Aliens Vs Predator Review

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Review
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Aliens Vs Predator Review

If there are movie monsters more deserving of having a slew of classic games and film based around them, then they haven’t been invented yet. Weirdly, the idea of an Alien and Predator knocking heads has been around since the ‘90’s and has so far only produced one true classic (on the PC) and two utterly appalling films. Can a new version of an excellent idea finally win through? Sort of.

You are an Alien, a Predator or a human Marine, all of whom have to assert their own dominance in a massive planetary war. The Predator has come to hunt the Aliens produced by the Queen, while the Aliens have to escape the human captivity and the Marines simply have to survive beyond all the others.

As befits a game with three hugely different paths, the playable characters each have their own satisfying and fun ways of playing. Best of which is easily the Alien, a creature that moves incredibly fast, runs on any surface and attacks silently from the shadows. It’s gore-soaked stealthing that works very well and fits the creature perfectly. If only it was a few levels longer, it would be fantastic.

Playing as a Predator is a mixed experience, attempting to combine the stealth afforded by invisibility with the gun-toting chaos of the human campaign. At best, you’re sneaking up behind humans you’ve cunningly managed to separate and slicing off their heads with your claws. At worst you’re leaping around trees trying not to get shot, cursing at how the hell anybody could spot an invisible monster, desperately chucking spears at people below.

The weakest of the three is easily the Marine campaign, something that’s even more disappointing considering that the first two missions are excellent. Initially, it seems as though you’re playing in a survival horror – rooms draped in shadows, the catcalls of Aliens off in the darkness, an occasional terrifying blip on the motion sensor – but very quickly becomes a generic monster shoot-‘em-up. It’s especially disappointing that you feel like you can take on an entire swarm of Aliens and even a few Predators – surely the complete opposite of the intention of the creatures.

Just to keep you coming back for more, there are four difficulties to play on, the hardest of which (‘Nightmare’) removes all the checkpoints and guarantees to turn the air blue with rage. There are also secrets hidden around – audio logs, Predator trophy belts and jars of Alien goo – but finding them is frustrating work. Only the audio logs can be examined and grouped on the main menu, while Predator trophy belts can usually be scanned from a distance away. The only way to know whether or not you’ve found all the Alien goodies is by seeing your stat screen – displayed at the level’s end.

Multiplayer is entertaining online, seeing groups of Aliens, Predators and Marines throw down for some organised bloodlust. A variety of different gameplay options and some excellently designed levels add for a satisfying and amusing collection of carnage – watch the hilarity as a group of people performing stealth kills turns into a murderous daisy chain. However, it can take a damn long time to set up a match and everyone gets kicked out to the main menu on the game’s completion.

All in all, it’s not a classic title by any means of the imagination. With one and half of the three campaigns being well worth the time investment and a fun, if patchy and inconsistent, multiplayer, this is not the best iteration of cinema’s most famous monsters. Game over, man. Game over.

75%

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