the Junkyard: BREED: A FIRST LOOK

Starsiege Series Tribes Series Halo Series
Posted by: Mhaddy on Tue Jul 1st, 2003 at 11:13 AM
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Genre: FPS
Release Date: Q3-Q4 2003

The underbrush thrashes at your legs as you run between dodging in and out of trees. You look over your shoulder and swivel your Cobra- R340 Assault rifle to level itself on a suspicious group of trees. Not taking any chances, your thumb flips the grenade toggle, your eyes narrow, and your finger tenses to the sounds of the steady thumping of frag rounds speeding their way. The result: Trees splinter and tear, uprooting the local vegetation revealing the fresh dead corpses of those bastard aliens. This won't stop them... no! Their numbers are legion.They have one purpose and one ambition alone. To feel the ever living smack of your bitchin' lead thumper! We're gonna make mamma proud today! *wipes a tear from the eye*

What the hell am I talking about? [b]BREED[/b]. This may be the one. The alpha and the omega of online shooters... maybe. Actually, it's too early to tell but from what I have seen this game has the potential to unseat Halo, Unreal, and Tribes as THE FPS to play IF they do it right. Well... ok, maybe not beating Tribes since that will be more like comparing apples and oranges, but it's gonna be up there nevertheless.

Here's the rundown: Your role in this game will be to play one of the USC grunts. Basically, it's a space Marine with the available weapons of Assault rifle equiped with a handy-dandy nade launcher, a Shotgun, a Heavy Machine gun, and a sniper rifle. These maps are large so it's going to be a long walk. To solve this problem, BRAT was kind enough to include some smooth pimp rides for those occasional drive-by shootings we get to deliver on the 'breed'-aliens that you gotta smack. This vehicle array includes a heavy assualt tank,fighter planes, dropships, and attack jeeps to help you in the good fight. Most vehicles will allow for cooperative play allowing for one person to drive with additional room for gunners.

The game has been called 'The German Halo' and in all purposes of design, the game was based on the great gameplay values of Halo, and Tribes. Large maps mixed with great graphics and great gameplay can make make any FPS a success. Right? Yes -- if it's done right.

So far it looks like Brat is on the way to accomplishing their goal. The mercury engine used in Breed has allowed some pretty impressive gameplay effects to be possible. Rendering great 3D effects, you will be able to tear away trees, destroy towers, and pilot the flying vehicles through a smooth transitional atmosphere without load times. Space to surface... surface to space, I've been waiting for something like that for years. Add to the fact that you can destroy tower facitilies and perhaps other structures instead of the usual boring humdum "let's blacken the tower and make it look messed up" will promise to make this one kick-ass engine to hopefully look forward to for future games. If not the Mercury engine itself then at least it's features. At this time, the Mercury will be raising the bar for a new standard.

Pretty graphics, cool weapons, dead people: They are all nice things of course but it doesnt make a good game without the gameplay. From what I have seen from playing the demo, the AI of the game is a bit wanting. Its a single player demo version leaving you in control of a squad of USC Grunts. With these guys you can command them to either spread out and get close. Don't expect anything fancy like Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six type of squad level controls. From this squad you are able to switch from one to the other playing the type of soldier you prefer; be that a sniper or a heavy gunner. From that you have the instrument of destruction on your hands minus the badass tank presented in the screenshots (Yes, I know that sucks but we will just have to wait for the full game to release.) The problem I ran into with the AI was the lack of control you have with your team, and the mindless attacks of the 'Breed'. Another annoyance I found was that after getting into a tower with a sniper and scoping out everything to make sure it was clear, my team would get attacked by the bastard aliens who would spawn 100 paces away from us. A close enough distance where my sniper should have been able to take them out. That nearly made me sick of the demo tempting an immediate uninstall but I hanged in there a little longer. The cheap spawns never got any better but the graphics are sweet and it's fun killin'! This was just the demo however and with luck Brat will fix this problem. They are still working on the AI, so we can probably expect better things with the full version release. Let's hope so.

Please note that this preview was written by Tasluk.

Fin: Final Thoughts:
The game has alot of potential. The graphics and terrain effects of the Mercury engine are incredible, setting the bar on a very promising game. However, they gotta fix this AI or the single player version won't be very good. As the multiplayer goes, I haven't had a chance to look into that yet. However, if they do things right this part of the game could easily carry it to the top of the list of "Must have!" Who cares about AI when your fraggin' real live bait! Now go try the demo and go kiss your mamma.

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