If this game sucks this bad why is there now an Aliens: colonial marines that sucks even worse? I came here to see if this was any better.
Aliens vs. Predator Review
This return to a beloved series is brutal enough, but it doesn't pack the punch of its forebears.
Like the alien, the predator relies on stealth to be most effective, and to that end, you can go invisible-ish and lead enemies to a designated spot by distracting them. You need to suspend your disbelief when distracting marines; they respond to your vile grunts with a cheerful quip like "I'm on my way," as if they heard a friendly call for help rather than the disgusting growls of a stalking menace. But the distractions are helpful, letting you position yourself just right to pull off one of Aliens vs. Predator's beautifully brutal trophy kills. You yank your foe's head and spine right out of his body, stare into his terrified eyes, and stroke the dangling bit of anatomy. It's gross in all the right ways and is the most satisfying aspect of the game's single-player experience. You commit similar atrocities as the alien, the best of which provide a terrific view of your victim's horrific end--from inside your own mouth.
Unfortunately, irritating mechanical and level design limits yank all the fun out of scurrying around (in the case of the alien) and leaping from one destination to the next (in the case of the predator). Some levels require you to move about only in ways the developer intended. You might want to scamper up and over an obstacle, only to run into an invisible wall or ceiling; and as the predator, you can leap to certain surfaces but not to others for reasons that don't always make sense. Why can you leap 20 feet to one spot, while you can't hop over a six-inch barbed-wire fence? There just don't seem to be any consistent rules in place, which makes the act of simply moving from place to place feel sloppy and unsatisfying. The inconsistencies apply to the AI as well. Enemy humanoids will do incredibly stupid things like take cover on the wrong side of a wall, exposing their backs to you. Sometimes, their ability to notice you even when you're camouflaged borders on the magical; other times, they're all but oblivious to your presence from two inches away. Civilians even run into the corner and cower with their backs to you in the alien campaign, clearly waiting to be harvested rather than making an authentic attempt to escape. Intelligence just isn't Aliens vs. Predator's strong suit.
The marine campaign avoids some of these pratfalls, instead falling victim only to its own lack of ambition. After the first excellent levels, the lights get turned on and rarely go off, and everything becomes tepid and ordinary. It turns out to be just another everyday shooter checking off the old cliches; like in so many other shooters, you're a rookie learning the ropes, guided by the voice of an unseen comrade, a device the game loves so much, it uses it twice. You would think that boss fights would increase the energy levels, and a battle that ends in a boss engulfed in flames hits exactly the right notes. Unfortunately, none of the other boss battles, from the easily exploited final boss of the marine campaign to the final battle of the predator portion, feel fierce or intense. That's too bad, because the story, while not exactly groundbreaking, does its best to establish some tension, and much of the voice acting is grand and dramatic. The alien and predator campaigns are less interested in narrative, but the viciousness of your actions and a few delicious cutscenes tell a tale nonetheless.
The game's online features are much more promising, for while they still suffer from some of the campaign's mechanical weaknesses, there's some pure fun to be had when you mix marines, predators, and aliens together. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch give you a chance to mess with each species' strengths and weaknesses, and they successfully incorporate aspects of the single-player game, such as the energy nodes that predators use to keep their plasma casters charged. The game's sense of clumsiness hovers over matches, but it's still satisfying to play as a marine and successfully fend off a scurrying xenomorph as he moves in for the kill, even when the super-sticky targeting removes some of the edge from your victory. In Infestation, one player starts as the alien and converts his marine foes into fellow xenomorphs, while Predator Hunt is an advanced version of tag in which one player begins as the predator and seeks to make another player "it." These modes are the most fun, partially because they embrace the differences between species, rather than trying to incorporate them into something more traditional. The game even includes its own take on the ever-popular "kill off waves of enemies" co-op mode, here called Survivor. Survivor is not as exciting as what you'd find in similar modes in Gears of War 2 and Halo 3: ODST, but the two maps you play on capture some of the creepiness that characterizes the first two chapters of the marine campaign.
It's the little things that really drag the game down. Aliens vs. Predator seems to be a well-meaning attempt at reinvigorating a languishing series, but grotesque kills and some entertaining multiplayer moments don't cut it--not when so many slick and exciting shooters are on store shelves, vying for your time. The attention to detail, the well-considered level design, and the sense of momentum that characterize the finest shooters are missing here. Aliens vs. Predator is sometimes enjoyable but never escapes an overwhelming sense of carelessness, so while it may remind you of the good old days, it fails to recapture them.
- Player Reviews: 63
- Game Universe:
- Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction (XBOX, PS2),
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (PS2, XBOX),
- Alien Trilogy (PC, SAT, PS),
- Alien vs. Predator (SNES, ARC, GB, JAG, LYNX),
- Aliens Versus Predator 2 (PC, MAC),
- Aliens vs. Predator (PS3, X360, PC),
- Aliens Versus Predator (PC, GBA, MAC),
- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (PSP),
- Aliens Versus Predator 2: Gold Edition (PC),
- Aliens Versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt Expansion Pack (PC)