Friday, 24 May 2024

Aliens vs. Predator: A Comprehensive Review

The release of the original Alien film in 1979 and Predator in 1987 introduced groundbreaking concepts in sci-fi horror and monster movies. This year, Rebellion brings us Aliens vs. Predator for home consoles, aiming to combine the best of both worlds. However, does this clash of two iconic franchises live up to expectations?

An Epic Battle Unfolds

Set after the events of Alien 3, Aliens vs. Predator takes us to planet BG-386, where a group of scientists starts breeding Xenomorphs for war. A war party of Predators discovers this dangerous experiment and decides to put an end to it by wiping out the colony. Players embark on three different campaigns, each presenting a unique perspective of the same story. While this may sound exciting, it becomes evident that the repetitive use of the same levels diminishes the overall experience.

The Good, The Bad, and The Repetitive

Each campaign has its strengths and weaknesses. The human marine section offers a survival horror first-person shooter experience, with occasional scares within the dark corridors. However, the repetition of fighting off hordes of Xenomorphs and the clunky controls dampen the excitement. The linear level design and repetitive missions also make it easy to forget the overarching purpose of your mission on this perilous planet.

In contrast, the Predator sequences allow players to take on the role of a young hunter, armed with the iconic Predator arsenal. The shoulder-mounted Plasma caster is a delight, obliterating Xenomorphs with ease. However, the campaign heavily focuses on stealth, limiting melee combat and offering only one correct approach to each situation. This design choice leads to frustratingly slow progress.

The Alien campaign combines elements from the other two, with a stealth focus similar to that of the Predator campaign. Unfortunately, it falls short, lacking the thrill of the Predator campaign’s arsenal and suffering from weak gameplay mechanics. Despite being bred for war, the Xenomorph feels surprisingly vulnerable, requiring multiple slashes to defeat seemingly feeble opponents. Additionally, the ability to walk on walls adds a disorienting element to navigation, occasionally resulting in unintended encounters with enemy fire. Motion sickness becomes an unexpected challenge in this campaign.

Multiplayer: A Saving Grace

Fortunately, Aliens vs. Predator finds redemption in its multiplayer mode. All three races – Xenomorphs, Predators, and marines – can engage in thrilling deathmatches and capture-the-flag-like matches. Each race brings its unique strengths and weaknesses to the battlefield. Predators enjoy superior mobility, while aliens excel at stealth. However, it is worth noting that some of the issues present in single-player, such as frustrating alien controls and clunky Predator combat, persist in the multiplayer experience. Additionally, the majority of multiplayer maps are recycled from the single-player campaigns.

Two multiplayer modes stand out: Infestation and Predator Hunt. In Predator Hunt, one Predator faces off against a team of marines, offering strategic and thrilling hunter/prey scenarios. This mode effectively showcases the Predator’s distinctive abilities. On the other hand, Infestation pits a group of marines against an alien. As marines fall victim to the alien, they are transformed into more aliens. The remaining marines must work together to survive this relentless onslaught. While holding out as the last marine proves challenging, it offers an exhilarating experience.

A Missed Opportunity

Aliens vs. Predator fails to capture the essence of Rebellion’s well-received 1999 PC release bearing the same name. This updated version lacks the unique spark that made its predecessor stand out. Instead, it seemingly relies solely on the reputation of the dormant Alien and Predator franchises.

  1. Q: Is Aliens vs. Predator available on PC?

    • A: Yes, Aliens vs. Predator is available on PC in addition to home consoles.
  2. Q: Can players customize their characters in multiplayer mode?

    • A: Yes, players have the option to customize their characters in multiplayer mode, adding a personal touch to their gaming experience.

Aliens vs. Predator presents an ambitious concept that, unfortunately, falls short in execution. Despite its flaws, the game offers a multiplayer experience that breathes some life into an otherwise lackluster release. While it may resonate with die-hard fans of the Alien and Predator franchises, it fails to leave a lasting impact for newcomers or those seeking an innovative gaming experience.