Aliens Vs Predator

The year is 1990. Dark Horse comics present a meeting of two movie monsters – a clash of molecular acid against active camouflage – and the very popular Alien Versus Predator series was born. Twenty years since conception, and having swept up the likes of Batman, Superman and the Terminator along the way, it’s time for the series to grace the current generation of consoles and let the intergalactic war rage on for a little bit longer.

Borrowing characters from across the Alien and Predator mythology, including the recent AvP films, the game presents you with three separate campaigns (Marine, Alien and Predator) which, while different, all follow the same basic story arc – a temple has been unsealed, a bright light has shot into the sky and all hell has broken loose. The three campaigns are not very long – there’s probably 6 or 7 levels to each and they’re pretty linear. In fact, it’s only on Nightmare mode, which removes the checkpoints, that they start to present a real challenge – and even then the challenge is only whether you can be arsed to play through again when you die. They’re also dark; the Marine campaign is the darkest of the bunch and the torch or flares you’re equipped with don’t really cut the mustard all that well when you’re trying to pick out a dark xenomorph in a dark corridor. The Predator campaign fares better, due to the alternate vision you’re afforded by the visor – my one complaint here is that it’s still hard to pick out the Aliens, and you’d think that a species that, apparently, hunts Aliens for sport would have a visor that can see them in the dark from the get-go not happen to stumble across one in an old temple. Just saying. The only campaign not adversely affected by the dark is the Alien one, as their eyes adjust to all conditions  – but this one throws in the nausea-inducing ability to run along walls and ceilings, or, if you’re not paying much attention, just jump to the ceiling with an accidental press of the A button leaving you thoroughly confused and turned about.

Of the three campaigns the Marine’s is by far the weakest. Playing as Predator or Alien is a lot more fun, but still leaves you a little bit unsatisfied as you realise that you’ve hardly started playing and you’re half-way through the campaign already. You’ll shoot your way through the Marine story, while slicing and dicing your way through the Predator and Alien campaigns. The Predator campaign does offer you some natty new equipment but, disappointingly, the best stuff seems to come last – once I’d got hold of the Combi stick I found it the best weapon by far – but only got to use it for one or two levels before it was all over.

Graphically, despite the darkness, it’s not a bad looking title – although one stone corridor, or metal corridor looks a lot like the next. The cut scenes are well done, though, but you’ll still be left wondering what the dickens is going on if you try to pay too much attention to the story. There are gory moments in there as well – grab a trophy as a Predator and you’re treated to a sequence where your poor victim’s head is impaled on your gauntlet, and pulled from the body with a sizeable chunk of vertebrae still attached – it’s fairly gruesome and almost never necessary (it does, in fact, leave you open to having the crap shot out of you) – so aside from the couple of times you need to have a head on a stick, you probably won’t even bother.  I was also disappointed with the active camo on my Predator which may as well not have been there. The game hints say you’ll be spotted if you’re aggressive or clumsy although it appears no-one has added these parameters to the game as you’ll be more or less spotted regardless. I don’t really remember that happening in the Predator film – Arnie just sitting in the jungle going “No, can still see you. Nope. Try again. Nope. Why are you even bothering?”

So, the single player is somewhat of a let down. It starts off slowly – the tutorial levels are almost painful to endure, particularly the Marine one as it’s pretty much basic shooter fare, whereas at least the Predators and Aliens have slightly different abilities. There is, of course, a multiplayer mode and this is, well, I think you’d have to say, what you make of it. I found it to be a tiresome experience, given that two-thirds of the characters on offer require you to walk up to your enemies to dispatch them which is fine in single player when they don’t, well, just run away. I can see it being fun if you get a like-minded group of friends in and just go at it, species on species, but the games I took part in were slow and infuriating. You can’t see cloaked Predators and the levels are so bloody dark that the Xenomorphs blend in as well… and no-one wants to play as the marines because, well, they’re a bit shit.







5 responses to “Aliens Vs Predator”

  1. Kat avatar

    Ha! Good and amusing review. Playing as an Alien is great fun for me but I haven’t run off advising friends to buy it cos there’s too many downsides. This could have been fantastic but it ended up mediocre which is a shame.

  2. chobe avatar

    Wasted potential. It should be fun to mow down aliens with a pulse rifle but it’s just a nobache because you can’t see anything and because some of the weapons feel so weak you might as well just wait to block, melee and kill the enemy that way. The game’s dripping with references to aliens and predator but fails to capture any of the charm of them. The alien campaign is a bit better but painfully short and I’ve only just started the predator campaign but again it seems to be a case of block, knock down, rinse, repeat.

    Bit disappointed in the campaigns, most definitely. I haven’t tried the multiplayer yet.

  3. Simon avatar

    Nice review.

    I remember that bit in the Predator movie actually. It was my favourite bit.

  4. Markatansky avatar

    I have to disagree about the Marines. They’re really underestimated! After a while of getting used to the marine, I played a deathmatch game and got nearly twice as many kills as the next player who wasn’t a Marine as I recall. It’s really about how you play and how you do it.

    The learning curve can be a long drawn out process but it feels worth it in the end when you’re desperately battering aliens away and holding off Predators.

    Having said that, I’ve yet to see the Aliens dominate a game – after all I’ve seen the Marines and the Predators do it.

  5. creativepete avatar

    Personally I am really enjoying AVP, yeah, sure it’s not as polished as the FPS giants like MW2 but it feels ‘different’, which is refreshing. Online is plagued by slow loading times, but playing with mates is great, the online survivor mode had 3 friends and I laughing and screaming loads. I feel like everyone is “jumping on the bandwagon of average reviews” All the reviews I have read feel like they have all “copied and pasted” content from each other. I think people forget that this game is gonna have more appeal to people who actually remember Alien & Aliens hitting the silver screen all those years ago. I know a few of my friends bought it and love it SIMPLY for the sound of that Pulse rifle. 🙂

Leave a Reply