For over twenty years, the Alien and Predator franchises have survived waves of newer sci-fi films, and this year they once again receive the honor of having a new chapter of their story told. It has been quite a while since either of the extraterrestrials appeared in a celebrated smash hit, and unfortunately, the latest Aliens vs. Predator video game also falls short of that mark.
That is not to say that the duo’s latest appearance in the software entertainment realm makes for a horrible game, but more so a good game that could use some touch-up to bring it to the level of great.
AvP, as it is widely known, offers the player the opportunity to play as any one of three species pitted against each other for survival rights. Each species (human, alien, and predator) has its own unique abilities, distinct movements, and objectives to follow in both single player and multiplayer campaigns. Like a traditional FPS (First Person Shooter), player control is based on first-person perspective, and while the controls will feel a little quirky and awkward at first, with practice they can eventually be tolerated. Players will find the human (marine) and the predator’s movements to be the simplest to acquire, but controlling the alien is much more cumbersome due to the extra abilities such as wall climbing.
The atmosphere of AvP has been successfully translated in the game, giving that unnerving feeling of creepiness. A balanced and fair combat system allows for melee and ranged attacks with kills that can be quite fun to employ and resultantly brutal. These features help to make the campaigns fun to play, yet it’s hard not to notice that the graphic quality could be raised a notch, and that the often crude levels actually don’t take a very long time to complete. Multiplayer mode offers an elevated experience over the single player campaigns, featuring seven modes to choose from. Breathing a little extra life into the game are death match, capture the flag, species specific play, and more.
The game is by no means bad, but it does feel dated and unpolished in some visual and mechanical aspects. Fans of the franchise will likely appreciate this title the most, however, hard core gamers looking in from the outside are bound to label it as mediocre FPS compared to other more popular titles in the genre.
Aliens vs. Predator, published by SEGA, is rated “M” for Mature (17+), and is currently available for the PC (estimated retail $49.99), and the Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 gaming systems (estimated retail $59.99).