Author: Dany Argueta, D.G. Anders
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Thursday, October 7th, 2010
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/alien_breed_2_assault/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
The U.C.S. Leopold has suddenly collided with a huge hunk of space mass orbiting a planet that kills more than half of the crew in an instant; chief engineer Conrad must now explore the mysterious mass to seperate it from the Leopold before it ends up crashing onto the planet's surface.
Alien Breed 2: Assault is simple to play: move Conrad around with the keyboard from a top-down view and aim with the mouse. As you explore the wreckage of the ship, you'll find ammo, credits, health, the occasional log, and rare new weapon or armor to defend yourself with. The camera can be freely rotated either in 45-degree increments on the keyboard or by moving the mouse cursor to the edges of the screen.
The first sign of things going amiss for me came around 10 or 15 minutes into play when I realized nothing truly significant was happening. Another while later, I began to wonder if I'll ever be able to do something other than going through point after point just to fetch an item and constantly fix things or activate a switch while just pointing and clicking my way through aliens. The last straw came when I was just outright frustrated doing the same two things in the first stage for just over an hour.
I'll be honest here: after going through an early death in level 2 without having seen a save point, I quit the game. I just could not stand the thought of doing the same uninteresting actions another 20 times in the next stage while mowing down enemies with little effort.
After a bit of a break, I decided to give the game a second chance and push myself through the second stage. I wasn't keeping my hopes way up and it turned out I was right to do that. Alien Breed was still making me trudge through areas to "fix" or activate platforms and buttons throughout this mangled spaceship so I could keep on going. Worse yet was that the new area had vastly less save points with mazelike paths to reach them so I was wary of losing a lot of progress.
Speaking of mazes, the game gives you no real sense of direction with the visuals (alright as they are) being almost entirely devoid of any real landmarks to go by. More annoying is the radar shows waypoints and nearby enemies but not actual paths to go through. Why the designers decided to do this is all the more baffling when going into your PDA reveals a map of the entire level at any time you want.
Enemies are dull and just outright dumb. If they're not randomly skittering around, they'll just line up nicely when they make a beeline toward you. Get yourself in a corner or find a chokepoint and it's all over within seconds. From what I managed to encounter, there wasn't much variety; one enemy was occasionally shooting a projectile that was hard to see.
The one boss I encountered was made harder than it should have thanks to the controls. Here's the oddball part: a bit after this boss fight, you enter a circular area that locks the controls to moving just left and right to simplify movement. The boss fight arena was ring-shaped but rather than locking the controls, the player is forced to manage moving forward and backward as well. Because of this, the boss was able to get in some cheap shots and make me use more health kits than needed.
Outside of the five-stage single player mode are a few Survivor arenas that pit you against wave after wave of enemies. If you're feeling masochistic, you could also retry individual stages in Free Play to beat your high score. Online co-op has its own set of levels to shoot through with one other player but I couldn't find any games to join.
I hate to say this but I simply cannot recommend Alien Breed 2: Assault. The brief time I've had with this was a monotonous trek that made me lose interest fast. I'm surprised Team17 put out a game like this when they're capable of putting out titles like Worms: Reloaded. Definitely save your cash and pass on this.
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