Alien Breed Review

What we liked:
+ Includes the original
+ A legitimate remake
+ Unlocks are universal
+ Includes the Vita version
+ Online co-op
What we didn't like:
- Limited appeal
- Enhanced shooting a bit off
Rating
8.0
Great
DEVELOPER: Mastertronic   |   PUBLISHER: Team 17   |   RELEASE: 02/19/2013

Review
Breathing new life into an old classic.

It always irritates me when a band covers a song and it sounds just like the original. If you’re going to re-make something, at least put your own signature on it to differentiate your version. With Alien Breed on PSN you get the best of both worlds: the original Amiga classic as well as a redone, modernized version of the game. While there isn’t much appeal for those who didn’t experience the 1991 version, those who did will find both nostalgia and something new to enjoy in this package.

In Alien Breed, you are an agent of the Inter-Planetary-Corps, investigating a space station that is teeming with aliens. In order to survive, you must navigate each level of the station, usually with the task of triggering an explosive and escaping the level before detonation. In addition to the original game, Alien Breed includes the Special Edition and three additional level packs, providing plenty to explore.

The original game plays like Midway’s classic, Gauntlet, right down to a voice announcing the need for health or keys. Billed as a survival horror game, you progress through the levels from an overhead perspective, shooting aliens and collecting cash and keys in order to proceed. While in a level, you can access a map or enter the store to redeem your cash for health, keys or new guns. Ammunition is universal, so it works with any gun you have, which is very nice.

Rather than just being the same game with updated graphics, the enhanced edition is a full remake, turning the game into a dual joystick shooter. The action speeds up to match your better offensive capabilities, but aside from the sharper graphics the level design remains largely the same, although you now have arrows pointing you in the direction of your objective. In a very nice touch levels and weapons that you have unlocked are universal across either version, allowing you to go back and forth without having to repeat.

Space extermination, done right.


Graphically, the enhanced version strikes a nice balance. Naturally it’s better than the original, but it keeps the same style and doesn’t go over the top, so it still fits comfortably with the original. The games feel appreciably different; in the original you’ll have to move a bit more carefully, while the enhanced version’s controls allow you to be a bit more aggressive. The controls feel fine except for aiming down in the enhanced version, which seemed to pull slightly to the left.

Alien Breed offers fans much more than just a re-release. With an updated version of the game, online co-op, cross play between the PS3 and Vita and universal level and gun unlocks, players can enjoy the game in just about any way they want. If you’ve never played the game before it’s probably not the best use of your money, but fans will enjoy the ability to relive their memories while also creating new ones.

Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on PlayStation 3.

Dave Payerle

Dave Payerle

Dave enjoys playing video games almost as much as he enjoys buying video games. What his wife calls an "online shopping addiction" he calls "building a library". When he's not digging through the backlog he's hunting for loot in Diablo or wondering when the next Professor Layton game is coming.

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