Alien Breed 3 Decent: review

  • Format: PSN
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Team 17
  • Developer: Team 17
  • Players: 1-2
  • Site: http://www.team17.com

We asked for episode 3 and Team 17 have delivered. However, we are not too sure if we should have asked for it so enthusiastically. This, unsurprisingly, is the third instalment for the PS3 of the Alien Breed reboot. It’s already graced Xbox Live Arcade and now here it is on the PlayStation Network.

The game is much the same as the two previous instalments. You are one of the few survivors on a grand spaceship which has crashed into another, Alien infested spaceship. There is some overall plot line about some kind of overarching intelligence pitting themselves against your fairly nondescript character. However none of this matters as you will not care. In essence it’s a top down shooter which rips off the Alien movie franchise better than any game ever released as a license of Alien (the PS1 FPS aside, which was excellent!).

The game still revolves around going from point A to point B, and in some cases going back to point A before you move onto point C, where you can then start the process over again as you prepare to move onto point D. In itself this is ok (it worked with Metroid), but the game is dragged out and becomes a ‘start-stop’ experience due to Team 17’s insistence of showing you that they really did use the Unreal Engine to make this game. Hence as a way of demonstrating some nice tech (such as some nice water early on in level 1) and as a way of ‘justifying’ why you have to go to point B (or C, D etc), they will suddenly show you what’s up ahead. Normally this is an obstacle that needs to be removed by going to point C to deactivate some random computer terminal. This also allows them to bring the camera down to make you feel you are part of the game world which is cute, but well overdone. However, instead of making us feel part of the game world as the designers had intended, it has the effect of taking us out of the game and killing what atmosphere has built up until that point.

Alien Breed was always a game about atmosphere. It was a game which really tried to capture the seat of your pants, stress and pressure of the Alien movies. It did this by making you this lonely, solitary figure in a world where it was just you and the aliens. Now it’s become you, the aliens, some weird baddie intelligence who talks to you regularly and lots of meaningless cut scenes which cause the game to stutter along.

This game works best when all the gimmicks are removed and it’s just reduced to your character, a good map, your machine gun (which has a great sound to it), with your Alien-esque movement scanner and creatures which come from all directions. However there are some serious flaws such as Nintendo style end of level bosses, which are poorly executed, co-op is still limited and we still don’t have the bonus of the original game (we would love to see that).

Alien Breed was a great franchise and overall this has been a fairly successful reboot. If you have played and enjoyed the previous two instalments it might be worth seeing the story to the end. However if you decided to overlook episode one and two, there is no new reason for you to suddenly join in the saga.

 

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Written by Steven G

Steven Gurevitz is the CEO of 2002 Studios Media LTD and a founder of gaming accessory company Asiiya. 2002 Studios started off as a music production company, but produces a range of content from videos to videogames. The company specialises in localizing content for global brands.

He also owns the Urban Sound Label, a small niche e-label. He is a freelance music tech writer, having co-written the Music Technology Workbook and is a regular contributor and co-owner CriticalGamer.co.uk. He enjoys FPS, Third person ‘free world’, narrative driven and portable gaming.
He is a freelance music tech writer, having co-written the Music Technology Workbook and is a regular contributor to CriticalGamer.co.uk.

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