Update: Some critics have bagged this title but what the hell
were they expecting from a B-grade science fiction film? This is not
the Heavy Rain of first person shooters nor the squad based
mechanics of Modern Warfare. No my friends, Aliens vs. Predator is
good old fashioned fun that doesn't attempt to change the status quo
of gaming but gives the player a sturdy first person shooter without
the frills of trying to be clever.
these dangerous alien species are quite cool and obviously SEGA thought
the same in their latest incarnation of this series that is aptly titled
Aliens vs. Predator which pits together three species in a
fight for supremacy. Loosely based on Aliens and the Aliens vs. Predator
films, this first person shooter supports both single-player and
multiplayer action but for us, the single-player option was the main
The stories are split into three campaigns which include Marine
(human), Predator (hunter) and Alien (xenomorph), however all three stories
interact with each other at certain points in the game. In terms of
length, all three campaigns are relatively short and take around 3 hours
each to complete from the super fast attacks of the aliens to the
stealthy nature of the predators or the artillery of the marines, each
of the characters you play are relatively quite different.
Rebellion have also upped the ante of violence in this instalment as the
trophy kills are quite gory which makes you wonder how this game made it
passed the sensors, not that weíre complaining. Although Iíve played the
previous first person shooter of the same name, this current instalment
is almost a replica, however with improved graphics and that really bad
character acting, especially by Tequila, one of your marine colleagues
who annoyingly calls rookie throughout the game which does
become a little tiresome.
The story itself revolves around billionaire space
industrialist who inadvertently releases a beacon on a colonised planet
that not only releases the aliens but draws the attention of the
predators. The premise behind the three stories is simple, the marines
are attempting to save the remaining humans of this planet, the aliens
are meant to kill anything living on the planet and the predator is just
there for the hunt. The game supports both seasoned gamers and newbies
to the franchise with a variety of difficulty levels.
what does it add to the world of first person shooters? The answer is
absolutely nothing and at best, itís a sturdy first person shooter. The
key to the game are the characters and environments that you play which
compliment the movies quite well. Whether youíre shooting a pulse rifle
at a hoard of aliens, ripping the spinal column from a marine or tearing
a predator apart, Rebellion have successfully managed to make each of
the species and gameplay quite different, yet uniquely entertaining. In terms of controls, they are
well mapped on the PS3 controller, although the Alien is a little tricky
to control due to its speed but this was a problem in the previous game
as well, especially for those folk who suffer from motion sickness.
annoying aspect of the title is the mini cutscenes when you perform an
action by holding square down such as picking up a power generator or
closing a door which does become a little repetitive. The close-up melee
cutscenes are quite fun at first, however by the time you have finished
the campaign, youíll get a little bored with them. As you shoot, slice
and dice, Aliens vs. Predator is quite competent in this aspect but
where it does shine is through the atmosphere and level design.
game environments are quite reminiscent of the movies and the developers
have successfully captured this in the game. Everything is implemented
well into the game from the alien landscape of this colonised planet in
the future to those scary corridors that were a staple of the Aliens
movies and thanks to the lighting, the atmosphere is made even scarier.
Nothing is more fun than attempting to shoot a group of aliens in the
dark as you shoot flares to light up the area to see where they are
coming out. It gets worse when your motion sensors start beeping that
the aliens are very close and you start shooting your pulse rifle like a
madman. Itís a classic Aliens edict!
The speed and strength of the alien
works well as they run up walls and on ceilings but just be wary because
some gamers have reported motion sickness from this experience. Of
course, my favourite character is the predator with all his gadgets and
weapons and that famous predator vision which allows you to easily see
your victims in the dark.
terms of combat, Aliens vs. Predator can be quite challenging on
anything more than easy, especially when youíre playing the marines.
This is due to the speed of the aliens which makes attacking them a
challenge and although frustrating, it pans out quite well. The marine
is stocked up well with pistols to shotguns and the pulse rifles to name
a few of the weapons that you encounter but donít fret because there are
some other ďhotĒ surprises to find along your journey. Thankfully there
is plenty of health and ammo lying around to help you achieve your
aliens on the other hand use melee attacks from their vicious bites to
their powerful tales and once you have mastered their speed, itís great
to make hit and run attacks on your victims. The Predator is a
combination of the marine/human as they have weapons, both melee and
ranged plus they have a little more speed than the human. Save often and
youíll be right! Lastly, each of the species has some classic boss
battles that are quite fun, although a little stereotypically to the
franchise and donít really offer the player anything new in terms of
challenge. It would have been nice if there was targeting options
available because I'm sure a careful shot to the head would finish even
the toughest of aliens.
the previous game of the same name, the game features a really strong
online mode via the PlayStation Network, provided your 800100F error is
gone. Shame on you Sony! Once online, gamers can choose a variety of
modes from traditional modes such as death match, tag and an interesting
survivor mode that pits you against them.
Graphically, Aliens vs. Predator looks good but at times it feels a
little dated and not as detailed as some of the first person shooter
available today. The characters from the movies are represented well and
the developers ensure that all those special abilities and transferred
to special effects in the game such as Predator vision or the ferocity
of the aliens. The sound effects are direct from the movies and the only
let down in the game is the voice acting which sounds way too forced and
contrived for my liking and if I hear the word rookie again,
Iíll go nuts. The music works well when ambient and does heat up during
certain moments in the game which goes well with the gameplay.
conclusion, Aliens vs. Predator may not offer anything new in terms
of gameplay and features a relatively short campaign mode, however itís actually
good old fashioned fun and if youíre a fan of either of these two
franchises, than youíll definitely be alien heaven. Even though I'm not
a huge fan of online play, the developers have hit the nail on the head
with this game and I'll definitely be going online for more.