we’re dealing with a 3d over the top shooter. Alien Breed employs your standard twin sticks layout for moving and aiming. Since it is over the top, you’re giving the ability to move the camera around with the L1 and R1 buttons. This gets messy at times when your enemies swarm you and you lose your sense of direction. The game is run on the Unreal Engine 3, so one might expect something better looking, especially when it comes to alien designs, but instead we’re treated to only 6 different types, that all make the same kind of stereotypical groans and grunts you would expect. You’ll also notice that as you run around your bombed out spaceship, explosions are going off… everywhere. Now this effect was striking to me in the first few minutes of the first level. It added some immersion, that as you were running through these corridors, shit was literally hitting the fan. What I came to realize though, is that everything in this game explodes… and it is for no reason whatsoever. None of the explosions change the environment; they are purely for cosmetic value. This gets really old after awhile and serves to not just be irritating, but downright disheartening.
Like the graphics, the sound is pretty average as well. Sure the game tries to get you into the zone with some creepy background noises and alien screams… but that can only get you so far. Halfway through the game I was so bored with what was going on I tried to see if I could put on my xmb playlist overtop the game. Sadly, Team17 told me that was no good. I feel like I would have enjoyed this game so much more with my custom NHL tunes playing instead of the same old sounds of explosions, screams, and doors slamming over and over again.
Gameplay wise, the aliens only serve as a minor annoyance to your overall goal: to fix as much shit as possible until you’re allowed to leave the level. If they were scary, maybe this could have been more fun, but instead they bum rush you over and over and become so predictable they become more a chore than your enemy. Theo, while a hardass space engineer, is typecast into a futuristic handyman role. Your spaceship runs into one little alien infested ghost ship and everything breaks like a red ringed 360. Nothing works in this fucking game. For example, your girl tells you we need to boot up the generator. Theo runs into the generator room, and hits the on button, employing a status bar that takes between 3-5 seconds to do. By the end, this progress bar is your biggest enemy in the entire game. EVERYTHING takes time to do. Wanna search a locker? Wait 3 seconds. Wanna access the Intex shop? Wait 3 seconds. Search your buddy’s corpse for ammo? Wait 3 seconds. I have two huge problems with this. First, It seems to me that every time you access this progress bar to do something, you’ll find aliens spawning everywhere around you. It’s as though the aliens take personal disgust with you trying to accomplish ANYTHING in this game. Second, is that over 50% of the time, there isn’t anything in the items you’re searching!
…back to Theo hitting that on switch. After doing so, the computer gives you an error. It’ll tell you something to the effect of, you need credentials to be able to do this Mr. Conrad. Your map will point you in the direction of what room you need to go to in order to get said credentials. While fighting your way against alien after alien you finally reach your room. The room kindly tells you that in order to get the credentials you need, you’re gonna need a computer rebooted. Your map gets updated again and it’s off to reboot the computer. When you reach the room with said computer, you’re delightfully informed that said room is on fire! Run across the map to Access the Futuristic sprinkler controls. Finally you reboot the computer and backtrack through the whole map fixing things along the way. This is the basic formula for every level in the game. Between levels you’re treated to a comic-book style cut scene that explains one way or another that you’re gonna have to do a helluva lot more fixing. Each level tacks on a new weapon for you to best your shitlord alien pals with, but I stuck to the flamethrower for the majority of the outing. Do this for five levels, fight the game’s only real boss, and you’re congratulated with “Stay tuned for Alien Breed 2: Assault”.
Is this rewarding gameplay? In the words of Al Borlan,
I don’t think so Tim.
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