PSN Review – Alien Breed 2: Assault

January 4, 2011 Written by Mike Hartnett

The top-down science fiction shooter saga Alien Breed continues with Alien Breed 2: Assault. Does the sequel in this dark series continue to deliver? Or does it go down in flames along with your ship? Lets find out.

Just when you thought you got used to the creepy, dark atmosphere of Alien Breed: Impact, you’re thrown back in and, much like the first, it’ll take some time before you’re immune to the startling sound of voracious aliens bursting through the floors and walls. Rather than consider it a sequel, it’s best to consider Alien Breed 2 a direct continuation, as the game resumes right where the first left off. You play as Theodore J. Conrad, an engineer on the spaceship Leopold, who has successfully made his way onto the ghost ship which had initially collided with his in the first Alien Breed.

The environments this time around are extremely similar to those found in the first game, though you can obviously tell that its been a while since anything human has traversed the ghost ship, with alien egg nests found everywhere and alien goo covering many of the walls and corners. Aside from all the noticeable similarities, this game still looks gorgeous, with the atmosphere taking an even darker turn later on. There are also some new camera angles tossed in at certain parts of the game which bring the camera down for more of a “Dead Space feel”, though this only occurs a few time. Despite Alien Breed 2 being categorized as a top-down shooter, tweakable camera options would have been nice. The story is told by way of comic strip style cutscenes, with a few in-game cutscenes thrown in for good measure. As usual, Team17 has done a remarkable job of utilizing the Unreal Engine, and it shows from start to finish.

Alien screams, machine sounds and eerie creepy-crawly noises come together to create a sensational atmosphere which really immerses the player as they go deeper into the game. The voice acting is also quite good, and really causes the player to feel like they’re invested in the well-being of the main character, as well as the supporting cast, even though you’re worrying about yourself most of the time.

The weapons, for the most part, have remained the same, with two new additions: a rocket launcher and an uber-powerful chain gun which is easily the coolest weapon in the game. The Intex terminals make a return as well, which means players will once again be able to upgrade weapons and health power-ups, purchase ammo, etc., just like before. And this time around, careful utilization and conservation of ammo will be key, because the game throws numerous bad guys at you early on; this trend only gets more severe as players progress through the game. There are also a few boss battles which, despite being incredibly easy, are actually a lot of fun.

There is an online co-op mode, again much like the first, which serves to provide some great fun with friends, as well as a new ‘Survivor Mode’ which pits players against hordes of aliens while the players have to scramble to attain and conserve ammo. Additionally, the online leaderboards are back, so players can attempt to blast their way to the top of the charts.

With all this being said, Alien Breed 2: Assault is a terrific game. While not much has changed between this game and the first, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The storyline is more engrossing than ever, and players will always be compelled to push on… for humanities sake, and for the one individual with whom you start to develop a relationship with. But we’ve gone and said too much already. Go and play this game; it’s a sterling example of what a PSN title should be, and we can only expect the next installment in the series, Alien Breed: Descent, to be just as good, if not much better.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Gorgeous visuals.

+ New weapons, environments, and twisted storyline make for a more immersive experience.

– Gameplay is still pretty repetitive, though new boss battles and weapons help to shake things up.

8 out of 10