The ALIEN is a living weapon. Razor sharp claws, tail and teeth - with the ability to walk on walls and ceilings. To top it off, you've got a jaw attack that busts skulls wide open for brains to leak out. You have no eyes, but, you see the scent of your prey – even through walls! The Predator's cloak can't fool you. Despite your ferocity, the gun toting Marines and Predator can easily shred you with well placed shots. Therefore, you're greatest asset is darkness. You must use the walls, vents and ceilings to outflank others and frequently break light sources to shroud yourself in night, sneak up on the unwary, and tear through their soft flesh.
The U.S. MARINE has a variety of powerful guns such as the iconic Pulse Rifle, Flamethrower, and smartgun (with autotracking), but, you are hindered by the fact you are physically the weakest of the 3 races. Aliens can easily melee you to death with claws, but, you can't easily melee them and must instead rely on a see first - shoot first methodology.
The PREDATOR is a cybernetic ghost whose hulking mass makes him slower than the ALIEN and MARINE, but whose weapons make him frighteningly powerful. Though you cannot hide yourself from the ALIEN, your electronic cloak makes you nearly invisible to humans at most distances. Your wrist blades puncture lungs and rip heads right off necks to use as "passkeys" for retinal scanners. Your shoulder mounted plasma cannon, razor sharp throwing disks and spear serve to disembowel, dismember and otherwise inconvenience anyone stupid enough to wander out alone.
Balancing of the three races is excellent. Although the game isn't as furious as the 1999 PC version, there's enough variety in attack styles that you'll never feel racially inferior. Opponents will try to get in close and perform an execution attack (i.e: busting a hole in someone's skull) but, there are buttons you can press to break execution holds.
The Alien's vulnerability forces you to be stealthy and rewards you with gory executions of prey while playing as the Predator forces you to strategically manage your energy and your helmet's vision modes since you can't clearly see both Aliens and humans simultaneously. As a human, you'll worry mostly about the difficulty seeing in the dark and will constantly micromanage your trusty flashlight while watching your ammo count dwindle.
Frankly, the Marine campaign is so dark that its absolutely frightening. Most of the visuals resemble DOOM3 which was released years ago on the XBOX. I was shocked that a game that looked so good and inspired so much fear got such a low score from a "professional" game reviewer like Gamespot and even IGN.
The Predator Camapain isn't as good as the 99' PC version - I'll admit. I don't like the design of the Helmet Visor borrowed from the original AvP movie...it should have been left like the 99' PC version instead. The predator also begins most matches at a disadvantage since he has to find weapons before he can use them - rather than leaving his weapon use decided by how much electricity he has stored. Again...the PC version got it right.
The alien version is alot like the 99' PC version with the exception that this game has execution attacks and the Alien isn't as powerful as he was in the PC version. Even back then, control of the Alien was problematic - GAMEREVOLUTION.com for example noted this. But, I never imaged that the control weakness of the Alien and the learning curve would be used to give this game such a poor score.
SOUND design is excellent and exactly what you'd expect, with, classic sound FX lifted from the films. GRAPHICS are definitely superior to the original PC versions, but, since most of the game is dark, you won't spend as much time appreciating them as you will being afraid of lurking beasts.
OVERALL, this game is a must have for any AvP fan. I'm thoroughly satisfied with the transition of the PC version to the home consoles and just as amazed by the streamlined controls, as I am with the gory, graphic violence.
This game looks and plays much better than the 2001 sequel.
It is 100% true to its origins and does a better job in presentation than either of the AVP movies released. I disagree with any "pro" reviewer who insists it should be more like Halo or COD4. This game may not have a Mouse or keyboard but its classic online deathmatch made better with modes that focus on the differences between the species rahter than simply trying to create different styles of play.