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Aliens Vs Predator Review

Aliens Vs Predator Review

I had high hopes for this title ever since I caught wind of the project two years ago. Since then I've been salivating at the mouth like an Alien with hyper-productive goo glands, primed to take a clean bite out from its latest prey. After getting my hands on the finished article, I can't help but feel underwhelmed with what I have just played through. Now it's not all bad news, I have enjoyed my time with portions of the game, it has made me jump and tapped into the primal and raw fear of the dark, but perhaps I've been expecting too much from the game that in the past has given me so much fun.

For those living their lives as a Jedi Hermit under some rock in Weston-super-Mare you may catch up on what all the fuss is about as you browse these Interwebs while sipping your Starbucks Fair Trade Job-Joba oil, Mango and lychee infused Frappuccino, right here. However, I shall divulge the storyline for those already aware of the franchise.

The game is set on planet BG-386; While a Weyland-Yutani colony are performing experiments with Aliens they come across a set of ancient Predator ruins. Of course the company want to know what secrets lie within. Once the doorway to this temple is breached, a beacon is sent across the galaxy, a race of warriors is alerted to the discovery of their pyramid and a hunting party is dispatched to ensure that it remains sealed at all costs. Meanwhile, Aliens have broken free of their containment and a squad of Marines have been ordered onto the planet's surface to figure out what happened to the colony. Three races, three intertwining story lines all tied to a single event. Who will you choose to side with?

The dance contest gets underway

Well, you'll have to side with all three if you want to experience all of the single player content, what a stupid question! You may choose whatever species you wish to play as the order they are completed in doesn't really hold any relevance on your progress, however from previous experience of AvP title's that the Marine campaign would be the most jumpy, I left this till last and decided to jump into the Alien campaign first. This scenario kicks off with a nice cut-scene of your birth and from the outset you show that you're smarter than the average bear ....... erm, Alien. You're branded number 6 and introduced to the rather disorientating control method of these speedy critters with a nice training mission. As you progress, you'll continue to receive mission objectives via the medium of screech as the hive Queen blurts out what you'll have to do next, ranging from running, jumping and climbing trees to dismembering Marines and going toe to toe, utilising the Queensberry rules with those crab-faced spine-collecting bullies from Planet Hurt.


The control method is definitely the most difficult of all three species with your ability to run on all surfaces, however the HUD does help you determine in which direction the floor is relative to your position. While this is a nice handy feature on the HUD, I can guarantee there will be moments where you'll scuttle around to get out of trouble then have to stop and go 'WTF?' as you gather your bearings. Though the Alien campaign can be crudely summarised by some old BASIC code.

10 Run to enemy.
20 Press E
30 GOTO 10.

Ok while it's not strictly bound by BASIC you get the idea. Essentially you can play the missions purely by using your movement keys and the stealth kill key, you may think this is overly critical of the Alien campaign, but as the darkness is the Alien's key weapon in the game, you can happily stealth kill your prey, scoot into the darkness so you lose your aggressors, rinse and repeat.

Giz a kiss pet!

Moving onto the Predator campaign, you once again start off in a tutorial so you may learn the basics of the species in your initiation right as a youngblood, taking his first steps as an intergalactic safari hunter. After discovering bad things are happening down on Planet Zebes BG-386 you're shot off in a little shuttle along with two of your brothers to sort the mess out. Playing as the Predator can be one of the most enjoyable experiences in this game, with your ability to leap to high places, you can stalk the Marines while cloaked, distracting them into your trap, then leap down below to act out a particularly gruesome trophy kill, or you can remain on your perch and simply impale/slice in half/shoot or explode utilising one of four toys the Predator has at his disposal.

Just posin for the camera.

While being cloaked keeps you out of sight from the Marines, Alien's however can still see your pheromone signature so you'll have to think fast to tackle your species' most deadly foe. This is where the games melee combat system comes into play. Both Alien and Predator have light and heavy attacks, the key is to block the incoming light attack while countering with one of your own, however a heavy attack will break through a block. Additionally, you may start a heavy attack animation then go into a block, your opponent will think a heavy attack is coming and try to quickly get a light jab in which will then hit your block leaving him momentarily stunned allowing you to go for that killing blow.

Finally, onto the Marine campaign and the one I was looking forward to the most. I was not disappointed with this one, my god this was dripping with atmosphere, that constant dull blip from the motion tracker reassuring you all is well then all of a sudden you get your first ping on the unit indicating trouble. The first time you see an Alien come out of the god damn walls at you, that sense of despair when the odds are overwhelmingly against your favour but still knowing deep down you still have to fight for that glimmer of hope that you'll make it through alive. It all adds up to be a tense thriller of a campaign to which I wish there was simply more of.

Again you get the obligatory introductory mission to get you familiar with the controls, though this should be the bread and butter of all FPS gamers out there. The Marines strength lies within his weaponry, keeping the enemies at range with their rifles and detecting movements with the tracker and liberal use of that overpowered smart gun. Seriously, while I love that gun, just facing one in multiplayer is so infuriating.

So as the token rookie of your squad, you handily become unconscious, after witnessing the destruction of your USCM frigate, during the decent to the planet. Fragments of action fade in and out on the screen as you attempt to regain consciousness, being carried by one of your team until they appear to be wiped out as you fade away one last time. When you finally come round to your senses you are in what appears to be a warehouse, armed only with a pistol and your B&Q torch which is weaker than a flea's fart. Unravelling the mystery behind the events on BG-386 conveniently rests upon your shoulders and you trot off into the darkness to save the day.


Overall on the single player experience, the Marine campaign holds the most weight in terms of entertainment in my opinion. It's down to that feeling of being the underdog in this intergalactic triple threat fight and that trepidation of the dark which Rebellion tap into with great effect. However I wish that they had kept this tempo when creating the Alien campaign as it did feel like a partial afterthought, especially with the ease of taking people down via stealth kills.

However, the multiplayer side of things is what interested me the most though. This is where the bulk of your bumps, jumps, thrills and spills will come from. I shall briefly go over the multiplayer game modes for you all.

If you love a game with frantic, brutal chaos then Death Match in AVP multiplayer is for you. It's all about getting the most kills in the time limit set. Players can also win the match by hitting the target score before anyone else.
For total over-whelming mayhem, nothing comes close to the tension and potential for pant-wetting scenarios than INFESTATION. One player starts the match as an Alien Hunter and their task is to kill the Marine prey. When a Marine player is killed they will join the Alien Hunter team and help to kill off any remaining Marines.
just like Death Match, but with mixed species. Two teams, made up from all three species fight to get the most kills in the set time limit or to reach the target score before the other team.
For the ultimate test of stamina, play Survivor Mode. Survivor allows for up to four players to enter an arena to fight waves of progressively stronger aliens. Each arena will be set up with two main areas. One will be a platform which is relatively easy to defend; the other will be an area where ambush by aliens is more likely. Supplies of health and ammo will re-spawn in this second area.
If you're after a more stealthy multiplayer game go for Predator Hunt. In this mode one player is selected to become the Predator Hunter, the rest of the players take the role of the Marine prey. The Hunter must use the Predator's stealth abilities and advanced equipment to pick off the prey and score points. The Marines will need to defend themselves from this threat and if possible, to kill the Hunter.
Species Death Match pits a Marine team, Alien team and Predator team against each other in a race to get the most kills within the set time limit or to reach the target score before any of the other teams.
Take capture the flag to a whole new level with Domination. In Domination two teams fight for ownership of Control Points around the level. Owning a Control Point gives the team a small and steady, stream of points. The more Control Points owned, the more that team scores. A team will win when their score has reached 100 points.


Now all of the game modes are a blast to play with your friends, get a tight group together while in Infestation mode and that first kill for the Alien can seem to be an impossible task. On the flipside though, try the same mode in a public match where team work seems to go out of the window and that game can be over quicker than Usain Bolt running 100 metres. There just does not seem to be that fine balance which can make a good multiplayer mode into a great one. Though I'm sure that Rebellion are on the case and the much needed balance tweaks to the MP side of the game are not far away.

While there are issues with Aliens Vs Predator, they aren't major enough to spoil the experience of the game. It may not be of blockbuster proportions that I was hoping it to be, it has still given me some joy while playing, but still I have this void which needs to be fulfilled by this title, or is that just the hole which the Alien left in me?

7.50/10 7½

Aliens vs. Predator (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

I had high hopes for this title ever since I caught wind of the project two years ago. Since then I've been salivating at the mouth like an Alien with hyper-productive goo glands, primed to take a clean bite out from its latest prey. After getting my hands on the finished article, I can't help but feel underwhelmed with what I have just played through.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Neil 'Wedge' Hetherington

Neil 'Wedge' Hetherington

Staff Writer

A purveyor of strange alcoholic mixes and a penchant for blowing shit up in games. Proud member of the glorious PC master race.

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