They're not hunting us. We're in the middle of a war. It's time to pick a side. - Alexa 'Lex' Woods
started in 1979 with a film that revolutionized how we viewed extraterrestrial life. These weren't the little green men that probed us or the friendly, wrinkled midgets that desperately wanted to find their way home. No, this one was black, mean, and had no other purpose than to raise hell. In 1986, they made a sequel to the film called Aliens
which was exactly what it sounds like: more than one alien. Countless other Alien
films have been released, since then, and have stuck to a similar formula. A comic book series was spawned from the idea, as well.
started a while after Alien
, released in 1987, but was just as successful. In 1990, a sequel aptly named Predator 2
was created. There is even a Predators
movie coming in 2010. It is said that Predator
launched Arnold Schwarzenegger's action movie career, but then they probably haven't seen Commando
and Conan the Barbarian
, therefore it probably only solidified his position, at best.
all started right before Predator 2
's release, when Darkhorse comics published its first AVP
book. When the movie did come out, a Xenomorph skull could be seen as a Predator trophy in one scene. This launched an entire series, bringing together two highly popular science fiction tales. Two AVP
films were released, but we all know they sucked.
There isn't much to say about Aliens VS Predator's gameplay. However, I will do my best to describe each race's distinct talents and play styles.
The marine is your basic FPS control. All of the standard firearms are there, along with an annoying radar device that beeps more incessantly if an enemy enters its range. I guess that gives you more incentive to kill whatever's causing your radar to rape your ears, so it may have been made that way on purpose. Who knows?
The predator is a stealth-based class. You're able to leap like a frog onto most high surfaces and have a cloaking device to keep you hidden from your prey. (Warning: Shorts out in water.) Your weapons range from wrist blades and mines to a smartdisc that seeks out enemies and heat vision that can detect human life. You also have a shoulder mounted gun that can be either rapid fired or held for a charge shot. To refill your gun, you must find stationary energy spots to reload. Aside from that, you can sneak up behind someone and press X to execute a trophy kill.
The Xenomorph is purely a melee class with a light and heavy attack. What he lacks in defense, he makes up for in speed and agility. You're able to climb on any surface and can sneak exceptionally, even without cloaking. You're able to perform a silent kill by getting behind an unsuspecting person and pressing X. You can do the same to civilians, but instead of killing the hopeless victim, you place a facehugger on them. Other abilities include a lunge attack that knocks the enemy off of their feet and a tail strike that can knock out lights, leaving you much more room to maneuver in the darkness.
Each of the three campaigns can be finished in about an hour or two, adding up to a pretty solid game length. All three of the stories tie together, though, which burdens the experience greatly. It's unnecessary to make them fit together when we could be having much more epic battles. Imagine a group of Predators fighting off an unending horde of Xenomorphs, questing to detonate a bomb that will annihilate the remaining alien forces. I believe the main reason they did this was so that they could focus less on making new single player maps and more on the multiplayer.
As Ben Croshaw once said A game must be able to stand on single player alone. I find this a very fair statement, in regard to games that aren't specifically designed to focus on online play (ie WoW and Guild Wars). In this sense, the game fails. Setting aside how short they are, the campaigns are just a bore to play through. The marines run around helping other marines, the aliens start out promising, yet leave you disappointed when the initial plot is seemingly dropped, and the Predators have you command a newbie hunter as he learns the ropes. As I said, so much more could've been done to beef up the experience and give us something to remember. The game also seems to commit that deadly sin of leaving us on a cliffhanger, being completely sure there will be a sequel.
Here's where the game shines. While the maps are scarce, the different modes are varied enough to keep you interested and balanced enough to keep it fair. Here is a list of the game's modes:
Standard Death Match mode found in most games.
One person starts as an alien with the rest being marines. When the alien kills a player, he turns into an alien himself and so on, so forth. When three or four people get picked off, all hell breaks loose and people usually flee from the safety zone that your team has most likely established. It's definitely the most heart-pounding mode and will take up most of your time online.
Mixed Species Death Match:
Two teams comprised of mixed species duke it out to get the most kills before time runs out. The weakest of the modes, in my opinion. It just doesn't feel right having aliens fighting aliens and Predators fighting Predators.
A team of four marines face off against an endless horde of aliens. Basically Horde mode from Gears of War.
One Predator player is tasked with eliminating a team of marines. This is only good if you have a skilled Predator player. Otherwise, it's just a meat fan.
Species Death Match:
All three species' teams face off to get the most kills. A true AVP death match that has the species working with their own kind.
Two teams compete to gain points by acquiring flags. First team to reach 1000 points wins.[/list:u]
With weak single player campaigns, there's nothing much going for this game other than its multiplayer. If you like any of the game's modes, you'll have a lot of fun. If you don't think you'd enjoy online play, then you'd be better off passing this one up. While it does stay very faithful to the design and style of each species, more could have been done to draw us into a more engaging story. It's basically nonexistent and brings down the overall experience. Aside from these flaws, AVP is a unique FPS that satisfies more casual fans of the series.