Astebreed is a 2.5D bullet hell shoot 'em up similar to the western Xbox LIVE Arcade game Omega Five. In Astebreed, the player pilots a special combat mech featuring a unique weapons system integrated with the human consciousness of a young girl, and fights to save humanity from extinction.
The texture application used for Astebreed is known as Marmoset which was created by a western computer graphics company.
In Astebreed, the player pilots a mech equipped with a shield and a unique weapons suite known as the Lucis System, which incorporates four types of attacks: Lucis Shot, Lucis Homing Attack, blade, and EX Attack; each type of attack features two different firing modes with the exception of the EX Attack, which has three different modes.
The mech's shield is displayed as a small blue bar over the mech when it takes damage. Instead of having a system of "lives," the entirety of the self-healing shield is the player's entire life. If the player is hit and the shield depletes, the player can regenerate the shield back gradually by not getting hit again. Once the shield completely regenerates, the blue bar disappears. The player loses if the shield depletes entirely, and restarting thereafter constitutes a traditional "Continue."
This attack is the most basic rapid-fire type attack that is most common in the shoot 'em up genre. There are two different firing buttons, and by pressing one of the two buttons there are two variations of the Lucis Shot:
Lucis Shot spread - A rapid-fire projectile attack that spreads at a wide angle in front of the player. Covers a larger area but does less damage.
Lucis Shot concentrated - A concentrated rapid-fire projectile with a narrower line ahead of the player as the direction of fire. Does a lot more damage than the spread variation.
Lucis Shots are able to cancel-out enemy projectiles that are purple and may shoot down some enemy missiles; however, the Lucis Shot cannot cancel yellow or red enemy projectiles.
Lucis Homing Attack
In addition to the rapid-fire Lucis Shot, the pilot may also lock-on to targets and fire a barrage of missiles for greater damage. This uses the same two buttons as the Lucis Shot, except that the player must hold down the button to lock first and release to fire. The two variations of the Lucis Homing Attack feature two different ranges and aiming directions.
Lucis Homing circle - A short-range but 360-coverage that very quickly locks on to all targets within a limited circle around the mech. It will lock on to as many targets as there are missiles available in the barrage, but the player can release the button earlier to fire a salvo and almost instantly ready another for maximum coverage.
Lucis Homing line - A long-range (covers a narrow line cone emanating from the pilot), focused lock-on that will queue up missile locks a lot faster for a single target than its counterpart circular aiming method. Great for high-HP enemies and bosses. By default (with no directional input) aims at the closest target. Otherwise, the narrow lock-on line is directed at either (depending on what the user opts for in terms of aiming direction, the default option is the first) the direction of the player or reverse the direction of the player's movement.
Lucis Homing Attacks will slow enemy movement as the missiles are launched, making it especially effective for fast-moving enemies and even enemy missiles, which can also be locked-on in Lucis Homing Attack's firing lock-on mode.
The blade is an especially effective close-quarters and defensive ability: it can destroy/parry missiles, purple, and yellow projectiles. Only red projectiles/lasers will not be defended against by a blade attack. There are two variations to the blade: Blade attack combo and blade dash.
Blade Attack Combo - Pressing the blade button in rapid succession will allow the player to attack a very short 360-range around the mech, causing heavier damage upon contact than even the Lucis homing attack. Also defends against aforementioned projectile attacks in addition to dealing damage to enemies on contact. There is a short window of winding-up after the attack combo completes in which the player is vulnerable for a split second.
Blade attack dash - By holding a direction and the blade button, a player may instantly charge across to a target or in a great distance one direction, dealing extremely heavy damage on everything in the path. Also winds up, leaving the player vulnerable for a split second after the dash maneuver is complete.
One of the most unique aspects of the blade is that it invokes the scoring multiplier: all Lucis variations build a multiplier upon dealing damage as long as the player isn't hit. When the blade destroys an enemy, it will multiply the destroyed enemy's (or enemies') score value by the multiplier (which is capped at 16x) and decrements the multiplier by 2x, 1.000 is the lower limit. Taking damage also resets the multiplier to 1.000.
Over time, the mech quickly builds a yellow EX meter, which is displayed above the blue shield meter that appears over the mech as it takes damage. This meter can be filled even faster by destroying enemy projectiles. After filling the EX meter, the bar disappears and the mech begins to glow yellow, signalling that the player may hit any variation of the EX Attack button to launch the most powerful abilities of the game available to the player at the cost of their EX gauge. The variations of the EX Attack are triggered in conjunction with the Lucis Homing lock-on mechanism, which will be noted parenthetically as follows:
Standard EX Attack (no lock on) - The mech will quickly dash around a circle and hit all enemies within a short radius, dealing heavy damage and canceling all projectiles. For a 5 second duration, the mech is also invulnerable, but the EX gauge will not begin to regenerate until the invulnerability wears off.
Dash EX Attack (multiple enemies locked on) - Deals a powerful dash attack against all enemies locked-on and the mech is invincible throughout the entire Dash EX Attack.
Wild EX Attack (all missiles in a barrage are locked on a single enemy) - Deals the greatest possible amount of damage capable by the mech on a single enemy, also making the mech invulnerable for the entire attack. The Wild EX Attack is most useful against bosses. Be mindful, however, that not locking on all missiles will cause a normal Dash EX Attack, which is markedly weaker and will deplete the EX gauge anyway.
The EX Attack is essential for bosses or cases when the player is seriously outnumbered and outgunned in a screen. Knowing when to launch an EX Attack and knowing what type of EX Attack to use can be a great, clutch lifeline for the player to invoke. This also follows the Blade scoring mechanism.
Filune, a mechanical alien race that has previously ravaged entire worlds, has set its sights on the extinction of humanity. Fighting a losing battle, humanity in its desperation ultimately turns to human experimentation subjects and weaponizes two gifted young sisters, Fiona and Esto. The sisters consciousness are integrated with a specially-designed mech weapons system known as the Lucis System.
By channeling their minds into the weapons systems, the resulting mecha weapons platform, the Lucis System, is far faster and stronger than anything that both Filune and humanity brought to the fight thus far in the conflict. As the conflict escalates further before the Lucis System can be deployed on a mech proper, the sisters' veteran father is lost in the line of duty while one of the sisters, Esto, goes missing.
A young son, Roy Beckett, bent on avenging his father's death, is chosen to pilot the first Lucis System-integrated mecha, Xbreed, along with the remaining sister, Fiona.
Together they intended to turn the tide of the conflict against the Filune and find Esto in the process.
On June 26th, 2014, Astebreed became the highest rated PC game of 2014 up to that point by holding a 93/100 metascore. As of July 5th, 2014, Astebreed holds a 92/100.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
- Processor: Core 2 Duo or faster
- Graphics: Shader Model 3.0 compatible, GeForce 8600GT (2007 model) or better
- DirectX: Version 9.0
- Additional Notes: Controller recommended