Mutant Storm Empire dated

Next Wednesday on XBLA.

Mutant Storm Empire will be released on Xbox Live Arcade next Wednesday, 31st October, PomPom has told Eurogamer.

It's going to cost 800 Microsoft points, which is about GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.30 in old money, and will of course have a demo along with it.

You may remember Mutant Storm Reloaded as one of Xbox Live Arcade's better earlier shooters. Those with even longer memories may remember the original Mutant Storm's popular presence on Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 1.

The new one, Empire, is similar but enjoyably different. Using two-stick shooter controls, it tasks you with blasting your way through 16 levels, full of "beasties" who need to be blown away to make progress.

Its strength lies in the quality of the increasingly devious level design, which changes pace and style often enough to keep you guessing, despite maintaining a sensible difficulty curve.

You can tackle things alone in one of two ways - Adventure mode is a straightforward trek through all 16 levels, with a high score awarded for your best streaks between the loss of the six lives you get per level, and the ability to restart on any unlocked level.

Then on top of that you've got Tally mode, which tasks you with trying to set a top score for each individual level, and then builds an overall score for the entire game out of your best efforts.

There are of course leaderboards, not to mention co-operative modes offline and over Xbox Live, and 12 fairly tricky Achievements to unlock.

So, lots to look forward to. Look out for our verdict nearer release next week.

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