Brutal Gamer’s review of Alien Vs Predator
It’s been a long time since the last true Alien Vs Predator (AVP) title was released, the last true Game being way back in 2001 by Monolith Productions. Ever since then, fans of the real first person shooter genre have been craving a new title in the series, however it does have some massive shoes to fill, will it even be able to compare to the great classic? You’ll have to read on to find out.
Just to be a tease, I’ll leave the most wanted part – the multiplayer – till last. The games story revolves around you playing as three different characters; an alien, a predator and a single marine. All 3 stories take place around the same locations, however at different points in time, coincidently only missing each other by a few seconds/minutes/hours and occasionally seeing the other character stalking you in the background.
In the marine campaign; you play as a marine only known as ‘Rookie’, even then, the name is only given to him by other characters which you meet once or twice over his radio. Unfortunately for the Rookie, he manages to be going up shit creek without a paddling, when on his first drop; the commanding ship is shot down by an uncloaking predator ship and their ship is ordered to make an emergency landing, in which the Rookie is knocked unconscious (pussy!) and from this point, things just get even worse for the unlucky bugger. After taking a bit of a beating to the old noggin, the Rookie wakes up, abandoned, in a make-shift hospital stretcher, it’s up to him to repower the station and find out simply, what the fuck is going down in the slowly dying human colony.
The marine’s campaign heavily revolves around the flashlight being your best friend, you do have the ability to use flares, but in all honesty, those things are possibly the most useless thing known to man in this game. While playing, a motion sensor is also permanently active, constantly blipping in the background, slowly driving you insane, making you want to implant screwdrivers (sharp side in) directly through your ears – overreaction? Maybe, that doesn’t change the fact it’s fucking frustrating to listen to for 3-4 hours. The arsenal available to the marine is also fairly limited, in total only around 10 generic weapons are available at your disposal, each having a generic secondary fire mode, most of which you’ll struggle for ammo and still only use your pistol which has unlimited ammo; the only ‘interesting’ weapon is the Smart Gun, which basically shoots everything for you as long as you look in the right direction. I still can’t get my head around the fact there is ‘pull the gun to your eye’ button, yeah, I know, it never used to be around, but it’s just became something I’m too used to.
In the predator campaign, you play as the ‘young blood’, a trainee predator currently going through his rite of passage – learning the skills needs to stalk and destroy those pesky aliens. The whole idea behind the predators campaign is trying to be as sneaky as possible, while also being an effective one hit kill, killing machine – which sometimes works quite well against the marines, aliens however, it just isn’t worth it. Most the time against them you’ll just beat them to death with the light attack, as the heavy attack takes too long to perform. When you finish the rite of passage, you earn the title of elite and are sent out with a team of other elite’s to investigate a planet where a group of young bloods have been killed/disappearing – shit quickly goes down, when you learn the planet is both marine and alien infested.
Unlike the marines and aliens, the predators have the only campaign which is actually enjoyable throughout, albeit ridiculously short. As well as overall, being much more fun and well… bearable to play, the range of weapons and abilities is much larger. The predator has stealth skills, thermal censors, throwing blades which you control, a big-ass spear and the one hit kill weapon which I never did catch the name of. The predator truly shines during the jungle missions of the game, where being stealthy is something you can do with ease and is still effective, jumping from tree to tree, stalking your pray, waiting for the right moment to strike.
And for the final campaign, we have the incredibly frustrating Alien campaign; it all kicks off when the alien you play is captured and being tortured and tested on by a bunch of scientists. Alien happens to escape and goes bat-shit crazy on everyone within the lab – then making a hasty escape through a bunch of different vents and tunnels. The alien has very different weapons in its arsenal; a heavy attach, light attack, assassination skills and the ability to run all over the walls/ceilings, which can get very confusing to keep track of what level you’re on. The alien campaign, being the shortest of the one, and unfortunately the least enjoyable of the three; one of the very few times that I’ve had to force myself to play something, for the whole time hoping it was going to get better… sods law, it didn’t either.
By no ones means does the game look bad; the atmosphere which is set during the marine’s campaign is untouchable in places, truly up there with games like Dead Space, in just how tense and freaky it can be. This is done by both the superb lighting and the eery sounds of the aliens screech mixed with screams of marines being (literally) ripped apart.
Okay, now the bit that the Alien Vs Predator fans have truly been waiting for and I’m just going to break it to you right here and now; it’s nowhere near as good as the legendary multiplayer which plenty of us loved to pieces. The multiplayer comes in the forms of straight up, death match between the three sides, a domination like game mode where you need to hold certain points on the map, plus 6 other game modes. After a few balancing patches, the multiplayer could probably be quite enjoyable, shame that nearly the only thing people do when playing as the predators or aliens is find a way behind you (or just circle round you) and hammering X to do the one hit kills. With the launch of any title with online, there are always kinks to work out, the biggest in this being when the host leaves the game, the whole match ends completely, with no stats being recorded.
Easily the most fun part of the whole multiplayer experience which comes with Aliens Vs Predator is the game mode known as ‘Predator hunt’, this is when one player controls the predator at a time, alternating when he’s been killed and his only aim is to hunt down the marines which are player controlled. Even then, the game suffers balancing issue’s; when the predators only effective hunting tool is the throwing blade as it is a one hit kill and you can control it during flight.
It always sucks when a game you’ve been looking forward to for some time is generic as generic can physically be, with very few things which are actually anything to brag about. The game goes from two extremes; fucking abysmal to quite good and fun, while the rest of the game is practically making sweet love to the title of mediocre. The game had so many fantastic ideas – some of which were well done – everything else however, was poorly executed.