Alien Breed: Tower Assault

Title		Alien Breed: Tower Assault
Publisher       Team 17
Game Type	Shoot-em-up
Players		1-2
Compatibility	AGA only

A scientific outpost on a far off planet has been attacked.  Nothing is
known about the attackers, since all communications have been destroyed.
A team of marines is dispatched to investigate and destroy the unknown
force.  As their dropships enter the atmosphere and approach the base, the
defence lasers, damaged in the onslaught, move into action.  They launch
wild bursts of laser fire at the approaching marines who, completely
unexpecting such an attack, are unprepared.  From the ensuing chaos one
ship, flown by rookies Nash and Jordan, manages to make a crash landing.
From the wreckage steps a soldier, and the mission begins.

From the moment when the computer utters the words "Nash is dead.  Your on
your own." you know that it lies with you to infiltrate the base, and
rescue any survivors.

The game is based around a top down view which scrolls, keeping the player
in the centre.  You start off in the wasteland surrounding the base and you
have the choice of many ways to go.  You can enter any of the towers,
which range from the Science tower to the Military tower to the
overwhelming mass of the main control tower.  As you enter the base you
have your first contact with the enemy.

You walk into the door, and after a very brief pause while the whole level
is loaded, you begin to progress.  This is when you realise how effective
the simple controls are.  The main feature which makes the combat much
better is the retreat mode.  When you are firing a weapon should you press
a direction, the player will move backwards in that direction firing
behind him.  This allows you to back away from oncoming foes, while still
firing. This may make the game sound easy, but it isn't.  The first aliens
you meet will be simple and will need to touch you to hurt you.  But they
have the advantages of speed and numbers.  You can't just sneak around the
level picking off aliens one by one.  The game calls for more aggressive
tactics, trying to kill as many as possible before you are overwhelmed.

There are pick-ups to found on the levels which range from the medipacks
and ammo to money and keycards.  The money can be used at computer
terminals to buy new weapons, (which can also be found on dead bodies) and
upgrades for your mapping facilities and armour.  The terminals also have
diary entries on them, which are normally accessed by producing ID cards
from members of staff who have fallen foul of the alien predators.  All
through the game you will learn more about the foe, and how the base
attempted to repel their invasion.  You will also be left wondering if
anyone survived. But as the game progresses you will begin to find
survivors; locked in rooms, barricaded in air vents and just hanging on,
waiting to be rescued.

 But I have not yet mentioned the two player game. The first player
co-operates with the second player taking the role of Nash, the rookie
who is killed at landing in the single player game.  You both share a
single screen unable to move far enough apart as two be on different
screens, but the scale of the game means this is not a problem.  It might
initially seem that this option would make the game easier, but there is
still only the same amount of ammo, and it must be divided between two
players.  This can stretch the co-operative feeling in the game, as
players can often find themselves fighting for the pick-ups rather than
dividing them fairly.  It was probably with this in mind that the
designers made it so that your bullets couldn't hurt the other player.

Overall a game that was packed with action, but still maintained a level
of suspense that has only recently been achieved in games like Resident
Evil on the Playstation and PC. Those levels where power has been cut off
will haunt you for ever. All you see is the small area illuminated by your
weapon mounted torch. And those eyes.  Those glowing eyes.

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