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Alien Breed Evolution: Review

Alien Breed Evolution is an episodic video game, and the latest in the Alien Breed series by Team 17 and the first new title in the series for over 14 years. A complete revamp of the 90’s classic Alien Breed, Evolution is a top-down isometric 3D shooter that visually stays true to the original template. Spanning three episodes in total, each is available separately as a stand-alone game, It was released as Episode 1 on Xbox Live Arcade in December 16, 2009 and it will be released online on PC (like the original games) and PlayStation Network in 2010. It has single player and a two-player cooperative mode which can be played either online or offline.

In Alien Breed Evolution, you’re a poor soul trapped in what first seems to be an abandoned spaceship.  A mysterious vessel collides with yours, resulting in a sudden alien infestation which resemble insect like creatures.  Loaded with various weapons (including a shotgun, assault rifle and a pistol with unlimited ammunition), it’s up to you to figure out a way off the ship.  It’s not easy, between the aliens that want to eat you alive and the environment that seems to be working against at every step dangers including fires and hazardous gases.

Alien Breed takes you from waypoint to waypoint with little in the way of exploration , so gameplay is very straightforward. You’ll have your occasional dead bodies and lockers you can inspect for life packs, ammo, keys and so ford. Exploring the ships for this items will take you away from your main objective since searching for items in rooms are a bit out of your way, but other than that you just go where the story tells you to go and shoot anything that moves along your way. There are some light survival horror elements to go with all that shooting. Ammo can be scarce and interacting with any item in the environment will usually trigger an alien attack from under the floor or from within the walls of the ship.

Utilizing top-down view that where you can explore around the ship with the shoulder buttons, the controls and movement of Alien Breed Evolution are very simple which is what makes the game easy to enjoy either by yourself or with a friend. Run around with the left stick, aim with the right stick and shoot with the right trigger. Thats all you pretty much need to know to play the  game. The rest of the buttons are mapped jut as you would expect, putting your secondary equipment (which could be a grenade or a healthpack or something else fun) on the right trigger, A for interact, X for sprint, Y to reload and B to melee and so on. Alien Breed Evolution is easy to pick up.

Team 17 has done an amezing job with the game’s presentation, utilizing the Unreal Engine 3 to full effect.  The visuals are stunning, making you feel like you’ve been thrust head first into James Cameron’s Aliens movie.  It’s great walking around dark, creepy hallways, seeing broken doors, dead bodies and electrified floors.  Your hair will really stand up on your neck at times when aliens appear out of nowhere. The soundtrack is moody and aliens announce their presence with distinctive shrieks. The sound is also well done from the moody soundtrack to the screams and growls of the aliens announce their presence with distinctive shrieks.

Alien Breed Evolution is a great game driven by solid graphics,sounds, and story. You can’t image how the first chapter will end, but the cliffhanger ending will having you coming back for a serving of chapter 2. The campaign itself is well worth the 800 Microsoft points with multiplayer being an added bonus. Anyone wanting to a break from Call of Duty or whatever your playing this week make a note to check out Alien Breed Evolution: Chapter 1. I guaranty you’ll be back for chapter 2.

SCORE 8 out of 10