Adam Burton On March - 14 - 2011

A few months ago, I set about reviewing Alien Breed 2: Assault. I found that while it was a nostalgic trip down memory lane, it was also quite tedious. With the release of Decent and the trilogy coming to a close, its time to see if they saved the best for last.

For those that have never played any of the Alien Breed series, the best way to explain it is to imagine someone combined Aliens and Event Horizon. Theodore J. Conrad returns as the Chief Engineer of the Leopold which crashed into a derelict ship at the beginning of the series and was flooded by aliens. Having spent the first game fixing the Leopold then heading across to the ghost ship and spending the second game clearing out the ghost ship and finding out what is behind the creatures, upon starting Descent things are going from bad to worse as the two fused ships have started their descent through a planets atmosphere and are beginning to disintergrate. This is mostly conveyed to you at the beginning via a comic book style introduction that while it covers the key plot points so far, it could leave newcomers a little confused.

Utilising the Unreal Engine, Descent’s isometric approach is one that will strike a chord with old school gamers and wandering around a darkened bulk head with just the torch on your gun is pretty spooky. Likewise when your scanner tweets as it picks up something can cause you to check all the corners with your torch in case something is lurking. With explosions and shockwaves aplenty, its evident that Team 17 have worked hard on creating just the right atmosphere and I would urge anyone to try it in the dark with the sound up.

Gameplay follows the format from the previous two games. Following your scanner, you head to the next waypoint and find something blocking your way. This blockade will usually either be a locked door, console or monster and you will usually have to double back upon yourself to find something or press something that wasn’t selectable before. Once press/selected, you will then be able to get past the obstacle and the process then begins again. Its the series most annoying trait and you can find yourself looking for something else after an hour. It is however interspersed with firefights down corridors and escaping from decompressing compartments, but for the most part its the same tired formula.

If your looking for some atmospheric shoot-em-up then you couldn’t really go wrong with Descent with its Co-Op and Survivor modes. Survivor scraps the go here, go there system for a good ol’ fashioned wave after wave affair. Its what really appealed to me in Assault and again in Descent tickles my fancy. Creatures become larger in number and ammo becomes sparse leading to your inevitable defeat.

Is it worth the money though.. At around £7 (prices vary a little based on platform), you get enough value for your money as a standalone title, however if you have been following the series then you might feel a little disappointed. In my opinion, the series could have been condensed into one slightly longer game that tells the story start to finish, however you do have to hand it to Team 17 for at attempting to bring back an old franchise and not taking the easy route with a first-person-shooter.

Review

ProsCons
Very Atmospheric, Good Use Of Light & Sound, Survivor ModeRepetitive Formula, Hard For New Players To Get Into
Rating
72%

Categories: Feature, PS3 Reviews
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