After what seemed like a very long wait for it to come out, I got Aliens vs. Predator in the mail thanks to my buddy Shawn of Digital Monkey Box. I’d been excited about this game for some time, mostly because, like all nerds, I like Aliens and I like Predators. I also have a lot of fond memories of playing both AvP games for the PC back in the dizzay. Those games were perfect, because they really captured the feel and the sheer coolness of the AvP universe for each species. I had a few doubts about this new game, mostly because A) It’s a tie-in to a franchise that has seen it’s share of bad games and B) It was produced by Sega who has not had a very good track record in the last few years and it’s especially not known for making great first person shooters. I thought that after giving it a spin for a few hours I’d share my thoughts from the perspective of someone who was so insanely in love with the PC versions of the game.
The first think I liked about Aliens vs. Predator is the the little movie that starts before the game (when picking the human player). While brief, it made me wish there was a AvP cgi cartoon. The voice acting is mostly bad though, but I’m a very forgiving person when it comes to acting.
I wanted to start out as either the Predator or the Alien, but since human was first in the list I went with that one. I figure that I can get that out of the way and then move on to the “good stuff”. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy playing a human in these games, but we all know the ability to play as a character that’s different than those found in most other games is the best part. The human stuff is about as I expected: you shoot guns and try not to die. One thing that was handled really well in this game is the combat against the Aliens. They are a lot more menacing in this game and way harder to kill than I remember in the PC version. I just loved when they were half dead and crawling around. The face huggers should get a special mention. They were hard to spot and hard to kill, just as they should be. And holy crap balls, when they jump on your face it’s pretty horrifying.
Speaking of the Aliens, I gave them a short run in order to get an idea for this review. Again, this is another aspect that seems to be handled a little better than in the PC version. The “Alien vision” that allows you to see humans in the dark is less disorienting. The controls for jumping around seem a little hard to pull off, and hopefully I’ll get used to it as I play the game further.
The Predator doesn’t handle as well as I thought he would. The biggest problem is the emphasis on melee combat. I realize that the Predators probably love going toe to toe with their opponents, but this is a shooter. Predators have enough weapons to avoid any kind of complicated blocking/light attack/heavy attack melee situation in a video game. The “Predator vision” (once you can use it) is decent and works well, but I do miss the PC’s version that had you switching between the types of enemies you were facing. In those games, it made you think a little more and it also sort of replicated the switching of the vision modes that was seen in the film Predator 2 before that Predator handed Gary Busey his balls on a plate.
The story is serviceable so far and one thing that I like is the voice recordings. Yeah, it’s a rip-off from Bioshock and it’s not as good as that game. Still, they give a little more depth to the story as well as giving me a goal of finding them as I go through the levels.
Overall, the game is great so far and my fears about it being a turd haven’t come true. If you like Aliens or Predators or Aliens and Predators, you might want to think about picking this one up.
You know, I have an idea that I’d like to put forward to any game designers of games involving Aliens. You know what would be cool? The ability (as a Colonial Marine) to build a barricade like they do in Aliens. Pile some boxes up, set up a sentry gun, even weld some doors. A little co-op action wouldn’t hurt either, in fact it would probably increase sales. Wouldn’t it be bomb-ass trying to strategize before an Alien attack? That idea is totally free. Well, I would like a free copy of a game and maybe a “Thanks to” credit, but that’s not too much to ask is it?