Alien Breed Episode 1: Evolution is the first installment in the trilogy of Alien Breed games released onto the Xbox Live Arcade. It was created by Team 17 who also created the “Worms” series of games as well as “Leisure Suit Larry: Box office Bust”.
The story revolves around our protagonist Theodore J. Conrad and his Synthetic AI companion “Mia”. Conrad is stationed as an Engineer on the spaceship “Leopold” when all of a sudden a mysterious ghost ship crashes into the Leopold sending the ship hurtling towards some alien planet.
Conrad along with the help of Mia must attempt to fight off the alien invaders while making his way through the ship to try and find out where the ghost ship and the aliens came from as well as how to escape from his situation. The story isn’t great in this game although it is still quite interesting as I found myself wanting to learn about the origins of the ghost ship.
Graphics and sound: 5/10
The graphics are nothing ground breaking and neither is the sound. However for an XBLA title I thought the graphics were pretty good, there wasn’t really any time where I thought any part of it looked particularly badly although in some cut scenes you might notice a few ugly graphics.
The sound is ok with the guns sounding somewhat effective while the pistol sound a bit weak. Also the noise of the explosions and aliens is ok again nothing really special in terms of sound. Could be better, could be worse.
Gameplay and Controls: 7/10
Alien Breed is a top-down shooter similar to that of a bird’s eye view camera angle. The player can move with the left Analog stick while aiming at any angle within a 360 degree radius using the right stick. The idea of the game is to simply move about the Leopold in a somewhat linear fashion collecting keys, Opening doors, repairing generators while fighting off Alien enemies and the occasional turret system which has been sent haywire because of the Ghost ship collision.
There are a variety of guns within the game.
You start off with a pistol and an assault rifle and eventually gain other weapons such as a shotgun, a sort of mini-gun thing and a rocket launcher. In-between all these you also get Frag grenades and Flash/Stun grenades which are surprisingly useful.
The gameplay is fun and easy to pick-up although I did find it to get a bit boring running backwards and forwards attempting to repair generators and finding key-cards to gain further access to the Leopold, however it does break these tasks up sometimes with random tasks such as surviving against multiple waves of enemies which makes it a bit more fun.
In terms of replaying, there probably isn’t much reason to replay it unless you’re going for certain achievements so you’re probably only going to get a good 5-6 hours’ worth of entertainment from this game. It does add a little bit more time to the length with its co-op levels of which there are 3 and these can be played over both Xbox Live and through local co-op I believe.
Achievements: 5/10 “Easy But not very creative”
The achievements for this title are pretty much all easy with the exception of one which requires you to complete the final level without using a health-kit however with a bit of practice this is much easier. There is one Co-op achievement and 2 collectible achievements which are particularly easy especially if you have the help of a decent guide (Which can also be found on TA). Long story short, the achievements aren’t anything special although they are pretty quick and won’t require too much effort on the player’s part.
Overall I found this game to be quite fun with a few minor niggles such as repetive mission design and occasionally getting lost because some parts of the game can be quite dark and compact. Play the trial and decide for yourself whether you think it is personally worth the 800 point asking price, I believe it is although if you can get it on DOTW for around 400 then that is always better and way more reasonable.
If you asked me to review it based on TA’s 5 star system I’d probably throw it somewhere along the lines of 3 maybe 3.5 give or take a couple of points however I would definitely recommend a trial run just to see if this game has anything for you.