Alien Breed 2: Assault is the second chapter in the series, this time placing our hero Conrad in an infested spacecraft. Team17, one of the longest surviving independent game developers widely known for its Worms games has done an amazing job of adapting an old school title into the present.
The original Alien Breed was released in 1991 for the Commodore Amiga, and later in 1993 for DOS. It was remade as Alien Breed Impact earlier this year for Steam, Xbox Live Arcade and PS3. Alien Breed 2: Assault is nothing like its original.
The classic overhead view and format of the Alien Breed games remain the same with Assault as well as the overall goal of each level. However, there are new weapons, significantly greater graphics and my personal favorite, co-op gameplay. Sadly, there are not that many people online playing the title at the moment, but when you can find another player, co-op really makes it shine.
Co-op mode allows you to select one of three missions to play side-by-side to locate Conrad. Unfortunately the main game doesn’t have a co-op mode, but it helps you add to the storyline of what Conrad’s other two teammates are up to. Additionally, you can play co-op survival mode where you must fight off wave of aliens that continuously get larger, similar to Halo Reach’s FireFight Mode.
The single player mode advances the story for Conrad and his team, but the gameplay of the single player campaign is frequently interrupted with too many cutaway scenes that take away from the action. The regular missions consist of finding a computer module, activating it, and warding off waves of aliens as they try to prevent you from advancing. The actual cut-scenes are fine, but after you see an engine power up or reactor come online for the twentieth time – with no way to skip it – it gets bothersome and frustrating.
On the plus side, the variations in guns are great and each one is more suitable for certain alien types. The flame thrower is generally great against all, but the upgraded assault riffle is a personal favorite. Unlike other similar genre titles, Alien Breed 2: Assault’s weapons and environments are logical in design and functionality. If you throw a grenade too close, or launch a rocket at an alien next to you, you will surely feel it.
There is no such thing as a plethora of ammo in Alien Breed 2: Assault. A major factor in surviving the alien onslaught is proper management of your ammunition and this adds to the fun and challenging gameplay. The only gun that this issue doesn’t apply to is the pistol, which has unlimited ammo and continues to fire at a slower rate after you run out of a clip.
The graphics and sound effects in this game are especially great. Alien Breed 2: Assault feels like a classic arcade game, but with modern graphical enhancements needed to bring the Alien Breed series to the current gen. Lighting is a shining aspect of the game, most notably the flashlight on your gun which allows you to see in darkened hallways. Some of the aliens will have glowing eyes, but it adds to the creepiness factor and immersiveness of being totally alone in space. The sound effects and camera shaking to represent explosions or something occurring to the spacecraft doubles that creepiness factor.
While I feel the gameplay is solid, I feel the game’s strong spot is in the co-op missions and survival modes. The price is right, but there are not enough people currently playing this to really make the co-op functions awesome, yet. To really get a taste of the game, Team17 has also released demos for Alien Breed 2: Assault on Steam and Xbox Live Arcade.
Alien Breed 2: Assault released September 22, 2010 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.