Publisher:Sega Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Release Date: February 19th 2010
The original Aliens Versus Predator was, I think, the best game I ever bought that still represented terrible value for money. Purchased at a time when multiplayer gaming wasn’t really a viable option, I was initially satisfied with the three singleplayer campaigns of Aliens Versus Predator.
Satisfied and scared; too scared to continue past the second mission of the Marine campaign or the third of the Predator’s. I wasn’t as intimidated by the Alien, but all that wall-climbing made me feel sick and the limited save options proved the final nail in the coffin of a game which, despite the problems, I still recognised as utterly brilliant. Basically, I got only a tiny taste of the game - but it was a flavour I savoured.
There’s been plenty of Alien and Predator games since then (mainly awful ones) and a fully-fledged sequel too. Still, it’s the first one that everyone remembers, it seems. You can try to rinse your mouth out as much as you want, but you’ll never rid yourself of that first taste of brain-jelly that you gobbled as a ceiling hanging alien, or those mouthfuls of swallowed spit as you crept along pitch black corridors as a marine with only the beep of a motion tracker for company.
Who are you betting on winning?
It’s that fear which Rebellion and Sega are trying to tap into most of all with the all-new Aliens Versus Predator. Not the story-focused campaigns of the Monolith-developed AVP 2, but the creeping dread and endless tension of moving through corridors which you know are empty but which might not be…
To that end then the trilogy of campaigns in Aliens Versus Predator – a title which is actually distinguished from the original by the pluralised Aliens, by the way – are kept very distinct. They all form part of a single, large storyline ala AVP 2, but nearly all the story is condensed into the Marine section of the game, while the Alien and Predator merely overhear the plot between chomps and slices.
The actual nuances of the plot are still a closely guarded secret, though we do know that the campaigns will at least cover distinct environments and we’ve seen actual gameplay from some of these – mainly the steel tunnels of a human base as featured in the Alien and Marine stories.
Pile On: Extreme Edition
We do also know that the Predator mission-set will be based at least partly in a much larger and more open environment than have been seen in previous games. While previous Predator missions have focused on the dark, mechanical locations of the Alien films, this latest game pulls more directly from the original Predator movie. There’s to be plenty of exploring tropical jungles, with players up high in the canopies of alien worlds and leaping from branch to branch. Verticality is, it seems, the Predator’s main advantage.
Well, that and incredibly advanced technology, massive strength, the ability to turn nearly invisible and the ability to heal whenever you want. Yeah, the Predator is pretty much the ultimate bad-ass. After Stephen Segal, obviously.
Don’t go thinking that the Predatory campaign will be a walk in the park though, as height doesn’t equal definite safety and the game balance and AI have been reworked to ensure that you’re constantly on the edge of your seat. Not only are enemy Xenomorphs capable of climbing trees and launching ambushes on you with eerie ease, but human technology has come along a lot in the interim between titles too. Not enough to let the Humans gain the upperhand, but enough to let even a lone soldier dish out some significant hurt if you aren’t careful.