Alien Breed Review
Cart: Alien Breed
Cab: PlayStation Mobile
Coin: Team 17
Alien Breed has finally come to PlayStation properly, after the fairly decent 3D games and a half hearted PS Mini release, and its arrival is most welcome, especially from anyone who ever played an Amiga in the early 90′s.
The good news is that this is a brilliant conversion that has obviously had a lot of thought and care put into it, with some excellent extras and an impressive amount of content.
Alien Breed is a top down shooter, heavily inspired by the Aliens movie, with an emphasis on ammo and key management mixed in with plenty of Alien killing action. The levels are sprawling mazes set on a deserted spaceship, and there are many different level objectives, the best of which are the stages where you have to find and blow up reactors, then make it to the exit before the ship blows, with red lights and alarm bells increasing the stress levels. The changes of pace really make the game what it is, as you can be creeping along, minding your ammo, then a minutes later blasting dozens of enemies as you make a dash for it.
Team 17 didn’t just bang out a quick port, but have clearly thought long and hard about what to include here. This package not only includes the original Alien Breed, but also the excellent Alien Breed: Special Edition, which is actually an entirely different game that was an improvement on the first game upon its original release, and is still the stronger part of this package. Not only that, but they have even created three brand new episodes in the story, just for this release.
So, you are essentially getting the original, six level Alien Breed, the superior 12 level Alien Breed: Special Edition and the three new episodes, which will together give you many hours of gameplay, and they all feature their own stories with simple cut-scenes. You can collect credits strewn around the levels to buy guns that are unlocked across the game modes, such as missile launchers and lasers, and plasma arcs that bounce off the walls. There are also a lot of locked doors in the levels, with keys needed to unlock them, although they can also be unlocked by using up some of your precious ammo destroying them. A hint here is to use unlocked weapons on your enemies and switch to the standard rifle to destroy doors.
The game has received a complete graphical makeover, and the result is a modern looking game that still retains the feel of the original, 16 bit graphics, and the controls have also been transformed, with a standard twin stick setup used, and this does work well. You do also have the option of switching to the original graphics and control system, although I suspect this will be nothing more than a curiosity for many, as although the graphics still look good, the old control system really, really doesn’t work as well as you may remember. I do find it strange that you can’t mix and match the control system, and have the old graphics with the new controls. Hopefully this will come in a future update, as it is an odd oversight.
The best thing about this release; the wealth of multiplayer options included. You can play locally with a PS3 and a Vita in two player mode, and online with either version, as well as ad-hoc play for two Vita’s. It is extremely important to note that you get BOTH versions when you purchase the game, as it is one of the ‘cross buy’ games.
What is more, you can play in single player on PS3, save your game, then pick up your Vita and continue right where you left off. It is the little things like this that make you really feel like you are getting good value for money. It does, however, highlight the pointlessness of the PS Mini release.
Overall, this is a great updating of a classic release. Optional HD visials, online play, local play, cross buy, cross platform play, loads of extra levels, and all for a very low price. It does warm the heart when a developer decides do these things the right way, and makes the fact that it is sitting in the PS Store next to the £59.99 Aliens: Colonial Marines all the more pleasing for fans of Alien blasting on the cheap.
Check out all of our Aliens: Colonial Marines coverage at our Aliens: Colonial Marines Central
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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.