Review | Alien Breed 3: Descent
Descending into fun
Format: PC/PS3/Xbox 360| Genre: Shooter | Publisher: Team17 | Developer: Team17 | Release date: 17/11/2010 | Price: £6.99/800 points
Chris Evans learns that to assume makes an ass out of you and…..not ALIEN BREED 3: DESCENT.
HAVING NEVER played an Alien Breed game before I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself in for when I agreed to take on this review for Jen. I had a feeling that it would be sci-fi based and would feature aliens. My confusion was ratched up a notch when upon loading from Steam there was a whole heap of blurb about nVidia PhysX and Unreal Engine 3, I started to think that I was going to be playing a first-person shooter.
The game loads up and I come across a little annoyance, before I get to the main menu proper I need to click continue…I felt let down, was I walking into a dumb console-port? What kind of self-respecting PC game has a ‘Click to Start/Continue’ screen before the main menu?
At this point I was starting to get the feeling that I would be starting an arcadey, console based FPS. Upon arriving at the main menu proper I saw there were single-player and co-op modes to chose from. ‘Aha!’ I thought (yes I even thought of that exclamation mark) this must be a full release version of that UT2K4 mod which let you play with four different characters on a space ship with aliens and shit.
But wait, I looked at my Steam library and saw Alien Swarm snuggled in just below Alien Breed 3. I was lost and confused not knowing what I was letting myself in for, so I went boldly forth and started a single-player story game. After a comic book styled intro which I assumed covered the story from the first two Alien Breed titles, a very nicely done intro I might add, the game appeared before my eyes. Well, some in-game cut-scene deal appeared, judging from the camera angle and the appearance of what could only have been the protagonist I now found myself thinking ‘This has to be some Gears of War in space third-person shooter malarky’ and was getting ready to play a balls to the wall shooter.
It turned out I was entirely wrong when I got control at last, this was a lone-gunner top down-ish shooter which reminded me heavily of that game which I thought it was going to be, Alien Swarm.
Anyone who has played the first two Alien Breed games will know where the story lies, and as I am coming new to the series in its third part I won’t comment on it save to say that it provides a good enough reason to keep playing, even if it is only to see the comic book style story sequences between chapters. These sequences really are quite impressively done and totally outdo the story sequences told in-game.
When you are not watching the comic or scouring your PDA for hints and tips you find yourself blasting away at a vicious stream of alien scum. While the larger fights are quite impressive, due to the top-down style view, you don’t get the same intensity that you would get if you were playing in a first or even third-person view.
I don’t want to take away too much from the combat. You have a good blend of the usual and more experimental weapons to play with and the aliens are plenty. They come at you in such numbers that you never get tired of seeing the same few over and over in the early levels. It just would be so much more impressive if you had a view closer to your characters head.
I get the feeling that you would have a much better time in co-op by either playing through the story mode in a team, or by taking on the survival challenges where you are locked in a chamber facing constant ever larger swarms of aliens. Sadly though I haven’t found anyone to play with in either co-op mode.
It is an enjoyable game with the comic sequences standing out, it just isn’t brilliant. If you have played the previous games I would recommend you get this one to see how the story unfolds, otherwise wait until the three games are available in a bundle so you can enjoy the continuity.