As you may be used to, I occasionally like to use my blog space to write about non-MMO games. This is one of those times. If you don’t feel like reading about my adventures with an XBL Arcade download, please avert your eyes! From here on out, we’ll just subtitle these non-MMO blogs as “sidebar” so that you can pick them out from the pack.
I’ve been spending my couch-gaming time lately with Team17’s Alien Breed 2: Assault, the company’s follow-up to last year’s resurrection of the Alien Breed franchise. You may or may not be familiar with the series from back in its 1990’s heyday. But here’s the gist: it’s kind of like Gauntlet in space and with lots of bloodied aliens to kill. It’s a top-down shooter that poses you as an engineer named Theodore J. Conrad as he tried to fight his way through the abandoned Leopold spaceship and rescue yourself and your crewmates from being stranded. It’s a pretty straightforward story, but the atmosphere and visuals lend themselves well towards the feeling that you’re stranded on an abandoned ship. It’s reminiscent of the film Aliens in a way, and though it’s obviously not intentionally a scary game there have been times when the way in which the enemies bust out make me jump.
The game itself plays like a Diablo in space and with guns… but with less RPG. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some different RPG facets in the form of buying and selling and making new weapons. It’s sort of a rudimentary upgrade system in that way. But the real meat and potatoes come from navigating the game’s tightly-packed corridors, solving its puzzles, and killing as many of the aliens as you can. If you’re a fan of sci-fi and dungeon crawlers, this one’s worth the $10 price of admission.
The voiceover work is wonky and stilted, but hey at least it has some when other DLC games often forego such niceties. It’s not an incredibly long game with five main levels and a few multi-player arenas to boot, but for your $10 you’ll likely get about six hours of campaign gameplay and a few more from multi-player as well. It’s a pretty laudable accomplishment considering its low price of entry, and when many $60 games these days offer less bang for your buck, you really can’t go wrong. The only thing I fear is that Alien Breed 2 (and Alien Breed 3 which is due out this month around Turkey Day) are going to be buried by more hyped arcade titles like the new Tomb Raider, Limbo, and Deathspank. I hope not though… there’s a lot of fun to be had with Team17’s resurrected franchise.