Rebellion Software made the original AVP games back in the day on PC, and they were popular. REALLY popular. And so, when we heard Rebellion were reviving this game, we all licked our lips in anticipation. And the final result is.......mixed.
The sad thing about this game is that there are flashes of gaming genius in here, really top quality ideas that have been spoilt by, it would seem, pure laziness. Every single element of the game can be split into brilliant and poor, with no in between.
The story is identical to the AVP film. Humans find Predator pyramid with Aliens inside, release Aliens, Predators get cross and.......fight. And the story is the first good vs bad element. The three indivual stories for each species are really rather good, but you never feel as though they are three sides of THE SAME story. Rarely will you say "Ohhhhhh, that's why that happened when i was a Marine", and there's no fighting a boss battle, say, from each side. It's a missed opportunity.
Graphically, the game generally does well, with some good explosion effects, cracking level design and brilliantly graphic deaths. Predator trophy kills are wonderfully gruesome, as are Alien harvesting, but these also frustrate, as the control system is so picky that pulling these off is often difficult.
Enemy AI is similarly two-faced. First the good-the Alien AI is BRILLIANT. This is how Aliens should behave. They constantly run in the shadows, seek to attack you from unseen angles, and run at you when you least expect it. Rebellion have got this bang on, and fighting them is truly terrifying. And then there's the Marine AI. Utter rubbish. During firefights, they will take 'cover' in full view of your Predator target reticule, allowing you to pick them off. As you would expect then, the most fun is to be had as a Marine. Wandering the corridors of the colony with nothing but a torch and a pistol will scare you to death, and although the later levels aren't quite so scary, they're all pretty good.
Sound is the biggest area of good vs bad though. With this kind of game you expect the sounds from the films; the screams of the Aliens, the airy churn of the Marines' pulse rifles, the weapons sounds of Predator. They all sound truly ace. And the music is gung ho and atmospheric in perfect quantity, really fun to play along to-watch out for the nighclub scene-amazing. But then you have to put up with the voice acting, with three different voice actors saying "Don't relax just yet marines" over and over. Play Chronicles of Riddick or Uncharted 2 for how good voice acting should sound, and you'll see.
Multiplayer is quite a laugh, and although online battles tend to favour the Predator, the different races do make for some intriguing battles.
Overall, this game is fun enough to keep your interest, but scary levels and great music won't hide the shoddy aspects of the game. They won't spoil your experience too much and this is worth a good play, but it's a good game that could, and should have been great. Rebellion, make the next one, and ramp it up!