2010 Reviews

Aliens vs. Predator

  • Review Date: 2014-03
  • Release Date: 2010-02
  • Developer: Rebellion Developments
  • Rating: 7.5

There seems to be a lot of hate from gamers on this game. Some calling it the most disappointing game ever. I believe a lot of the hate comes from gamers who played the original AVP in 1999 and 2004, and were therefore expecting something just as good. Don't set your expectations so high, because you'll often end up disappointed. I had no expectation because I never played the originals. I tried to play the 1999 version, but quit very early on because I actually thought it looked horrible. Maybe I should have given it more of a chance, but I was an impatient gamer in the 90's.

2010's AVP comes from Rebellion, the original developer of the 1999 game, increasing expectations that it would be of similar quality. I really didn't mind this game, it had balance issues, but it's certainly not the consolised crap everyone makes it out to be.

First the graphics are all great. It runs on the Asura engine, which is apparently a modified idTech4. You can tell, because it features great lighting and contrast, great details and a few massive epic setpieces. The majority of AVP is either in science labs and industrial complexes or outdoors among the alien wild with a mix of Predator-themed temples. Some sections have been taken over by the Aliens, with grosteque Giger organic bits everywhere. You even come upon the Alien hive completed with the Queen. Similar themes to Dark Void, released just a month before AVP, but so much better looking. But it's not up to the quality of Modern Warfare 2, because most of the game still takes place indoors (corridor-room-corridor).

The Aliens and Predators also look fantastic, especially seeing them in the cutscenes. The visuals are really what AVP is all about. Rebellion got that right.

The gameplay is what disappoints. You start as a human, with only a few different weapons but you still have to rely on your infinite-ammo handgun occassionally (which is utter shit) due to sometimes low amounts of ammo for the other weapons. The human campaign takes 4-5 hours, featuring six levels.

Then comes the Alien and Predator campaigns, both lasting about 2 hours each. They're a little too short, and should have gone on at least 3-4 hours each. Perhaps not quite as long as the first campaign because they have very limited combat which will get boring after a while. But the worst part is their two campaigns don't actually feature any new levels! It's the same as you already played through as a human! Although there are some sections that are new, unfortunately for the Aliens case it's really just ugly corridors and shafts. At least they're played in a different order and sometimes direction. So you really only get 4-5 hours of actual levels, then just repeat some of them for remainder. Talk about phoning it in Rebellion!! Did you run out of money or just not want to put in the effort to create more than six levels?

The balance problem comes as you play through the human campaign and find it's quite a tough game. Perhaps I never mastered the melee/blocking part, because I've heard others say it's too easy, but whenever an alien got close, the screen just became a giant mess of "what the fuck is going on" as I mash the melee key trying to get something to work. There were a couple of sections I had to replay from checkpoint a good five times. One was having to survive for a certain amount of time against hordes of aliens, which was fucking shit and I literally had a headache and had to turn the game off after the fourth or fifth attempt. I then tried again and realise you don't need to fire a single goddam bullet, just run around the fire and the aliens will clumsily run through the fire, killing themselves. Despite that retardation, the Aliens did have great A.I., often seeking shadows and retreating or dodging away as soon as they see your light shining or bullets coming towards them.

So it's difficult. Then you get to play as an Alien, which is much easier. Then as the Predator, which you'll get through with barely losing any health at all. In fact I didn't die at all as the Alien or Predator, yet I died countless times as the human. Shouldn't the game get harder, not easier? Even the boss at the end didn't get one health drop on me. The Predator was completely overpowered by the end, with the one-hit kill, perfect-accuracy spear. Even the throwing blade made it pretty easy. When you get to the androids you just have to go invisible and they won't even see you from metres away. Both Aliens and Predator were well done though - everything you'd expect to be able to do was done and worked.

I did sorely miss the music from the original Predator movie, which is probably the best thing about it.

The story is nothing to get excited about, but at least all three campaigns relate to one another. But why is Lance Henriksen playing an evil version of Bishop from the first Aliens? Might as well bring Sigourney back and cast her as a completely different character too.

So overall AVP(3) is a game that features some great visuals, epic scenes and atmosphere saturated environments. But it's short, with only six large levels that get recycled and unbalanced gameplay. If I were to replay it, I'd skip the human campaign.

Aliens vs. Predator