Review: Aliens vs Predator (PC) (2010)


Last night I finished the alien campaign. I had to switch over to hard difficulty though, because nightmare was beginning to annoy the hell out of me. The last level is a bit longer than the rest, and with the end battle added to it, I had to replay the level a lot. It was taking up too much time.

Anyway, the following are my thoughts on the game. I’ve been able to play the game’s single player, as well as try out it’s multiplayer modes. This will be my first complete review of a game.

Graphics: A lot of reviews said that the game’s graphics weren’t very good. I am inclined to disagree. In fact, I think that they are some of the best graphics in a game to date. I am only playing it in DX9 on my PC, since I don’t have a DX11 compatible video card, so I am missing some of the features, but it still looks amazing. There are some minor glitches and clipping errors (like when you harvest a colonist, and the face hugger walks through solid objects), but otherwise, great.

Sound: The sound in the game is excellent. Screams in the distance, hissing of aliens, the classic predator sounds, the gun fire, everything is spot on with what I expect. The voice acting could be a bit better sometimes, but that’s minor. The music also lends a lot to setting the atmosphere in the game, getting rather dramatic when you’re ambushed by aliens, and whatnot.

Controls: The controls do take some getting used to, even if you did play any of the other Aliens vs Predator games. Once you have them down, they work well. It all just takes some getting used to.

Story: The storylines in the single player campaigns are rather simple, but seem very fitting. The marine campaign had a bit more to it than the other two did, but that’s due to the actual fact that you can relate a bit better to a human than an alien or a predator. It is fun to run around as the other two though. It’s not as scary, but the different approach to game play is enough to make up for that.

Innovation: The game, by ordinary FPS standards, is slightly different. The alien is really the only part of the game with a unique play style. Crawling on walls, and only having your claws and tail for weapons is a whole different ball game, compared to the marine or predator. The predator has the ability to jump far distances and cloak, which make it a bit different than usual as well. The marine is fairly standard.

There is a larger emphasis on melee combat in this game than in any other games that I can think of. Marines are fairly limited, but can use a rifle butt as a counter to the other species. There’s blocking, light attacks and heavy attacks. In one of my other posts, a few days ago, I explained the mechanics of melee. Use block to block the light attacks, use light attack to counter a heavy attack, and use heavy attacks to break a block. Reading the body language of your opponent is very important in these situations.

There isn’t a crouch button, which is strange to get used to, but it’s not a big deal.

The multiplayer play modes are a bit different as well. Primarily the same, but not quite. Species deathmatch is where you have three teams, and it’s a battle between the different species in the game. Infestation has you as marines and one player is randomly selected as an alien. As marines die, each one turns to the alien team. If the marines live the duration of the time limit, then the marines win. Survivor has you and friends as marines trying to survive as long as possible against AI controlled alien waves. Domination has aliens vs marines in a point capture scenario. There are three capture locations, and you have to have one of your team mates stand beside it for a minute or two to take posession. Then there is team deathmatch where species can be mixed together on the same team. Than there is standard death match.

There are also the trophy kills. If you are sneaky enough, or knock an opponent to the ground, you can hit a key and perform an instant death maneuver. It randomly selects one from a list of a few for both the alien and predator. Sorry marines, but you don’t get these. It can range from the alien head biting you, to the predator totally removing your head and spinal column. It took me a while before I got to see them all. They are brutal, and violent, and that is what you should expect in an alien or predator themed experience.

The trophy kill moves can be done in multiplayer, and it has raised some controversy. Some people hate them, and some love them. If you are good enough, you can block them from the front, or even from behind, but you have to be anticipating it. If they sneak up and you don’t even notice them, you’re toast. I honestly don’t mind them. If you are being lazy, and don’t see them come up behind you, or you get knocked down in combat and enable them to do it and don’t block it, then that’s your fault. To each their own though.

That is really about it. There are a lot of similar elements from the first two games that have been implemented in to this one. It’s not a bad mix, but it’s still not altogether original. Not that it’s really all that bad of a thing.

Replay: With the multiplayer being a lot of fun, once you get in to it, I’d say there’s a lot of replay. There are also Steam achievements to be gained, so you’ll find yourself replaying the singler player to gather all of those. I don’t see myself putting this game down for a while yet, especially since I am part of a good Aliens vs. Predator community.

In conclusion, the game is not completely epic, but it still holds a lot of fun for those who give it the chance it deserves. If you have a good PC to play it on, and can take advantage of the game’s graphical beauty, you’ll definitely appreciate it. Again, once you’re used to the controls, you’ll have a blast, so don’t give up on it too quickly.

I’ll post screen shots when I get a chance, for those interested to see what the game looks like on my PC in DX9. You can find the specs to my PC here.

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