Multiplayer game modes are abundant and the classics return. A personal favourite from the previous AvP, Infestation is back. One player starts the round as the Xeno Hunter, against the remainder of players as Marines. When a Marine is killed they become Xenomorphs and continue to harass the dwindling Marine count. Predator Hunt is similar, except fallen Marines do not convert to the other side. Survivor is a co-op mode of sorts, for up to 4 people – fighting progressively more difficult waves of Aliens. There are also Deathmatch, Species Deathmatch and other more regular variations of the usual FPS modes.
Sadly, all of this is at the mercy of lag – and the game host. There is no host migration, so if your party leader leaves, you all leave. And in the time I spent playing online before getting into the campaigns, the matchmaking seemed to lack local connectivity preference – so you’d get hosts with obvious poor connections creating lag-fests of sessions. The answer though – play with Friends.
Conclusively, Aliens vs. Predator feels more like a rehash of the original Rebellion title, rather than a direct sequel, or improvement piece. It brings almost nothing new to the table, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing – particularly relating to the campaign – but when some of the movement mechanics (particularly melee combat) feel like a definite step back, something has gone wrong.
Graphics & Sound
Your environments look sensational, highlighted by some tremendous open areas with chaotic coming-togethers of all three races. Passive fire-fights and intense action sequences litter the stages, but the Marine campaign feels the least graphically impressive, mostly due to walking around in dark, guided by torchlight for the majority of the time.
The Predator mask is on full form, your heat/alien views for better spotting your foes look great and feels genuine. Disappointingly however, is the classic Predator mask sounds have gone (replaced by a regular heart-beat) and there are no longer ‘Predator yells’ when collecting skulls or performing the special kills. The experience feels a little sterile as a result, lacking the loud, abrupt panache of the older titles.
Alien movement is a little robotic – oddly in tune with the original movies, but seems a bit too mechanic in this day and age. You get a far better feeling of the Alien speed and ability playing as the Xenomorph, rather than watching them in action.
Aliens vs. Predator feels rushed. Each of the campaigns, while undoubtedly enjoyable from each species’ standpoint, is too short. The concept of playing the same levels with each species is a proven formula, but it doesn’t “feel” as connected as the old iterations of the game. With the older titles, your subsequent play-throughs made you feel like you were playing alongside your previous run. “I was the Predator hunting that pack of Humans last time” and you’d watch it from afar as the Alien.
The appeal to the purists is lost slightly on what is (for the most part) a silent Predator. No barks, no clicks, no yells of glee when tearing the head off a Marine. I can’t help but feel the sound department was out to lunch for his campaign; It could have been so much more.
Most of the fun comes from the Alien campaign, tearing around on the walls and ceiling, dropping down for head-chomping action – and the multiplayer, which, when it all goes smoothly, possesses most of what the game is really about – the ultimate clash between three very different, powerful species.
Die-hards of the series will no doubt get some enjoyment out of this one; it’s definitely worth a look just for the clash of campaigns and a bit of nostalgia. Those new to the series are going to have a tough time finding merit in the new Aliens vs. Predator.
Overall, it was enjoyable and great to see the Alien an Predator IP brought to the next generation of gaming, but ultimately, you come away feeling it could have been just a bit better.