Alien Breed Evolution: Episode One

Alien Breed Evolution: Episode One Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCWii

A "retro-modern" remake of the game that helped Team 17 burst onto the Amiga scene.

Review verdict Read Review
6Out of 10
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Alien Breed's back
Alien Breed's back

Alien Breed's back

Alien Breed Evolution Episode One, the first of three downloadable games based on the classic Amiga shooter Alien Breed, is too old school for its own good. Sure, the graphics have evolved, but the gameplay is frustratingly dated.

Take, for example, the save system. Back in the early Nineties, when dinosaurs ruled the earth and computers required bolts of lightning to get going, punishing save points were de rigueur, making you fear the game over screen like a child fears the dark. In today's socially networked world, however, they're just a pain in the backside. We don't have the time to replay 20 minutes of gameplay. Why should we, when we could be playing Farmville instead?

You can only save when standing next to a save terminal. The problem is, they're depressingly sparse. You often spend tens of minutes following waypoints, activating switches and killing hordes of horrible aliens before you come across one. When you die - and you will die - having to do it all again makes you want to smack yourself in the face with your own controller. This phenomenon is known as "rage quitting".

West Yorkshire developer Team 17 will say the save system is deliberately punishing. "It's an old school shooter, stupid, it's supposed to be like that." Well boo hoo. Times have changed. Modern tastes demand modern design. Just look at Epic's superb Shadow Complex; it's an old school shooter, but it's packed with save points.

To be brutally honest, Alien Breed Evolution's save system isn't its biggest problem. No, it's the repetitive, by the numbers gameplay. The Leopold, the alien-infested space ship you find yourself battling through, isn't working as well as it should be. Scratch that - it's almost completely broken. Doors won't open, the power's down and the lights are out. So, to progress, you need to act like a mechanic and repair. These tasks are occasionally interesting (escort a physician to medical, rescue trapped survivors from poisonous gas within a time limit), but, on the whole, all you have to do is walk up to a computer panel, hold down a button to interact with it, then wait for further instructions. Rinse and repeat.

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3 Comments

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Mar27w's Avatar

Mar27w

after playing the busy demo i bought this game only to be disappointed,i thought it was going to be a balls out shooter against hordes of aliens like the demo portrays but instead the actual game is much slower paced with sparse ammo and it tries to be to much like a scary high tension game but the viewpoint dosent suit that kind of gameplay,its hard to be scared of a 1inch alien,hope the next episode is more action packed because it has potential to be a great little shooter
Posted 06:14 on 09 January 2010
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

I downloaded the trail game the other day and found it to be a ok game,i did not buy the full game due to not being a big fan of the shooting style.
Posted 10:38 on 06 January 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Disappointment has been the flavour of the day, and it's only ten past nice in the morning.
The thing is, it'd be a radical move to change the gameplay for ep 2 and 3, so this is probably the best it will be...
Posted 09:09 on 06 January 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Alien Breed Evolution: Episode One
6
Out of 10
Alien Breed Evolution: Episode One
  • Great graphics
  • Superb sound
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Frustrating save system
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Release Date: 16/12/2009
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , Wii
Developer: Team 17
Genre: Action
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 6,042 216
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