games / Reviews

Alien Breed Impact (PSN) Review

October 24, 2010 | Posted by Trace Aber

Game: Alien Breed Impact
Genre: Isometric Shooter
Players: 1-2
Developer: Team 17
Publisher: Team 17
Rated T for Teen

Alien Breed Impact is the PSN version of the remake of Team 17’s classic alien shooter, Alien Breed. Unfortunately, it comes eight months after a remake was released on the 360, and a couple months after a PC version was released. So, despite Impact being a generally fun game, it’s likely not to get as much attention on the PS3, and rightfully so.

The story opens up in comic book panels, though it doesn’t really work all that well. It’s hard to figure out what’s going on and who’s who without finding and reading all of the data logs, but you’re still left in the dark for a while. Basically, your ship has been infected by aliens and you need to survive. That’ll do for the story because it’s a pretty simple motivator and this game is more about killing aliens, not telling a coherent story.

Battle is down in typical twin-stick shooter design, and is handled quite well. Aliens pop out of the ground and from walls, and from all directions. This requires quick reflexes and a healthy supply of ammo, which isn’t always available. While I wouldn’t call this a true survival game where you must conserve every bullet, you do have to be aware of how much ammo you waste. You have a decent selection of guns, and they can each be upgraded once (which modify your power, reload time and rate of fire). This creates some sort of strategy, as you could possibly ruin a gun with the wrong powerup.

Although it’s hard to go wrong when you have a sentry gun on your side

Scattered about the ship are stations where you can purchase ammo, items, upgrades and save your game. This is a new addition and is rather handy when you run low on ammo, as credits (the in-game currency) are pretty easy to find on the ship. Sometimes you’ll have to search human corpses for them, but other times you can find wads of money lying around.

The core problem with Alien Breed is that the missions are dated. Instead of exploring this ship and finding out what’s going on, you’re just running back and forth, from place to place, turning off something and verifying that it’s off, or you’re going to a door, told to get a key card, find the key card, then open the door. It’s not bad at first, and is a good way to get to know the ship, but when you realize that’s all you’re doing it loses its charm quickly.

Killing aliens, on the other hand, never loses its charm

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, Free Play might be up your alley. Playable for both solo and co-op modes, you’re given large chunks of the game without save spots. Each chunk lasts about an hour, so not only must you be ready to play for that long, but every move could be the difference from finishing the level to wasting the last 45 minutes of your life.

The game has received a graphical overhaul and looks really good, perhaps even a bit better than the 360 version (though this may just be my fuzzy memory). There’s always something going on in the ship, be it aliens exploding out, actual explosions, fire, you name it – and it all runs smoothly and looks great. The audio warnings on the ship can get a bit annoying, to the point where you’re yelling at your TV, “I know I should get off the damn ship already!”

-Controls are great
-Good graphics
-Alien Breed fans will want to get this

-Repetitive missions
-Brutal free play mode

The 411
Alien Breed: Impact is the third version of the same game. It doesn’t make it any less good than its counterparts, just the market smaller. Alien Breed fans are a limited base, and I’d imagine most who wanted it by now already have it. That being said, the gameplay is fun and if you can get past the repetitive missions, it’s worth your money. Just don’t expect to play co-op and be friends after the fact.

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Trace Aber
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