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Alien Vs Predator Review

More than a Bug Hunt

The Xenomorph and the Predator are no strangers. These two Sci Fi behemoths have been tangling with each other for years. One of the best entanglements was eight years ago on the PC in Alien Versus Predator 2 by Monolith. So a sequel - or a fresh start - depending on your stance, has been long overdue.

This time Rebellion were handed the task of bringing these two killer species back into the spotlight. Rebellion needed to make sure that AvP was exciting, tense, dark and gruesome; it needed to capture the tension from the films and the key elements of each species to ensure that this was an emotional rollercoaster that kept you on the edge of your seat.

The single player follows the three species through the same story. One species story will offer answers to the questions that another species story gives. Not only that, but each of the campaigns feels completely different, the marines is tense and terrifying, the Xenomorphs is stealthy and exhilarating, and the Predator’s is a combination of the two.

The classic pulse rifle regurgitates bullets at a scary rate...

Man I love the Corps

You’re the Rookie, fresh out of training. This is your first drop. And what a drop to come in on!

Within seconds your first mission has gone straight to Hell. The setup for the Marine campaign works so well and it feels almost like being in the film Aliens. The tension builds as you make your way through deserted a compound, whilst your motion sensor blips periodically.

The marine campaign is your standard FPS, albeit a damned tense one. The first part sees you going against just the Aliens, but throughout the campaign you’ll be reminded of the Predator presence as its mandibles click and it plays audio clips it’s recorded whilst watching other marines.

If you’re familiar with a first-person shooter then you’ll feel comfortable in the marines shoes, if a little a nervous! The Marine definitely has the biggest hill to climb, as he is the slowest and most technologically inferior combatant. But don’t count him out just yet…

Although the marine is slower than both species and the Predator’s weaponry is much stronger than the marines, neither can match the fire rate of the marine. When it comes to a front-on assault by the Alien or Predator, the marine will stand tall. The classic pulse rifle regurgitates bullets at a scary rate, and the double-barrel shotgun can take an Alien head clean off its shoulders, just be wary of the resulting acid!

Attacks vary from clean-cut inner-jaw action to the marine’s head being torn from his shoulders like a bowling ball.

There's somethin' movin' and it ain't us!

Subject Six was born in the lab, after showing higher intelligence than its siblings Weyland marks Subject Six up for the programme, but as always the Xenomorph will never successfully be kept like a pet, and you escape, spilling the blood of scientist and Marine alike.

The Alien campaign is all about speed and stealth. As you have no long-range attacks at your disposal you must rely on concealing yourself in the shadows before lunging at your prey. If you knock your target of their feet, you’ll be granted the chance to pull off a Trophy Kill. This is not a pleasant way to go; attacks vary from clean-cut inner-jaw action to the marine’s head being torn from his shoulders like a bowling ball.

The Alien is easy enough to play as once you’ve been through the training at the beginning of the campaign. I found wall running quite exhilarating, and after some practise, jumping from wall to wall to dodge the hail of bullets that came my way when I wasn’t particularly stealthy.

Agility and stealth may get you close to your prey, but what do you do when you’re in attack range? Well if you’ve reached your prey un-noticed you can do the aforementioned Trophy Kill. But if you’ve been spotted you’ll need to use your light and heavy attacks to knock down your foe to leave them open for a gruesome demise.

The Throwing Disc could decapitate an enemy before ricocheting in the desired direction.

You’re one ugly…

As the Predator, you’re there to set things right by eliminating the Xenomorphs and the marines. The Predators appear when they receive a beacon showing that their pyramid has been opened by Weyland, and they’re not too happy about it.

Manoeuvring the Predator is again as easy as the Alien, if not easier, as you don’t need to worry about the wall climbing. Slightly faster than the Marine the Predator can jump to great heights to get a better vantage point and by using the focus button you’ll be able to see a jump point that is in range. Using your advanced technology and strength, you’ll try to take advantage of the high vantage points offered by some areas to cloak and take in the surround area.

Being the Predator means planning your attack so that you can take out the Aliens and Marines with as little hassle as possible. The Plasma cannon will take out an enemy in one hit, but bear in mind that the Plasma Cannon will need recharging after a few shots.

As much fun as the Plasma Cannon is, I found the Throwing Disc and Staff to be the best weapons. The Throwing Disc could decapitate an enemy before ricocheting in the desired direction just by looking, so this has the chance to hit multiple targets before returning to you for another throw. The Staff is just like a javelin, aim carefully and throw. A bonus to the Staff is that it can be used when you’re cloaked, so you won’t give away your position to the Marines.

As handy as the cloak is against the marines, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the Aliens. Which is a shame as it would be cool to see the Aliens interact unaware of my presence, before I give them both barrels from my Plasma Cannon!

I’ve heard grown men scream like little girls as an alien has snuck up and surprised them.

We're all in strung out shape, but stay frosty, and alert.

As good as the single-player campaign is, the real magic for me is in the Multiplayer. In the games that I’ve played, I’ve heard grown men scream like little girls as an alien has snuck up and surprised them and not to mention the constant stream of Alien/Predator quotes, definitely keeps you amused!

As you’d expect from an FPS, you have your standard Death Match and team death match. On top of that you also have Species Death Match, Mixed Species Death Match, Predator Hunt, Infestation and Domination.

Of all these matches, Predator Hunt and Infestation are possibly the most interesting. Predator Hunt pits one Predator against a group or Marines, if someone kills the Predator they then assume the role of the Predator. Infestation sees one Alien against the Marines; every time the Alien kills a Marine that player will join the Alien and bolster the Alien team.

The last mode for online is the co-op mode, Survivor. This sees a group of 4 marines taking on wave after wave of Aliens. You can be as tactical or as trigger happy as you want; but in my matches I found that communication and marines being back-to-back was the best option.

Rebellion has done a great job in rebooting an almost forgotten franchise.

Outstanding. Now all we need is a deck of cards.

To say AvP is the perfect game would be an overstatement, there are glitches and AI issues, such as Marines walking past the cloaked Predator, but looking towards him, or face huggers coming through a solid wall to harvest a scientist. But for the amount of fun and nostalgia that AvP brings I’m willing to overlook these glitches.

Rebellion has done a great job in rebooting an almost forgotten franchise. The three campaigns are long enough and with hidden audio devices, Matriarch Jelly and Predator trophies to find throughout the levels and four difficulties levels to go through, there is plenty of scope for replay, especially for perfectionists who want to get full trophies/achievements.

Alien Vs Predator brings back a franchise that has been overlooked for so long, is it perfect? A 10/10 game? No, but is it fun? Hell yeah! It can reduce men to screaming girls and get your heart pumping with fear as you walk towards the unknown.

Just remember, online, everyone can hear you scream…

GAME's Verdict
plus points
  • +Looks brilliant, lighing creates an amazing atmosphere.
  • +Great Online - especially Survivor and Infestation.
  • +Each campaign feels and plays differently
  • +No holds barred gore - true Alien and Predator style.
minus points
  • -The campaigns just seem to end.
  • -Not knowing how much DLC support this will receive
  • -Some minor glitches here and there

Review by: Tom 'Marines we are leaving' Daly
Version Tested: 360
Review Published: 24.02.10

Published: 24/02/2010

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