The top down shooter has been an arcade classic since the dawn of the home computer, be it intrepid heroes in Gauntlet, or the money grabbing contestants of Smash TV. Team 17, of Worms fame, had their own classic top down shooter in Alien Breed. A remake came to Xbox Live, PS3 and PC recently. The series was always planned as a set of downloadable chapters so Alien Breed 2: Assault has come as no surprise. Co-Optimus gave the first game a reasonable 3.5 out of 5 sighting the extreme difficulty level and repetitive gameplay as two of the game’s problems. With less than a year between episodes has enough been done to improve the game, or justify buying more of the same?
Alien Breed 2 is just that; more of the same. The game continues directly from events in the first game as you use a bald space marine to cut through waves of oncoming aliens, whose nature are not too dissimilar to that of the Alien film franchise. The game remains hard going, with the difficulty level spiking early and common issues with the Unreal Engine make the levels feel samey in shades of green and grey – or as I like to call it, greyn. However, there are some elements that have been enhanced for the second episode. The graphics are slightly clearer and the pacing of the game is better, with bigger set pieces and a feel that is even closer to Dead Space. There is also the introduction of RPG-lite elements as you pick up credits which you can be spent on improving your weaponry. This may seem like a very minimal addition, but it gives you more reason to risk life and limb to search fallen bodies or closed lockers.