During my years of playing first person shooters I doubt there was a game that had a better ”scary atmosphere” than Aliens vs Predator 1. The concept is fairly simple, three races aren’t very fond of each other and wouldn’t mind exterminating the others. There are the good old marines, with regular fancy high-tech weapons, a portable radar and the physics we’re accustomed to. There are the drooling black aliens we know from the infamous movies. And last but not least there’s the insanely robust and for not to say butch Predators, the ones who jump around and go invisible on you. If you’ve seen the movies you should have a good impression of how they look etc.
A very good feature is Aliens vs Predator 2’s excellent storyline, which unfolds in a way that makes the cut-scenes rewarding, and of course exciting.
It didn’t take me too many days to complete the marine missions, but I must admit that they are also the easiest, while the predator mission are the hardest, and the alien mission somewhere in the middle.
A lot has certainly changed since the first of the Aliens vs Predator games. Most importantly has the graphics been very nicely updated and you can see a lot of effects that just wouldn’t have been possible in the original game. For instance, in cut-scenes where you see the marines, you can even see their eyelids closing and opening. I must admit that they look a tad thick, but it’s really a step in the right direction.
During the installation you’re asked what kind of specs your machine has, and you can choose your level of detail depending on that.
One of the things I like a lot in a first person shooter is a good “shooting feeling”, meaning if you shoot something, it doesn’t just explode or whatever. It was like that in Soldier of Fortune, and luckily also in Aliens vs Predator 2.
The characters all look modelled and textured, also very fluid animation, just as you would expect from a company of that size. The weapons (which there are quite a few cool ones of) also look good, work well and are nicely modelled. One thing that annoyed me a bit is that it’s sometimes hard to aim one of the machine guns because of the “fire” it makes. Regardless, many fun ways to gib your enemy.
The music / sounds:
One of the things that made Aliens vs Predator 1 a scary experience for a lot of people was the great background music. There’s really nothing like sneaking around in corridors with small amounts of health, just knowing an alien is waiting for you, of course with excellent scary music in the background. Even after just having played a few hours of the marine missions I had made my decision about the music, what a pile of... excellent music! “Thank you Sierra ” was what I thought, as I turned the volume up a notch.
Continuing with the sounds. Great voice acting during the game and the animation sequences. Your commander in chief sounds like a tough guy, you being Mr Hero also sound like Hollywood material and the “obviously” gorgeous chicks sound like beautiful, yet smart women.
The minigun really sounds like it’s tearing up flesh while it’s in fact doing so. The predator claws sound fierce and the aliens scream just nicely. That’s just a few examples, but I could go on and on.
I suppose when anyone starts playing a first person shooter you’re accustomed to your W A S D control, and that’s pretty much it. In Aliens vs Predator 2 however the learning curve is a bit longer. Why you ask? Well, you have 3 races, meaning 3 different sets of keys to use. The marine and the predator controls are pretty much the same, since you basically just run around shooting things, jumping around and using various vision modes. The alien however is a challenge. Not only do you have the perfect camouflage for a nightly hunt, but also you have the ability to crawl in the ceiling and basically attack when the prey least expects it.
The problem is just that you’re not a weird dinosaur that can spit poison; you’re a fairly weak creature that can attack with two claws and a tail, and do great damage.
Even though the keys can be somewhat confusing at first you do have these small popups that give you hints as to how to use them. Luckily, since there aren’t training missions.
All in all, all the characters are relatively easy to use and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Many modes, deathmatch, team deathmatch, hunt (one player is the hunter and the rest are preys. If a prey kills a hunter they both respawn and exchange roles.), survivor (the game starts in tag mode where it’s every man for himself. The first person killed becomes a mutant and the game moves on to survivor mode. During this mode survivors becomes mutants if they kill themselves of by mutants. Rounds are over when all the survivors are dead. The person with the highest score wins), overrun (team based combat where one team are Defenders. The defenders try to stay alive for a specified amount of time, and if one or more of them are alive when the time runs out the Defenders score one point. If not the other team gets a point.), evac (team based where the evacuation team tried to get to a certain extraction point and stay there for a small amount of time. If they do so, they win the round. If the time runs out the other team wins.)
There are a lot of servers online, so there shouldn’t be any problem finding someone to gib.
The only downside I can think of is that there aren’t any bots, which is really sad for us people who are still on a modem.
Score: 9 of 10.
I have to say that this is a really good game with great graphics, great missions, great music, great sounds, good gameplay and MANY ways to play it against humans. This is game that really gives you a lot of bang for your buck, and I recommend it for anyone looking for a healthy adrenaline rush!