This is the 2010 first person shooter video game release based on the Fox movie franchises, Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs Predator. There is a highly acclaimed Aliens vs Predator game already. This is not a remake of that game, but an all new installment with an original (brief) story.
Aliens vs Predator is broken up into three campaigns (it has multiplayer games as well). One campaign you play as the Xenomorph aliens, another you play as the Predator and a third played as a human space marine sent in to combat the two. Each species / character (Predator, Xenomorph, space marine) plays differently. Space marines play like traditional first person shooters, Xenomorphs can climb on the walls and ceilings and use stealth to drop down and kill enemies because they die VERY easily and Predators use a combination of the two. They can jump far distances, stealth kill and change their vision to see in different ways.
As a space marine, there are a few good and useful weapon types, shotgun, pulse rifle, pistol, flame thrower and more. You can carry three weapons at a time, which feels like enough. Shooting as the space marine feels very imprecise, because you can barely see your crosshairs, the enemies move quick and most of the time, you’re shooting at black Xenomorphs on dark walls. The game makes use of light and shadows, because it gives you a flashlight and flares. Both the flashlight and flares are limitless and it felt like there should be sparing usage of both. The flashlight can flicker or go out a few seconds. Your enemy radar can cut out for a moment.
Movement and mouse aim feel clunky, slow and sluggish. At least there is a run button for a few moments of speed when running down straight corridors. Speaking of the run button, a lot of times it feels like I can just run through from the enemies instead of dealing with them.
There are in your face moments when you need to melee enemies to get them out of your face. Xenomorphs will pounce on you, face huggers will jump in your face, but not so much that it gets annoying like in other games. You even have some cool melee kills that you can use.
Enemy AI and variety is good, Xenomorphs effortlessly crawl everywhere, they can turn in circles on walls, ceilings, nooks, crannies and eves. Face huggers will avoid your crosshairs, Predators will sniper you and even big lumbering android soldiers take some aim to kill. None of the enemies feel particularly deadly or powerful… just difficult to shoot when compared to other games.
The game sets a great atmosphere that is diverse from section to section. The Xenomorph areas are dark, futuristic and gritty, while the Predator jungles are a foreboding, luscious beauty with a sense of something watching you. The music is good and all background music matches the area.
The only big gripe is the fact that there are level conclusions. The level ends and you are sent to a screen with your score and where to save or continue. This really breaks immersion especially when the next level takes place the moment the last level ended. This should have been made into a seamless transition with no halt in the action. The score could have been shown on screen, auto saved (which the game does autosave) and keep the action going. Even playing audio logs is cumbersome and could have been done much better instead of having to pause the game… find the audio log and then return to the action. There are better ways to do that without taking yourself out of the action. Apparently there are audio logs (and other tedious collectables), it is a shame that system is so cumbersome that I don’t care to listen.
There are voices in your head telling you what to do, however they don’t sound all that believable for the situation you’re supposed to be in. It is like they are too pleasant for a situation that has dozens dying. But perhaps having someone barking orders and yelling at you might not be the best to stay focused.
The objectives are pretty simple and its rinse wash repeat. Go here… clear a wave of enemies… open this door… find the power supply and bring it to a door so you can open it and go through. The level design offers a nice path… going upstairs and downstairs, and weaves around areas, but it is all one way with little chance of getting lost. The game is painfully short with the marine campaign being the longest and taking around 3 hours to complete the first time. It feels more like the campaigns are to teach you everything for multiplayer.
In conclusion, there are better first person shooters out there more worthy of your time, but if you are a big fan of the franchise, you can pick the game up for $5 or cheaper and have hours of fun with it. I keep thinking of ways this game could have been better, such as more variety with what to do. Sentries you can put up yourself. More friendlies to fight along side. A crouch button to crawl through air ducts. More secrets or exploration, because it feels like the game has zero secrets. More situations that require stealth or thought instead of running to fights or from fights. Light and BRIEF turret and or driving sections (Aliens movie had a driving section). Maybe for the sequel…