An unnecessary blast from the past.
So this is how I think it went. After bringing their Amiga classic to PlayStation Mobile last year in honor of the 21st anniversary of the title (yes, it is that old), the guys over at Team17 Digital thought, what the heck, let's make a quick buck by polishing it up and porting it to PS3 and Vita as well.
Make no mistake, Alien Breed is every bit the 1991 title you may or may not have played over twenty years ago—for better or (predominantly) worse. If you've got some extra PSN credit burning a hole in your digital wallet, I suggest you look elsewhere, unless you have some sort of unnatural attachment to this now ancient piece of digital entertainment.
For those that aren't familiar with the series (and for whatever reason still find themselves reading this review), Alien Breed is a traditional top-down shooter that has you fending off aliens as you navigate through a series of what are essentially glorified mazes. As you might expect, there isn't a whole lot to the game. Simply walk and shoot. Needless to say, it gets rather repetitive, even after playing for a short amount of time. There are items scattered throughout the levels (cash, first-aid kits, keys, etc.) that give you something to hunt for in addition to each mission's endpoint, but a smattering of items doesn't really help keep things fresh for very long.
This is an old game.
Fortunately, Team17 did make a few adjustments that prevent it from being a complete rip-off of a port. The first and most notable change is the added ability to switch between "classic" and "enhanced" mode. This allows players to play the game with either its original graphics or an improved look, which to be completely honest, is rather underwhelming. Considering the power of the PS3 and Vita, there's plenty of wasted potential in this arena.
That said, I must applaud the studio for at least adding in the ability to fire independently from movement thanks to the benefits that come with a second analog stick. You can also pull up an in-game store anytime during play and purchase additional keys, ammo, weapons, etc. should you wish to spend some of that green you've been collecting.
If you've got a PlayStation 3 and a Vita, you'll be able to take advantage of cross-platform play, so if you want to move your save from one device to the other, you're more than welcome to do so. There's also local and online co-op play, so if you want to drag a friend along with you, you have the option. Unfortunately, you can't wander too far from each other, as both players must work together within the same confined window at all times.
Did I already mention that this is a really old game?
When I first booted up Alien Breed and heard its awesome retro title music, I was filled with optimism, but as soon as I jumped into the actual game, the endearing tunes faded away. I was forced to listen to little more than a handful of alien sounds and the banging of my gun, which cut into the otherwise audibly sterile experience. Like I said before, unless you have some sort of undying affinity for this series, I recommend you steer clear. Seriously, there are plenty of other titles on the PlayStation Store worth your hard-earned cash.
Copy provided by publisher. Review based on PS3 copy.