Friday, 19 February 2010

The all new and 'improved' AVP for 360



Unless you are a mahoosive alien fan like myself, alien verses predator for the 360 is unlikely to be your go-to online FPS. One of the main features about this game is that in the campaign is that there isn’t just one. There’s a separate campaign for each of the marine, alien and predator. Each of the campaigns start off well! All have their own thrills. The first few levels of the marine are dark and rather jumpy, very reminiscent of the original alien films and kept accuracy within the original alien film story lines. Playing as the Alien you escape from a lab for some entertaining ambushes, head chomps and generally toy with the AI. As Predator, it can be fun to jump around and get yourself in position for a gloriously stealthy and gory trophy kill. But the thrill soon wears off as you soon find out in each campaign that AvP has some annoying basic errors which unless you are willing to put your back out to learn how to use it to your advantage like I did, it can really put you off the game.

The dark and much more thrilling levels of the marine give way to tedium as they are replaced with much more boring jungles and temples. The thrills of running around as a zenomorph as lost as the inconsistent movement controls suck out the pleasure and usually cost u your life. And in the predator campaign, poor movement is just as much of a problem. As Alien, you’re supposed to hold right trigger (Xbox 360) to change the surface your crawling on, but in actuality there’s no consistency to the movement, you’ll crawl onto some walls and outcroppings whether or not it’s what you want to do, which when you’re trying to ambush someone, peruse someone, or run away from someone is just about the most annoying thing in the world. This inconsistency also invades the predator campaign, where there’s just no rhyme or reason to where you can jump. Sometimes you can jump up to 20ft above you, while other times you can’t even jump over a 3 ft fence.

The brutal and close up kills are probably the best part of Alien versus Predator. As a Predator you can yank out some guys spine and stroke it as if it was caressing a woman’s hair. Personally I just think it’s wonderfully gross and the best part of the single player portion. The Alien also get some equally sadistic moment so if you like your gore, you’ll have some fun here. The story isn’t bad either, and some of the voice acting is well done and really brings the characters to life. It’s unfortunate that the numerous little errors just mount up into a big pile. Not that I mean to go on, but: boss fights are pretty lame, the recycles levels are fine but work well with one species and not with another; aliens and civilians alike act in really stupid ways, which keeps you from feeling like a bad-ass, and some of the visuals are quite frankly, sloppy.

The game’s online features are much better however. There’s lots of fun to be had when you mix, aliens, predators and marines together. Things still feel a little awkward but it still feels rewarding to land a kill, whichever species you are, without the crazy civilians giving their lives to you. The Best modes are Infestation and Predator Hunt, because they highlight the differences between each species, but if you want something more traditional there’s death match and team death match where the three species face off. Survivor is the usual co-op mode where you shoot off waves of enemies. It’s not as good as some other games out there but it’s still a lot of fun because it reverts back to the dark and creepy feel of the first marine levels.

I guess that for an Alien fan like myself, this is a really entertaining multiplayer game. For someone not as fanatical as myself, it will be the little things that drag the game down. Some grotesque kills and some entertaining multiplayer moments just won’t cut it when there’s so many excellent FPS shooters on store shelves. Alien vs. Predator just doesn’t have the attention to detail and the obvious care that go into the best games. The thing it does best is make you wish you were 8 years old again playing the original on pc while the ‘grown ups’ weren’t looking.

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