Aliens Versus Predator

aka: AVP, Aliens vs. Predator
Moby ID: 1127
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Description official descriptions

Aliens Versus Predator is a sci-fi first-person shooter based on the associated two film franchises. The game has three playable species, and each has its own single-player campaign with different missions and plotlines.

  • Aliens - Their only weapons are their own body parts: claws for close combat, their deadly tail, and their inner mouth that can crack through an enemy's skull (for an instant kill) if close enough. They are deadly at close range, and can heal by eating corpses or the heads of unsuspecting enemies. They can't be hurt through falls, and an alternate vision mode allows them to see clearly ahead through darkness. Their strength lies in flexibility and speed, and an ability to cling to walls and run along any surface - allowing a skilled player to escape or ambush from literally any 3D direction.
  • Humans - U.S. Marines, as portrayed by Michael Biehn in the film 'Aliens'. Marines have strong firepower that ranges from the self-tracking SmartGun, all the way to rocket launchers and devastating six-barrel miniguns (as seen in 'Predator'). The Marines are the most familiar species to play as, with the gameplay style of typical FPS hero. However, their frailty at close range, and missions that leave them stranded, alone, surrounded by bloodthirsty extraterrestrials, make their experience closer to survival horror.
  • Predators - Their power is their strength, and their sight. They have at least four ways of seeing the environment - standard vision, heat vision (highlighting Marines), electromagnetic vision (highlighting Aliens), and "Pred-Tech" (for highlighting fellow Predators and their technology). Their weapons are the most precise, deadly, and ranged of those in the game, being ideally suited to stealth-based gameplay. Predators also have the ability to zoom their view in and out when seeking someone, thus allowing them to snipe from afar. Their cloaking ability also renders them nearly invisible to enemy Marines.

There are several multiplayer modes. For a difficult game, you can pit all the players against the horde of computer creatures (which includes experimental robotic Aliens and tough Predalien hybrids). Alternatively, players can choose their favorite species and face each other in an arena-style deathmatch.

Spellings

  • 异形对铁血战士 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

116 People (64 developers, 52 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 38 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 69 ratings with 6 reviews)

Near Great FPS

The Good
Rather than recreating scenes from the movies this game inspires, this game recreates the feelings from the movies. As the Marine, the feeling is fear. Walking slowly through an abandoned space station, relying on the motion detector to give you enough warning, wondering how close those Aliens really are. As the Predator, the feeling is power. Knowing you can't be seen because you are cloaked, seeing the heat signatures of the Marines against a blue background, zooming in on your prey's face before your shoulder cannon removes it. And the Alien, there is no feeling. No joy at watching brave Marines run from you, no fear as you go head to head against a Predator. Just a cold, relentless push to protect the Hive.

The Bad
For me, a game has always been a vehicle to tell a story. This game has no story to tell. Missions seem loosely linked together and ingame objectives are often unclear. A vital patch allows players to save ingame, although only three times (varies according to difficulty level). Most missions involve going from Point A to distant Point Z with much button pushing and airduct crawling.

This game fails in that has too many genre cliches. Weapons and power-ups are found in random, meaningless locations. Health meters, with some exceptions, take away from the "realism". While this game has good graphics, the inability to interact with surroundings detracts from the setting. Also, enemy bodies disappear seconds after they die, which is due to the limitations of the engine, but makes one feel that they just took on a pack of Jedi.

Finally, AND POSSIBLE SPOILER, while the Predator and Marine get to go against the Alien Queen at the end of their sequences, the Alien gets jack, and only five levels to the Marine and Predator's six.

The Bottom Line
Good first person shooter that just can't escape the fps cliches. A stronger plot and varied gameplay would have made this a classic. Would not recommend except at a discount price and make sure you download the patch!!!

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5397) · 2001

Great capture of each movie's feel, but get the sequel if you want a solid game.

The Good
Possibly the coolest "new" monsters to have sprung out of hollywood in the 80's and 90's, both aliens and the predator managed to get themselves into lots of movie-licensed crap that tried to cash in on their popularity, yet in the world of videogames, it wasn't until this game came out that a true emulation of each movie's feel and ambience was reached. Not on the original AVP, not on Alien Trilogy, and certainly not on the old NES Predator game.

The game is filled with visual and aureal hallmarks from each movie, with trademark sounds like the familiar hiss of an alien, the whirrrr-like sound of the colonial marine's pulse rifle, the predator's weird jaw-clenching sound and a graphics engine that delivers really good graphics with great lightning effects (a must since the game puts a heavy emphasis on dark locales and the use of alternate viewing modes).

The game offers three well-defined playing styles for each species, making for a nice premise in which to develop a game. The Marine is the most average character and plays like a standard fps character, with standard weapons health/armor indicators, etc. However playing with the marine will be anything but a soothing experience even to experienced players thanks to the game's disposition to put you in completely nerve-wrecking situations. You'll fight through dark corridors swarming with never-ending hordes of super-fast aliens that pop up from anywhere (like that nice little vent above you) with a perfect re-creation of the movie's motion detector to add to the tension and rather ineffective night vision aids to help spook you out. It's Doom 3 baby!!

The alien plays like an assassin-like character, with a simple interface and low health, but with a lightning-fast speed and agility, and the ability to climb on ceilings and walls to remain undetected. Certainly offering the game's most original and entertaining gaming experience, while the Predator plays like a souped-up version of the standard fps character, with additions like vision modes for every situation, cloaking capabilities, auto-targeting weapons, etc. etc. Clearly the most cheater (though satisfying in it's superiority) character to play with.

Furthermore, the game gives you multiplayer options, a skirmish (aka survival) game mode, and the chance to play the other species levels as a bonus when you finish with each character as well as an option to unlock secret cheats that change gameplay by say, putting all your enemies on fire, put disco music, give every character a giant head, etc. etc.

The Bad
As good as the gameplay premise and the capture of the licensed material's spirit is. The game feels like an empty shell to me. First of all there is no story whatsoever to the game, there is some garbage about getting out alive for the marine, avenging a fallen comrade for the predator and protecting your hive as the alien, but it's merely a sketchy excuse to tie the levels together.

Fine by me, right? At least the gameplay's good! Sorry but no.

The gameplay may be intense, but save for the case of the alien, it grows boring pretty fast. Both the marine and the predator are nerve-wrecking corridor-crawling, and sniping-sneaking experiences sure, but there's no npcs to interact with, no Half Life-like set-pieces, no clever level progression, no-nothing, gameplay boils down to just go flick the switch/get the key, exit the level, and try to survive in the middle. And the additional gameplay modes only dwell in the same concepts.

Such a throwback to the ancient ways of fps gaming led me to believe that the designers focussed on creating a near-perfect emulation of the movies, but when it came down to put that "spirit" on a game they just run out of ideas! That is why I feel this game is like a soul without a body, a diamond that has yet to be cutted, an idea without a game. Guess they just didn't have time and saved the "game" for the sequel.

Also, on a minor note for those that are really picky, there are some still not-perfect things when it comes down to the rendition of the movies, like the predator's view-mode change, or the lack of some of his weapons (spear, netgun, etc.) plus while I understand that the level design focuses on the Alien trilogy of movies due to the more identifiable landmarks (Nostromo, Sulaco, Fury41, etc.) I don't see why they didn't try to capture any of the jungle-hunting that made Predator so good. There's no jungle to speak of in the game, and they failed to emulate the predator's hopping and jumping around like in the movie.

Regarding the lack of an in-game saving option I am just going to say that the developers have some nerve to release a game like this (where it can all be over in a couple of seconds just because you didn't see that cloaked predator or an alien got the drop on you) without one, and NO, I'm not happy with the patch, stop trying to tell me when or how I should save my games, you stupid a-holes!!!!!!

The Bottom Line
When you focus so much on a certain aspect of a game sometimes you tend to leave things out, and that's just what happened to this game. They concentrated on the graphics and sounds and whatnot and they left out... well, the game!! Don't get me wrong, the game offers solid entertainment, but lacks that cohesiveness that makes a game a unique experience.

However there is a solution for this: Aliens Vs Predator 2, which does remember to include a unique gaming experience to ensure it's worth.

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2002

A 2020 Review - Aliens Versus Predator (PC, 1999)

The Good
- Fun, chaotic multiplayer. Offers multiple game modes. - Controlling the Alien feels crazy and is entertaining enough just running around the walls and ceiling. - Predator's vision modes is a really cool feature to play with, and is something we don't see enough of in modern games. - Nostalgic for some.

The Bad
- Confusing, dark, bland environment that runs together and makes navigation difficult at times. - Non-existent storyline and narrative. - Amateurish voice-acting. - With multiplayer being the primary source of value, there are very few available games online. Most often, none to be found. - Bare-bones, ugly UI.

The Bottom Line
A 2020 Review - Aliens Versus Predator (PC, 1999)

Score: 3/10 Mediocrity Score: Makes Mediocrity Look Good.

After twenty-one years, this once great action shooter fails to entertain. If only Aliens Versus Predator were as thrilling, exciting, and tight-playing as it was back in 1999 when it was released. Today it's dim, dark, and bland; being more of a mess than it's worth.

Tags: A few words or tags that come to mind are: dark, disorienting, multiplayer, unpolished.

Avg. Time to beat: 6.5 hours Quickest Speedrun: 1.2 hours

Retail Price: $5 Lowest Historical Price on Steam: $1.24

Quick Take: I'm not going to sugar-coat it; the years between now and 1999, when Alien Versus Predator was released, have not been kind. Graphics, textures, lighting, sounds, UI, AI, and everything else unmentioned have all vastly improved during that time. All of this will become incredibly apparent as soon as you launch the game. AVP became a LAN party cult classic of the early 2000s through its chaotic multiplayer deathmatch. Players could compete between Aliens, Predators, and Colonial Marines (a fancy-pants name for Humans). Unique for its time, each race is completely different. Rather it be weapon selection, visual-modes, tools, or movement speed, each playable-race requires a different strategy and approach. It makes for a crazed deathmatch experience. Each race also has its own campaign to play through along with several bonus levels. Today, the majority of what made Aliens Versus Predator such a standout game of 1999 has been washed away. The improvements in gameplay, technical design/engineering, story, and multiplayer experience have all long since improved offering more than what was possible at the time. The AVP franchise has also seen more releases since '99 which have each sought to improve upon the original title. In 2020, AVP is more interesting as a retro-museum of what once was rather than a competent game worth your time. It's interesting on a component level, but not as a whole.

Pros: - Fun, chaotic multiplayer. Offers multiple game modes. - Controlling the Alien feels crazy and is entertaining enough just running around the walls and ceiling. - Predator's vision modes is a really cool feature to play with, and is something we don't see enough of in modern games. - Nostalgic for some.

Cons: - Confusing, dark, bland environment that runs together and makes navigation difficult at times. - Non-existent storyline and narrative. - Amateurish voice-acting. - With multiplayer being the primary source of value, there are very few available games online. Most often, none to be found. - Bare-bones, ugly UI.

Concept: Leaving humans out of the name, Aliens Versus Predator pits the two Hollywood beasts against each other as well as the Colonial Marines in a triple-sided deathmatch. Each race gets its own multiple-mission, multiple-map singleplayer campaign.

Graphics: Unfortunately, not all components of a game age as well as one another. In many regards, It was behind the times even for 1999. With repetitive texture and object re-use, variety in colors being very low, and the brightness-bar being either strongly too low or too high - it results in a disorientating. Part of this is to permit for a bigger "woah!"-factor when using the different vision-modes that either of the alien-races have. Both modes require a dark setting for ideal wow-ing. 

Sound: There's a key mapping for releasing a loud taunt for players who choose to join as either an Alien or Predator. It makes for a really thematic screech or hiss, depending on which alien species you select. Each race has a distinctive set of noises it emanates. From weapons, to tools, grunts and even footsteps all have different sounds than their other opponents - be it Marines, Predators, or Aliens. Adequate if not good across the board.

Gameplay: Mixed. Often a negative and frustrating experience. Too frequent did I feel disoriented and lost as to what to do or where to go next. Sometimes for an hour of hunting high and low for a button to press or lever to pull which would allow me to progress further. Until, of course, I find myself trapped in another exercise along with a very similar problem.

Entertainment: Campaign provides little more than a proving grounds in which you can practice against AI. The most enjoyable and exciting part of AVP is its online multiplayer deathmatch. While still flawed, it provides for fast-paced rounds that are a chaotic and fun experience worth having. 

Replayability: Only in its online multiplayer. Its singleplayer campaign is painful enough to finish just once. I'd pass on reinstalling this, really.

---Full Review Below---

In 1999, the gaming industry as a whole was perceived as being incapable of creating a successful movie-to-game adaptation. Fox Interactive took a roll of the dice with Rebellion Developments in creating the original Alien Vs. Predator (Atari Jaguar, 1994). This risk paid off to much acclaim. Expanding on this success, Fox chose Rebellion again when creating a version for PC. Planned releases for Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation fell through before launch.

AVP became a LAN party cult classic of the early 2000s through its chaotic multiplayer deathmatch. Players could compete between Aliens, Predators, and Colonial Marines (a fancy-pants name for Humans). Unique for its time, each race is completely different. Rather it be weapon selection, visual-modes, tools, or movement speed, each playable-race requires a different strategy and approach. Aliens have a wider vision and can speed across walls and ceilings. Predators can switch between three vision-modes: thermal infrared, night-vision, and Alien-vision. They can cloak themselves with invisibility and can self-heal, both at a cost of energy. Colonial Marines' primary perk is having a lot of guns and explosives to hurl at their foes. They also have a motion sensor, but it is mostly just there for cool 90's vibes. All combined, it makes for a crazed deathmatch experience. Unfortunately, online matches or servers are becoming rarer and rarer. Often going long stretches with none available. One way to get matches (outside of your personal friends) is to subscribe to the discussion forum in Steam. Announcing it as a scheduled event would provide others an opportunity to plan on playing in advance. Otherwise, it's a game of chance rather you find anyone playing or not.

The bulk of the content is in its singleplayer campaigns. Having three of them, each is designed with a specific playable-race in mind. The Colonial Marine missions are the most comfortable to start with due to likely having the most familiar feeling gameplay. A style similar to the original Doom (PC, 1993). Marines are all about their expansive assortment of weaponry. The Marine campaign begins at a research station studying where the first Alien eggs were encountered. The main goal is to wipe out the Aliens before they make their way to Earth. The Predator campaign feels the most powerful and is the easiest to complete. It is by far the strongest physically and stays truest to the films. Bringing us to three different planets, the main goal in this campaign is to hunt and kill both marines and Aliens. The Alien path by far the most abstract as well as most frustrating. It includes one of the coolest movement mechanics being able to run on the walls and ceilings. It's fast and can drop its opponents with speed. Playing as the Alien is a disorienting experience. When navigating, the walls, floor, and ceiling can look too similar. Add fast movements and tight corridors and it becomes a bit difficult to navigate the map. It can be nauseating. The Aliens are meant to induce confusion and panic, not experience it when you play as one. It's unfortunate that in practice it turned out this way. Your main goal as an Alien is to go from the xenomorph hive and infiltrate Earth by making your way onto an Earth-bound ship as a stowaway.

Rebellion was going for a particular aesthetic. By going with a dark, ominous setting would best show off certain components of the game. Things like Predator's vision-modes or the Alien-vision. Low light sources and limited flares - amping up the thrill and suspense. Logical on paper, in execution it muddied the visuals and made for a very dim experience. Some doors only open from switches or buttons. Many of which are not easy to distinguish from other decorations on the wall. Textures are too overused. It results in a particularly bland and repetitive appearance. It's disorientating as it all begins to look the same. With no guidance or direction provided, it's led me to watching map guides out of frustration. Play as the Alien, and it only becomes worse as the ceilings and walls further blend. Is this hallway a left or a right? Is this where I just came from or was I walking on that wall when I came through?

Providing for a quality audio experience for most of the game. The voice acting was the exception to this. It's atrocious. They could have done much better. It came off as campy and did not match the tone of the game. The ability to screech or taunt your foes at the click of a button is cool. It can either lure or scare them away, although I never quite got this to work how I expected.

Overlooked in its day, Aliens Versus Predator was left in the shadow of bigger, more notable games like Unreal, Half-Life, Quake 3 Arena, and Deus Ex. It's not that AVP was bad, it just wasn't as good. I went ahead and reinstalled each of those games, as well as a few other titles from the era (Thief II, Hexen II, Systems Shock II, and Delta Force II). I wanted to see first hand how they compared at a quick glance. Plain and simple - the vast majority of the games from that time had more to offer. AVP was a fascinating concept game for its time. It had great multiplayer deathmatches. New and differing gameplay features for each playable race as well as the best thrill value at the time. But it had little else to offer. It brought some innovative touches to a genre that was still new and burgeoning. But longevity and future-proofing? AVP falls short.

Today, the majority of what made Aliens Versus Predator such a standout game in 1999 has been washed away. It fails to pack enough to punch through the advances in game development and hardware since its release 21 years ago. The multiplayer is its only saving grace, and only rarely can you find anyone online playing. LAN party throwback at best. AVP is more interesting as a retro-museum of what once was rather than a game experience worth your time.

Overall - in 2020, this is not a good game. It doesn't do its legacy any justice. It used to be a LAN party hit, with everyone being excited to play. Now it rarely gets brought up and it never gets picked. The multiplayer is still fun, but I'm not sure it's "$4.99-fun". If it goes on sale, and you have a group of friends interested in doing deathmatch - I'd say it would be a worthwhile laugh. A throwback to how multiplayer games once were.

Thanks for reading!

Windows · by WONDERなパン (16797) · 2020

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

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Free on GOG.com for 48 h chirinea (47507) Oct 15, 2014

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Aliens Versus Predator appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Demos

There were three different demos released for the game before it was released, a seperate demo for each of the three species.

German Version

Banned in Germany for extreme violence.

Multiplayer

Unlike most First person Shooters at the time, Aliens vs. Predator uses a peer to peer system for multiplayer instead of a client / server system. This particularity has been known to cause quite a lot of problem with online gaming, even if the game played fine on a LAN.

Predator Vision

The game's system for the predator's multiple vision modes, where they can see humans or aliens but not both at the same time, was eventually adopted into the feature film Alien vs. Predator.

Soundtrack

The second, "soundtrack" disc of AvP is actually an expanded version of James Horner's soundtrack for the movie Aliens. In addition to several unreleased pieces, there are also alternate and extended versions of tracks that are on the official movie soundtrack. The full listing for AvP disc 2 is:

1) Main Title (4:01)

2) Bad Dreams (5:28)

3) Dark Discovery/Newt's Horror (4:10)

4) LV-426 (5:11)

5) Combat Drop (5:03)

6) The Complex (4:45)

7) Atmosphere Station (4:33)

8) Med. Lab (5:42)

9) Newt (4:17)

10) Sub-Level 3 (3:56)

11) Ripley's Rescue (5:33)

12) Face Huggers (3:45)

13) Futile Escape (5:39)

14) Newt is Taken (5:11)

15) Going After Newt (4:35)

Information also contributed by ClydeFrog, Cochonou, Kalirion and phlux

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Game added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Alan Chan, Cochonou, Unicorn Lynx, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added March 23, 2000. Last modified May 17, 2024.