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Antstream Game of the Month – Alien Breed 3D

Somewhere out there, in the void of space, there are thousands of creatures waiting to kill you.

I quickly reload my shotgun and fire, directing my hatred to the alien in front of me. In the time during the reload his mate has just strafed to the right of me and is digging his jaws into my face. The screen glows red and warns me of the danger. I swap back to my trusty Uzi and fire a burst of hot lead into my attacker. The high pitch of the creature’s screams makes my ears bleed but I got him good. After a few seconds he drops dead to the floor. I take a few seconds to breath and scan the area for more targets, my adrenaline has spiked and I’m panting for breath. I take a swig of the cold coffee in front of me and move forward. I need to find a red key card to proceed.

This was my first experience of Alien Breed 3D, it’s one of the latest games to come out on Antstream and it’s a corker. A first-person shooter in the style of Doom, the title had its fair share of development setbacks during its original release. Originally due out in April of 1995 it was put back to July and then eventually would be released “sometime in the Autumn”. This was due to technical issues and Team 17 wanting to polish the gameplay and visuals. This was the era when the Amiga entered the world of texture-mapped 3D gaming. The PC had done so a few years prior, most famously with Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. The Amiga users demanded similar games on their system and this unleashed a flurry of FPS releases such as Gloom, Breathless, Testament and Death Mask. When Ocean (the game’s publisher) released previews to the Amiga magazines of the time (Amiga Format and CU Amiga) the expectations of gamers were high. A few critics openly wondered if Team 17 could accomplish the difficult task of recreating the atmosphere and playability of previous games in the series.

Thankfully I can say that they did and perhaps even bettered them. In Alien Breed 3D there are more enemies to fight and they are mixed into the levels in a challenging way. We still get encounters with the Geiger inspired Breed but I personally welcomed having more variety. Some of these new creatures are tough in later levels. If you manage to make it to level 12 for example, you will encounter face hugging, life sucking creatures which soon multiply. The only way to stop them is to kill the creature that is spawning them and that, my wonderful gaming friends, is easier said than done!

In order to survive you must battle through 16 levels in the game and the designers really pulled it out of the bag with each of these. This is a true 3D maze complete with stairs, upper levels, traps, lift, doors, and keys. While this is all incredibly impressive, special mention must be given to the water effects present in the game. An example is on level five of the game which is completely flooded and you will find yourself underwater to negotiate a low ceiling. While you are underwater, the effects are stunning, we can see the ripples and the mirror images of the enemies lurking above you. This level of depth helps to add to the atmosphere and builds immersion.

But Chris, I hear you cry, what about the weapons? Well in Alien Breed 3D there are eight to choose from. These include the standard automatic rifle, a plasma gun, a rocket launcher, shotgun and (my favourite) a burst shot Uzi. Each of these feel satisfying and the volumetric effects present when using the rocket launcher is a thing of beauty.

I played this title compulsively when it first came out, and I find myself slipping back and eschewing Call of Duty to do the same now. There’s something alluring about switching off the lights and basking in the meticulously crafted audio and level design. I find myself scared senseless when the creatures come towards me. All of this is a testament to how good this game is.

Grab one of your favorite beverages and settle down to enjoy this in the dark. Its one of the greatest horror FPS games ever released for the Amiga and I can guarantee you will enjoy it on Antstream.

Five Fun Facts About Alien Breed 3D

  • The game utilized ray casting technology to create a pseudo-ED environment on the Amiga’s hardware. This is similar to games like Wolfenstein 3D.

  • Alien Breed 3D supported cooperative multiplayer, allowing two players to team up and fight the alien menace together.

  • The game was followed by a sequel, Alien Breed 3D II: The Killing Grounds, which expanded on the gameplay mechanics and introduced new features and enemies.

  • Alien Breed 3D and its sequel were eventually re-released in a compilation called Alien Breed 3D: Total Conversion, which included enhanced versions of both games.

  • Alien Breed 3D received positive reviews for its impressive visuals and atmospheric gameplay, as well as its challenging level design and intense combat.

What the Mags said in 1995

“Alien Breed 3D is, and always will be, one of the finest Doom clones on the Amiga.” – Andy Maddock Amiga Computing, Issue 94, Christmas 1995

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