Assault Heroes 2

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Assault Heroes 2

Assault Heroes 2

The song remains the same.

Is it better to stick with what works, or make changes for the sake of change? Playing through this follow-up to the 2006 Live Arcade hit, it seems that the still wonderfully named Wanako Games couldn't decide one way or another. Thus we get a sequel that is almost exactly like the original, apart from the bits that are suddenly nothing like the original. These parts, somewhat inevitably, are poo.

The first Assault Heroes was a decent enough top-down shooter that delivered enough action to make it worth a look, but not enough personality that you were compelled to rush. So it is with the follow-up. Once again you're at the wheel of a dinky little space-jeep thing - not unlike Halo's Warthog - and must traverse the levels using its upgradeable rear-mounted weapons to obliterate a ceaseless swarm of alien foes. Much like every top-down blaster these days, the left stick handles movement, the right stick directs your fire. Grenades can be deployed with the right trigger, while the left detonates a nuclear smart bomb. In another Halo-esque nod, if you avoid being hit for a short time then your damage recharges but, should the jeep get destroyed, you have to survive on foot while you wait for another ride to respawn.

So far, so familiar. This being a sequel, however, there are some new bits pasted onto the old chassis. You get a new weapon, for instance, in the shape of an ice gun. Working much like the flamethrower - except, you know, cold - you can use it to freeze and shatter enemies. Not exactly original, and ultimately rather pointless, especially since a fully powered-up mini-gun/flak cannon combo is still more than enough to cut through pretty much everything in the game.

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Assault Heroes 2 confirmed for Wednesday

Assault Heroes 2 confirmed for Wednesday

On XBLA. In case you'd forgotten.

Assault Heroes 2 is due out on Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday and Sierra Online has confirmed a price tag of 800 Microsoft Points. You knew all this, of course, but it never hurts to remind yourself.

Developed by Wanako Studios (still funny), it's a two-stick shooter in the same vein as the first game, but with a bigger campaign, more destructible environments, more exotic vehicles and an extra edge to the on-foot gunplay.

It also has fancier bosses, as you'll know if you've watched our Assault Heroes 2 bosses trailer, which should put up more of a fight during the two-player co-operative mode, which was a "pleasurable romp" good enough to rescue the first game from relative mediocrity.

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Assault Heroes sequel coming to Live

Assault Heroes sequel coming to Live

Enhanced co-op gameplay promised.

A sequel to top-down shooter Assault Heroes is coming to Xbox Live Arcade this spring.

Apparently everything's been "reimagined" for Assault Heroes 2 so you can expect "an even more intense arcade shooter experience". Publisher Sierra Online is also promising the game will expand its horizons into outer space.

New features will include enemy vehicles you can hijack, an enhanced co-op mode and lots more levels. Like its predecessor, Assault Heroes 2 is being developed by Wanako Studios.

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