Aliens vs. Predator Reviews

  • DimitriDimitri231,640
    18 Feb 2010 20 Feb 2010
    58 8 30
    Alien vs Predator, an FPS game we've all been dreading and looking foward for. Well, it's finally here, and what a surprise of a game. For a "movie" style game1, I wasn't expecting much, but I have to say that this game really impressed me.

    For all of you that have read my reviews before, this review will hopefully be better. I've made it a bit longer, more concise and easier to find what you're looking for. If you have any comments or criticism, please leave a comment. If you choose to give me a negative rating, please explain why in a comment so that I can better my reviews in the future. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

    The Graphics are spot on. Nothing too crazy, but it represents the series well. All the little details you'd expect are all there. The predator arm band to his helmet are all done perfectly. The alien Queen is gorgeous and all the marines are, well, FPS marines. The game includes special skins that unlock as you level up, a cool edition, but I wish there was more for your effort.

    Sound is nothing amazing, serves its purpose well, but nothing out of the ordinary. Only thing worth mentioning is the funny sounds during the main menu, they'll make you think you're talking to someone who just put their mic in. Can mess with you a bit and kinda cool.

    The Controls are crisp in the aspect of camera and character movement. My biggest beef with the controls is that they differ from character to character in respects to sensitivity. Alien has the most sensitive controls (able to run at speeds that just aren't right for a FPS), followed by predators and then finally marines.

    When playing the alien, one of the biggest flaw in the game becomes apparent. The camera angle for the alien is at the level that the alien would be at running at. That, added with the fact that the alien runs on walls and ceilings, you end up playing as if you are playing Prey at ankle level. the player tends to get disoriented quite quickly, although the reticule in the center helps to reorient yourself.

    There is also some issue with the grab feature of the alien and predator. In multiplayer modes it gets hard to run up and grab someone. You'll often run right by them and not grab them, leaving your back turned and vulnerable to counter-attack.

    Single Player is split into 3 seperate campaigns. One for each character, alien, predator and marine. The campaigns are fairly short and a good challenge. Ultimately, after playing single player, Sega seems to want to focus on the multiplayer of this game. Most of the achievements for single player are fairly straight foward and easy, should be some quick points for the chievo hunters out there, but beware, the Nightmare mode shouldn't be taken lightly.

    The Multiplayer aspect of the game is very surprising. Smooth and fairly lag free, other than a few glitches here and there, it is a very fluid play online. Most issues with play can, and probably will be, corrected with patch work later. The weaponary is a little off-balance, favoring the predator online.

    There are 7 multiplayer modes featuring everything from standard Deathmatch to a specie specific Deathmatch. There is also a Survivor co-op mode as well, although you can only use marines in that mode.

    The multiplayer mode progresses using an experience/level system, unlocking new skins for use in multiplayer as you progress. A little lacking, I think. There a lot of weapons for both the predator and the marines to use that could have been split up for rewards in multiplayer, although the alien would be lacking in that scenario.

    The community on AVP is just not there at this point. Matchmaking can take upwards of 5-10 minutes to Quick Match in Ranked Matches and I still have yet to get a group together for Player Matches. Hopefully that will change once the game has been out for a while, because this game is very fun to play online.

    Overall the game is definitely worth a play through. The single player is challenging and fun and the multiplayer, if it picks up and keeps a descent online following, keeps the game with a high replay value. As for the price, well, you might want to wait for a price drop or just rent this one. Hopefully we'll see a sequel, because this game set a good foundation for a new series of FPS games. I give AVP a 4 out of 5 stars.

    PROS
    You get to play as Xenomorphs!
    Full range of classic weapons from the movies.
    Multiplayer really is a lot of fun.

    CONS
    Playing as Xenomorphs may make you motion sick.
    Some control issues with finishing moves in multiplayer.
    Predator is way too strong in multiplayer.

    1: I refer to this as a "movie" style game because its creative concept is that of the comic/game/movie Alien vs Predator (2004). I am aware that the PC game Alien vs Predator predates the movie by 11 years, and that the Dark Horse Comics comic book predates the game by yet another 4 years. I simply used the term as descriptive text for the opening of this review.
    4.0
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    motley gunneri meant to say loved the franchises as a whole, i thought the melee combat as alien and predator was pretty bad, but unlimited ammo for the pistol? that doesn't create much tension.
    once i finished the campaigns (not on the harder difficulties tho) and got a few achievements i thought ok time to get into multiplayer, over 30 mins later i got into match......only to be dominated.
    the best part of the game i thought was the sound all of that was brilliant but i don't think the score from the predator movies featured at all unfortunately.
    also doing the same levels over as each species i thought was a cheap thing to do
    Posted by motley gunner on 04 Mar 10 at 00:15
    Cyphate+rep for the review. Well written. I disagree with you that the game is good, I found it didn't quite work out for me, owing to the repetitivity and the gameplay problems that you highlighted. The graphics are not impressive by any stretch of the imagination, the landscape is flat and square and disappointing. The marines have fallen straight out of Halo 2, The Xenomorph queen is also square and with the pounding we are getting from the games industry at the moment, I really expected better.
    Posted by Cyphate on 30 Mar 10 at 17:27
    KiN6TiMThis game is an amazing FPS! It's all about the marines gameplay. Nice review
    Posted by KiN6TiM on 18 Aug 12 at 15:48
  • VinchuccaVinchucca183,967
    18 Mar 2010 18 Mar 2010
    18 3 2
    This game has been getting some poor reviewscores in the press and I can sort of see why.

    Stack it up against other FPS-games like for example Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 or Battlefield Bad Company 2 and you'll notice that AvP lacks in both the audio-visual department as well as the gameplay-area.

    But what it lacks in cutting-edge technology it more than makes up for in atmosphere and it's attention to detail which fans of the Alien- or Predator-franchise will surely appreciate.

    In single player the game consists of 3 campaigns; marine, alien and predator and they are all based around the same plot. The Weyland-Yutani Corp. discovers a temple on a planet in a galaxy far far away. It contains xenomorphs and the company decides (again) to harvest these creatures for use in bio-weapons. Off course after mere seconds sh** hits the fan, the aliens break loose, marines are sent in to contain the outbreak but instead become appetisers and whadayaknow the temple belonged to the predators so they rush in to protect their 'sacred hunting ground'.

    As you'd expect the marine campaign is your fairly standard FPS-corridor-crawler. Think of DOOM³ and you'll know what to expect. Dark corridors, lots of mood, occasional scare and a truckload of aliens hiding in the dark waiting to bite your nipples off.

    The aliens on the other hand are vurnerable and therefore must rely on stealth and cunning to dispatch of your foes. They haven't got any weapons, but their sharp tail, fangs and the ability the scale any surface still make them a great character to play with.

    Lastly the predator plays pretty much like Batman in Arkham Asylum. Again you rely on stealth to succeed in your mission. Usually this involves distracting a human to make him turn his back on you, then sneaking in and ripping his spine out!

    AvP succeeds in creating the right atmosphere for each character. As marine you'll feel lonely, vurnerable and surrounded most of the time and the heart-beat-like bleeps from your motion tracker will haunt you in your sleep! As an alien you'll be lurking in shadows waiting for you unsuspecting prey to pass and then moving in for the kill. As a Predator you'll feel like an intelligent creature that really uses technology and the environment to dispatch of his foes.

    Also a nice touch is the fact that most soundeffects are ripped straight from the movies. From the rattling of the assault rifle to the ticking and beeping of the motion tracker, to the "clicking" sounds of the predator and the hissing of the aliens. It's all there. Add to that the brutal fatality-like stealthkills of the extraterrestials and you can imagine this game is quite cool.

    The downside is that it doesn't really DO anything with the franchise. In fact the gameplay feels outdated. Take for example the marine. There's no ability to zoom with your weapons, nor is there a button to crouch. It doesn't sound like much, but trust me, you'll miss it! The A.I. in the predator-campaign is so stupid, it's beyond redemption. And I can probably go on listing faults and problems.

    It gets better in multipayer where you'll be treated to some cool game-modes involving the different races. Like predator-hunt, where one player is a predator and the others play as marines. If you can kill the predator you'll become him and you'll have to try and kill as many marines as possible untill somebody else kills you and takes your place. Or infestation which starts with one alien and about 10 humans. If a human gets killed he becomes an alien. Last one standing wins. It makes for very tense and intresting matches. Sadly tough there's only a handful of maps, the predator is a bit overpowered and everytime a game is complete everybody is kicked back to the "search game" screen, which would've been fine 5 years ago but nowadays we want a Halo 3-party style system please!

    All in all AvP is a game that'll win the hearts of the fans in a heartbeat, but if you feel nothing for neither of the franchises, invest your time and money elsewhere.
    3.5
  • fowlmowffowlmowf89,632
    28 Feb 2010
    18 6 2
    Finally! Rebellion has come back to continue what they started in 1999 with the new Aliens vs predator available on multi-platform. Being a personal fanboy of the alien and predator universe this review may seem a little biassed so please exscuse that.

    In the game there are a total of three different campaigns:

    The marine: The marine campaign is my personal favourite, it's dark atmospheric and shit scary just as a game featuring the infamous aliens shold be. However it is still a little generic in a good way. You play as the rookie, a member of the U.S.S. Marlow. Yeah, i know you may think this sounds a little generic but it does work. He's on a routine patrol until a huge predator ship appears from nowhere and takes out the Marlow, the blast wave knocks you out and you wake up landing on the nearest planet. The gameplay for the marine is nothing special. You have your radar, gun and health, it is a standard F.P.S. with a terryfying twist put with it. The controls are fine and work well with the game. The sound and visuals however are probably one of the games strongest points. The sound just brings back the memory of the first time you watched Alien/Aliens. Can you remember that beeping from the motion scanner? can you remember it's pitch getting higher and higher until HOLY SHIT! that's what this game's sound ressurects. The visuals are nothing that special, but most of the marine campaign is in darkness anyway so you tend not to notice.

    The alien: My least favourite of the three. You are number 6, a test subject that scientists are tryin to train to use as a weapon. However an E.M.P. goes off and you manage to escape. The gameplay for the alien is really unique as it is heavily stealth based. You have the ability to climb walls and destory lights so that the humans cannot see you very well. Another thin is that first-person melee is hard to pull off, it's hard to stab someone in the face when you've just ran around two walls and jumped off a ceiling. It's story is no-where near outstanding but I guess it is hard to make a story for a mindless over-sized insect killing machine. The visuals are not as good as the marines or predators. They are slighlty blurred around the edges but i guess you are looking through a 'bugs' eyes. The sound isn't what it could be but still fits nicely with the atmosphere.

    The predator: Probably the more inventive one. You play as Mr rawr. Mr rawr is an aspiring hunter and earns the rank of elite at the start of the game. His goal is to stop the humans from invading Mr rawr and his friends territory. However Mr grrr and his alien posse show up and it turns into one hell of an angry throwdown. The gameplay is very innovative, giving you thermal and xeno-vision, and all the really cool gadgets to use. I'll give the names and then what my dumb cousin calls them:

    Plasma - caster: shoulder cannon
    Smart disc - spinny thing of doom
    Trip mine - exploding bannana skin
    Combi-stick - cool spear thing

    The visuals are what make this campaign. How you change between the three different visual modes alot, it really brings out the visuals, the sound is captured nicely with the sound of the switching helmet modes, and the weird clicking sounds that the predator makes occasionly.

    The multiplayer: It's actually very well balanced, the marine starts off with his pulse rifle and pistol, the alien has nothing to pick up, the predator starts with his cloak, visual modes and wrist claws.

    There are a few different modes:

    Deathmatch - bog standard free for all

    Species death match - 3 teams, 3 species pit against eachother, who will win?

    Mixed species deathmatch - 2 teams, all 3 species can fight alongside in this gamemode.

    Domination - Very similar to MW2's domination, 2 teams, mixed species. yo must fight over cap points to earn points.

    Predator hunt - Think halo's juggernaut mode, 1-17 marines fight alongside to kill the predator. If you kill the hunter, you become the hunter. To earn points you must earn killls as the predator.

    Infestation - My favourite, 1-17 marines and 1 alien. the objective for the marines: stay alive. The objective for the alien: kill the marines. If a marine is killed, then they become an alien and must help the other aliens infect more humans until there are no-more to infect.

    Survivor - 4 players against a never ending ammount of aliens, you and your buddies with no chance of survival. You're gonna die but when?

    Notes on mulitplayer: I love all the modes, however there are only 6 maps and soon 4 DLC ones. There is a level and XP system although you can only unlock new skins for your species. One plus is that if playing as a marine in multiplayer, it is just as intense as the campaign, the bleeping of the motion tracker getting closer and closer, your friends all screaming ''where the hell is it? I don't see it, but its right next to us, AAAGGGRRHHH'' it's wonderful that a game managed to capture that fear.

    Overall notes: the alien and predator have a horryfyin ability to execute an enemy in a very gory fashion, some that make you cringe. just run up behind an enemy and BAM! they have no more head or spine. all of the stories are linked in someway or form which can weaken a few parts of the alien and predator campaigns. Lance Henriksen or also known as Carl Bishop Weyland in the movies: Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien vs Predator, is voice acting as Bishop in the game which is just stunning.
    4.0
  • Bizarro13Bizarro13449,315
    14 Sep 2010
    14 5 1
    Better Late Than Never Review: Aliens vs Predator

    I was pumped when I heard Sega announce Aliens: Colonial Marines. A revisit to the Aliens franchise? Check. First person shooter by Gearbox? Check. Co-op multiplayer? Check! Postponed and replaced by Aliens vs. Predator developed by Rebellion just to get a game out there? Check?

    Yeah, I really do feel that AVP was a title that was thrown out there to satisfy fans when Colonial Marines was going to be pushed back. AVP isn't terrible by any means, it just isn't the triple A title I think Sega and Rebellion expected it to be, though it did very well in the UK apparently.

    When I loaded up the game, I thought I'd check the multiplayer servers just for the hell of it. I wasn't expecting much since it was a weekday and rather late on the west coast, but damn, not one game to be found. I've since tried a couple of times to no avail. So, normally I include multiplayer as part of my reviews. At this point, unless I get into boosting sessions for multiplayer achievements (which is absolutely no indication of how multiplayer truly is), multiplayer gets an incomplete grade.

    The single player game is broken up into three perspectives of the same story, Marines, Aliens, and Predator. The storyline follows the AVP movie, which I am not a fan of at all. I’m a huge fan of the first two Aliens movies and the Predator movies. The idea of human civilizations being manipulated by Predators building pyramids to breed and hunt Aliens is ridiculous to me.

    The Marines have just crash landed on a planet where Aliens are running rampant, Predators are hunting, well everything, and Karl Bishop Weyland is in charge of experiments on Aliens and Predator technology. So, depending on which story you start with, you’re a Marine looking for survivors and eventually being tasked to find and stop Weyland. Or, you’re a captured Alien that breaks free and works to free your brethren. Or lastly, you’re a youngblood Predator going through your rite of passage who is also charged with reacquiring Predator technology from humans. This all takes place on a planet similar to Earth in varying locales, such as, dark colony buildings, swamps, and ancient Predator pyramids and ruins.

    I’ve read a few reviews that complained about the graphics, especially with the level designs. As Marines, you spend the time running around in mostly dark with your flashlight and flares. As Aliens, you see everything in kind of a fishbowl effect, running on walls and ceilings while stalking humans that glow. And Predators, well, they have “normal” vision, or you can run in thermal vision and eventually a special mode specifically for Aliens. All of the levels are used in the three storylines. The levels could’ve used more detail or maybe looked better in general, Then again, if I’m a Predator running around in thermal or “Alien” mode 90% of the time, why does it even matter how good the level looks. I know. Did I just give the okay for crappy graphics? No, but take the biggest fault of Batman: Arkham Asylum. It’s a beautiful game that most people spent in detective mode, so they didn’t even get to see how gorgeous most of the game was. So, it’s a catch 22 and since this game feels like filler while we wait on Aliens: Colonial Marines, I don’t think the most time and effort was put into making an epic graphical experience.

    They sure did like their death animations though. That’s where it seemed a lot of time and effort went into. Aliens stab, claw, rip and bite(?) their enemies. Predators stab, claw, and rip heads off of their enemies. Assuming you choose to grab and kill with these “finishing” moves that is. Which you may want to if you are going to be stealthy and take out Marine patrols one person at a time.

    So, what’s different about the three campaigns?

    Marines:

    You are Rookie, great, generic storyline with a generic character. As I’m awakening from a crash landing, I’ve got Tequila on coms giving me the tutorial in her bad Mexican accent. I’m taught to pick up health, given the run down on controls, motion tracker, using flares and such. The game (when indoors) is dark. Combine the darkness with your crappy flashlight, flares that last a few seconds, and your motion tracker that makes that distinct sound as enemies move in all around you and you’ve got a hell of an atmosphere. This is something I was looking forward to most in Aliens: Colonial Marines.

    There are various weapons that you’ll recognize from the Aliens films/games, Pulse rifles, Smartguns, and flamethrowers. The thing that gets me though, you can’t aim or zoom with any of them but the sniper rifle. Imagine my shock when Tequila is teaching me how to fire a weapon (didn’t I learn this in Basic?) and I go to zoom in slightly with my pistol with LT and it burst fires. What? Alternate fire with LT? This is one of those basics in a FPS that I don’t understand. Every FPS doesn’t have to be the same, but why do something different just for the sake of doing it? The game tries to auto target for you, which is dumb, but isn’t very good at it. Especially with tricky fast Aliens that dodge, jump, and run on walls and ceilings. You’ll adjust, it just doesn’t seem very intuitive and there’s a reason for that. You see, the game has a melee system similar to Condemned. You can melee, block and even counter. This takes up your left and right bumper buttons so there really isn’t any room on the 360 controller for an alternate fire button. If you learn the melee system correctly, it can be a tremendous aid in fighting Aliens, but then, it starts to feel a little cheap. Melee, shoot, melee, shoot. This method works pretty well as long as you aren’t overwhelmed.

    After you meet up with Tequila, you guys run afoul of more trouble and she ends up with a chest burster waiting to get out. An android named Katya takes over telling you what to do in an attempt to save Tequila and to find Karl Bishop Weyland’s datapad that will get you off the planet. Your motion tracker points the way. The levels are pretty straightforward. No real puzzles to speak of. Just shoot shit and follow orders. If only the rest of the game lived up to the atmosphere itself. At times there are moments, especially when you’re trapped in a room and Aliens swarm from all over and it’s just a turret gun and you with your Smartgun.

    If you’ve gotten used to the various weapons and their pros and cons (double barrel shots as an alternate fire with a shotgun is NOT a good idea on the harder difficulties) and gotten the hang of the melee system, the game can be a little more forgiving on the harder difficulties. I played through on hard. I restarted A LOT of checkpoints. It got frustrating at times. Not the kind of figure out a different strategy frustrating. Pretty much a, they hit hard as hell if you get caught, frustrating. I tried one level on Nightmare difficulty. You don’t get to restart at checkpoints if you die. You have to do the whole damn level. I couldn’t imagine trying to finish the later levels with only one shot at completing them.

    Aliens:

    You play as Number 6, named by Weyland because you’re “special”. Funny how as an Alien you have an identity and as a Marine you don’t. Anyway, you go through the standard tutorial teaching you to attack with your claws and tail, break lights to hide in the shadows and sneak up on enemies to stealth kill them. And stealth kill you must, or you will be restarting checkpoints like crazy. I thought some of the Marine levels were hard. Marines and androids can take you out quick, especially in groups as they like to patrol.

    There really isn’t much to this campaign. You’re helping your buddies escape and killing Marines and androids. This campaign is more about being stealthy and using the melee system to your advantage. No choice, you get no weapons. You have to choose which enemy you’re going to kill, and how you go about doing it. Using the environment to your advantage is key, especially since the Marines can track your movement. Getting used to running and jumping on or from walls can be a chore. There were times I’d try to jump behind a Marine only to end up facing the wrong way and alerting them so they can give me a first class ticket to checkpoint city.

    This campaign is short. Dying so easily seems to be the only thing that drags it out. The toughest part of some levels is trying to figure out how to harvest a colonist before he kills himself. You have got to have some patience if you are going to play on the harder difficulties.

    Predator:

    This is an interesting campaign and slightly longer than the Aliens. It’s part stealth, like the Aliens, and part run and gun, like the Marines. As with the other campaigns, you are given the interactive tutorial in an arena setting. You are a youngblood about to take your rite of passage and you need to wipe out those pesky Marines and colonists that are tromping around in your ancient ruins.

    You get a variety of weapons to use and you can melee, of course. You start with your claws and shoulder cannon. The shoulder cannon would be more useful, but it has a limited energy charge. As you progress through the game, you will get proximity mines, the Smart-Disc, and the Combi-Stick. The Combi-Stick shows up late in the game, but once you have that, forget about it. Nothing else is as effective, especially against androids which take numerous hits to kill. The Combi-Stick is a one hit kill on anything.

    As much as I love running around in thermal vision taking out Marines, it does get pretty old hearing the heartbeat non-stop. I found myself switching out of thermal whenever I had the chance. It’s just tough playing most of the game in that mode.

    Each campaign ends with a cutscene that suggests a sequel. As with the campaigns, the story and endings are fairly unremarkable. There’s some potential, especially with the great atmosphere. While AVP isn’t terrible, it simply could’ve been better. Lose the melee. It takes away from the FPS concept.

    The original PC games survived on some really good multiplayer. This game never had a chance in that area. Six months or so in and they’d already cancelled online support for the game. It is so tough for a game that isn’t Halo or Call of Duty to survive in the multiplayer glut. Too often, multiplayer is an afterthought.

    My final complaint, why the hell must there always be collection achievements? This can stop the flow of a game when you are searching for hard to reach or find collectibles.

    An unremarkable two stars is all AVP can muster from me. That’s it, game over.
    2.0
  • Removed Gamer
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    14 5 0
    Aliens vs. Predator (X360)
    By: Hunter Smith
    "Impale, shoot or devour your way to multiplayer glory"

    Aliens Vs. Predator was a game I didn't expect much out of going into it. Its based on a movie license, in the gaming industry that's usually strike one, its made by a developer who doesn't have a huge stable of great games (Rebellion), and it is a reindition of a game that was okay for its time but not a spectacular title. AVP delivered pretty much what I expected it to.
    AVP's story is about a human colony that has become overrun with Aliens. But when you delve a little deeper into the campaigns you will see that there is a little more going on than that. The game has three seperate campaigns and in each you will play as a different species (Alien, Marine, Predator) but in the same storyline. I found it pretty cool to play a campaign as the Alien and Predator. It was a fun experience and pretty well done for the most part. I also liked how with each campaign you play through you see a different side of the story. The campaigns I felt were the right length: about 3-4 hours each and in each campaign you gain access to all of the best components of that species as you progress. For example as human you get the smart gun from time to time, as Alien you have your awesome repetoire of melee and stealth, and as Predator you get the buzzsaw, Combi Stick, etc. I also liked the tension that the game creates, especially playing as the Marine. Aliens vs. Predator also does a nice job of creating the feeling and aura of the Predator and Alien movies. It's hard to describe, but the game actually feels like you are in the Predator movie. I think a huge part of this was created through the sound effects. The growls of the Predator, the firing of the smart gun, and the hiss of an Alien all sound just like their movie counterparts. I was pleasantly surprised with the campaigns, however they showcase several of the bad things about the game.
    The graphics, menu presentation and A.I. are all below average for an XBox 360 game. In the cutscenes the character models of every species all are sub-par and the textures of the jungle, walls and hallways are poorly defined. If the graphics were amazing this game would be much better considering the awesome characters you play with in AVP. A well defined and drawn Predator face would not only be cool, but would add even more to the feeling that you are in the Predator movie. The PC Version looks exponentially better than the 360/PS3 games. The menus also fail to add flavor to the game. I feel like an interesting design scheme to the menus could have gave an even more Aliens and Predator feel to the game, but instead the developers just use a "plain Jane" background and sound effects. Now to my biggest complaint: the AI. When playing as Predator or Alien in campaign the Marines you face are just God awful. Not only are they severely lacking in intelligence and tactics, they are also extremely annoying. If I had a penny for everytime I heard a Marine say "Don't relax just yet Marines" while I played through this game then I could've gotten my money back. The Marines spam the same two quotes throughout the whole thing.
    But you don't play Aliens vs. Predator for the campaigns, you get it for the multiplayer. The dynamic of having different species do war against each other makes for epic multiplayer madness. There are six different game types: Deathmatch, Species TDM, Mixed Species TDM, Infestation, Predator Hunt and Domination.
    Deathmatch is your run of the mill, every man/Alien/Predator for himself fight to the death. You get to choose your character before the match starts. I found it fun and hectic. Its a good way to sharpen your skills as whatever species you are best at playing as.
    In Species TDM all of the players are randomly divided into even teams, each of a different species. So you have a team of Marines vs. the team of Aliens vs. the team of Predators. Its a lot of fun and also shows you that there really is not one species that is necessarily better than others because there isn't one certain team that always dominates in this game type.
    Mixed Species TDM pits two teams against each other. The teams are made up of whatever species the player wants. You can be all Marines, or you can have 3 Aliens 2 Predators 4 Marines, whatever happens goes. This was my favorite type of deathmatch. I like the fact that you have to work together with players of opposite species against your common enemies.
    Predator Hunt is a game in which all players start as Marines. The computer then randomly selects one to be the Predator. This Predator has a limited amount of time to get a kill or else he will become a Marine again and another person will become the Predator. If you kill the Predator you get to be the Predator. You only get points for kills you get while being the Predator. This was my least favorite game. Usually everyone just takes turns killing the Predator but no one goes on a killing streak as the Predator. there was also several instances where I couldn't find other gamers to get a match with so I must not be the only one who doesn't enjoy Predator Hunt.
    Infestation is in some ways similar to Predator Hunt but is a million times more fun. Everyone starts out as Marines, then one is chosen to be the Alien. The Alien then must kill the Marines. Each one he kills becomes an Alien who will help with the Infestation until no humans are left. This was my favorite game type. I enjoy working together to ward off the Aliens and the suspense and scariness that sometimes occurs when several are sneaking up on you.
    Domination is just plain old Domination like you see on several multiplayer games. Stand beside one of three cap points to capture it and gain points every 5 seconds for how many caps your team controls. Teams are divided into seperate species, Aliens vs. Marines. Not much to get excited about here.
    All in all I found the multiplayer to be very fun. The thing that will scare some gamers off though is the sharp learning curve of this game. There are so many tactics to master and tools at your disposal that experienced players will kick your ass for the first couple hours. My advice is find the species you like best and keep playing as them until you learn the best tactics to use with them. Its that same learning curve that makes this game unappealing to noobs that turns on real gamers. The skill you can develop at this game can make you far more dangerous than other players, more so than most multiplayer games.
    If I had to think of just a few words to sum up Aliens Vs. Predator it would be "lackluster but fun". For all the faults that this game has it is still a whole lot of fun. You can't deny how cool and different it is to be an Alien or Predator, whether it be in Campaign or MP. Its a fun dynamic to have these three totally different species all fighting each other and the chaos that usually ensues isn't bad chaos, its a fun frantic pace reminiscient of the Quake series. The melee system in the game takes some getting used to, but once you learn it I found it to be a good fit. I've heard several gamers compain about the controls in Aliens vs. Predator, but I had no problem with them. They do take some time to master but they work well for this game and once the action ensues the button mapping allows you to get to everything in your arsenal pretty quickly.The weapons (whether it be guns for the Marine or tools for the Predator) are great and the Predator and Alien individual sneak attacks are sweet and brutal.
    Bottom Line:
    The game is lacking in several areas but delivers in the most important one: the fun department. If you are a fan of the Aliens movies or Predator movies then this is a must play. If you are a fan of harcore multiplayer action, this is a must play. If you aren't either of the above then I would suggest you steer clear of AVP or give it a rent and see if you can get into it. If you can get over the steep learning curve, then you just might get hooked like the rest of us.
    7.3 out of 10
    **If you like this review you can see it and more of my work on my site www.themensroomtoday.com. If you are interested in posting your game reviews not only on here but also on my site to get more exposure, then email me**
  • XxSpazemxXXxSpazemxX204,976
    03 Mar 2012 29 May 2013
    8 1 2
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    If you're here to just quickly check how difficult the achievements are on this game, scroll to the bottom of the review.

    Review
    When a developer gets the chance to work on a huge movie licence, it's got to be like Christmas come early. Having a big name on your game's box is tantamount to printing money these days.

    So, if you happen to snag the rights to, not one, but two of the most iconic action sci-fi blockbusters ever made, getting a winning title is surely as easy as a heavyweight boxer stepping into the ring with a paraplegic.

    Rebellion is hardly a newcomer when it comes to the world of Aliens Vs Predator, having already released Aliens Vs Predator titles before, so with past experiences under its belt, can the British developer make the most of the current generation hardware and catapult our hopes and dreams of actually ‘being' an alien or predator into orbit?

    Following much the same direction as previous AvP games, you're once again given the opportunity of stepping into the shoes of a Colonial Marine, Alien or Predator, each of whom has their own campaign. The Colonial Marine's campaign is undoubtedly going to be the first destination for the majority of gamers, which is lucky, as it's here where the game shines the brightest. The Marine's campaign is fleshed out very well, and is suitably polished. It's the longest of the three stories, and it's clear to see this is where the majority of the developer's time and attention has gone. As soon as you begin, it's not long before you notice the game's major ace in the hole - the presentation.

    Fans of the movies will be smiling with glee every step of the way through the series of missions, which are so full of fan-service to the subject matter it's plain to see that Rebellion knows its onions. Visually, AvP fantastic in my opinion, especially when it comes to attention of detail when reproducing the movie sets. The initial outing in the human colony is lifted right out of Aliens, and subsequent locations, such as the refinery, with its Alien 3 stylings borrow from the rest of the universe.

    Character models are a little bit behind the times when compared to recent titles, but few could complain about the excellent Alien reproductions, which are truly great - something you'll see up close and personal soon enough...

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    If the visuals don't rock your boat, the audio direction most definitely will. The FX and ambient music are absolutely spot on, and while gingerly wandering down darkened corridors with nothing but a rather ineffective flashlight and the occasional short-lived flare, you'll feel like you're truly in the movies, along with the apprehension that brings. This is the best re-creation of the totally unnerving motion tracker beep I've heard so far, and finally we have the uniquely cool Pulse Rifle bark reproduced perfectly. The voice acting is, for the most part, great, with Lance Henriksen doing his bit as Karl Bishop Weyland, and plenty of the more memorable movie dialogue is present.

    All of this is woven into a really impressive atmosphere that is at its very best in the opening minutes. With only a handgun, and no backup, you have to make your way through a seemingly deserted, and pitch black outpost. As you mooch around looking for power switches to bring the lights back on, the tiny bit of light you have isn't enough to quell the fear that begins to rise as you hear noises, and blips on the motion tracker begin to move. The fear of an Alien lunging at you from the darkness is ever-present. It's a brilliantly paced introduction, and even once you get into the game proper, this kind of fear generating mechanic is always present.

    When you do come face to, erm... face with an Alien, you shift into a different fear - one that has you frantically trying to avoid quick and painful death as you haphazardly try to take down Hollywood's meanest alien threat with a pea shooter. Even when you get to play with the better weapons like the Pulse Rifle, Flamethrower and Smart gun, you'll still feel more than a little uneasy, as xenomorphs are fast, agile and can run along any surface. This is a gimmick that's used brilliantly, too. Picture the scene: you're walking through a dark, empty room and your motion tracker starts to show movement in front of you. It gets closer... and closer, but still, you see nothing. Then you look up...

    It's all excellent and atmospheric stuff, well worth the price of admission and, thankfully, the game underneath it all holds together, even if it all feels a little old school. AvP's control and overall feel are undeniably a little dated, with no extras like iron sight aiming or involved interaction with the environment (save a couple of switches to flick and panels to hack), and the smoothness of the controls isn't as buttery as I'd have liked. With enemies as fast and agile as the aliens, controls as fluid as those seen in the likes of CoD are needed but, sadly, aren't that present. They're not bad, by any means, but you can't help feel they needed to be better.

    Once you're done with the Marine's outing, you'll no doubt wish to sample the Alien and Predator's missions, both have their own unique styles of game play.

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    The Alien campaign is perhaps the poorest of the three, mainly as writing a story about a creature that's little more than an acid-filled weapon with claws and a bitey mouth was always going to be a challenge. Shoehorning in a kind of telepathic, hive mind link to the Queen, you play ‘6', an Alien being experimented on by Weyland Yutani. Predictably, you escape and have to do the Queen's bidding, which oddly includes a lot of hunting for switches, something that simply doesn't fit with the Alien character.

    As an Alien your main weapons are your razor sharp claws and tail, as well as the ability to hide in the dark and run along the walls and ceiling. The latter of these abilities is where AvP starts to unravel a little. While it's cool to perch upside-down on the ceiling in the dark, waiting for a hapless soul to walk into range of your fury, using this ability in heated battle is both confusing and clunky.

    The melee combat, while passable, is also a bit stale and unwieldy. With a character that's so focused on melee combat and quick, vicious attacks, Rebellion really needed to put in more time in order to get the feel and accessibility just right. This wasn't done, and instead of a fast, efficient and downright brutal killing machine, you have a fast, clumsy and often inaccurate beast. Close up, fatality-style kills are always a laugh, though. That is, when you can manoeuvre into just the right spot to pull them off.

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    The Predator, in my opinion. Despite several tries, the games industry has never been able to truly capture the brilliance of the silver screen's star, and while Rebellion has given it a damn good try (both here and previously), the same is true again.

    As the Predator, you have access to all of the staple weapons of the hunter-killer species. Wrist blades, the Plasma caster, Throwing discs and Spear gun are present and correct, and you can also use different vision modes and utilise the ‘yeah, I know it's cheating, but it looks damn cool' cloaking device. And, the Predator can also jump massive distances, able to find vantage points to ambush foes.

    Another interesting ability is the distraction skill. By selecting a point in the area, you can project a ‘want some candy?' vocal queue, causing your target to walk over to investigate, thus leaving them wide open to attack.

    Given all of these tools and abilities, the Predator should be a blast to play, and for the most part, it is, but it also suffers from some of the limitations of the Alien. Melee combat isn't good enough, and some of the abilities are a little hit and miss, with stealth being a little overly tricky at times, despite the cloaking field.

    It's worth persevering, though, as the stealthy option is rewarded with some truly gruesome trophy kills (if you thought Sub-Zero's controversial fatality was bad, just wait ‘till you see these), and when it does come together you get to feel like a truly elite hunter.

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    Sadly, the major problem with both the Alien and Predator campaigns is the size. Both are far shorter than the Marine outing, and the overall story and pacing just isn't as smooth or as well realised as the human angle. It's a notable flaw, and one that, given the title of the game, is a little unforgivable. Admittedly, The Marine is my favourite character, and I could happily play a game based solely on Colonial Marines (hmmmm, there's a thought...), but this is Aliens Vs Predator, so what gives Rebellion?

    As well as the single player story element AvP also has a couple of multilayer tricks up its sleeve. Online modes include straight up death match, which is about as well balanced as a politician's expenses claim form, and modes that pit one Predator or Alien player against a group of Marines. These latter modes can be great fun.

    The final mode is Survival, see how long you can survive against wave after wave of aliens. AvP was made for this kind of challenge, and it works very well, especially when working together as a team. Okay, so it's a bit of a hackneyed game mode these days, with many other games also packing it in, but it works well, and that's all that matters.

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    Despite some control issues and lack of polish in the extra-terrestrial campaigns, not to mention the short-lived length, I really enjoyed Aliens Vs Predator. However, to get the most out of this game you really should play it on hard. This tough and often daunting difficulty level really helps to re-create the tense atmosphere of the movies, and you'll enjoy it a whole lot more.

    Fans of the films will undoubtedly enjoy the game too, and this is by far the closest anyone has come to reproducing them in game form, and even if the films aren't your cup of tea, if you're an FPS or action/horror fan looking for a challenge you'll find plenty to get to grips with.

    The combination of the dark, a motion tracker and aliens can't fail to be cool, just don't forget to look up once in a while.

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    Achievments
    For the most part you can do almost all the achievements 100% legit, I only boosted The Six Pack achievement which requires you to play with six friends in a Ranked Match. All the rest you can do by yourself, if you truly want you can boost the xp required for some achievements, but I loved the online so much that I did it all legit, The campaign can prove to be difficult at some parts, but eventually you will get past them with a few try's, all in all the campaign + the multiplayer would take maybe 30ish hours doing it legit.

    I hate when review's don't have the information I am looking for. So if you feel that I am missing information on my review, please let me know and I will update it.
    5.0
  • chalon9chalon9324,351
    07 Nov 2010 13 Mar 2011
    10 3 5
    Ok, this is my first guide, so bear with me.

    Campaign:
    -Marine: The longest and most difficult of the three campaigns, as well as the scariest. Most of the time, you are alone traversing a wide menagerie of environments, ranging from a dance club to a destroyed, predator temple, shooting hordes of oncoming xenomorphs. There are also a few exciting boss battles, one of which is against a predator. Despite a few annoying, but acceptable, problems, such as the motion tracker's inability to distinguish which floor enemies are on or the similar appearance of the dot on the motion tracker for friendlies or hostiles, the marine campaign is very enjoyable and well worth the time spent on it.

    -Xenomorph: My personal favorite, though mainly just because they're my favorite of the three species. You play as Xeno 6, born and raised in a lab, which you escape from following a brief, but immensely helpful tutorial. As an alien, stealth and speed are your best friends, and you must learn to use both to sneak up on and silently execute your enemies, unless you want to be cut down by hostile shotguns or pulserifles. Overall, in my opinion the sheer excitement and challenge of being forced to get up close and personal with your opponents, outweighs the cons of this campaign being the shortset of the three and the frequent motion sickness and disorientation that comes with the alien's ability to run on walls.

    -Predator: By far the strongest of all the species, the predator has 2 options, blast enemies from afar with his plasma caster, or activate his cloaking device and sneak up on an enemy, successfully killing him in a brutal execution. As the the predator, you come to the planet to prevent the marines from stumbling upon any of your species technology in the ruins on the planet. Unlike the other two species, the predator faces many different species and enemies, ranging from combat androids to alien praetorians, as well as an epic final boss battle which I will not spoil for those of you who have not yet played the campaign. There are few cons to the predator campaign, the only real important one being the predator's overpowerment, making the campaign a lot easier than it should be.

    Multiplayer:
    Though not as good as many other games, you should probably keep in mind this game was obviously designed for its campaign. There are several different gametypes, ranging from straight out free-for-all to Infection, where one player starts as an alien and all others as marines, and when a marine is killed, he joins the alien forces, until all marines have been killed. Each specie, in my opinion, has a rival specie which, when played by a skilled player, will just dominate the other. This "foodchain" goes as follows: the aliens, with their ability to see the predators through the walls and when they're invisible, feast upon predator brains; the predators, with their thermal vision and invisibility, plasma caster the marines from opposite ends of the map; the marines, with their motion tracker and ability to block and counter the alien's melee attacks, often turn the alien's heads into green, acidic mist. Unlike for the campaign, the multiplayer has some serious problems. These include the insanely long time to find a match, the uneven team balancing, and the fact that when the host quits, no one gets nearly any XP, no matter how well they were doing.

    Overall:
    Despite the many glitches, I thoroughly enjoyed this game. I may be a bit biased though, considering I'm a huuuge fan of the movies and the past games. However I feel that this game was well worth the $60 I spent on it, and considering how long it's been out, I'd assume the price is even lower now. So if you haven't yet, I suggest you get this game and have some fun, gory, action-ey, scary, sci-fi fun that will get your heart pounding and blood rushing in no time (especially when playin the campaigns on nightmare, the hardest difficulty in which there are no checkpoints). Overall, this is one of those games that you either love or hate, there is no in between.

    And to the people who decide to follow my advice and buy this game and join the many people who've played and enjoyed this game, message me and we can play together some time.

    Men, Welcome to the War

    5 stars

    P.S.: If you have any advice on how to improve this review, please leave a comment. However, from looking at other people's reviews, I must add that I'm always open to creative criticism, but I would prefer if you would avoid just saying negative things about my review witout any ideas on how to make it better, as that does nothing but hurt feelings. Remember, this is my first guide after all. Aside from that, I hope you enjoyed my review.
    Chalon9
    5.0
  • TheRickMoranisTheRickMoranis115,259
    26 Mar 2010 26 Mar 2010
    15 16 9
    "I got a bad feeling about this drop," prophesies Pvt. Frost minutes before he, Ripley, and "the Corps" thrust themselves into the xenomorph badlands of LV-426 in Aliens.

    "So you cooked up a story and dropped the six of us in a meatgrinder?" expostulates "Ah-nold" Dutch to "Apollo Creed" Dillon in Predator.

    Two quotes from the two films of which Aliens vs. Predator represents are ironically perfect descriptions of my internal struggle and short play through experience with said game.

    I'm an Alien fanatic. The Predator is less of an appealing obsession, save for his completely cool design, but the Alien, to me, is the king (or Queen) of nightmarishly simple creations that are just down right, well, creative. Plug into the Xeno-realm the inseparable fate of the steadfast Lt. Ellen Ripley, each a thorn in each other's claw, and the Alien saga is thematic as well as frightful. I love the Alien franchise.

    So, perhaps I went into this game with too much excitement and hope, focusing too much on one side of the adversarial triangle that is Aliens vs. Predator. Aliens, Predators, and the humans they encounter are tightly woven into their own universes, and though crossing over sounds fantastic in idea (and conceptually it's not really all that bad), executing that crossover in film and video game hasn't met with resounding success. On the other hand, Rebellion's first two attempts in the franchise were well received for both the Atari Jaguar and the PC. I played the PC version and it scared the poo out of me! For it's time, the graphics and gameplay were superior. Was it wrong to hope that the team who seemed to have the AvP formula down would secure another hit? And is it ever wrong to have hope, anyway?

    No, but for this game my hope for a quality experience never came. That's why it's a huge eye-opener when I say that six days after having my highly anticipated copy, I traded it back in. I, the Xenophile that I am, got rid of probably the best looking Alien game to date. But looks will only take you so far. In the end, all I felt I had experienced were point-blank sequences of gore, three incredibly uninspired campaigns, and a lack of multiplayer replay value.

    I knew going into playing AvP there would be issues (refer to the Pvt. Frost quote above). One, most attempts at pitting the two species together has a history of not coming out just right. The novels and comics do better justice, but the more mainstream exposures leave far too much to be desired (like substance). Can you really craft a good story, though, with Aliens and Predators? YES. The Alien movies use the monsters more as backdrops or catalysts instead of main characters. Why not dive into the culture of the Predator, the struggles they face, the sacrifices they have to endure to even win a spot at seeing one of these temple-fighting-grounds they've built around the galaxy; or how about a rogue Predator? I guess video games isn't the best medium to tell that story, but I believe it is possible.

    Issue two: when the focus on these two "enemies" is their abilities for bloody mutilation, then all we can be as viewers/gamers is grossed out, or unholy satisfied if our hearts sadistically seek out gruesome killing. This could easily lead into a "violence in video games" diatribe, but we'll save that for it's proper time and place. I'm a Christian, I play video games, and yes I'm aware that the majority of games (party and family genres excluded) use "killing" in some way, but AvP takes glorifying the level of specified violence to an extreme I haven't felt until now (and I don't plan on playing Manhunt 2).

    I wanted to like this game. The screenshots portrayed the most authentic visuals for these creatures in video games so far. The multiplayer demo, while fraught with annoying special kill Conga lines, was enjoyable to a degree and showcased a new way to multiplay. Survivor mode was going to be my chance to live out the best action scenes from the oft-referenced Aliens. But these dreams were met instead with such a lack of inspiration and fine-tuning that most of the time I was fighting with the controls and terrible lighting instead of against the AI shooting or lunging at me.

    One of AvP's strong points is the ability to play three different species (another positive being the tutorials before each campaign, but good luck making "Tutorials!" a selling point). Most first-person shooters are designed with the inescapable weapon on the right hand side of the screen and a HUD that doesn't exist in reality (when are we all going to get our standard issue health bars, ammo count, and tracking number of first aid kits?). The Marine campaign has this traditional setup with the added pulsing and iconic motion tracker. Choosing to play as the other two extra terrestrials is where things veer for both the good and the bad. Good in offering differing play styles; bad in execution.

    THE ALIEN
    Let's begin with the Alien. You're fast. Really fast. You can crawl anywhere ... well, almost anywhere (invisible walls, the scourge of the Xenomorph!). You can see enemy auras through walls, jump 30 feet floor-to-ceiling, and destroy lights to hide in the dark. Sounds great, huh? For the most part it is. You feel like an Alien, even receiving telepathic instructions from the Queen and having the ability to hiss. But if you've read any other reviews out in the internet ether, or read my multiplayer impressions, you know that running around walls, upside-down, at high speed is very disorienting. Rebellion tries to right your dizziness with a compass-like reticule that always points to the ground, but it still doesn't completely work because it's oddly shaped and not big enough. It's shape is supposed to change when you're able to leap onto a surface, and when you're in the dark it will turn dark. It's purpose is sound on paper, but I felt it could have used some more refinement.

    Since the Alien is so simple in nature, your HUD is, too. All you get is the reticule and a curved health bar above. That is all you need, and thankfully Rebellion didn't add anything else (aside from messages from your Queen).

    But simple is not always good, as is the case with the Alien campaign. Two hours; that's how long it took me on normal, and that includes searching for (but not finding) 50 un-story related Royal Jelly containers stuck in the most random, unrealistic locations. One review I read somewhere said about an Alien campaign something like, "How much can you give an Alien to do anyway aside from finding the Queen, infecting bodies, and killing?" True, but can we at least try and add something?

    The campaign starts off promising as you play as Number 6, a special bug because when you burst from your first chest you weren't ready to be man-handled. But the humans caught you, you caught the company's eye, and you've been in captivity, biding your time apparently. When you eventually do break out, your goals are to get to the Queen and deal with enemies along the way, infecting innocents, attacking your attackers. And that's it. I don't remember now how often you fight alongside your "brothers," but you don't really feel like a fearsome force. Obstacles aren't memorable, and you have to destroy an inane amount of switches and panel boards and technology (but you can't touch sentry guns at all, when you could take them out with your tail in the PC version). You fight Predators ONCE, and the campaign ends. I was left with a "That's it?" feeling regarding both the campaign length and shallow story. It would have been leaps ahead in storytelling if we explored a bit more of what it's like to be the most feared creature in the universe.

    To avoid stagnation, it's great when companies offer different approaches to gameplay, different shoes to wear, different "guns" to fire. The Alien is one of the most unique, with a full range of motion and speed balanced with only melee attacks. But shallow is the end result of this effort. The Alien is cool ... evil, but cool in an unrealistically-scary way. But a lot of the creature's swagger is erased after the campaign and once you see an Alien trying to block your melee attacks in multiplayer ... an Alien blocking is one of the stupidest looking visuals I've seen in recent memory.

    But if meleeing and speeding around with motion sickness isn't your thing, your have some options that bring a bit more firepower.


    THE PREDATOR
    Here's my nerdness coming through: the Predator is not as intimidating as the Alien. There, I said it. But apparently the whole world disagrees because the majority of my time in multiplayer, the Predator limits filled up first. I can see why he's so appealing, but it seems like an easy choice to pick the guy that can turn invisible and shoot projectiles. To each his own.

    I like the Predator culture, however, because they have some redeeming qualities that make them less like cold-blooded killers; they have rules of engagement. If you're not armed, they won't hurt you. If you're not a threat, they won't harm you. If you tick them off, they will hunt you. They are a warrior tribe, if you will, so they have progression, demotion, trials, and well, anyway let's get to the game.

    Being a Predator is not as awesome as it sounds. Yes, you can cloak. Yes, you have mad jumping skills. Yes, your arsenal is deadly. But your cloaking doesn't hide you from everything (sentry guns, water and Aliens). Your jumping is way too limited, and your weapons ... ok, they're still deadly.

    Let me first talk about the jumping. Holding LT will bring up a targeting system of sorts (same with the Alien) that lets you know 1.) when you can leap onto an enemy, and 2.) to where you can jump. If you remember from the first film, the Predator swings through the foliage, perching and leaping with ease like an outer space, invisible Tarzan. Now, I understand that there are limitations in video games, but there are far too many moments as the Predator when your jumping will feel stupidly stifled. There will be a tree branch 20 feet above you that you can't jump to, but you can jump to it if you take one tiny step to the right. Um ... what? You will feel like an ape-man-creature when you find stretches in the level design that were made for you to traverse 100 yards in three bounds, but otherwise jumping to escape or travel is on the frustrating side.

    I'll be honest with you ... right now I'm trying to think of a segue into discussing the campaign ... but I can't even remember how the campaign ends! You go to the temple, fight android security guards ... OH YEAH! You fight a Predalien, I think, or a Praetorian guard ... or the Queen ... guess that tells you how deep and memorable the story was, huh? It's longer than the Alien, but your main reason for being in the game is stopping the humans from defiling the temple, and killing whatever attacks you. You start out as a Youngblood/trainee and progress through the ranks as your leaders send you out to prove yourself by keeping the temple safe. You're sent out with only your wristblades to find out what happened to the other Youngbloods who essentially haven't checked back in, and to find your other weapons. It's a cool progression idea, one that sees your Predator achieve greatness in protecting the temple (even witnessing in playback the very first victory against the Xenomorph race), but being put on a god-like pedestal after only four hours from being a newbie is a might too quick. And, yeah, it's another short campaign.

    I may not recall all of the Predator campaign, but what I do recall with unfortunate detail are the trophy kills. I have a section reserved for the violence below, however. Instead, let's discuss the Marines, those poor, third-wheel Marines.


    THE MARINES
    The longest of the campaigns (since it's the most traditional of the species) belongs to the humans. And without a doubt much more attention was focused here. One thing I like about the campaigns, despite their length and lack of depth, is their circumnavigation of a linked plot point, that of a downed human ship named the Marlowe that the Predators shot down. But I can't remember if that's what brings your team down to the planet's surface or not. In any case, you play as the all too common cop-out of "the Rookie" character, a noob without much experience. You drop down and get separated from your team, then must make your way to your surviving partners, picking up stronger firepower as you go. You fight Aliens, one Predator (again) if I remember correctly, and Karl Bishop Weyland himself, who is annoyingly tough (and is explained after you beat it).

    Rebellion wanted to go back to the films for inspiration, and they certainly achieved that goal with the Marines. The Pulse Rifles are Pulse Rifles, the Aliens look like Cameron's bugs, and the corridors scream LV-426. But I think they should have been inspired only for aesthetics instead of for characters. I say this mainly in reference to the character of Tequila. A tough, Hispanic woman Marine. Vazquez, anyone? And Tequila would have been a great name if Vazquez never existed in Aliens. I quibble a little.

    I also quibble at the fear factor. If the motion tracker didn't exist, then the scares would be far too tame to even suggest this campaign as "survival horror." But I will excitedly shake the person's hand who created that radar because the Alien series loses its suspense without it (Alien 3 is another topic, though). Though appearing in the first Alien, it was Aliens that perfected the motion tracker's look and sound, and AvP does it justice. The pitch increasing ning-ning that alerts you when enemies are drawing closer to you is panicking, and is expertly matched with the flat metronome that pulses when nothing is around but keeps you incessantly on your guard.

    Why I quibble is that your encounters are not actually scary in and of themselves, the scare is in the motion tracker. The first Alien you fight is actually scary, since it's the first one and you only have your Pistol. But I died at least five times on normal at the first enemy before I finally took him down; ending with more frustration than heightened nerves. A few other Aliens come from beneath the floor in front of you, they lurk in the shadows of cavernous spaces, and crawl around buildings when you're outside, but they don't ever jump out at you or startle you. Like I said, the motion tracker saves the day. Much more could have been tried to up the tension. For example, one sequence has you kidnapped by the Aliens who intelligently take away your big guns, leaving you with your Pistol ... and your motion tracker! They're smart enough to take away your weapons (save for your sidearm), but not that dinging thing that lets the humans know where they are? How scary would it have been to walk through a portion of the game without any radar help, only your flashlight? Put shadows everywhere, throw in a lot of hisses and your heart is in your throat! But nope ... they didn't do that.

    The game goes as you'd expect. You're ordered by Tequila to turn on power in different areas, you shoot up a few bugs, you hear the screams of other surviving comrades, the last levels of the game take you through halls of secreted resin and the plot-linking temple, and you try to save the day. The story here is obviously more relateable to us humanoids and it tries to throw in a couple of sad twists (and the inevitable someone in the Alien universe actually being a synthetic person), but it's nothing to run out to buy to play. Out of the three it is the best, but that still doesn't say much.

    THE OTHER
    Two other things need to be mentioned with Aliens vs. Predator. The first is multiplayer. I've spent most of my review on the single-player portion, but I did play some multiplayer and this is probably where most people will go. You could probably sum up all the above in one word, "shallow." Multiplayer can even be surmised in that way, too.

    Multiplayer suffers in this Call of Duty age because you don't have perks, classes, or loadouts to make your Alien or Predator different than xXJoe-Gam3rtag13Xx. You don't "rank up," instead you unlock skins which are only interesting as the Alien or Predator; I doubt anyone is dying to unlock Van Zandt or any other unmemorable Marine. Differences lie in the modes offered, which do offer varied play styles but there just aren't that many.

    - Deathmatch is an all too common mode and unnecessary, only saved by Species/Mixed Species Team Deathmatch (because playing as a Marine and shooting at other Marines just doesn't feel right);
    - Predator Hunt is like Halo's Juggernaut;
    - Domination is Territories (and I never played it)
    - Infestation is the best MP mode that feels like survival horror as your team slowly dissipates to the last man standing.

    That's it! Survivor mode, the Horde/Nazi Zombies set up, had the best potential, and it is good. I unfortunately didn't get all that excited about it and play it all the time because I never got to play it with anyone else. It was scary, and like Nazi Zombies could be something you could play long into the night with other people. However, keeping the full game long enough for Survivor and Infestation wasn't worth it because of the overwhelming focus on gruesome killing.


    THE VIOLENCE
    It's disgusting. It's gross. The movies and game are rated R and M for reasons (the first AvP was PG-13 however). While the movies are violent, and chestbursters create the worst of it all, this game takes mutilation to a whole other level by way of trophy kills. Another recent and violent game is Dead Space that touts "dismemberment," but for infected, no-longer-human attackers in third person. Gears of War also is noted for it's chainsaw rifle and the bloody over the top (keyword here) finishing moves it allows. Aliens vs. Predator decapitates, punctures, slices throats, tears heads, and eats brains all in first person. It's obvious that a lot of effort went into the animations to make them disturbing and ultra gory, almost to the point of glorifying it. Why would anyone want to sever someone's head from the chin up and stare into their shocked, fearful expression while neck muscles and tissue string down around the still attached spinal cord, of which you run your fingers underneath to stroke? Or is it necessary to watch your Alien tail tease your frightened victim for a few seconds before you slit his throat, or have that same tail run through another human's rectum and out of their mouth? You can have alien-species-to-alien-species trophy kills, sure, but they aren't as personally affective because I don't have green or acid blood, or a banana shaped head or crab face.

    The counter argument here is "Don't perform trophy kills!" That's what I ended up doing, actually. If you play anything beside the Predator campaign you can do this (because at least twice you must take someone's skull to use their eyes in retinal scans). But that still doesn't save the mechanics and storytelling that just are not all that redeeming or of high quality that other games have.

    It was the specified violence alone that I couldn't stomach. The shallowness and uninspiration I could forgive as long as it was fun shooting Aliens and the like. But this wasn't fun. Anytime I chose to commit a special kill, I felt worse than harvesting a Little Sister. On these grounds specifically I can't recommend Aliens vs. Predator, as I couldn't even last one week before I traded it in.

    IN CONCLUSION
    The prospect of a good console game involving Aliens will always catch my eye ... at least until Colonial Marines comes out, and only if that one is good will my hope remain. I was excited about Aliens vs. Predator despite it being a "vs. Predator" title and despite my fears of the violence. The promise of something different was realized in the multiplayer demo, and, to me, the graphics looked to be the best gaming representation of the historic films. But Rebellion decides to take the gory route, instead satiating those who revel in massacring bodies than those who want to kill Aliens for survival. "Shallow" permeates every aspect from campaign to multiplayer. Any reasons to play this game is for the lacking Marine campaign and Survival and Infestation modes (though Infestation opens the door to use the special kill if you become an Alien), all of which aren't even reason enough. Game over, man. Game over.

    GRADE = D+

    (This review has been edited slightly for this site, but is on my blog, JASON 3:60 at jasonthreesixty.blogspot.com)
    2.0
  • Minias666Minias666375,689
    02 Dec 2012
    0 7 0
    This game is a solid effort at transforming something from the silver screen to the game console. The missions aren't overly long, and the challenges for each campaign seem to fit each character just right. As the Predator, his enhanced views do sometimes throw off depth perception, so being very aware of your surroundings is important. The difficulty spikes in boss fights got a little annoying, as did the not very frequent checkpoint system. The achievement list is a little irksome, though it's nice that the collectibles can be done on any difficulty setting. The multiplayer achievements are going to be a little annoying.

    All in all a decent game that takes some of the sights and much more familiar sounds from the movies and puts the at your control.
    4.0