I have been a massive fan of the Alien and Predator franchises for over a decade. The original Alien vs Predator still gives me chills each time I think about it, the quiet ping of the motion tracker, the scuttling sound of a nearby alien. So it was with good expectations I picked up the remake.
Rebellion, who made the original version, started demoing the game a while back. The gameplay looked excellent, a modern update on the classic thriller. The end result however is a mash-up of generic first person shooter and torture-porn film. Neither of which is really very good at all.
The original AvP was scary. More than that it was terrifying. The game was dark, the motion tracker only worked in a 180 degree arc and playing as an alien or predator actually felt like you were playing as another species. By contrast, Aliens vs Predator (notice the plurality on Alien, the only distinction between old and new), feels like a generic shooter with a different skin for each storyline. And that is all that has changed.
Each map is recycled three times, with only the slightest changes between each. And as for the plot itself, well there was one but it really isn’t important enough to warrant a full explanation. Suffice it to say it includes another alien infested rock, a military installation run by the Weyland-Yutani corporation and an ancient Predator temple.
A list of complaints with the game would likely fill up this database so I’ll simply list the things that irritated me the most:
- The motion tracker now shows contacts behind you. Not knowing if an alien is creeping up behind you is half the fear.
- The “direction arrow” is so specific it will navigate you around flights of stairs. Seriously.
- The alien feels like an out of control train wreck. The earlier versions were never easy, but once you’d mastered the controls you could attack an enemy from any direction. Now you even have to press A to enter a vent.
- Multiplayer. I remember the original game, skirmish mode in particular, as being a brilliant example of how the core gameplay could translate into a MP environment. But with AvP every difference between players simply vanishes. Woe betide the player who gets stuck as a marine.
I could go on but that will suffice for now. This is a game that will appeal to only to those who enjoy generic shooters with no redeeming features and those who are die-hard fans like myself who simply want to continue on with the franchise. Hopefully Aliens: Colonial Marines (if it ever surfaces) will redeem the series.
Avoid Aliens vs Predator. Get the 2000 classic off Steam and have a proper gaming session.