Bring me to the main page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Alien breed 1 logo

Erstlingswerke sehen ja oft genug aus wie... naja, wie Erstlingswerke eben. Aber was die Newcomer-Truppe von "Team 17" hier ausgebrutet hat, ist meilenweit davon entfernt, amateurhaft zu wirken - ihre Action-Brut überzeugt selbst den Feinschmecker!

Alien breed 1 Auf der ersten von insgesamt drei Disks wartet allerdings noch keine Brut, sondern ein ellenlanges Intro mit Werbung führ's nächste Game und einer nichtssagenden Vorgeschichte: Zwei Piloten einer Spezialeinheit bemerken bei einem Routineflug, dass mit der Raumstation, die sie gerade passiert haben, irgendetwas nicht stimmt. Nach der Landung erhartet sich ihr Verdacht - die Station wurde von Aliens übernommen! Tja, und damit waren wir auch schon bei Disk Nr. 2 und dem Spiel selbst gelandet.

Man sieht die verschiedenen Etagen der Raumstation und die ein bzw. zwei heldenhaften Piloten (Zwei-Spieler Modus) stets aus der Vogel- perspektive. Gleiches gilt natürlich auch für die ausserirdische Brut, die hier in rauhen Mengen herumwuselt, dazu kommen noch etliche Fundsachen zum Einsammeln und ein paar Computerterminals.

Die Aliens knallt man einfach ab (was sonst?), mit dem übrigen Zeug verhalt es sich jedoch etwas komplizierter. Da wäre einmal zusatzliche Munition (kein Problem: aufsammeln und glücklich sein), dann gibt's Erste-Hilfe-Kasten, Schlüssel für besonders gesicherte Türen und Geld.

Ja, und mit der Kohle konnte es tatsächlich Schwierigkeiten geben, allerdings bloss, wenn man zu zweit unterwegs ist: Entweder entscheidet man sich im Hauptmenu für gerechtes Aufteilen fifty- fifty, egal, wer wieviel davon zusammengerafft hat; oder jeder sammelt für sich allein - dann entwickelt sich die Geschichte aber leicht zu einem Wettrennen um das gute Bäre. Der schnöde Mammon wird nämlich dringend benötigt, um ihn an besagten Computerterminals gegen bessere Waffen, eine Übersichtskarte oder andere leckere Extras einzutau schen. Umsonst ist hier nur der Tod, zwei drei Infos so wie eine Partie „Pong". Genau, jenes Uraltgame aus der Steinzeit des Gewerbes.

Höllisch originell ist Alien Breed also nicht gerade, sieht man mal davon ab, dass in jedem Stockwerk eine Aufgabe gelöst werden muss, ehe man den Aufzug in die nächste Etage benützen kann (einen bestimmten Gegenstand finden und so was). Alles übrige kennt man bereits auf die eine oder andere Art von Spielen wie "Leavin' Teramis", "Crackdown" oder eben dem Genre-Ahnherren „Gauntlet". Dennoch vermag hier die technische Umsetzung zu begeistern: Sauberes Scrolling, perfekte Joysticksteuerung, eine atmosphärische Geräuschkulisse plus Sprachausgabe, dazu die umfangreichen und gut designten Level - recht viel mehr kann man von einem Actiongame dieser Sorte kaum verlangen! Doch, die Gegner hätten ehen fantasievoller ausfallen können, aber wir wollen jetzt nicht kleinlich werden - besonders, da Alien Breed laune macht. Ganz besonders im Zwei-Spieler-Modus! (C. Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, January 1992, p.36

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Alien Breed - ein Actionspektakel der Ballerklasse "Extra-Fein"!"

Amiga Joker
Alien Breed
Grafik: 79%
Sound: 75%
Handhabung: 79%
Spielidee: 55%
Dauerspaß: 78%
Preis/Leistung: 76%

Red. Urteil: 78%
Für Fortgeschrittene
Preis: ca 89,- DM
Hersteller: Team 17
Genre: Action

Spezialität: 1 MB erforderlich, PAL-Overscreen, Pause Funktion, die Highscores werden nicht gesaved.



Alien breed 1 logo

Take the basic idea behind the game Gauntlet, dress it up in the style and trappings of the movie Aliens, add a couple of clever, never-before-seen ideas, and what have you got?

Game: Alien Breed
Publisher: Team 17 (Seventeen Bit Software)
Authors: Andreas Tadic, Peter Tuleby
Price: £25.99
Release: Out now

O Alien Breed 1 k. The instructions have been conscientiously surveyed, the story disk ahs been politely sat through and Alien Breed is loading up for the first time. From your newly acquired understanding of the scenario all that can be deduced is that you, as player one, are stepping into the ominous shoes of a character called Johnson, your player-two type chum from across the road is taking the role of a bloke called Stone, and you are fictitiously winging your heroic way to Intex Space Research Centre Number 4 (ISRC-4) not quite knowing, both in and out of the plot, what to expect. What will you find there? What do you have to do once you have got there? And indeed, exactly what type of game are you playing? The story disk and instruction booklet set the scene nicely but are more than a little cagey about actually revealing anything of any use, such as ooooh, what you actually have to do. For all you know, you could be just about to dive innocently into a two-player Gauntlet-style overhead shoot-em-up where you have to shoot lots of aliens and accomplish a particular task per level. And what do you know…?

Flying somewhat rebelliously in the face of convention, I am now going to (shock horror) start talking about the graphics this early in the review. You never know, I might even score some points (or get a pay rise) for originality. You see, graphics-wise Alien Breed ranks far above ‘quite good’. Miles above in fact. As opposed to walking around on a large void (as in Gauntlet), here a smoothly scrolling floor actually exists with, if you look carefully, seemingly helpful messages scrawled on it pointing you in what one hopes is the right direction. And there is relief too (of the bumps to walk over and – on later levels – ducts to traipse along kind); just one of the nice touches liberally sprinkled throughout the game. The sprites are excellently drawn too; both your own characters who waddle along convincingly and the aliens (who bear an uncanny resemblance to the monsters from Aliens the film) who give a sadistically orange glow when shot.

Ironically, the authors suggest in the blurb that when producing Alien Breed their aim was to come up with something which would not look out of place in an arcade – I would venture to suggest that they have come as near as feasibly possible to succeeding. They also suggest connecting your Amiga to a hi-fi and playing the dark for that added atmospheric touch. It worked – the eerie rumblings and digitised FX (including speech) had me hiding underneath the duvet in sheer terror at times (I was playing in bed as I could not be bothered to get up yet). In fact, if the authors had suggested that gameplay would be enhanced yet further by playing in the nude with your left foot in a bowl of custard, then I would probably have done that as well.

BUT WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU HAVE TO DO, THEN?
One of the more innovative angles on the gameplay of Alien Breed is that you are never quite sure of your ultimate goal – each level plays as a separate mission unravelling a little more of your final objective as you go. Level One is more of a warm-up providing a taster of what is in store than anything – you have to simply get from A to B (where A is outside your ship, and B is the deck lift). No problem, as this is simply a matter of walking directly left, although it would be a handy idea to wander around a bit to try to pocket extra ammo, keys and credits (for purchasing equipment) in advance for subsequent levels too.

Alien Breed 1 Righty ho, then, and off to level two. This involves C (the deck lift) and D (the core computer) with you feverishly attempting to get from the aforementioned C to D, initialise D, then return hastily back to C again before D explodes. The map is large but (as in all levels) divided into zones; pass through them in order to reach the computer in zone six. This is yet another well thought out touch to the game – you can wander round completely lost, but at least you know when you are making progress, and when the levels become more familiar, quicker routes can be found. Also making an appearance are one way doors which, you guessed it, let the player through in one direction and which, unlike normal doors, require no key to unlock them, whilst fire doors shut permanently if shot at.

BUT IS IT ANY GOOD?
A good question. And one I intend to answer in something not a million miles away from a specially expanded version of The Bottom Line box thingie.

GOOD POINTS
* The graphics and sound are highly commendable, as already mentioned. So in that case we, er, do no not need to mention them again.
* The game is very, very atmospheric, and full of sneakily clever pieces of programming which almost subconsciously help to hold your attention. Once the core computer has been reached in level two, the screen glows red, a computerised voice announces “destruction is imminent” and you have one minute to scoot back to the deck lift. Yikes! No one told you this before – or else you would have made a note of the route back. But next time…
* Something that the majority of games suffer from is that early levels become a hassle and having to plough your way through them each time does not exactly increase your overall enjoyment. Not so here. Completing a level most certainly does not main that you have fully explored it, leaving large proportions of the maze not checked. Next time you visit it there will be plenty of opportunities to look round for extra goodies to pick up.
* So Alien Breed is a shoot-em-up, it is a maze game, but one thing that has ceased to be mentioned until now is that there is also a strategic element to it. Credits can be picked up during the game and spent after logging into one of the Intex system computers to be found regularly during each level. But what do you spend on it? Extra ammo? Or perhaps you want to buy a more effective weapon? And do you get it now, or do you save up and buy something else (perhaps something even bigger and better) in a minute? (If you last that long, that is). Decisions, decisions, decisions.

BAD POINTS
* It is a bit too tricky, as the shoot-em-up elements of the game are not balanced in the player’s favour. The baddies have to be repeatedly shot – it is not a case of one shot to kill – and this does not quite seem to suit. The introduction of destructible alien generators would have helped because, as it is, aliens appear indefinitely which is extremely annoying.
* In a frustrating number of cases I found myself trapped with no keys, and not enough cash to buy my way out and hence (rather monotonously) was forced to spend considerable time just killing for cash. And in two player mode, the players can become separated from each other by doors with nothing that can be done about it, for which there is really no excuse.

AND TO SUM UP
Alien Breed is far from being an original concept, but it has been executed with such flair and excitement and so many new ideas that all accusations of unoriginality pale into insignificance. And as ever, the fun squillion-druples if a friend joins in thanks to all the usual reasons, including the fact that it actually becomes a lot easier to play.

From a highly personal point of view, I liked Alien Breed a lot, but it is probably not the sort of game that would appeal to absolutely everyone. As mentioned, it is very tricky and plays a lot less randomly than other Gauntlet-esque shoot-em-ups; the layout of each level has to be committed to memory as the map provided is not entirely useful. This may seem like a hassle at first, but it helps give the game a far greater feeling of realism and – yes – desperation than we are used to. Alien Breed is one of those games that – once you have got stuck into – you are likely to be playing for some considerable length of time.
Rich Pelley

Amiga Power, Issue 8, December 1991, p.p.52-53



"Very, very atmospheric"


Upper UPPERS Outstanding graphics and sound, lots to do, familiar Gauntlet-gameplay given a number of new twists, and bags of atmosphere. In fact, this could just be one of the most atmospheric games ever.
Downer DOWNERS It is a bit hard, and in that annoying way which slightly deters you from wanting to play it any more. And it may be partially lacking in ridiculously instant appeal.

THE BOTTOM LINE
A very sophisticated game exploiting the ability of the Amiga to its fullest in both looks and gameplay (it is one meg only, incidentally) and proves to be great fun to play – especially with two players. Team 17, ex-PD people, have got the visual side and basic ideas spot on – they just need to work now on making their games ever so slightly less exasperating.
82

P E R C E N T



Moderne Aliens

Alien breed special edition 1992 logo /

Vor genau einem Jahr überraschte uns Team 17 mit einem herzhaften Baller-Knaller namens Alien Breed - pünktlich zum Jubiläum folgt nun die preisgünstige Neuauflage mit erhöhtem Fun-Faktor!

Alien breed special edition 1992 Inhaltlich hat sich nichts geändert: Noch immer wird eine Raumstation von außerirdischen Biestern besetzt gehalten, noch immer treten zwei Weltraum-Söldner zur Säuberungsaktion an. Freilich kann man auch alleine durch die multidirektional scrollende Umgebung streiten, zu zweit macht das Alienrösten aber auch doppelt Laune. Ob solo oder im Team, jedenfalls gibt es in den Gängen allerlei Schlüssel, Munitionspakete und Computerterminals zu entdecken, wobei letztere gegen Cash den Zugriff auf Levelkarten und Extrawaffen erlauben.

Soweit, so bekannt - was also ist neu? Na, zum Beispiel klotzt die Edition mit zwölf zusätzlichen Missionen, die sich sowohl grafisch als auch vom Gameplay her von den bereits bekannten unterscheiden. So ist hier mitunter etwas Puzzlearbeit zur Bewältigung der Aufgaben vonnöten, und im Notfall lassen sich Türen jetzt aufsprengen, so daß man nicht aus Mangel an Schlüsseln aufgeben muß. Der Schwierigkeitsgrad hat zwar leicht zugelegt, aufgrund des Paßwortsystems ist eine Besichtigungstour durch die hinteren Katakomben aber trotz dem kein Ding der Unmöglichkeit. Wäre ja auch zu schade, schließlich sieht die Grafik hier überall toll aus und vermittelt zusammen mit der stimmungsvollen Soundkulisse eine richtige Grusel-Atmosphäre.

Die neuerdings verkürzten Ladezeiten kommen dem Spielspaß ebenfalls entgegen, die etwas höhere Gesamtwertung ist also durchaus verdient. Na, und bei dem Sparpreis können selbst Besitzer des "Originals" bedenkenlos zugreifen! (rl)

Amiga Joker, January 1993, p.48

ALIEN BREED
SPECIAL EDITION 1992
LABYRINTH - ACTION
80%
"BIESTIG"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
55%
41%
64%
76%
FÜR GEÜBTE
PREIS DM 29,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
2/NEIN
NEIN
NEIN
NEIN


 Alien breed special edition 1992 logo

Publisher: Team 17
Price: £10.99
Release: Out now

S Alien Breed 1 cary Giger-influenced monsters, hostile planets, and butch space marines. Sounds familiar? Alien Breed – Special Edition, does that not ring a bell? Does that not sound suspiciously like Aliens Special Edition, that other re-released story of dripping corridors echoing to the screams of the dying and the staccato blasts of large-calibre weaponry?

1991’s Alien Breed is now out on budget, but why is this ‘special’. As opposed to just being re-released? According to Team 17 they have taken this opportunity to iron out all those quirky, annoying little defects that caused people to comment, ‘Yeah, I like it, but there is this one thing…’ the first time around. This version boasts twelve new missions, a password system, faster running speed and better game maps. But we have all heard this kind of blurb before and been let down, so how does it stand up to close scrutiny?
Extremely well in my opinion, but there again I loved the original, and there is nothing radically different in this version for me to change my opinion. Booting up presents you with a film poster advert for Alien Breed 2 (complete with a PG rating), and a preview of another game. Blimey, all you need is your brother serving popcorn, chewing gum stuck to the seat and Pearl and Dean advertising and you have got your very own cinema experience!

Slapping in the other disk takes mere moments and then it is action all the way with no further need for disk swapping. For those who missed Alien Breed the first time round it is one of those games where you are a squaddie sent in to see why a remote research base has stopped transmitting, only to discover the place is seething with nasty xenomorphs, not extremely dissimilar in fact from Jim Cameron’s now legendary claustrophobia-fest. Okay, let us admit it, Alien Breed IS Aliens – The game, only without the licence. Good fun with one player, the game comes into its own with two player mode. For one thing two guns are always better than one when your view of the world consists of gleaming black exoskeletons, but better than that you can shout ‘Hudson run a bypass!’ and ‘Let’s rock’ at each other. With a mission for each level, a surprising degree of strategy is required as there is only a finite number of keys to open a lot of doors. You can actually shoot open the doors, but it burns up your ammo supply. The base computer supplies you with equipment updates as well as maps and other information, but you cannot play Pong on it any more- swizz! There is not much variation in gameplay, but it is still enough to keep you coming back, and as for atmosphere, well, if you do not get stressed when the sirens start and you have only got sixty seconds before the generators blow then you are probably watching Eldorado and not playing the game at all.
MARK WINSTANLEY

Amiga Power, Issue 21, January 1993, p.96

THE BOTTOM LINE
Great sound and graphics, hard but fun to play and heaps of atmosphere. Just like the un-tweaked Alien Breed really. I would have bought it without hesitation at the original price so it is even better on budget.
A must buy.
83

P E R C E N T