Alien Breed 92 (aka AB Special Edition) (Second Review)

Title		Alien Breed 92 (aka AB Special Edition) (Second Review)
Publisher       Team 17
Game Type	Shoot-em-up
Players		1-2
Compatibility	All
HD Install	Patch available
Submission	Dan Booth

Before the advent of Doom and Quake, the most scary experience you could
have on your Amiga (apart from upgrading Kickstart!) was Alien Breed.
Taking it's gameplay from the classic coin-op Gauntlet and it's atmosphere
from the Geiger inspired 'Alien', this game was seriously distressing to
your bowels!

The basic premise involved you, a lone space marine, battling your way
through the many decks of a solitary space craft, set adrift in deep space
and infested by horrific alien creatures who seem to have aquired a taste
for human flesh. To aid you in this near impossible task, you start with a
humble blaster, but don't worry, much more serious weaponry is available
from computer consoles dotted around the various decks. These allow you to
restore your health, upgrade your weapon and gain more ammo - the catch is
you need lots of credits, and these can only be found in the maze-like
corridors of the ship, which of course are now over-run by the
less-than-friendly aliens.

As if this isn't enough of a thankless task, you also have to collect keys
to access various parts of the deck, though some doors may be blasted open
at the expense of large amounts of ammo. To add a little more spice to
proceedings, an auto-destruct sequence would often kick-in near the end of
the level, and if you hadn't made it to the deck-lift in time then you
ended up one roasted space marine.

Graphically the game was stunning for it's time, beautifully recreating
the atmosphere and tension of being alone on a huge space hulk. The alien
creatures themselves moved smoothly, even with many on the screen, and the
weapons effects were great - flamethrowers lit up the decks with an eery
glow, whilst other weapons shot strange glowing balls of plasma that
bounced around the corridors with abandon. Soundwise, the game also
excelled, with excellent samples being used throughout, but particular
acclaim must be given to Alistair Brimble's brilliant opening theme music,
which I've yet to tire of hearing.

What really made this game utterly great was the inclusion of a two-player
co-operative mode. This often resulted in extreme violence - not to the
alien hordes, but to your now ex-best mate, as all semblance of
co-operation quickly goes out of the window as you fight over who should
pick up that last health pack! This often became critical when the
auto-destruct sequence had been engaged, and you both ended up running in
opposite directions through the maze like corridors, resulting in instant
death for the pair of you (and a fist fight with your mate). Ahhh, it was
moments like this that really made the game!

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