Sega and Rebellion bring us this new chapter in the Alien and Predator universe with very brutal consequences. With familiar dark scenes of temples and technology Rebellion set the tone for each of the three campaigns and captures that tense feeling from the series of films.
The game seems similar to the original Predator movie but with familiar scenery from the other two movies Aliens 2 & 3. It’s like all the best action bits from the entire collection of films have been carefully selected and changed slightly to create that same shit scary feeling but with a new fresh journey to survive.
You have three campaigns to choose from: Marine, Alien and Predator.
The human campaign is probably the best place to start as it has that very familiar 1st person shooter feel that you will drop into straight away. You don’t have any unusual viewpoints, just straight out fire fights. This does have its drawbacks as the combat is moderately repetitive but you will always have the choice between the three characters anyway. As a human you don’t have many perks but you are a solid reliable soldier equipped with a radar like compass. The radar is literally a life saver but also helps with the more – heart in your mouth moments – hearing that blip noise it produces as enemies slowly creep closer can be intimidating.
The selection of weapons for the humans are a little disappointing as you get better attack options/strategies with the other two other characters. The current weapons you have equipped are easily selected using the D-Pad. This is a good advantage as you can quickly make combat choices compared to the Predators slower feel. I find humans the best character to select for people who aren’t great at playing games as they’re balanced with secondary fire for all of their weapons. Marines are still lacking something though, they aren’t as cool and mean compared to the other two, which creates a bit of a gap between the Marines and Aliens/Predators. You will find it challenging holding your own in the harder difficulties, which leads to the campaign being a little hollow or empty compared to the other two.
The Alien campaign has a sharp learning curve in the art of movement; you get a totally different view point and a whole different way of thinking. You’re much lower to the ground compared to the two other characters, making movements on any surface easier to master. As the Alien you must also use the shadows for cover as you don’t have great defences and can’t instantly heal, you must back of and regenerate. You can also stick to any surface making stealthy killing easier; you can also withdraw into the darkness for cover. Sadly the AI is a little on the stupid side and they will either over look you blatantly or spot you in the darkness; you just have to be a little bit more careful on harder difficulties.
The Aliens attack controls work best compared to the other two characters as they are less complications to worry about, as an Alien your plan is just attack and retreat. You have light attacks and heavy attacks using the right and left bumper buttons, which you can also use to block when pressing them together at the same time. You have a focus mode to single out your pray as you can jump over large distances, this is especially enjoyable. You can Hiss near enemies using the Y button to bring them closer however this doesn’t work incredibly well. You can’t get enemies to part from each other either, as an Alien attacking more than one enemy is fatal especially on anything other than easy.
The Predator is the coolest of the three, he looks mean, he sounds awesome and his attacks are bloody gruesome. With the Predator you’re also given the best hi-tech weaponry like the stuff you see from the films. You start in the training pit thankfully, the Predators movements are the hardest to master, but if you do Predators can make mince meat out of Aliens and Marines. You have alot at your disposal like your Cloak, Vision modes (Marines & Aliens after upgrade) and also the Focus mode like the Alien. In my opinion the Predators block works best as you can see through your blades – the blades are your main weapons and just like the Alien you have heavy and light attacks. You can also heal yourself like the Marine making you extremely powerful, but that isn’t the last of your abilities you can also pick up four secondary weapons in total – awesome. Again these vary and are just as violent as the Aliens grab attacks, they’re very rewarding and if you practice you can become an efficient quiet killer.
The Predators story was the best for me; it had links back to the past Predator clans and some pretty wicked temples too. The campaign is rather short on easy, I suggest normal Difficulty. It will make you growl in frustration abit but this improves the campaign alot.
The campaigns are brilliant for brutal fights but they lack a good script, it’s basic at the best of times and makes the story seem like another day in the Aliens vs Predator universe, not a bad thing but not a good one either. They are very short too, even on Normal you will belt through this game in two days at the most. There are some measly collectables to find in the campaigns, no 3D models, no art work just Audio logs.
After you have conquered the single player campaigns there is the Single Player Survivor mode to battle through. Like all the other modes in AvP they all get your heart pumping, Survivor mode is no different in-fact it’s better as the enemies just keep on charging through. You can also play Survivor mode with friends, you will get alot further this way but it’s still great fun on your own fighting waves of Alien bug scum.
For once a multiplayer I actually played and enjoyed, MW2 normally dominates the Xbox 360’s online playing crowd but AvP is a unique online experience. This is where the characters strategies are more prominent, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. There are plenty of great online modes to choose from, I had my friend @MadGerald to take me through them, and I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. It’s best to play with a team of friends as communication is the key to victory but you will have to get a little practice in as the characters are used in a completely different manner. This might be bold statement but I think the online is much more diverse than the campaigns.
The game looks beautiful in a dark apocalyptic way. The games graphics look crisp and almost juicy in places and sound effects are staggeringly good. This adds to that trilling atmosphere, an atmosphere l haven’t felt had in a long time.
Alien’s vs Predator beats the crap out of its predecessor in-bread cousin, in-fact it kicks its ass with its better presented style of gameplay and overall look. This game gets you pumped, no – it wasn’t exactly what I wanted or expected, but damn it came close. It is a shame the script seems to be written by a child but that’s not a huge problem as the mechanics of the game have been given thought and much love. This all rounds up to a damn good game and though I wanted more story detail it has given me a bucket load of gore and uber scary stuff to be content with instead. If you love violence this game will appeal to that dark side of yours, it has certainly appealed to mine.
I’m off to collect more Marine skulls.