Short Version: While not pushing any boundaries in gameplay or graphics, Aliens vs. Predator offers a solid and authentic experience for fans of the franchise.
Game Rant reviews Aliens vs. Predator
The first Aliens vs. Predator video game released back in 1999 and we later were witness to two feature films based on the property, combining two popular and well-known sci-fi properties.
Unfortunately for fans, the recent movies were not good but the video game was. Sega and Rebellion Developments have revisited Aliens vs. Predator after a decade and brought back the three-way campaign and comprehensive multiplayer with it.
First off, I’ll say that this game earns its title and truely delivers an authentic Aliens and Predator experience. If you’re a fan of either franchise, I’d recommend you check this title out.
The story of AvP starts off with a few events. Weyland-Yutani of Alien lore, is attempting to breach into and explore an ancient Predator pyramid. At the same time, on the same colony, they are doing experiments on the Xenomorphs, breeding them in captured humans.
These two aspects of the story lay the foundation for the game’s three protagonists to enter the fray. Colonial Marines are in orbit on a ship that’s ordered to the colony to clean up the mess, the intelligent Alien you play breaks out of the lab to obey the queen, and the predator is sent on his trials to become an elite warrior and destroy the pyramid which has been plagued by the human incursion.
The stories of all three species/campaigns all intertwine and cross-paths, making for an interesting experience. While I wish there was more to the story, Aliens vs. Predator did feel like a cool episode that could be experienced three different ways. The end of each leaves the key characters intact for a potential sequel and now that Rebellion has built a new foundation for the AvP video game franchise, I’m excited to see where they go next and what new gameplay elements they can bring to the table.
The most notably call-out is that Lance Henriksen plays the voice of Karl Bishop Weyland, the character responsible for the events of the game’s story. He’s a descendant of Charles Bishop Weyland from the original Aliens vs. Predator movie and his existence and story elements surrounding his actions tie in nicely to the franchise as a whole and as we know him from the movies. I expect he’ll be back for the sequel.
Playing through the campaign in order, you start as the human Colonial Marines. Marines’ specialty is that they can use a bunch of different guns and the shotgun becomes your best friend when fighting the Xenos (Aliens). It’s your basic first person shooter except for the start of the campaign, which feels like a horror movie, only hearing and seeing Aliens in the distance. When you meet your first Alien, it’s scary, but from then on you’re fighting large groups of them and quickly become desensitized. Holding a shotgun helps the fear go away too.
The problem with the human campaign is that it wasn’t that fun to play through after an hour. The whole solo-soldier “rookie” thing is boring to me and I wish it was more in the style of the Call of Duty franchise where you’re always fighting with other soldiers, rather than going Rambo against the off-worlders.
The Alien campaign is a more difficult story for the developers to tell since they can’t exactly communicate in a human language we’d understand. How they explain why you’re one of many Aliens, yet still special, is well done in the game and makes sense within the story. That being said, I wish this campaign were a lot shorter as it also became a bit of a chore to complete.
Playing as the Alien is vastly different than playing either the Marine or the Predator. You are incredibly fast and can traverse walls, ceilings and nearly any object. It takes a bit to get used to because you can no longer take the normal paths, or even walk on the ground in many instances. Instead, you’ll often find yourself upside down while picking and choosing your targets one at a time and using vents to navigate the levels.