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whatshot Aliens vs Predator PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.8
Value 8.5
Distributor: SEGA
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
February 2010
Reviewer:
John Aldino

8.5


Aliens vs. Predator

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.

Review: Both 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 billing.

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.

So 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.

One 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.

The 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.

In 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 goals.

The 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.

Like 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.

In 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.





 

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