Sunday, November 24, 2013

VGR Aliens versus Predator

On one corner, the deadliest hunter. On the other, the perfect killing machine. Who is deadliest of the species?

Tune in for the fight of the century!

Want more Alien/Predator-related reviews? Check the following!!

VGR: Aliens versus Predator or Aliens vs. Predator also known as AVP or nowadays, AVP1
From Rebellion Developments Ltd./Fox Interactive
Played on PC
Also available on Mac

Type FPS
Year 1999

Launched right off the Dark Horse comic book series, thank to its success, the Aliens versus Predator series was able to become a franchise on its own right.

The series made its original video game entry in a 1994 beat 'em all game developed by Capcom for the Arcades, before its first big budget mainstream attempt.

That was the first FPS Aliens versus Predator game by Rebellion for the Atari Jaguar.

After numerous rumors of a second episode originally announced for Christmas '97 on PC, PSX and Saturn, those console ports were scrapped and it turned out to be a complete revamp of the title.

An all-new unrelated Aliens versus Predator. A fresh start, if you will.

Aliens versus Predator was created by Rebellion Software for Fox Interactive Studios in 1999.

Like the original Atari Jaguar title, it allowed to play three separate campaigns.

In the main storyline, you play as a Colonial Marines, like those guys you see in the movie Aliens. 

The story begins on LV-426. Some new labs were established by Weyland-Yutani to study the derelict ship Ripley's crew explored in the original first Alien film.

After escaping from an Alien-infested colony, our mute hero leaves the orbit with a ship to the Odobenus Station. There he fights some more Aliens and Predators before facing a cybernetically-enhanced Aliens! He gets to the nearby spaceship Tyrargo where he is met by a Predalien hybrid. Finally our hero battles some praetorian Aliens before having to deal with the Alien Queen herself (and getting rid of her through an airlock).

Like I said, this is only the main campaign. Two other campaigns can be selected in the main menu.

The marines is where it's at. Even though the others can be seen as almost a bonus feature, they're just as good and engaging and weren't rushed in production.

The "story" of the Alien sees the player take control of one of these Alien Drones as you try to defend the hive from the humans. The Xenomorph gets aboard a spacecraft which they try to self-destruct. The alien finds its way to a station where he faces two dangerous Predators, finally finding its way in a pod gearing to Earth...

As a Predator, you are subject to a different progression through the stages. The Pred is visiting at first different planets, hunting humans and androids. Finally the alien hunter tries to recover a Predator ship in the hands of the human military. Going through soldiers, Aliens are released on the premise. The Predator faces a Predalien, escapes from a self-destruct system and find his way to to Fiorina "Fury" 161 where he ends up fighting against an Alien Queen.

All 3 campaigns are 6-level long.

Aliens Versus Predator is what you can call a scifi first person shooter.

You can choose to play as a human, a Predator or an Alien and explore these huge environments through a first person perspective.

Why people don't call this game Alien vs. Predator vs. Colonial Marine is beyond me!

The huge environments are certainly fairly impressive for its time. From spaceships to Colonial bases, space stations and finally the Alien Hive!

Each character has its own unique gameplay abilities and their own sort of set of objectives. 

As a Marine you can walk, run, jump, etc. It plays like most of your classic FPS games.

The marines are the most vulnerable units in the game. They make up for it in the sheer quantity of equipment and items they can collect and use. By the end of the game you will carry a huge arsenal, from the classic pulse rifle to the smartgun, a flamethrower, grenades, and many more! 

The motion tracker comes back and is quite handy in this game. Marines also have access to a night vision and flares - both very useful in these dark corridors. 

The Marines campaign got some scares, and for good reason. Thrown in the middle of a war between these dangerous deadly monsters.

Even though humans are easily the weakest of the bunch, they are the best at capturing the tension and atmosphere of both film series.

As the Predator your role is to play hunter and turn all your enemies into your prey.

The Predator is the strongest character to play in the game. Preds have great advantages, they can use various hunting accessories from simple hand to hand combat tribal weapons to more hi-tech alien gadgets. Such as the speargun, their discs, and other alien tech.

Predators have access to several vision modes to help track their enemies such as the classic heat vision. It helps see clearly through the darkness of your surrounding, but be careful! One vision mode might help marines stand out but you might miss how many alien creatures are around you...

The Predator can stalk enemies and play with his stealth to get the kills.

The Aliens are very fast, can high jump and even climb along all sorts of surfaces, floors, walls, ceiling...

The Alien campaign has you play this overpowered killing machine. Basically the Alien can kill humans in one melee attack.

Less finesse for this kind of berserk approach. Wrecking onslaught across your path, crawling in lots of corridors, vents and elevator shafts. 

Aliens are the ones to see the more clearly in the darkness and they can detect other living beings through "pheromones". 

It's a really difficult game, quite challenging actually.

The original game had no in-game saves.

AVP has some great graphics for its time, thanks to a great use of lightning and sound. It really helped this game age pretty well these last few years.

Some FMV scenes played on computer screen.

The game has several dozen of levels. Outside the campaign each faction can play through each other's stages. In these bonus levels humans are equipped with a jet pack and the Predator can use a grappling book to both be able to explore most environments without restrictions.

There are several multiplayer modes well worth a look on their own (although... good luck finding player "these days"...). From classic co-op to deathmatches, tag matches and a fun species war mode. Facing hordes of monsters in arenas.

The great score and sound effects are what make this game, really. They did a great job right down to Facehugger sounds to the Colonial Marines weapons. A great atmospheric soundtrack heavily inspired by both the Alien and Predator movies.

Overall, Aliens versus Predator is a gorgeous looking game and still very fun to this day. Thanks to a very well made lightning engine, although the models kinda show their age.

If you're a fan of either series, this is a must play.

The game was re-released in 2000 in the form of an updated Aliens versus Predator: Gold Edition. This version didn't add any new actual level or campaign, but new weapons for the Marines, more multiplayer maps and finally the ability to save mid-level! The addition of a save feature allowed some players to finally get through this very difficult game. And a game guide.

A sequel was released in 2001 developed by Monolith Productions, which was better received for its improved story, bigger open maps and better character models.

Finally, the original Aliens versus Predator was re-released on Steam in 2010. Basically, it's the Gold Edition with some additional polished details to allow it to run at its best in this day and age.
I give it:
2.5 / 3 Quacks!

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