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When people think of the Alien vs. Predator franchise they typically picture one of two things: either a bunch of gnarly games from the 90′s, or two crappy movies that were just looking to cash in on fans dedicated to these two awesome franchises. Unfortunately Rebellion’s new AvP game seems to mirror the latter of these two images.

As the name suggests, AvP pits those nasty Xenomorphs from the Alien movie franchise against the complete badassery of the Predator from the Schwarzenegger classic. The single player portion of the game is split into three campaigns, one for the Alien, one for the Predator, and one for the colonial space marines.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with these two movie franchises, let me break it down. The Alien is a sleek killing machine armed with claws, a razor sharp tail, and acidic blood. What makes the Alien so deadly, besides its weaponry, is that it can crawl on any surface and hide in the darkness. Because all of its close range weapons and mobility, the Alien plays out like a stealth character.

In contrast to the Alien and its stealth capabilities, the colonial space marines are your typical human grunts. They play like your typical first-person shooter; running around picking up ammo and guns, blowing away anything that gets in your path.

If you were to mix the brute strength and stealth of the Alien and firepower of the marines, you’d come up with the Predator. The Predator is an advanced alien life form that gets its jollys by hunting both the aliens and the marines. This bad boy comes initially packed with claws, a shoulder laser cannon, and a cloaking device. Later on you’ll find more advanced weaponry like proximity mines and the smart disc.

While all three of these characters seem like they’d be fun to play as, the campaign is so uninspired and repetitive that it is more like a chore than a game. When playing as the Alien, all you ever do is climb through vents, destroy lights, and eat marines. Sure you fight the occasional Predator, but the combat system is such a joke that all you have to do it keep blocking his melee attack and then stab him to death with your tail.

The Predator’s campaign really isn’t that different. Instead of crawling on ceilings, you activate your cloaking device, hop up onto higher ground and pounce on marines. Unfortunately this doesn’t work on Aliens because they can see you when you’re invisible, so you have to straight up melee them. You could use your shoulder cannon or other weapons, but because they use up so much ammo you can only get a few shots out of them before having to find an power source to reload.  One cool thing the Predator can do is lure marines away from their squad by using  his voice matching technology. The only problem with this is that it makes the game way too easy.

The marine campaign is by far the worst of the three. All of the guns at your disposal feel so underpowered. To give you an idea of what I mean, at one part of the campaign I was being rushed by three Aliens in a tight hallway. I fired a grenade in the middle of them and they just shrugged it off. The only redeemable aspect of the marine campaign is Rebellions use of the Alien’s camouflage. There is nothing scarier then walking down a hallway and hearing  your motion detector go off as the walls start moving with Aliens.

Some other things that add to the overall blandness of the campaigns are horrid repetitive voice acting (in particular the Vasquez ripoff named Tequila), terrible AI, the nonsensical movie tie ins, and lack of detail. Nothing gets more annoying than being surrounded by your marine squad mates and having all of them repeat the same phrases, in particular “Don’t let your guard down marine!” This wouldn’t be so bad if you only had to deal with it in the marine campaign (especially considering you’re by yourself for a majority of it), but when you’re playing as the Predator or the Alien and stalking some marines they keep spouting the same phrases. What makes this even worse is that they’ll keep saying “Don’t let your guard down marine,” even as they see you pick off one of their own.

This brings me to my second gripe, AI. As I mentioned above, when playing as the Alien or the Predator, the marines won’t react unless you are right in front of them. For example, I was playing as the Predator and stalking a group of eight marines. I was able to hide in a tree and keep louring the marines, one by one, to the same spot and killing them. You’d think the pile of bodies would be a dead give away. This crappy AI isn’t just reserved for the marines. You’d think that the Aliens (who are being bred by humans as biological weapons) would be able to handle a circle-strafing marine, but I guess the scientists overlooked that flaw.

Speaking of Aliens being grown as weapons, there are several major plot holes in this game. The biggest being the presence of Karl Bishop Weyland. For those of you not familiar with the Aliens story arc, Weyland is the head the corporation that is developing the Aliens as weapons. This is all fine until you realize that he was in the first Alien vs. Predator movie, which took place in contemporary times. How he has managed to stay the same age in an era where humanity is colonizing other planets?

This game has such great visuals, but it fails to utilize them as a way to improve the game. There is no reason to stop and survey all the hard work the graphics team at Rebellion did. You just end up rushing through these environments shooting bad guys and pressing buttons like it’s Doom II. I wish the game let you interact with the environment besides pressing buttons and picking up ammo.

I know what some of you are thinking. “But what about multiplayer?” To be perfectly blunt, it’s a joke. Sure there are plenty of game modes, some of which are actually fun, that is if you can find a game. The player matching system is just awful. In almost every instance I tried to play online my ping was over 200. Also there are so few players that I waited an average of 10 minutes while the game looked for other people.

There are some redeemable aspects to AvP. Playing as the Predator can be fun if you have the right mind set. Maybe I’m a violent person, but I can’t stop grinning when I hop down from a cliff and land on a marine, only to punch though his chest and rip out his spine with his head attached.

AvP also succeeds  in the sound category. Disregarding the awful voice acting, the game’s sound effects are spot on. Hearing the thumping of the motion detector made me feel like I was in the movie, especially when it turns into the terrifying ping alerting you that something is ahead. All the guns sound just like they do in the films, pleasing diehard fans. Also, nothing sends shivers down your spine like hearing the hiss of a hidden Alien.

Despite these few successes, there are just too many flaws and poor design choices for me to recommend this game to anyone at the $60 price point. Die hard fans of these two movie franchises will been sorely disappointed to see how Rebellion has treated such a rich and interesting source material. All in all, Alien vs. Predator is a game that just feels rushed.

Rating Category
7.0 Presentation
Rebellion has created gorgous environments and models. It's a shame you aren't given a reson to notice them.
How does our scoring system work?
5.0 Gameplay
Alien vs. Predator is a game plagued by poor design choices ultimatly resulting in a game that feels rushed.
7.0 Sound
Aside from the horrid voice acting, the sound effects are sure to please fans of either franchise.
4.5 Longevity
Multiplayer is a joke and the three single-player campaigns feel long... but not in a good way.
6.0 Overall
Aliens vs. Predator is a game that looks like a triple-A title, but plays like it belongs in the bargin bin.

  1. “Aliens vs. Predator is a game that looks like a triple-A title, but plays like it belongs in the bargin bin.” So it’s basically the Avatar game?

    • avatar Hannah

      Thank you! God, I hated explaining that to enveyore so you’re taking a lot of weight off my shoulders! WHY would you make AVP a franchise ENTIRELY about humans VS aliens VS predator(s) and the teamwork that involves FREE FOR ALL?! Seriously all of the balance’ they worked years to tweek just gets chucked right out the damn window when you have marines running around blowing each other up and aliens shanking each other in the back everytime one of them gets a kill.The FFA mode is especially stupid considering that the execution style kills all have like 8 second animations that leave you completely exposed to an execution yourself. I don’t know how many times on the demo I literally saw a reverse leap frog effect of 5 players in a line killing someone who was in the animation of executing someone else.-B.We

  2. When you said “a bunch of gnarly games from the 90’s” did you know that this is technically the 3rd AVP? avp 1 and 2 were truly amazing FPS’s at the time they were released: avp 1 avp 2

    I will agree that the MP sucks right now, but I’m hopeful that it will change when they move the MP servers out of beta.

    • Yeah man, I was referencing those two games along with the AvP arcade game

      Also am I the only one upset by the fact that even though the game has been released the dedicated servers are still in beta. I mean doesn’t this go to show that the game was rushed?

    • avatar Lannay

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    • avatar Moamen

      Hey, great blog. I love the insider tips AND the occnsioaal rant. I couldn’t be happier that AVP season is underway and I’m so glad they’re coming back to my side of the US next weekend in Santa Barbara. I work with Ryan Mariano, Ed Ratledge, and Saralyn Smith so cheer loudly for them! And Keep up the good work!

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  3. avatar Mr. NoName

    There will be dedicated servers released for multiplayer though, at least they say so. So your ping shouldn’t be a problem when that gets released, hopefully. It’s not like the Avatar game at all, sure to many people AvP can seem like a huge failure, especially for the fans. But the game can actually be fun at some times – and that’s whats most important. Having fun.

  4. That’s unfortunate. This game looks so awesome.

  5. I thought it was “alright”. I downloaded the demo and played for like thirty minutes: it just felt like a rehash of AVP Classic (which is available for like $5). But apparently it has more problems.

  6. It is so disappointing to see that this game did not turn out well. I had such high hopes, especially considering how good AvP2 was for the PC. Oh well. Maybe next time, which there might be considering the initial sales have been really good for the game.

    • avatar Jade

      To be honest I’ve only paleyd the demo for this game so far but what i’ve paleyd has got me interested in the game. Its a got a few very unique features to say the least and was a good change of pace from the normal shooter. I’ve seen the costumes in home and was very interested in them. I do plan to get the game someday soon.

  7. I can’t say much at all about this franchise. Coming up as a gamer, I couldn’t really get into the whole PC thing, which is where most of my friends back then were lurking around maps as Xenomorphs. I hear great things about the old Aliens Vs. Predators games though, and it’s never exactly a good thing to hear that a game didn’t come out as well as expected.

  8. I’ve played it and enjoyed it. The multiplayer is awesome, but getting into a match can take a while. I would suggest waiting until the dedicated servers are released before buying the game. Once they are (there was a recent announcement that they were going into closed beta), I would easily recommend the game to others.

  9. avatar Some bloke

    Many flaws in your review, the main being that Karl Bishop’s cameo in the game is explained if you play through the game, which from the rest of the review you blatently didn’t. Don’t go shouting plot holes until you have finished the title. Also the occiasional Predator in the Alien game? Really? Didnt play through that either then…

    Guns feel underpowered? Have you seen aliens? They should be and it adds to the tension!

    Also when thinking of AVP, most people think of the Dark Horse Comic and book that spawned the idea. Your score is pretty much dead on, but your explanations are not. Do better next time.

  10. avatar Predalien

    Advise: Back to Aliens Vs Predator 2 (2001)!
    AvP 2010 is just a step back (even two)…

  11. avatar Nick

    This game is horrible for the PC. Plagued with bugs, poor controls, and ridculous combat it was clearly a console rip. Unfortunately most of us played AvP2 and expected high standards which Rebellion clearly fell short on. Hopefully it won’t take another decade for someone else to come out with a 4th version that works.

    • avatar Daniela

      going to get on me about a grammatical error when you made 11 eorrrs than me with your last response to me as opposed to my 1?Also, I love how you went through and added apostrophes to this post to make yourself error-free. Yet you forgot the comma between Anyway and What in the third sentence.

  12. avatar nick m

    ok avp fans read this comment: dont listen to this guy he has some problems he dident explian in his review first of when he talk about multiplayer he talking about finding a ranked match. dont be fooled there are many friendly matches online and

  13. avatar Cheng

    My reviews on Avp To be honset it is an excellent game. The remake of this follows the original pC game feelings to a T. The sounds and graphics run beautifully, and you literally feel as though you are part of AVp Universe.Although, as most people have found out, the multiPlayer issues of alien vs predator, on many of the systems, have had a little issue. Speaking specifically of the ranked matches. Although unlocking th skins holds no potential for different types of playing, but never the less it is still a decent addition to the multiplayer games. I am confident that Rebellion and Sony will work out this issue very soon.As I was saying, the feel you get while playing the marines, predators, or aliens is above the call of duty. You literally feel like you take on the role of your character, and have to act or hunt, accordingly. Overall, I believe its a fantastic game, and I know many of you will not agree with me, but never the less this is my opinion. I hope very much that there will be a sequel, and a possible ps home game launch area in the future.Wicked game 10/10 !!!

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