Welcome one and all to the first and soon to be many review by me Justin your everyday gaming nerd. I’ll be giving out my honest and sometimes brutal judgement of video games for the X-Box 360.
What shall be the first game you ask? Let’s find out shall we?
Aliens vs. Predator
Now for those who are old enough to remember Fox Interactive with developer Rebellion had already released a game with the same title back in April of 1999. The game became quite the hit with fps fans. So much so that it produced a sequel Aliens versus Predator 2 and its expansion: Primal Hunt. So one would think that with the success of the original PC version that a newly revamped for a modern audience would be just as impressive, right? Well maybe with this review you’ll start to see the truth of it all.
Now don’t get me wrong here. The game simply looks beautiful. From the lush jungle scenes to the wasted facilities, the graphics are truly awe inspiring. The way the game can lights when you’re in the predator’s view to the aura almost tunnel vision of the aliens the game can offer you one hell of a visual stimuli. But not all is well in AVP it does have some kinks in it armour. A very noticeable downfall of this current revamp of the franchise is as follows; after spending an hour or two looking around things seem to be a bit bland. It’s as thought Rebellion just wanted to play with gray, yellow and the occasional green. The game’s look will keep that smile on your face as long as you play it in short burst. Play it for over two hours the visuals just looses its lustre.
The game truly doesn’t stray all that far from the original mold in the aural stimuli department. It really does stay true to the film with the sounds of the marine plasma rifle, the shrieks of when you fire upon those foul alien cretins all the way down to when you get that satisfying first kill as the predator. The voice acting can rival most big name franchises. The music is quite solid and suits the game just fine. Don’t expect it to move you or have that full blown orchestrated experience like how one can find in the Halo or Modern Warfare franchise but good none the less.
Now it comes down to what everyone truly cares about. How this all feels in your hands. Let’s break this off into the a few categories here. We’ll start off with the marines.
When playing as the marines you take role of the Rookie is who looking for his missing team, As such the colonial marines are equipped with the legendary pulse rifle with a grenade launcher attachment, shoulder mounted flashlight motion radar, and flares to brighten those extra dark places (only available in single player campaign) along the way you find the generic ensemble of weaponry you would most likely find in any fps, shotgun variation of gantline gun. Flamethrower etc… One of the added features is that if you ever wounded in the game you’re able to equip and use a stim packs to refill your health., and thank go for those packs because you’ll soon realize that marine are terribly underpowered in the campaign and even online.. If you don’t stay in a group you’ll easily be picked off and demolished by the other to races.
Tips for online:
Never stray from your team. It’s best to play with people you can trust.
If you see a shotgun or motion tracking gantline gun GRAB IT. It’s going to help prolong your life… if only for a few seconds.
Next on the chopping block are the Aliens. If any of you have ever played the original games you’ll remember how at times it could be quite frustrating playing these serpent-like creatures. Think it improved? Don’t hold your breath. You’ll find yourself dazed and confused at when you jump from floor to ceiling the dizzying camera shifts can get irritating when you’re being shot by CPU or other players. But it’s not all rainy and depressing for the Xenomorphs. You have the distinct speed advantage and are quite quiet surprisingly so if your opponents are not paying attention to their tracking devices you can get the sneak on them. Also the killing blows you get can be gruesomely gratifying. The story for single player is dry and uninspiring. Not worth mentioning…..let’s move on shall we?
Tips for online:
If stalking a marine beware of their motion tracker. Try to outthink them. They will most likely look at the floors and ceilings first so try creeping around walls or corners before moving in for the kill.
Last but certainly not least. We have the predator. The bad mofo has probably the best storyline of all three of them. Also there is always something quite satisfying re-enacting the chest explosion Jesse “the Body” Ventura gets in the film while repeating “I don’t got time to bleed.” One of the extra you get from being the hunter besides the multi vision mask that allows to spot all your prey is the pounce feature. This nifty little trick lets you jump to high places….at tines, sometimes you can jump a great length or height (like twenty feet into the air) other times you’ll be lucky if you can even get off the ground (so it feels). You also get the cloaking which works just fine offline, you jump in the worl of XBL well….most of your opponents know how to looks at a radar and see a seven foot blur charging at then.
Tips for online:
Just because you can attack a close ranger doesn’t mean you should. You have an arsenal of long range weapons, use them!
They may see your cloaking field up close but you’re in the clear if you attack from far…..Get the picture already?
You get the standard team deathmatch, death. But the saving grace and most likely the main source of entertainment will come from the other two game types:
Infestation: Where a player starts off as a Xenomorph and tries to conform the marines to spread the carnage.
Predator Hunt: Think of it as a ultra violent version of tag. You lurk around hunting your prey to ahem…..tag them so they can then take a turn at the violence.
There is also AVP’s version of a horde mode, where you fend off waves of creepy crawlers. There are only two maps but for the first few times it can still surprise you how fun and eerie they can be.
Is the online and gory death blows enough to sustain a buy? Though there is promise in the game it just has too much of the same burden from the ‘99 release. I strongly recommend renting this game then return to your everyday life of T-bagging noobs in Halo and Modern Warfare.