Aliens vs. Predator
As a shooter fan and someone who watched all eight films that make up the Alien, Predator, and Aliens vs. Predator series, I had high hopes for the title
- Sights and sounds from both franchises are authentically recreated, Predator campaign has its moments
- Deeply unsatisfying level design, disjointed campaign structure, occasional glitches
Even though it nails the sights and sound of the sci-fi film franchise, Aliens vs. Predator still suffers from disjointed gameplay, unbalanced characters and lacklustre level design.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Released in 1999 on the PC, the original Aliens vs. Predator is largely considered an underrated classic; based on the excellent science-fiction crossover franchise, it allowed you to play as a Colonial Marine, Alien from the Alien movies, or Predator from the awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle. The original developers, Rebellion, return with a highly anticipated follow-up and the formula sounded like a recipe for sure-fire success.
Unfortunately, while the game's team does a terrific job of maintaining a level of authenticity -- they nailed the little details like the strange clicking sound the Predator makes with his mouth and the unsettling way an Alien egg peels open to discharge a face hugger-that fans will not only recognise but deeply appreciate, they got just about everything else wrong. The structure of the single-player campaign is my biggest complaint. You are given the option to replay each mission from the perspective of the three characters, but rather than employ a Rashômon-esque story structure that interweaves the unique vantage points into one coherent narrative, they simply recycle the environment and set you loose on three discrete storylines.
Each character is so different from the others that it would have made for a really interesting experience: Aliens snake around on ceilings and in ventilation shafts, using their speed to get their claws into enemies; the Predator makes use of stealth and high-tech weaponry to cut down his foes; and the hopelessly overmatched Marine does his best to not wind up as a xeno's lunch. But the way the campaign is structured, you're left with an extremely disjointed experience and I felt they wasted an excellent opportunity.
The overall game experience is also rather weak and there's no real incentive to play through it more than once. Because of the wealth of tools at your disposal, such as heat vision, cloaking, and the trademark shoulder-mounted laser, I enjoyed the Predator campaign the most; it was the most satisfying of the three and it requires a great deal of strategy and stealth. The Alien and Marine scenarios were less successful thanks to some design issues: rapidly crawling through vents as an Alien is incredibly disorienting and the Colonial Marine campaign is unexciting due to bland level designs and lack of interesting abilities. I also experienced some annoying glitches, such as corpses whose limbs vanish if you attack them, and while it may just a case of a review build where all the bugs haven't been squashed, it added to the overall impression that the game was rushed and hastily constructed.
As you may have noticed, we delayed posting our review of Aliens vs. Predator online last week when the game was released in order to give me enough time to play the multiplayer component of AvP in a real-world setting. I spent a week playing each of the seven multiplayer modes available in Aliens vs. Predator, which includes your stock FPS modes like death match, team death match, and territories; however the game offers more interesting options like Predator Hunt and Infestation, two modes where one player is selected to be the Predator or Alien and are then pitted against everyone else who are colonial marines. Infestation is slightly different from Predator Hunt, though; whenever a human marine is slain they become an Alien Xenomorph who must go after the remaining marines.
But the multiplayer mode I enjoyed the most, and thought highlighted Aliens vs. Predator's best qualities, was mixed species team death match; here teams can have any combination of Predator, Alien, and Marine fighting together. Since each species has their distinct strengths, weaknesses, and fighting style, assembling mixed species teams makes a lot of different strategic opportunities possible. For instance, an Alien or Marine can serve as a distraction by taking on an enemy head-on, while a Predator cloaked in invisibility can sneak up behind them, executing them silently. This is just one example of the situations you can set up working together with different species, and it's the main reason why I enjoyed this mode the most. Unfortunately, while the multiplayer side of Aliens vs. Predator presents some interesting gameplay variations, the experience is not enough to raise the score I initially gave the single-player component of the game. It's far better than the lacklustre single-player campaign, but it isn't enough to compensate for that mode's shortcomings nor is it good enough on its own to warrant a recommendation. It has some interesting ideas but it lacks refinement and polish, and despite the unique setting and characters, I never found myself wanting to invest in it the way I did with a better title like Modern Warfare 2.
I was really excited about Aliens vs. Predator. As a shooter fan and someone who watched all eight films that make up the Alien, Predator, and Aliens vs. Predator series, I had high hopes for the title, but it fails to do both the genre and the franchise justice.
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
ESET Smart Security Premium
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Internet Security
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Tivoli PAL BT
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 3 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 4 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- 5 Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
- Editor's Choice Awards 2018, Part Two - Mobile
- John Romero celebrates Doom's 25th anniversary with Sigil, a free fifth chapter for the original game
- After another massive Google+ data breach, you should probably delete your profile right now
- The new Samsung A8s could be our first look at the Galaxy S10's 'hole-punch' display
- Giveaway: Win a pair of Razer Nari Ultimate headphones!
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?