Finality is a lovely feeling in regards to trilogies. Return of the Jedi and Return of the King made fans around the world quiver with excitement whilst enjoying them. Alien Breed 3: Descent hopes to follow this spine-tingling induction of conclusion by being the final chapter of the Alien Breed series. Plagued by mediocrity throughout all of the game's features and presentation, it may be a good thing that this series is ending.
For fans of the original two Alien Breed titles, you will feel right at home. The game follows Conrad, an Alien hating badass in search of his next extraterrestrial victim/saving the ship he is conducting his massacre in. Even if you haven't been following the story thus far, this is an easy plot to sink into. This may be good for casual shooter fans, but those of you that are eagerly searching for that superb story-driven experience should look elsewhere. This is initially where the mediocrity shines its subpar smile. The story isn't horrible and the "creepy" atmosphere is alright, but nothing about either of these will be the reason you play this game. Frankly, the only reason I can see anyone playing this is because A. they are those individuals who need to finish their trilogies, or B. they are bored and looking for a mindless top-down shooter to pass the time.
Those of the latter will at first enjoy this title, but slowly the repetitive nature of the tasks and the lacking of much variety will awaken that bored minion inside all of us. Shooting stuff is fun, I think we can all agree with that. Shooting the same slew of aliens over and over again with no real change to strategy is more like, "meh". You do get a handful of weaponry and some grenades to toss about, but nothing makes the gameplay in Alien Breed 3 standout from the other two titles in the series. Instead, Team 17 seemed to take the opportunity to polish the game off with fixes such as a better melee attack, but unfortunately they forgot to fix some of the most annoying pieces of all the Alien Breed games.
My biggest gripe with the Alien Breed trilogy, something that wasn't addressed in either the successors, was the need for the player to have to control the camera. Most top-down shooters do not require this, or the camera will move along with the characters aiming. Being forced to take control of the camera whilst fending off enemies becomes such a hindrance that you will undoubtedly be cursing it as it assists in your demise for the umpteenth time. Regardless of this, Alien Breed 3 isn't completely tedious and there is of course an upside to this game.
The graphical presentation of all the Alien Breed titles is great, and if anything assists the eerie aura of the games it would be this. The lighting, or darkness rather, creates a tense atmosphere that forces you to keep your wits about you at every turn. At the harder difficulties, the increases resilience of the aliens turns each dark corner into a haven for death. The only unfortunate aspect of the graphical choice would be that the dark, scary spaceship cliché has been done so many times over that you've undoubtedly seen this many a time.
Team 17 went and tried their hand at a completely new genre, and for the most part they succeeded in bringing a good series of games. The repetitive nature of the Alien Breed 3 is one of the game's biggest downfalls, and the lack of any significant change between any of the games also brings down the value somewhat. For what it is, Alien Breed is a mindless shooter that casual gamers will enjoy. A large campaign, survival missions, and a short co-op will give players a large amount of gameplay for the $9.99 price tag. After playing the same thing for such a long time though, you may be itching to put down your controller.
[Alien Breed 3: Descent] – $9.99 (PS3)