Platform: Steam, Windows
Reviewed on: Windows
Players: Single player
Written by Dragoon 30th January 2015
Astebreed by Edelweiss is one of those rare gems that manages to harken back to the days of retro shoot-
The story focuses on humanities struggle against the Filune, a mechanical alien race that has set its sights on the extinction of humanity. In a last ditch effort to turn around the war humanity turns to human experimentation and weaponizes two gifted young sisters, Fiona and Esto. The sister’s consciousnesses are integrated with a specially-
The Lucis System is far faster and stronger than anything that both Filune and humanity have brought to the fight thus far but before it can be properly implemented the father of the sisters, the creator of the Lucis System, goes missing in action along with Esto. Roy Beckett, a janitor bent on avenging his father's death, is chosen to pilot the first Lucis System-
The story is told through a constant barrage of radio chatter during the missions which is subtitled in a ticker-
One of Astebreeds most interesting features is its constantly shifting camera, one minute it’s a side scrolling shoot-
Speaking of visuals the game looks fantastic. The stages all have a unique look with some set in the crumbling remains of a destroyed city and others in the middle of an epic space battle with gargantuan ships duking it out in the background. The enemy designs really fit the robotic alien race aesthetic, especially the bosses which are all unique and shift into various forms seamlessly.
Your mecha has two different shot types, a focused straight shot and a wide ranged spread shot. These both have a charge version that lets you lock on to various enemies and blast them all in one go or fire a massive barrage at one target. The combat option that’s the most satisfying though has to be the sword, your blade can deflect bullets and destroy enemies and by holding the blade button and a direction you can dash in that direction which is great for getting into a better position or avoiding attacks.
Many would probably think that hammering one of the shots and the sword at the same time would be the key to victory but doing this nets you less points, by destroying enemy bullets with your own you build up a multiplier that is cashed in when you use your sword attacks. This causes you to think more carefully about when to use your melee option. Your multiplier is lost when you lose your shields so you have to make sure you don’t lose out on those points but you don’t need to worry about your score if you don’t want to.
The game has a fantastic tutorial mode which takes you through every aspect of gameplay which you can access from the menu and it also lets you try all the mechanics at the start of the game in a straight forward prologue which can be skipped if you want to get straight into the fray. The game is much more newbie friendly than a lot of others in the genre but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There are 3 different difficulty levels that each change enemy and boss patterns in a different way, meaning you can change up how the game plays depending on your skill level and experience.
The game runs at a steady 60FPS with no issues and it also supports resolutions way over 1080P, which is much better than a lot of Triple A developers can provide. There are also many options for both video and sound to tailor the game to your personal setup and it can easily be played with either a mouse and keyboard or a controller with customisable button setups for both options. The game also has an integrated online leaderboard so you can easily see how you rank up with the rest of the world.
Overall Astebreed is an amazing example of what can be achieved by a small developer and is a great addition to the shoot-
Well designed levels,
Great camera, graphics and soundtracks,
Lacklustre story that is difficult to follow,
No English voice acting.
Astebreed shoots it’s way to a 9/10.