A masterpiece of high octane action.
Astebreed originally launched back in 2014 and now it has come to the Nintendo Switch, offering players the chance to experience intense shoot-’em-up action wrapped in an engaging narrative. With humanity facing eradication by an alien race, it falls down to the player to lead the charge in one final battle that will determine the future of both species.
Stepping into the cockpit of the “Crossbreed” – a mech suit that is built of both human and alien technology, players will need to use their all their skills and weapons to destroy their enemies. With a rapid fire blaster and homing mission attacks players can also leverage the devastating power of their sword. This sword provides a means for players to block some incoming attacks and help them charge up their special move quickly which can help turn the tide in a fight. The melee moves can be unleashed in a combo of slashes or as part of your dodge ability and performed at the same time as your ranged attacks making for some flashy attacks.
Though a shoot-’em-up with plenty of bullets to avoid Astebreed is actually a very accessible title. This is thanks to both responsive and fluid controls alongside the inclusion of a regenerating shield. Normally these types of titles will see players losing after taking one hit but thanks to this addition, players have more chances to beat stages without losing all their progress. Taking damage will see your score multiplayer end but you’ll have time to react from the damage and keep pushing forward through the stages and their bosses.
In terms of presentation, Astebreed has stunning 3D visuals that are laid out in a 2.5D perspective and features a dynamically changing camera angle. This means that you will experience the gameplay from the side, above and even behind that helps build a truly cinematic and action filled adventure. All of this runs smoothly on the Switch both in handheld and docked mode with superb artwork throughout to help tell the story and characters. Voice acting is a bit hit-or-miss, depending on the character, but the heart pumping soundtrack will keep you wanting more for countless hours.
You could easily mistake Astebreed for an episode of a mecha anime show, the design and narrative that players will experience is on the same standard. For a title that will have you focusing on the action there are plenty of interesting beats that will have you feeling a range of emotions. This links to the power of the Crossbreed and will in the end provide a meaningful explanation as to why you are such a powerful hero. It’s refreshing to have this level of a compelling narrative within such an engaging gameplay experience.
Though able to be beaten in a single setting lasting just over an hour you’ll find yourself coming back for countless more hours. Astebreed is a perfectly crafted experience that feels right at home on the Switch and is one of the best shoot-’em-up titles available right now. With fantastic gameplay, an engaging narrative and a superb soundtrack, Astebreed is a title you should definitely check out and enjoy right away.
Astebreed is a masterly crafted shoot-’em’up title that should be experience by fans of the genre and newcomers alike.