Aliens vs. Predator Review
By Dakota Grabowski
There hasn’t been this much
wasted potential since Ryan Leaf
If the recent films on the
Aliens vs. Predator franchise haven’t been painful enough to sit through, then
perhaps video gamers worldwide are ready to stomach Sega and Rebellion’s pitiful
offering. Delivering poor results and half-baked ideas, it’s my regret to call
Aliens vs. Predator to call it the year’s most disappointing title thus far.
Allowing players to control any
one of the three avatar types – alien, predator, or human – Aliens vs. Predator
on paper is an overwhelmingly exciting title. It has three distinct play styles
that all differ from one another:
The human comes equipped with a
flashlight, a pulse rifle, shotgun, scoped/sniper rifle, flame thrower, motion
tracker, flares and a few other gadgets. Having to work in groups to overcome
the strengths the predators and aliens have over the bipedal skinwalkers. Of
three available, the humans are the most monotonous of the bunch due to it’s a
“been there, done that” setting.
The alien provides a much more
surreal experience as they rely on the darkness and are slithery beasts that
overpower their enemies in numbers. Focusing on eliminating lighting to gain the
advantage on their foes, the aliens have agility on their side to cling to
walls, ceilings and almost any surface in the game. While the hunt sounds fun,
it’s the prey and mission structure that lets down the eager player itching for
me. There’s not enough “oomph” and too much “hiss” when it comes to the alien
On the other hand, the
predator, of course, has the best campaign, even if he’s a wimpy rookie who
struggles to take on two or more aliens at one time. Being able to cloak, use
heat and alien vision, and excel at leaping great distances comes in handy to
make for an interesting campaign. Unfortunately the story has you chasing a
hybrid alien of sorts, alongside blowing up fallen alley’s beacons so humans
don’t gain access to the predators’ technology.
Taking the action online is
much better than the single-player missions. Having access to Survivor, Predator
Hunt, Infestation, Deathmatch, Domination, Species Deathmatch (aliens vs.
predators vs. humans) and Mixed Species Deathmatch (any random assortment) helps
in creating a better experience. Survivor pits players through gauntlet as they
cooperatively face off against waves of aliens. Predator Hunter is similar to
many “juggernaut” modes where one player is stronger than the rest. Once an
opponent kills the Hunter, they, in turn, become the Hunter. Infestation has one
player hunting down humans as an alien to eventually turn them into an alien
until no humans are left.
Even with more of the thrills
coming from online matches, the levels to play on are rather droning. On top of
that, the levels repeat more often than not with the lack of diversity – they
essentially all blur together with not a single one standing out on its own
right. Though, on the flipside, it was easy to find matches and, in the end,
they were highly competitive, even if the aliens always ended up having the
The biggest disappointment
about Aliens vs. Predator was that Rebellion tried to stay in line with the tone
and style of the franchise with over the top kills and ultimately created
outlying problems. The issue that comes from the extravagant kills was that they
often left the avatar open for outside damage for far too long. It essentially
breaks down like this… “Do you want to be a badass?” The answer more often than
not is, “Yes!” Well then you best be prepared for long and enduring death
animations while the opposition sits back and laughs as they attack your avatar.
In one instance, I snuck up on a human, grab his neck and shoved my gauntlets
through his spine. While doing this, an alien circled around and continued to
attack until my character was finished with the animation and fell over dead.
Aliens vs. Predator is a title
that doesn’t deliver the goods in their entirety.
A lot of promise mixed in with
failed execution is what riddles Aliens vs. Predator
Death animations are
entertaining, but little outside that was pleasing.
There’s nothing here that is
memorable or enticing to the ears.
Three campaigns with individual
characters from each race is an excellent idea that shouldn’t be dropped if
there is to be a sequel.
The multiplayer is a letdown
more often than not, but it still stands head and toe above the single-player
Sega and Rebellion don’t offer
much of a unique experience to attract gamers who have been up to their eyeballs
in video games since the holidays.