For years now, the Aliens and Predator movies have been a staple to every sci-fi fanatics collection. You can’t even mention Predator today without someone yelling GET TO THE CHOPPAAAA!!! in their best impression of Arnold. Aliens and Predators first met on the battlefield was in the February 1990 issue of Dark Horse Comics Presents #36. The first time a game was made for the series was in 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Since that time there has been a slew of AvP title ranging from entertaining to mediocre. The most well known and played of all the AvP title is Aliens vs. Predator 2 released in 2001 for the PC. Even after servers were shut down people still found ways to pay this game.
But now that you all have your history lesson for the day, lets move on to the AvP of today. The multi-platform game released February 16th of 2010 is simply titled Aliens vs Predator. It was developed by Rebellion, who did the original 1999 PC version of AvP, and published by SEGA. It gives you the freedom to play as either the Aliens, Predators, or Colonial Marines in any order you want. The story takes place around a colony called Freya’s Prospect on a distant planet. The Aliens story has you playing as an Alien bred in captivity. You are designated as Specimen 6. Your goal is simple: take out any living marine in your way to help the Queen. As a Predator, your goal is to become the ultimate hunter by taking out your prey and cleaning out the infestation. The Colonial Marine campaign assigns you as The Rookie, the new guy fresh out of selection who has never seen a Xenomorph in his life. Your goal is also simple. You must survive. All three campaigns intertwine and relate to each other.
Has Rebellion struck gold again and made a title worth standing next to its predecessor? Lets take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of this title.
Although this game can’t live up to graphic powerhouses such as Uncharted and God of War III, it is still good looking in its own merit. The environments are detailed well and the character models are spot on. From jungles to ruins this game pulls the mood off great with the lighting. Strolling down a dark corridor in the Marine campaign fees like it was ripped straight from Aliens.
Each of the three species is detailed and brings their own unique set of skills to the table. Rebellion has also stayed true to each character and added detailed audio and design to each one. The Marines signature radar clicks steadily and beeps faster and faster the closer a potential target gets to you. The Predator has 2 different visor modes that hum and give off that signature heartbeat. The Aliens hiss at their prey scaring the living daylights out of them before the final blow. Each species also has weapons and abilities that fans will be familiar with.
The Aliens can crawl on any surface and jump long distances, they fight using their claws and tails, and when you get close enough and trigger a finishing move, you are sometimes treated to their signature extending tongue. All in first person.
The Predator brings all of his unique weapons and gadgets into the fray as well. He has his throwing disk, shoulder cannon, combi stick, and mines to use. Players will feel like a hunter stalking their prey using the trees and staying cloaked.
The game does a good job of making the Marine memorable as well. You use all the weapons a Colonial Marine would use. The infamous Pulse Rifle is a staple, but the other weapons familiar to fans are there as well such as the smart gun and flamethrower.
All three of these species all bring a unique feel to the game and are all entertaining to play as.
Although this game has a generic story, it’s all told in a unique way. You see everything from three different perspectives and it always gives it a fresh coating. It’s not like they copied and pasted the same thing three times and spit the game at the player. Each time you play through it, it’s a different experience and take on the story. There’s also a unique twist at the end of each one that will make fans of the series jump for joy. For fans of the series, this story is pure gold. It also brings in enough entertainment and drive to keep the average gamer satisfied as well. It offers something that not many games bring, and that’s telling a story from different perspectives and weaving them all together seamlessly. Multiple times you will probably find yourself at a point in the story saying to yourself “oh this is happening to the alien because of this” or “the Predator is doing this while im here.” It has enough substance to keep you playing.
AvP also offers it’s own unique twist on classic multiplayer modes. It has seven multiplayer modes which each stand out from the normal. The most entertaining of all is Infestation mode, which pits a team of Marines against one Alien. As the Alien takes out a Marine, your fallen comrade becomes one of the enemy. The goal for the Alien is to turn all Marines, while the Marines are striving to survive. It’s an intense and very fresh feel for multiplayer. The other modes offer different types of deathmatches such as mixed species teams, same species teams, and free for all. Predator Hunt is also unique as it puts one player as a Predator against a handful of Marines. The person who kills the Predator becomes him and is tasked with scoring a kill.
Probably the most outstanding mode in this game, Survivor Mode pits a squad of Marines against wave after wave of Aliens that get progressively harder. It gets very intense in the later modes that pit you against stronger, faster Aliens. If you work together as a team, you can survive. Try to lone wolf it, and your just food for the Xenomorphs. The mode also makes it harder by putting the better gear in the darkest areas of the maps. Want the shotgun? Head into that dark corner there…
Controls Can Be Clunky
As nice as it is to control the deadliest species in the universe, they can sometimes seem a little brain damaged. The Aliens’ and Predator’s focus mode locks onto enemies, but is also used for longer jumps. SO while you may be trying to approach in stealth, your character might think it smart to punch an enemy in the face in the middle of a room filled with enemies. Yeah you just got your world lit up by 5 pulse rifles because your Alien thought it would be funny to attack.
This can be an issue for those of you who want to rank up. The Ranked Matchmaking options do not allow you to browse matches like the friendly option. So when you go to find a match you have to wait a good minute or two for it to put you in a match with three other people. This was a big issue in the demo making you wait up to 10 minutes just to find a match. Thankfully it’s not that bad. But for today’s day and age, we should be able to get into a match without any issue.
In all, Aliens vs Predator is a solid game that offers a wide variety of things to do. It brings a lot of options to the table and, though it falls short in a few areas, is worthy of carrying the AvP name. With multiplayer that offers a wide variety of modes, three different campaign modes, and a survivor mode, its definitely worth the price. For fans of the series, its a definite must buy.
[Editor’s Note: Alien Vs. Predator was reviewed on a PlayStation 3 platform. The game was played from start to completion.]Aliens vs. Predator Review,