Alien Breed: Impact Reviews

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Alien Breed is a long-standing series, with the first of the five original titles having been released in 1991 for the Commodore Amiga. The game saw a plethora of various ports over the years, which has kept the memory of the top-down, sci-fi shooter alive and well in the hearts and minds of gamers. In 2009 Team17, the developer behind the initial game series, unleashed Alien Breed: Impact, the first in a trilogy of releases that were set to reboot the franchise for the modern generation.

It must be said first and foremost that Alien Breed: Impact, and the two follow-up titles, are extremely different from their 1991-1994 counterparts. The original games played more like the classic Gauntlet title, whereas the re-birthed games are more of what you would expect from current era top-down shooters. Alien Breed: Impact will have you traversing fairly large areas, all of which are filled with hordes of alien lifeforms that are dead set on your imminent disposal. All the while, you must ravage every nook and cranny for ammunition and med-kits to ensure that your survival is guaranteed.

The Alien Breed trilogy is heavily, but unofficially, influenced by the Alien film franchise; more specifically, the second movie, Aliens. This influence shines brightly through the dimly lit corridors and dynamic lighting-filled sectors of the facility and space ship that you will be exploring. As well, it shows within some of the alien foes that you will face off against; primarily the little ones that look nearly identical to Facehuggers, and they even sometimes sprout up out of eggs. While these nods to the classic film franchise are apparent, the title also has enough of its own unique monsters.

There's really not that much to talk about when it comes to gameplay, Impact is your typical top-down shooter where you run through the areas and shoot whatever may come your way. There are a decent variety of weapons, though the list isn't incredibly long; there's a shotgun, assault rifle, flamethrower, pulse gun, and a laser rifle to take down the enemy with. Along with the aforementioned arsenal, there are also frag and stun grenades at your disposal, as well as a sentry turret that can be placed at specific locations. To keep you alive, you also have access to large and small medkits, and hardened armor to suit up with.

Ammunition, items, and upgrades can be purchased with scavenged credits at certain terminal locations. Items and ammo can also be found on dead bodies, in lockers, and placed sporadically through the maps. There are three upgrades for every weapon, but unfortunately only one upgrade can be active per weapon at any given time; if you purchase another upgrade for the same gun, you lose your current one and will have to repurchase it if you require it again. This is one of the few drawbacks to Alien Breed: Impact, but the ability to have all of the upgrades for each gun at once would most likely unbalance the game and cause it to be too easy.

The controls can be cumbersome during heated battle, and it's not always easy to swap weapons. Using an Xbox One controller, you must use the left and right on the D-Pad to change between guns, while up and down changes between grenades and health items. If you suddenly find yourself swarmed with large, heavy hitting enemies and need to quickly get to your shotgun from your pistol or pulse gun, it's not only time consuming but you must take your thumb off of the left stick, which enables you to walk around; the right stick aims. There's literally zero reason as to why the right and left bumper buttons couldn'tve been utilized for the weapon and item swap buttons.

Like with most top-down shooters, the storyline is pretty well last on the agenda. You are Conrad, and your ship has just crashed into something. Everyone on the upper decks are dead, it's just you and the synthetic human Mia. Now you've gotta go find out the damage and fix everything up; however, it's not going to be that easy. The script is pretty vanilla, and it's easily predictable. It's definitely not the greatest story ever written, but it's far from the worst; it's simply just mediocre.

As far as top-down, sci-fi shooters are concerned, Alien Breed: Impact is one of the best that are currently on Steam. Although the game is dated by seven years at this point, it feels graphically brand new... especially in comparison to many of the games of the same genre that have come out in recent years. If you can forgive a poor storyline and some clunky controls in lieu of amazing atmosphere and action-driven, guns blazing, alien smashing gameplay, then you can be glad to fork over $10.99 CAD for this game. If you manage to snag it, and the entire trilogy, on sale, then you're going to enjoy yourself even more.

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TSA Score for this game: 147
Posted on 05 March 18 at 19:31
This review has 3 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Alien Breed: Impact is apparently a remake of a very old Amiga game, which is impressive. It probably takes nothing but a theme from the game, but it's great to see an old game get a remake.

Unfortunately, that's the last time I'll probably use the word great for Alien Breed: Impact, or really anything in this series.

It's not that these are awful games. They are technically good games, and functional. It's just the games themselves do nothing interesting or impressive in the least. The player goes between waypoints, presses A for a few seconds and then goes somewhere else. The whole time alien bugs are trying to kill him. He does this for five levels and there's a boss fight (A boss fight that was easy to not get hit during) and then the game is over.

While the game lasts 5 hours, I don't even know if I was truly interested in a full hour of the gameplay in total. The multiplayer is dead, but if you're not playing with someone I'm not sure if there's much reason to even play this game. The game is just doesn't do anything interesting after a level. You get more weapons but nothing even worth spoiler. They all operate about the same, and none feel that powerful.

The levels mostly start, to go to point A, get blocked, sidetrack to open a door, then go back, then get blocked again and sidetrack again, then come back. It's repetitive, but it's mostly just wave after wave of the same enemy. There are at least 6 or seven enemies in the game, but I really only remember 3 that constantly harass the player, and there's not much to tell there.

Is it a bad game? No, but it's not a good game. I don't know who I'd recommend this game to. Maybe someone who REALLY loves twin-stick shooters wants to shoot a lot of bugs over and over and has a lot of time on their hands. But really, I'm sure there are a few games that do it better than Alien Breed: Impact. Personally, I'd recommend Geometry wars, Everday Shooter, Beat Hazard, or HellDivers.

Note: I got this in a humble bundle I bought to get the Worm games which are also from Team 17, which I enjoy. This was an add-in that I was not planning on buying.
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