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Aliens vs. Predator (2010) Member Review for the Xbox360

BigTruckSeries By:
BigTruckSeries
02/19/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE FPS 
PLAYERS 1- 16 
PUBLISHER Sega 
DEVELOPER Rebellion 
RELEASE DATE  
M What do these ratings mean?

I was counting on Game Revolution to give AvP a decent grade but apprently,  9/10 "professional game reviewers" HATE THIS GAME.  Game Revolution gives it a D-,   Gamespot gives it a 5.5 and from there on, reviews get even worse. (average grade is a C-)

What's funny is that the reviews from REGULAR GAMERS all insist that this game is GOOD.

The same disparity can be noticed when you look at critic vs. user reviews for the two AvP movies which leads me to believe some reviewers simply don't care for the franchises.

GR's reviewer specifically states:  The last time I played a game in this series was when it came out for the Jaguar. Sadly, it seems not much has changed in the last decade and a half. For something that seems like such a no-brainer, folks do sure seem to screw this one up a lot.   If this "professional" hasn't played the versions released on the PC, then how could he possibly track the changes made int he series?

As a "professional" game reviewer on Epinions.com (bigtruckseries) and a regular person who's been playing FPS games since QUAKE 2 and DUKE NUKEM, let me first say that AvP is definitely not perfect, but, even after being disheartened by the onslaught of terrible critques of this game, I went and purchased it and I honestly feel that I GOT MY $65 WORTH. I owned both the original PC versions I and II.   AvP 1999  had control problems with the Alien (even GR's review  noted that)  and  AvP II had some balancing issues with ALIENS making blitz attacks.  I personally enjoyed this AvP as much as I did AvP 1999  because it feels as if the developers were intent on making the Aliens just as fast and furious as they were on the PC.

Rebellion obviously understands the psychological connections fans like myself have to the aspects of the monster's franchises and they are really, really good at exploiting our pavlovian responses to stimuli from the films (such as beeping of the motion tracker,  or  seeing cables swinging in the dark). The true problem in this game is control.  The game takes getting used to, but, once you do adapt to it, its no less than awesome.rn

The Marine campaign is almost a clone of DOOM 3.  You move corridor to corridor opening doors, getting scared by what lurks in the dark, all the while picking up AUDIO LOGS left behind by dead scientists. Its FRIGHTENING when played in the dark. The constant blip of the motion tracker, which is almost completely useless due to its inability to clearly identify velocity of  foes moving quickly, makes the game even scarier. There is a feeling like you are constantly being watched by an Alien who's trying to get close enough to murder you.

What makes the game design more interesting is that since it's so dark, its easy to fall into holes in the floor, or off ledges and into darkness - where you are instantly off your game and afraid shit will jump out at you. Then you've got to get back to your teamates quick - but, first you've gotta figure out how.  This is the typical plot element of horror movies - to seperate people - and it works very well here. In fact, I find it amazing none of the reviews I've read mention the TEMPLE map  from the AvP film, which constantly shape shifts so that old corridors dissapear and new corridors form. Its absolutely amazing when you see it in action and its designed to split your team up just like in the film.  

The game is also very scarce on ammo.   It makes sense to do this, to add more tension and force the player to conserve bullets. Your standard issue Pulse Rifle holds 99 bullets, but unless you hit em in the head, it takes over 30 to kill a typical alien. Face huggers are very difficult to kill, which adds to your fear of them.  To make you even more afraid, at some points you lose your pulse rifle and are forced to rely on just a pistol.  There is a shotgun and a sniper rifle in the game too. The sniper rifle is useless in multiplayer since everything moves so fast, but, it does come in handy when you need to attack a cloaked predator on a treetop - or when you are hunting aliens hidden in the dark. Its also the only efficient way to fight the armor encased synthetic droids.rn

The shotgun works at distances past 5 feet on Aliens, but once they come within that, their acid blood showering in your face is more likely to result in your own death. 

There is also a flamethrower for re-enacting sequences from ALIENS,  but aliens on fire still come at you with a fury and you can yourself get burned by them. It doesn't make much sense to use in most cases.

Naturally, the SMARTGUN is here too. Its an awesome weapon that tracks cloaked foes for you, but it disables your ability to run due to its heft.

As the Alien you are not afraid because you are the monster. Therefore, you can take comfort systematically stalking and killing Marines and "harvesting" colonists. Unfortunately the enemy AI isn't very smart and won't pursue you enough, corner you  or run when things get too hot. Most game AI suffers from this.   Interestingly, when you have to fight synthetic humans they are much tougher and tend to be "smarter" and act more natural  than the regular marines.

I think what might have helped is giving the Alien an execution option prompt - like in Splinter Cell - and making the stages more like puzzles so you have to figure out ways to attack enemies without being shot, and perform stealth kills each and every time. This would have been much harder to implement, but it would have removed the melee combat need and focused on executions instead.   There is already alot of this "methodology killing" in the gameplay, but since the 3 races are so different in terms of control/movement, I feel the developers did what they thought was best.

To help you attack foes as the alien, there is a feature which WORKS PRETTY WELL where you hold down the left trigger to highlight a nearby enemy and then press A to pounce on them. This works regardless your orientation (even if your on the cieling)  and allows you to either execute or "harvest" them.  Harvesting is actually funny - you hold the person down while a facehugger crawls up and gives them a nice big hug!

The Predator campaign wasn't as fun for me because the Predator's weapons require too much micromanaging to be effective. In the PC version, you could simply select the weapon and go to work. In this game, you have to use the right trigger by holding it to lock-on and then releasing it to fire. You also have to do this for the smart disk (which isn't very smart)  and for the javelin. i perfer to be able to press a button to fire each shot.  I also don't like that the Predator's attacks are linked to the bumper buttons as Heavy & Light attacks (Alien's are too).   In the PC game, a melee attack was much simpler. apparently, this has been done to balance the Predator and Alien who should be able to easily shred everyone else with a single swipe.

How did Rebellion ruin the Predator gameplay?  Why is it that they switched from the PC's version  where the PRedator's energy gradually regenerated to power his cloak, his medicomp, his smartdisk and his plasma cannon?  In this game you have to run around finding power outlets to recharge your energy which makes no sense.   The invisibility cloak is only useful against humans, but not very much considering that doing virtually anything while using it turns it off. In the PC game, the only weapons that would turn it off was the plasma cannon.

In multiplayer, gamers tend to use the smart disk because it doesn't use energy. Problem is, its difficult to aim and its extremely overbalanced:  1 hit, 1 kill.   The javelin is the same but its even harder to aim.

The plasma cannon is decently balanced  due to the energy depletion it causes, but strangely, the predator doesn't start any map with his weapons. He has to find them all.  If you get killed, you lose them all once again. It would have made more sense if  energy regeneration was left in the game.  

With either Aliens or Predators, using the button hold execution move leaves you open to attack.Of course, when you really think about it,  it makes sense since in the movies, there were situations were attacking aliens were busy killing someone but ended up getting shot while they were doing it. But, strangely enough, you can't  be killed until you finish executing the move. This leads to ridiculous sights of alien/Predator conga lines where the aggressor is waiting for his turn to execute the next player.   This is also annoying because if you shoot at the executer, you end up spraying him with ammo till he finishes the execution.

Multiplayer is fun and can be intense. The best mode is Species Team Deathmatch  but, Predator Hunt is good too.  There is also a "survivor" mode ala GOW2's "horde"  where you must fend off multiple attacking waves of aliens.  Its a great addition due to the human factor - working with your buddies.

The one downside critics hate, which I agree with, is the fact that "ranking up" only allows you to unlock new skins,  but does not allow you to get new abilities of any sort ala CoD4MW2.   Then again, HALO 3's rank up doesn't either, yet the critics still gave it perfect scores. (Hmmmmmm???)

Ranked matches and Player matches are relatively easy to get into, but the wait time for a room to fill is a bit long. The game does not allow drop in/out of ranked matches.  The game's server sometimes doesn't do a good job matching people up in regards to latency - which definitely leads to some matches being laggy/unplayable. After being spoiled by Call of Duty and Halo, no one is willing to let this slide.

To sum things up, this game's major problem is control. The execution moves should have been breakable through button mashing contests (like in Gears of War)   and many times you'll be frustrated from controls not seeming to function if you get meleed and stunned while trying to shoot back. If controls were fluid as CoD4's, the dissapointment with the gameplay changes from the PC version would be overlookable.

What i can say is that this game (and the 99' version) have done far more justice to their concept than either of the AvP movies. Neither of them are a hard act to follow, but this AvP is a standup performer.  I have no idea why this game has been shlt on so badly by game reviewers. Its NOT TERRIBLE. Its FUN for anyone who's a fan of the Alien and the Predator franchises and even manages to be accessible to newcomers.

DON'T FORGET TO RATE THIS REVIEW !

 


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