Aliens vs. Predator Review


There's nothing quite like the déjà vu experience generated from an AvP title showing up on shelves parading about like it's the hot new cross-franchise shooter that will fill your deep seeded desires to obliterate an entire race (or two). Before I even sat down to take on my first run of the 2010 release, my curiosity was elsewhere in a world of question about how many times this had been tried before and which developers had stuck around through the endless amounts of reboots over the last two decades. As it turns out there have been thirteen releases across multiple platforms, and Rebellion Developments in particular has a thing for beating the hell out of this proverbial horse, leading the pack with their fifth version of this particular title. Apparently the series has been good to them though, so I set out to see if they were going to return the favor.

AvP drops you into a familiar world where Aliens, in all their exoskeletal glory, are still being enslaved for sport, Predators are spearheading the aforementioned sport, and the Marines continue to poke their heads into places they don't belong but are necessary for the story to continue. I'd dive more into the story, but it's an AvP game so we'll just go with: Somebody along the way takes exception to a remark made about someone’s mother and the next thing you know we got a full on three-way inter-species war going on. Lucky for you, you get to decide which of these three to control, and if you're feeling particularly torn on the subject, Rebellion has been kind enough to let you go back and play the other two species without pushing the self-destruct button on your game disc. Which is really nice of them, because once you're done playing through all the campaign missions, I recommend checking out the handful of multiplayer modes they bundled in that are quite fun.

Having played one of the previous iterations, I was skeptical of the controls. How would they feel, how dizzy will I be after attempting thirteen unplanned wall transitions in a row and how many awkward finger injuries would I have to endure to hit a target crawling across the ceiling? To my surprise Rebellion had done an excellent job this time around at making each of the species controls much more believable. In the past I always felt like my character was just a camera on a loosely sliding rail that sometimes ran out of control, or maybe it was simply slipping on the blood of everything being torn apart around me. While the latter of those two thoughts is believable, I never truly got used to that feel and the new controls got me thinking that the series may not be completely doomed after all. The Marines move like I would expect a human to if they had packs full of ammo and pulse rifles weighing them down, the Predators are agile as can be expected with all the acrobatics of a Romanian gymnast, while the Aliens maintain their intense wall-crawling speed without breaking the games physics or control system. Each class has their own set of special movement and stealth attributes that tie into the game without too much frustration, as well as an array of randomized yet entirely satisfying finishing moves if you prove to be sneaky enough to get the jump on an adversary. Big points here in the name of AvP, as I was expecting it to fall flat on its face in this category but it turned out to be a well thought out part of the package this go round.