Developer: Rebellion Developments
Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox360
Release Date: 19, February 2010
Size: 15412 MB (PC)
OverviewAliens vs Predator is yet another game from this franchise, released in 2010 for Xbox360, and PS3. At first glance is seems like a generic first-person shooter where you have to fight your way through a strange world infested with these things. But there’s actually a lot more to it, as you might discover in this review.
There are 3 campaigns in the game, one for each species. They are all related since they all happen mostly in the same areas and within a short time span. What follows is a small description of how each campaign begins, now giving out too much information as to how it develops further on (no spoilers!).
The marine campaign starts with a cinematic showing the inside of the spaceship where you and your squad are. When getting close to the planet where you are supposed to drop, a large predator ship appears out of nowhere shooting down another ship similar to yours, containing another squad, forcing your ship to land. You are knocked out by an object flying inside the falling ship, and wake up later, alone, after the rest of your squad is already gone forward. Here, you are contacted by Corporal Aquila T. (referred to as “Tequila”) who guides you trough deserted human bases (well, not deserted, as you eventually find out) so you can help her getting the power back on and getting communication systems back online, to later search for the rest of your squad. Eventually you find your captain after he is captured by Xenomorphs, but its already too late, since he has already been planted with an alien inside him. He talks to you and instructs you to kill him before the abomination is born. After that, you continue by yourself trough the wrecked bases, hoping to get a ride home. I wont spoil any more than this.
Game Modes and Difficulty
In the single player mode, as said above, we have the three campaigns, Marine, Alien and Predator. I’ve played in a couple different difficulties in all of them. On Easy, everything is really easy to do, it goes as far as being able of go away for two minutes while being attacked and coming back to find you are still alive. In the Marine campaign you have a health bar composed by three blocks, who gets shortened when you take damage. If you can avoid losing an entire block and manage to stay out of harms way for a while, it will regenerate by itself. If you lose it completely, it’s gone. You can collect “Health Stims” that you can use to refill you health bar, but you can only carry three at a time. As a marine, alien blood is dangerous for you (it’s acid) so if you step on an alien corpse after you kill one of them you will lose Health. This isn’t a problem in easy difficulty, since you can barely see you health bar moving when this happens, but in Hard or Nightmare difficulty, if you accidentally walk over a corpse, you will lose most of your health bar. The weapons available are all pretty cool, you have a machine gun with pretty big magazine, a shotgun with pretty good burst, a sniper that can kill aliens in one shot and a flamethrower that……throws flames. Aliens get increasingly hard to kill as you increase the difficulty, added to the fact that they are thin and move fast and in a random-like manner. The levels don’t seem to have an increasing difficulty with that boss right on the second mission, so you constantly need to be on your toes. The Alien campaign gives you a pretty simple tutorial right off the bat, which is cleverly blended into the plot. As an alien you can move pretty fast and even more so by sprinting. You have an indicator on the middle of your screen which always points to the ground (useful when you’re on the ceiling or walls) and that changes color depending on whether you’re hidden or in plain sight. You can execute a light attack or heavy attack and you can use you mouse wheel to get on walls or onto the ceiling. This is very confusing at first, as you constantly see the whole world spinning around you but once you get used to it, it becomes fun to maneuver. You can harvest civilians by sneaking up on them and grabbing them until a Facehugger comes and ….well.. hugs his face!
The predator campaign, probably the easiest of the three also has a tutorial at the beginning where you learn to use your basic strikes and your secondary weapon. This continues trough the first level, showing you how to use your cloak to become nearly invisible and you powerful jump that allows you to jump to seemingly unreachable places. This will be the skill you will be using the most to progress trough the levels. As a predator you have great physical skills, and can kill Xenomorphs with your melee weapons and execute finishing moves on weakened ones. You will also receive new more powerful weapons trough the campaign, some capable of one-shoting powerful enemies. Logically there are also a couple of boss fights.
In the multiplayer side of things, we have four different modes: Deathmach, where like the name says, the objective is simply to get the most kills, supporting up to 18 players of all three species; Infestation, where a group of marines goes up against a single player controlled alien, where the objective is for the alien to kill each marine until there is only one left alive. Of course the marines who are killed turn into aliens too! Then there's Predator Hunt where a group of predators hunt a single alien with a short time limit where the objective is to get the most kills and the Survivor mode, which can be played by yourself or with friends where you stand in a relatively small area and attempt to survive as long as you can while waves of enemies keep coming, increasingly harder in intelligence and number.
I'm not going to judge the graphics, I’ll leave that for each of the readers to do. For this I’ll provide some screenshots. Ok, so first off, there are a couple of aspects in which the difficulty level gets somewhat awkward. Aliens seem to take an excessive amount of bullets to die even on easy, and getting headshots on those sneaky guys mostly depends on luck. The ambience is very good, mostly dark and claustrophobic, but also with lots of open areas where you can see very detailed vegetation and nature elements, which is good. Tesselation works pretty well with this, enhancing several small details that make everything look more plausible. The radar on the marine campaign doesn’t seem to work all that well, many times indicating enemies that aren't there or that you cant\wont be able to see any time soon. On the other hand it’s a pretty good way to give good scares in most situations and to keep you on your toes. Same goes with the background music which sometimes gets faster or more tense suddenly, and tricks you to think you are about to be attacked. There also seems to be some problems with the alien AI, since sometimes you see them moving erratically over a small surface instead of coming for you as if they were stuck. This makes them even harder to hit, especially the smaller ones (the Facehuggers) that jump in your face and automatically kill you if you are low on health. There's also a couple of annoying bugs, such as falling trough the floor in certain missions, forcing you to reinstall the game hoping it gets fixed (this wouldn’t be that much of a problem if the game weren't over 15Gb) or getting certain sounds stuck and looping for the rest of the mission (most commonly being a small tap or click-like sound). The difficulties seem to be balanced, except Nightmare which removes checkpoints, making it extremely frustrating trying to execute a one-hour mission perfectly only to accidentally step on an alien corpse and dying. Well, no one told you you had to try Nightmare difficulty anyway. I did it on hard and it was pretty challenging already. and I died plenty of times in certain parts of the campaigns. The game has a decent longevity and with 3 different campaigns you have a lot of variety.
The good, the bad and the ugly
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Well, what can I say…if you’re not a fan of the franchise, you'll most likely like this game. If you ARE a fan, you’ll love it. It’s a pretty well done game, lots of different stuff to do, good longevity and unlockables and achievements that give you an excuse to play it again. I picked it up during a steam sale for 4.99€ and I didn’t regret it. And I'm not really a fan of the whole franchise. Perfect for when you just feel like blowing some alien heads off. The Ambience is great and the game is pretty solid.
The game can be found here:
My final gameplay stats
|Time Played:||28 Hours|
|Achievements Unlocked:||37 / 50 (74%)|
|Campaign Played the most:||Marine|
|Difficulty played the most:||Hard|