Gamescom 2010: Alien Breed 2: Assault Preview - They're Coming Out of The Walls!
Written Thursday, September 02, 2010 By Lee AbrahamsView author's profile
Amid the hustle and bustle of Gamescom you can sometimes be forgiven for letting smaller games slip through the cracks. Stacked up against the likes of BioShock, FIFA and the like, there are a number of titles that might just well be a diamond in the rough. Luckily we got a chance to go hands on with what could well be a PlayStation Network hit of the (hopefully) near future, Alien Breed 2: Assault, a game that is all about action.
Ostensibly a twin stick shooter, this game has some vast isometric levels for you to navigate and fend off the encroaching alien horde. Taking some obvious inspiration from the 'Alien' film series, this game has no pretensions about having a deep storyline and photo realistic visuals. Instead you are tasked with escaping a series of labyrinthine levels, while accomplishing a variety of tasks along the way. Things are fairly simple, and you will have to find key cards, repair electrical devices and raise bridges to progress. You may also have to lend a helping hand to people in need and fend off overwhelming waves of foes with stationary guns, not to mention the obligatory boss battles.
So far, so generic you may well think, but the presentation is spot on. The levels are superbly crafted and create that feeling of tension and claustrophobia that this style of game really needs. Plus the soundtrack is genuinely atmospheric too. The two combine to great effect to make this a lot more than just a random blaster. Alien foes come at you from every angle, and it can be a genuine shock to turn a corner and be bombarded by enemies. The one-off battles also help to mix up the gameplay and ensure that things never become too repetitive either. Along the way you can loot the corpses of some of your less than fortunate colleagues in order to snag useful items and increasingly powerful weaponry. All in a days work for someone purging an alien menace.
Sadly the single player experience is just that, with no co-op play with which to tackle the onslaught. It feels like a missed opportunity really, but the developers were keen to make the game as tense an experience as possible – which just didn’t happen when two players were cracking wise in co-op play.
Thankfully though you can team up with a buddy in Survival mode which does exactly what it says on the tin. You are pushed into an arena and have to survive wave upon wave of enemies. Think of it as a less forgiving version of Horde mode and you are halfway there. Crank up the difficulty to Elite and you can expect one hell of a challenge, and the team have sadistically decided to tag on an achievement for surviving a whole map, on Elite, while taking zero damage. Considering we only lasted six minutes on regular difficulty then it may well be a tough ask.
The whole game has been designed to offer a tougher and more varied structure than the first PSN game - which launched only yesterday - and on this showing it is doing a good job in both regards. With a fairly lengthy single player offering, spanning five giant levels, and the intriguing survival mode to allow you some co-op fun this should be an ideal form of relaxation when it eventually deigns t show up on PSN, hopefully in a similarly upgraded fashion to recent PlayStation Store addition, Alien Breed: Impact. We can only hope that the price point stays at the mooted £11.99/€14.99 price tag of its predecessor, which would represent an awesome deal.
NB: Screenshots featured in this preview are from the first game, Alien Breed: Impact, released on the PSN on September 1st, 2010. There are currently no Alien Breed 2: Assault screenshots available.