Aliens Versus Predator (Windows)

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Written by  :  Ben Swan (3)
Written on  :  Jun 01, 2002
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

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Get past the message-boardish title, and you'll find possibly the best movie-to-game conversion ever.

The Good

"They're all over us...get that transport here *now*! There's to.....any of them! They're swarming..... What the?! Why are they....treating!? Shi........" The above static-filled radio message illustrates two things. First, the dramatic, sweat-drenched tension that defines both the movies (Alien, Aliens and Predator) and the game. Second, of course, a chance encounter of the game's three sides; the xenomorphs (aliens), marines, and the predators. Although the game's title may sound like a never-ending message board debate (or gamespy grudge), these two famous sci-fi universes blend together almost seamlessly. Main changes are that now the Corporation’s genetic experiments now include the vicious predator, creating the somewhat slow but unbelievably durable PredAlien. Besides that is the addition of the minigun the marine's arsenal, and a few logical modifications. Now, on to gameplay. The game is divided into three campaigns, one for each race. Each is about five or six missions long (doubled in the gold edition, which includes a save feature and added missions for each race based on missions from one of the other races campaigns). The missions are fairly large and the game is long enough overall to be quite satisfying. They are also well constructed, properly re-creating the claustrophobic, almost maze-like environments of the movies. They are, naturally, quite dark (light wise), but, thankfully, each race has an appropriate solution. Speaking of the races, each is authentically recreated from the movies with a few logical additions to allow for fps play, but all are designed to be appropriate for the race. This quality also applies to the HUD/interface for each race. The alien interface is extremely simple (just a blue-white health bar at the bottom of the screen), helping with the natural killer feel. The marine's is more conventional, sporting health, armor, and ammo meters in the usual spots. Finally, the predator has a sort of tribal feel to it, but still sci-fi. But how do the races play? Very well, thank you. All of the weapons are here (from alien head bite to predator shoulder cannon), plus a few extras. They are both well modeled and well balanced. The races themselves are fairly well balanced, but the predator is naturally the easiest, followed by the marine, and finally the alien, with their (relatively) delicate nature, can challenge even the most experienced fps player. Gameplay style varies appropriately for each race, along with mission styles, which are strung together in a loose but still interesting campaign. Finally, the graphics. They are excellent for the era, and still look good today. All of the special effects are quite good, especially the different visual modes. The colours and textures are pretty drab, but I suppose they fit in with the environment.

The Bad

Without in-mission saves (you have to download a patch or buy the gold edition), it can be extremely tough to beat. Also, the FMV mission briefings are indecently bad, particularly the marines ones, which give the distinct impression the Lister from the sitcom Red Dwarf is your CO. The enemy AI is tolerable, but the predator tends to just stand there and attack intermittently. Aside from that, there really isn't much to complain about.

The Bottom Line

Bottomline: A good game for anyone, but a great game for any serious fan of the two movie series.