GameSpot talked to Monolith about design changes in the sci-fi sequel. Plus, we have three concept renderings of the game's characters.
Last week, Fox Interactive announced that Monolith was working on a sequel to the action game Aliens versus Predator. Both the Aliens and Predator properties are popular and lucrative for Fox, having been spun off from movies into comic books and novels. After the moderate success of the first Aliens versus Predator game, it was a foregone conclusion that Fox would commission a follow-up.
Officially, the game continues the battle between alien, predator, and man. There will be three separate campaigns for the three different sides. In addition, the environments will be more varied than in the previous game. Whereas the feel of the original game was claustrophobic and tight, the sequel will open things up a little. There will be some larger areas - such as spacious hangar bays - and even some well-lit areas. The designers want to break up the monotony of the dark, confined hallways of the first game, so you should expect to see a greater variety of levels and environments. Also, in contrast to Aliens Versus Predator's console-style save restrictions, the sequel will allow players save anywhere within a level.
Although Monolith could not reveal many details about the game, we do know that it will use a more advanced version of the LithTech engine than the one being used in No One Lives Forever. That version of the LithTech is 2.0, so Aliens versus Predator 2 will presumably use the next iteration of the engine. Also, since No One Lives Forever will ship around September or October, Aliens versus Predator 2 probably won't come out until the end of this year or, more likely, the beginning of 2001.
Gameplay details were scarce, although the designers hinted that there will be more customization in each of the marine specialties. So a grenadier marine would have heavier armor, with a full-faced helmet, while a marine with a rifle might have less armor and be lighter. We're not sure if the customization will extend beyond the look of the marine to actual gameplay stats, but the goal now appears to be to make it easy to tell from a glance what type of marine a player is. The customization of marines might also extend to the aliens and predators, with quick alien scouts and heavily armored predators complementing the original alien and predator characters from the first game.
We have three concept sketches from Alien versus Predator 2, showing off a female marine, a grenadier marine, and a heavy predator.