Feb 222010
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

If I had to guess why the recently released ‘Aliens vs. Predator’ was titled such, it would have to be because the one campaign is so glitched out beyond belief you’d wonder why it’s even in the game.

Obviously, the game is titled “Aliens vs. Predator” because of the film it’s inspired from. As a fanboy of both film franchises, I had been looking forward to this game since last summer, so I was excited when that I was to receive an early copy of Rebellion Games’ “AvP” to review.

This game isn’t bad by any means; it’s just not great. So let’s start with the basics before getting too in-depth.
The “Aliens vs. Predator” storyline is similar to that of “Batman: Arkham Asylum” in that while it doesn’t follow any specific film (thank God), it does stay true to its roots.

The game has three different campaigns –– Alien, Predator and Marine –– that all cover the same storyline and eventually overlap. Not to give too much away, but they all start with the same cut scene of Charles Weyland (voiced by Lance Hendriksen) of Weyland-Yutani about to breach the wall of one of the Predator temples on a foreign planet.

As soon as the breach occurs, something goes wrong, and that’s where each campaign starts its own unique opening cut scene and eventual forced tutorial.

This game is all in first person, and that’s where its first big fault comes. Both the Alien and Predator campaigns are based on melee combat, which is hard to achieve from a first person point of view. The melee attacks are slow and leave you vulnerable. The Predator does get some ranged weapons, but they eventually make the game too easy.

What Rebellion did get right with this first person melee combat was the fatalities. Like I said earlier, this game holds very true to its roots from the respective franchises.

Both the Alien and the Predator have a variety of fatalities that come at random when prompted to press the appropriate button. From ripping a human’s skull and spinal cord from its body to the Alien’s small mouth tearing right through a forehead, it’s all there.

As far as the Marine campaign goes, it’s a standard first person shooter in tight corridors (think Doom III), trying to fight off waves of primarily Xenomorphs.

For me, though, the Marine campaign killed the game due to the glitches.

Until I eventually got stuck due to a non-responsive non-player character trapping herself in a room with my player, giving no order other than to pick up a gun, there were so many texture errors. It was sad.

The game already did a poor job detailing any textures, but everywhere you look in the Marine campaign you’ll find purple polygons covering non-physics programmed surfaces. This indicates the texture the game is supposed to be showing cannot be found (like downloading a custom Counter-Strike map that didn’t supply all of the textures in the .zip file, so when you test it live you get that purple and black checkerboard).

I’m sorry, but that’s too much to overlook, even with the Feb. 16 patch.

The game also has a multiplayer feature with six game types and six maps. While the team death match, especially playing Alien vs. Predator vs. Human, is fun for a while, it gets a little one-sided with how much better the Predator is with his cloaking, thermal and Alien vision.

Also, when you level up, there’s no unlocking new abilities, only new skins.

In the end, this game is fun for a while. It holds true to both the “Alien and Predator” franchises, which will make fanboys love it.

The game is a big step up from either of the films –– “AvP: Alien vs. Predator” (2004) and “AvPR: Alien vs. Predator Requiem” (2007) –– but still finds self-inflicted faults at every corner.

Unless you’re an avid fan, spend $7 at the local video store and rent this one, beat it in 10 hours and then take it back.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:50 pm

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