Excellent conversion of Team 17's big 1991 Amiga hit. Alien Breed is a top-down science fiction shooter somewhat inspired by the movie Alien in terms of plot and atmosphere. Gameplay, though, was obviously inspired by the Atari arcade classic Gauntlet. The game tells a typical sci-fi story of alien invasion. It's up to you, of course, to save the Earth. |
Viewed from a top-down perspective, the graphics are clear and crisp, with well animated sprites and smoothly-scrolling background graphics. Great lighting effects are used very effectively as you progress through the game, such as the flames from the flamer which light up in the dark. Long before Half-Life, Alien Breed uses the setting and "scripted" events to add to the suspense. The best way to describe how atmospheric the game is is perhaps to describe a level. **SPOILER ALERT** The last level, for instance, sees a power failure and a strict time limit with which to escape from the ship. The tension mounts as the auto-destruction system periodically announces how little time you have left. The corridors are pitch black, and all you can see are the glowing eyes of the aliens as they race to attack you and the explosions as you pepper them with whatever ammunition you have left. Then you see the red lights on the floor guiding you to your escape and you follow them to the lift, on your way out. This entire level is very well-designed, and your heart will pound as you race toward the exit at the end.
Throughout the game, you will come across various bonus items such as health, keys, money and ammunition. The money then lets you purchase weapons upgrades and extra ammunition via the console terminals you can log in to when you see one. These terminals also serve as save points giving you a password to jot down if you've got the money. This console-style save system may upset anyone who's used to the ability to save at any time in most PC games, but fortunately there are enough terminals around. Weapons range from your lowly blaster to more powerful machine gun blaster weapons, and from flamer weapons to energy weapons which ricochet off the walls.
Overall, Alien Breed is a great gaming experience that all action fans will enjoy. It's very difficult, though-- newbies be warned. Too bad the only other Alien Breed game converted to the PC was Tower Assault, although Team 17 created a few more sequels for the Amiga. Highly recommended!
Note: We have been asked by Team 17 to remove downloads of all their games. Please contact the company directly if you are interested in purchasing any out of print titles.
Reviewed by: Underdogs