Developer: Sierra Online
Publisher: Sierra Online
Rating Guide: How I Review Games
There aren’t many Xbox Live Arcade titles worth reviewing. XBLA is retro city filled with titles that were reviewed years ago so what’s the point in reviewing them again? But there are times when something fresh comes along, like the original Assault Heroes and now Assault Heroes 2, that warrant it. Get ready to battle alien forces once again!
Gameplay, Graphics and Sound
When you think of Xbox Live Arcade you shouldn’t think about award winning graphics or superb sound effects. You should be able to play a game that looks great, sounds great and takes advantage of the small space in which to work with. Assault Heroes 2 does that very well with its mixture of terrain, vehicles and all-out firefights. If fact, you spend so much time trying to dodge the onslaught of enemies that you rarely have a break in the action to even check out the scenery. If you do manage to take a break in the action, you’ll see that the game looks very good.
There are more vehicles to operate, more weapons to obliterate things with and a larger playing field. The control scheme allows you to switch weapons and mount other vehicles pretty easily. I grew fond of freezing the enemies and then shattering them with a flamethrower or rocket launcher. I want to point out one small thing. Burrning and freezing enemies has become the new “it” thanks to Assault Heroes 2.
I was a bit surprised at the level of destruction you could dish out. For an Xbox Live Arcade title that didn’t push the size limit, Assault Heroes 2 gave you a lot to blow up and burn. And who doesn’t like taking a helicopter or tank for a spin to deal damage? Another pretty cool feature was the ability to dish out destruction with a co-op attack. Why leave all the fun to individual attacks when you can go Voltron on the enemy and attack together? I didn’t engage it much but felt like mentioning it because it was awesome everytime I did it.
Perhaps the best understanding of the fun in Assault Heroes 2 was when I wasn’t even playing it. The biggest inspiration and “judge” for this review came from my nephew and my daughter. My nephew is 13 years old and my brother is 6. I watched them play Assault Heroes 2 for a while and they were having a blast. It put a smile on their faces playing co-operatively together and blasting everything in sight. Sometimes seeing how others react to a game is the best sign of how good or bad it is.
Xbox Live Extras
One of the more exciting parts about the game is playing on Xbox Live. You can play co-operatively either locally or on Xbox Live and it’s a blast. The action is still the same but it’s magnified by adding some friends or buddies in other parts of the country. Top-down action games like this are simply made for co-op fun and Assault Heroes 2 delivers that.
Having passed on the first one, I wanted to make sure I got my hands on the second and I’m glad that I did. Assault Heroes 2 is what an Xbox Live Arcade title should be. It’s well-designed, filled with things to blow up, big weapons and easy to get into the action. Sierra has a very good grip on the old classic top-down shooter genre.
I can only hope there’s an Assault Heroes 3 that adds some customization or something to it. I’d love the ability to create or modify a vehicle or weapon. Until then, I’ll be assaulting on land and in space with Assault Heroes 2.