Genre: First Person Shooter
Publisher: CDV Software GmbH
Developer: Brat Designs
Release Date: November 7, 2004
Pre-order 'BREED': PC
Breed has been touted by some as the next Halo killer, and unlike every other “Halo killer” that has been developed Breed shows some real potential to come close to that observation. In Breed’s storyline Earth has been waging a deep space war against the breed, a race of intelligent machines. This war rages on until finally the human forces are victorious, but at a high cost. Out of every carrier ship that fought in the war only the USC Darwin manages to make the return trip back to Earth. Once there, the Darwin makes a startling discovery: The war in deep space was only a diversion to draw Earths defenses away from the planet, and the breed now occupies Earth.
Breed is not a strategist’s game, nor is it completely arcade style. In Breed you lead a small squad of men sent out to accomplish specific goals and objectives, but the extend of the leadership abilities you can wield at any time is simply telling your men to stay put, regroup, and a handful of other simple commands. Essentially, you basically have your squad following your lead, shooting hostiles and generally giving you the backup you need to survive the games huge levels. The AI of either side does take cover behind obstacles and don’t just rush the enemy forces blindly, but you wont find complex tactics and strategy amongst groups of AI.
The levels in Breed, like mentioned before, are very large in both their width and their height. Battles can be fought along beaches, on mountaintops, in valleys, and then indoors to accomplish your mission objectives. The environments themselves are interactive to a certain extent, with trees splintering when hit by a errant bullet and enemy towers crumbling down when hit by a plasma shell from a tank. To traverse these huge levels you occasionally get the use of an array of vehicles, ranging from armored single man exo-suits (Think the Aliens powerloader, but with guns), to tanks, to nimble fighter jets. The vehicles are simply a blast to play but can be very hard to control effectively, especially when you look at the aircraft.
When fighting the breed on foot you have a wide range of weapons to utilize, though only certain squad members carry them. Your run of the mill grunts wield assault rifles with under slung grenade launchers and occasionally shotguns, while snipers wield (surprise) a sniper rifle with an adjustable magnification factor. Other members of your squad can carry such weapons as rocket launchers and weapons that are comparable to miniguns, neither of which are to be taken lightly. The breed’s weaponry cannot be picked up and used however, which would be a nice touch especially when your own ammo is running low.
Breed’s audio / video department holds up well on its own, with a few notable pros and cons (though also notably few cons for a preview build). On the positive side of things the breed look very much like the machines they are supposed to be, and the vehicles in the game all look not only unique but also are beautifully designed. On the flip side of things the voice acting doesn’t rank too highly. Granted a true soldiers voice won’t have the flair of a Hollywood actor, but the whole machismo voice work of your commanding officer in particular seems to be a bit overdone.
As a whole, Breed probably won’t go down in the history books of gaming as the David that killed the Goliath, but it will most definitely go down as the game that came pretty close to the mark. Since the game still has over a full quarter of a year to undergo it’s buffing and polishing phase Breed could quite possibly turn out to be one of the first must-have titles of 2004.
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