Alien Breed 2: Assault Review

By Adam Ma on October 5, 2011

The first Alien Breed title succeed in two ways, first being that there were aliens and second there was definitely some form of breeding going on. The aliens were breeding that is, or at least multiplying in some form. Unfortunately, the rest of the game wasn't so hot. There were few scares, even fewer thrills, and the multiplayer mode trivialized all challenges in-game even further. Enter Alien Breed 2, where the aliens are still breeding (clearly) and things have become worse for our heroes. The game kicks off right after the first game, amidst a lot of disaster and some very cheesy voice acting.

What's great about Alien Breed 2 is that anyone who's played the first knows exactly what they're getting into. The controls have more or less the same feel on the Xbox controller, but in a way feel a little more natural. There aren't a lot of buttons used to play this title, so where most games would feel strange and unnatural being converted from PC to console (or vice versa), Alien Breed works quite nicely. On the same page, throwing grenades and using general weaponry also works well. It's very easy to get pinpoint accuracy with all the weapons that matter, and handling enemies from all angles couldn't be less difficult.

In fact, that's the problem with this sequel; it follows too closely in the footsteps of the predecessor. The top-down camera is still present and it's really what stops the game from being all that tense. Enemies can be seen coming from across the room, and just in case players weren't given enough of an advantage there's this handy little motion sensor in the bottom right hand corner. Why this sensor exists is beyond me, as half the time the player is being swarmed from all angles and it's extremely easy to tell where the attack is coming from.

It's a shame that more hasn't been changed from the original though. As going through, it's difficult to see where there's much inspiration. That button in the middle of a room? Oh it's still there, and it's still a trap. The hole in the ground that's large enough for an alien? It is, but this time there may be two aliens instead of one! What's sad is the few genuine moments of surprise are completely ruined by the game's radar, unimpressive cast of enemies, and superbly overpowered weaponry.

The pistol itself is enough to handle most enemies (assuming you have the room to back up a bit), but just in case there's also an impressively devastating shotgun and an equally effective assault rifle. These two weapons alone are enough to handle all opposing forces; everything else in the game is just fun overkill. The multiplayer component of the game sits around the same level too; not really challenging at all, but mildly amusing for anyone looking for something to do.

Even taking all these downsides into perspective, Alien Breed 2 is still better than Alien Breed Impact. The levels look impressively detailed, with an appropriate amount of atmosphere and depth in the design. If it weren't for the fact that every single alien 'spawn point' was so predictable, there may actually be a little bit of 'scary' in here too. Sound wise things aren't too bad, save for maybe the voice acting (or lack thereof). Most of the game's new objectives occur through characters communicating with one another about what new dangerous part of the ship needs to be entered, but none of this is voiced over. I'm not sure how much it would cost to add those extra voices, but it would be worth it, as having to constantly read amidst wandering the ship is extremely tiring.

Final Thoughts

So in the end Alien Breed 2 is a disappointment. It still lacks any of the traits that would make the title challenging, fun, or even remotely scary. The game shows signs of some improvement over its predecessor, but overall not enough to say that it's worthwhile playing except perhaps to anyone that enjoyed the first game. A perfect example of a series lost in some form of 'nostalgia', Alien Breed 2 makes no real effort to improve, but on the same page the core gameplay isn't exactly what anyone would call awful - it's just uninspired.

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