Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aliens VS Predator: Not The Movie, The Game


So, long before there was an utlimately forgettable pair of AVP movies, there was a comic published by Darkhorse comics, who held the license for the Aliens and Predator comic properties. The concept took off like wild fire, two of the biggest alien baddies from 80s cinema meeting on a battlefield with humanity in the crossfire. I have no idea how many crossover comics there have been at this point, but I'm pretty sure they come out with a new one every few years.

The premise is that the Predators have a surprisingly ritualistic hunter culture, and one of their traditional prey is the Aliens.

Rebellion first made an AVP first person shooter for the PC back in the 90s, I'm fairly certain it wasn't the first AVP game, but it was the first that let you play as any of the three races in the universe, and this game is Rebellion coming back and doing their thing for a second round. With some success.

I only tried out playing the human and Predator campaigns before I'd decided I'd had enough. There's nothing particularly wrong with the game, it's just really frustratingly hard. Playing through as the human is pretty much what you'd excpect from any scifi shooter, there's no cover system, which always seems like a big problem in any modern shooter, but then I realized that if you're only fighting Aliens that can crawl on the ceiling, or Predators that can leap 30 feet and are virtually invisible, taking cover's probably not that useful.

That is one thing that I will say feels really good, Aliens move like they should, they don't just come running down corridors on two legs like a human in a suit, they crawl all over the walls and ceilings, leaping back and forth behind your back until they're ready to pounce on you. It's surprisingly nerve racking, you've got the now standard alien hunting tool of a motion sensor to let you know when they get close by, but you're still startled whenever one pounces on you from an air vent.

Playing as a Predator is a much different experience, here the focus is on using melee attacks with your wrist blades, you do have the standard shoulder cannon, but it doesn't do a lot of damage unless you let it charge for a few seconds. You have a targetted jumping ability that allows you to get up high for ambushes, or to get into striking distance of an enemy in moments.

I sealed the game up and sent it back to gamefly because I just got tired of dying, just on the normal setting, I was dying a couple of times every five minutes, I'm not a phenomenal gamer with impeccable twitch reflexes, but I know my way around a shooter, and it just got frustrating. Of course now, I wonder, how did the Aliens control?

I think I'll keep an eye on the game prices, and wait for it to drop down to $20 new and pick it up then.

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