Alien April continues for me with this gem of a shooter from Team 17, the guys who made the venerable Worms series.Alien Breed: Impact is the first part of a trilogy of top-down arcade style shooters that I got in a bundle who knows how long ago as "Alien Breed Trilogy." You can get it by itself for $10 from Steam, or you can get it along with its two sequels - Alien Breed 2: Assault and Alien Breed 3: Descent - for $23 as Alien Breed Trilogy.
For those of you who have played Alien Syndrome on the Wii, this was EXTREMELY reminiscent of that game, but it plays much better than the Alien Syndrome reboot in my opinion. You play as Connor, a generic space marine-turned-chief engineer on a ship that's going somewhere for some reason. They don't really tell you why you were doing whatever it was that you were doing prior to the events of the game because about 10 seconds into the opening scene (all of which are done in a really great comic book style), your alcoholic pilot crashes the ship into some monolithic "ghost ship" that's just drifting through space.
This gentleman was probably the ship's pilot. #MakeEarthGreatAgain
So anyway, after your idiot pilot crashes your ship into some ancient, derelict dreadnought, killing like 90% of the crew, you go off to see what's what. Oh, and your character is a racist against synths. Cheers.
You explore the ship, trying to get systems restored when OH SHIT there are bug alien things trying to eat you. You start off with just a pistol (unlimited ammo) and an assault rifle (very not unlimited ammo), but the first few aliens you encounter are just stupid little ankle biters that you can kick to death with one hit. You start to see the giant bug-aliens that want to use their spiky alien mandibles to butter up your fleshy human pooper real good.
One thing I do want to note is that this game plays MUCH better with a gamepad. You can totally play it with a mouse and keyboard, and I'm sure that there are those who prefer that control scheme, but I found that an Xbox One controller worked far better for this game than a traditional PC control setup. The controls are about what you would expect from an arcade style shooter. It's almost a twin stick shooter in that you move with the left stick (obviously) and aim in a two dimensional circle with the right stick, using the right trigger to fire and the left trigger to use an item (medkit, grenade, etc.). You use the left and right bumpers to change the camera perspective. There's also a co-op feature, supported by both local and online multiplayer, but I didn't play around with that.
This is not a complex game, nor is the story especially interesting until the end (in the last of the five chapters, there are some things that, if you pay attention, will make you say "Hmmm, why is that there?"). It's a whole bucket of alien-killing fun, though. You've got five weapons from which to choose - your pistol, an assault rifle, a shotgun, a laser rifle, and an ion gun. Oh, and a flamethrower, which is straight up sex. All of these weapons can be upgraded three times - one upgrade for fire rate, one upgrade for reload speed, and one upgrade for attack strength (which is the only one that I ever bothered spending credits on).
Now then...the flamethrower. Imagine, if you will, mixing the taste of your favorite food, the sound of a creek gently flowing over pebbles, and the sensation of vigorous fornication with your anime girl of choice, all blending into one euphoria. That euphoria is what you feel when you use the flamethrower in this game, ESPECIALLY after upgrading its firepower. It's just....bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss.
So here's basically what it boils down to. Aliens, arcade shooters, co-op, and flamethrowers - if you like any of two of those things, then you need to get this game. Like, yesterday. It's really great, surprisingly so. It feels like one of those gems of a game that manages to use a low budget to hit the "sweet spot" of gameplay, atmosphere, and charm that no $100,000,000 AAA title could ever quite emulate.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.