Alien Breed is a sci-fi, top down shooter from the delightful chaps that brought us Worms, Team 17. Originally released in 1991 on three separate floppy discs, it was an instant classic. The series was recently reinvigorated with an excellent trilogy of remakes on Xbox Live and PSN with enhanced and updated 3D graphics, cinematics, a cool storyline and great action sequences. Team 17 are keen to keep this trend going with the release of a Alien Breed remake on Playstation Mobile, letting veterans relive the experience and youngsters discover an old gem.
As a portable title Alien Breed has a lot to offer; as well as all six original levels, you get twleve special addition levels and another eight entirely new levels with a story that ties in with the original. Each mission is a rampage through a maze of tight corridors infested with aliens, usually with one main objective to complete in order to end the level. Sometimes this involves blowing up reactor cores, destroying computers and sealing areas off to avoid fires spreading to other parts of the ship.
The most exciting level require you to memorise your route and run back to the exit before the whole places blows up with you in it. However, as a result of the similar objectives, it can be quite repetitive and larger levels can be frustratingly confusing. Fortunately there is a map that can be accessed at any time, and I found myself referring to it a lot to figure out which way I was supposed to be going.
A refreshing feature of the game is the fact that there’re plenty of resources scattered across every level. Should you find yourself in the uncommong situation of being short on ammo simply press the start button to bring up the store, where you can buy everything you need. Ammo, health, extra lives and keys can all be purchased whenever you need them making it almost impossible to die as well, just so long as you don’t run out of cash, which again it scattered about each level and thankfully carries over from each game.
This is particularly useful when you want to unlock new weapons since all your cash goes into one pot, whether you playing the Special Edition, the original or any of the new levels. Unfortunately I felt the convenience of the store, and the multitude of weapons, made the game less challenging. Each enemy can more or less be killed with one shot and boss battles rarely that long. Nonetheless its a fun game that is enjoyable enough to play in both short and long bursts.
The graphical updates Alien Breed has had is exceptional, giving it a quintessentially sci-fi, claustrophobic and dark survival horror feel. An awesome job has been done on the visuals all round, but, oddly enough, when I switched over to play the game in its original 1991 version I found it much more enjoyable. The combination of nostalgia, retro sound effects and the novelty of it all really put a smile on my face. In some ways it’s ironic that one of the best features of this remake is the ability to play it in its original form.
Graphics: 4/5 - Wonderfully retro or superbly enhanced, the visual style is up to you and neither disappoint.
Sound: 4/5 - The Sound quality has had a major upgrade along with everything else but personally I think the retro chip beeps are better
Gameplay: 3/5 - It can be frustrating at times but all in all it’s a fun and addictive game perfect for mobile platforms.
Longevity: 3/5 - Additional new levels and unlockable weapons tempt you back surprisingly easily.
Overall 3.5 out of 5
Alien Breed Mobile is a an enjoyable downloadable that can potentially cater to fans of the original as well as new players. The gameplay may be a little old fashioned, but there is still an awful lot to enjoy about it.
- Adam Radcliffe