The downloadable market is getting more and more crowded and that is making it harder for games like Alien Breed Impact to stand out. I hope though, that you do acknowledge this game, because it is definitely worth a play through, as it is a fun, intense, top down corridor shooter than goes from zero to sixty in no time at all, and can be one awesome little ride.
Made by the development company Team 17, Alien Breed Impact is originally a game came out on XBLA earlier this year named Alien Breed Evolution, but now redesigned for PSN. Impact has had some design changes, such as the look of the aliens, as well as an added Upgrade Shop, and features an expanded prologue that you can play.
The game takes place on a ship called Leopold, with you donning the alien-blood-soaked space marine boots of Theodore Conrad. The ship crashes into a larger ship named “The Ghost Ship” when coming out of hyperspace, and begins to fall apart as it is infested by aliens. It is your job to wander around the ship, trying to repair malfunctioning systems and trying to get out of this predicament. The game’s story is told through various comic book style cut scenes, and is presented pretty well. Aside from this story, there is a separate co-op campaign, where you are able to play as two other survivors, Barnes and Vance, as you attempt to find Conrad in the ship. Each story has its moments, and I feel that they did a good job making the stories mesh together, and not just be the same story, just one being played with two people instead of one. Overall, it wraps up well, and is an interesting and fun ride.
However, I feel that the game play is the main draw of this game, as it is hectic, fun and fast paced. As I have mentioned, the game is a top down, isometric shooter. The shooting mechanic is really well done, as you move with the left stick, aim with the right stick and use the trigger to shoot. These controls work well, but at time can be kind of cumbersome when things get really hectic.
Conrad is able to hold a few weapons on his being at all times, as that number increases over the course of the game. The weapons range from flamethrowers to assault rifles and you can dispense your foes in many different ways. Each weapon feels unique, and you are able to upgrade them to increase their effectiveness in battle. There are many different foes that try to attack you, and they get increasingly harder over the course of the game, and well as become much larger.
The new upgrade system consists of weapon modifications, personal modifications and even item modifications. You can gain these modifications through terminals across the ship, as well as get items from them as you collect credits from various places on the ship as well. As the ship has crashed and most of the people are deceased, you are able to collect health packs and ammunition off of your fellow soldiers and crewmates. Each item takes time to use, so you have to be strategic in battle if you are trying to defend yourself, and have you gauge when is the best time to take a break from shooting to use health packs or grenades. This balance is a cool addition, which also adds to the tension of battle. You never know when aliens are going to pop out at you, so you always have to be ready if you let your guard down to heal.
Out of the five different chapters of the main storyline, you are tasked with doing a myriad of missions. You have missions where you are fighting your way to a terminal, shooting in every direction to shut down a power supply, or be able to charge one back up. There are some escort missions, which are actually pretty fun, and do not get frustrating as the escort cannot die, and finally there are even objectives where you have survive while a station charges up, and have a time limit to how long you have to hold out.
I did encounter a couple problems with the mission structure. When you are trying to get around in the ship, you can get stuck on some of the geometry, and have to really work around something even if you think you can progress easily. Also, there are some objectives that are very vague, and I often found myself getting lost and not being able to get through where I needed to, or not knowing where to go to progress. These two minimal problems to do not hinder the action too much and I felt that are minor blemishes on an otherwise great game.
In the graphics and presentation department, the game looks awesome. The environments are very unique, and I found a lot of good eye-popping graphics that stood out. The explosions looks fantastic, as I even sometimes squinted when one went off because I was not expecting it. I did however find some screen tearing that took away a little bit from the graphics, but the art style of the characters, creatures and environments are top notch. The voice acting is pretty good, with some moments being better than others. Sometimes the dialogue is presented very flat in a moment when it shouldn’t be, but it doesn’t make a difference. Generally in the presentation department, the game is really something well-worth looking at and experiencing.
Overall, I really liked my time with Alien Breed Impact. I did not play the original game back in the day, so I honestly do not have anything to compare it to, but I really had some fun with this fast paced action shooter. The game is decent length, with each level lasting anywhere from a half hour to forty five minutes, and I felt satisfied when I was finished, and you also have two campaigns to complete, which lengthens your time with the game. If you are looking for something quick to pick up and play for twenty minutes or so, this is definitely a game you should look into. I am not saying people have the time right now with all these major releases, but if you give it a chance, I am sure you will enjoy this game.
Review copy provided by publisher.