The original Aliens vs. Predator game from 1999 is a classic. It’s reincarnation from 2010 bears the same name, but does it have the same qualities as its predecessor? Let us take a look at the latest addition (so far) to the Aliens vs. Predators franchise.
The general look and feel
In general, the game does not insult. However, it leaves players with the feeling that it should have been released a year or two earlier. The graphics look fine, but are lacking behind some of the other first person shooters that were released even few years earlier – such as Crysis for example. The same is true for gameplay. Though, it would be unfair to say that AvP looks and plays bad. Basically the only thing I disliked about Aliens vs. Predator was the checkpoint system for saving the game.
On the other hand, sounds and music fit the AvP environment very well, especially when playing as a marine. Fans of the Alien and Predator franchises will love this aspect of the game. Each campaign is unique and offers different play style. Of course, there is possibility to play online with your friends and there is also a single player survival mode to keep you occupied a while longer. Also, I recommend you take a closer look at the paragraphs dedicated to each particular campaign, screenshots and other info before you decide to buy or doom 2010’s Aliens vs. Predators.
Playing as the marine
The marine campaign will probably be the favorite for many, same as it was for me. You will have the feeling that you are in a movie. This can be a lot of fun at first. The game guides you through everything and the atmosphere is intense at times. Music, interior design and different sounds you hear play a vital role in keeping you thrilled. Particularly the beeping of movement detector adds a lot of excitement into AvP. You do not know where exactly the aliens are and often cannot see the alien getting ready to snack on you, but you know they are coming. You get worried and start trying to point the flashlight into every dark corner. Sometimes, you will even get a panic attack and try to make a run for it.
The only thing that can spoil the experience at times is the checkpoint system for saving the game. This causes rather frustrating moments when you have to repeat the same route again and again – it is very easy to get killed even on normal difficulty and I did tend to die quite often at some places just before the next checkpoint. The aliens will always appear only after you have crossed a certain invisible points. Also, you will always have to repeat the same tasks at the same places when replaying that particular section of the mission.
As far as weapons are concerned, there is not much of a choice. You have a pistol with unlimited ammo and sometimes pulse rifle and shotgun usually lacking any ammo. Every weapon has a secondary firing mode and is effective in different situations. Well, the pistol is hopelessly ineffective against full-grown aliens at any given time. Yet, it will likely be your most used weapon in marine campaign of Aliens vs. Predator.
Marine’s campaign was rather simple, atmospheric and often chaotic first person shooter. Predator on the other hand will usually rely on stealth and his melee weapons. Melee combat is not exactly the most attractive part of PC version of Aliens vs. Predator. However, it can be fun once you get used to the idea of first person melee and hopping around on trees and rooftops.
The checkpoint system did not seem much of a problem in Predator’s campaign though. I only died once. Humans pose almost no threat as they follow player’s deceptive calls to the dark places like sheep. Aliens seem to die rather willingly too. The situations from marine’s campaign when I shot up to 2 or 3 pistol magazines into one alien while running backwards have never occurred with Predator. All it takes is point in the right direction and click the mouse few times in a row. Game does the rest.
The interaction with human technologies is quite dull though. You will either destroy them or pull out a severed head of security officer for retinal scan in order to open locked doors. Also, weapons other than blades are usually unnecessary.
Third and the last campaign of Aliens vs. Predator belongs to creature you feared the most during the marine campaign. Instead of wild shooting party or careful hopping on the tree branches, you will experience an interesting mix of both game styles. Of course, alien does not use any ranged weapons. However, it does rely on fast movement. The surprise attacks, running through ventilation shafts, running upside down on the ceiling and scared human enemies – that is the alien’s campaign. Similarly as in Predator’s campaign, your way of interaction with human tech will be a simple destruction.
Once you finish the campaigns, survival mode will keep you occupied for a while longer. You play as a marine and try to survive incoming waves of aliens as long as possible. Sadly, there are only two maps. So, even the most persistent players will get bored after few attempts.
Aliens vs. Predator only offers 6 maps for multiplayer. There are several game modes though. Sadly, I was unable to test them as there were no players online at the time. However, I am sure that multiplayer will provide many more hours of fun, if you have some friends to play Aliens vs. Predator (2010) with you.
Price and availability
While the price can differ a lot, the cheapest offer I have found comes from Amazon. The price for downloadable copy is the most attractive one. Though, it is only available to customers in USA. Prices in your local stores and some e-shops may be less favorable. For example, I bought my copy for 9.99 Euro on steam in April 2011. AvP was 75% off at that time as it was on Midweek madness sale. At the moment, Aliens vs. Predator is unavailable for my region (Slovakia). However, I do not doubt it is still priced at 20 to 30 Euro on steam. I also remember seeing AvP for 19.99 Euro in several supermarkets this summer (2011).
While Aliens vs. Predator (2010) is not the best action game for PC and it was not the best game back in 2010 either, it certainly deserves an attention from fans of AvP franchise. Few bugs and illogical features such as checkpoint system for saving the progress in game do not spoil the game too much. Aliens vs. Predator does have the in-game atmosphere you would expect from it, especially the marine’s campaign is quite intense and thrilling.
Overall, I give AvP seven points out of ten. The three points taken down are for lack of maps for multiplayer and survival mode, rather short campaigns, frustration caused by the checkpoint saving system, a little impractical and chaotic first person view for melee in Predator’s and alien’s campaigns and virtually zero motivation to replay the campaigns once finished – this is because every enemy appears at the same place and every event takes place the same way regardless of how many times you repeat the mission. So, Aliens vs. Predator (2010) is a good purchase for any fan of Alien, Predator and AvP franchises who seeks few fun-filled evenings in his favorite universe. This is especially true if you pick your copy up at a discount price.
Score: 7 out of 10
- AvP universe
- Intense atmosphere in marine’s campaign
- High chance of buying AvP at budget price
- 3 campaigns
- No reason to re-play the campaigns
- Unusual melee combat
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