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March 4, 2010

The Comics Console: Aliens vs. Predator

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Written by: andrewhurst
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Since their films in the 1980’s, the gruesome stars of the Alien and Predator movies have blown up in sci-fi culture, scoring their own comic book mini-series, and even facing off against comic book icons like Superman and Batman.

But what’s even more exciting than seeing these warrior races face off against champions like Sigourney Weaver and Arnold Schwarzenegger is seeing them battle against each other! First meeting in Dark Horse’s Alien vs. Predator in 1990, then again on Super Nintendo, Arcade and PC games, two films, and back to the comics — even teaming together for an epic tag-team match in Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator — Alien and Predator meet again on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. Unfortunately this battle isn’t nearly as exciting as their previous encounters.

Rebellion and Sega’s Aliens vs. Predator is a first-person-shooter divided into three separate campaigns: Human, Xenomorph and Predator. The story starts out with Weyland of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, determined to use the Xenomorph as a bio-weapon, discovers an ancient Predator ruin that accidentally sends a signal summoning the hunters to Earth. Then some Aliens get loose, and we have a video game with a story as dated as the characters themselves.

The human campaign is pretty lame. You’re a nameless, faceless “rookie” who follows a very linear path shooting at Aliens in dark corridors and the jungle. It isn’t without its moments, however; the eerie lighting makes Aliens creeping up on you pretty scary, but the archaic shooting mechanic makes the entire experience dull. You can carry only two weapons that barely show any difference, and you’ll probably pick up the basic formula for killing enemies: block, melee, shoot.

The Predator stages aren’t much better. The most disappointing part, aside from just being slow and kinda dull, is that the Predators actually feel weak. You don’t pick up many weapons, and the level design is just as plain as the human stages, although the one huge upside to playing as Predator is the satisfaction of tackling a human and ripping his spine out. It’s just awesome.

The Aliens campaign is the best of the three, but that’s not saying much. Again, attacking human soldiers and tearing them apart is very pleasing, but the controls are very problematic. Running across surfaces as Xenomorph can be exhilarating, but inconsistent controls upon climbing onto walls pulls you right out of the game. You’ll struggle with the camera and sensitive button timing for simple actions like climbing into an air vent.

Sadly, the Aliens campaign is also the shortest, only lasting about 3 hours as opposed to the 4 to 5 hours of the other two.

The online multiplayer is lots more fun than anything the campaign modes have to offer, but still isn’t deep enough to pull you away from other better shooters. There are species specific games like a great co-op human mission where up to four marines face off against an endless wave of Xenomorph;┬áPredator Hunt that have you hunting down and assassinating enemies; and the Xenomorph game has you infecting as many marines as possible. The maps with the human game are great, but the others fall pretty short.

Developer Rebellion had a great Aliens vs. Predator eleven years ago, but they haven’t really strayed far away from that formula. Though the gameplay is over a decade old, the graphics are pretty good, and the sound design isn’t half bad.

AvP isn’t a terrible game, but not one you’ll be coming back to very often, if at all. Hardcore AvP fans will have some fun with this, but may want to wait to find it in a bargain-bin before they add it to their collection. Aliens vs. Predator gets a 2/5.

If you picked up the special Hunter Edition of AvP then you got the super cool Face-Hugger prop that I’m totally jealous of, but I’m not sure even the Face-Hugger can get me to drop much cash on this game. At least we can look forward to some quality Aliens vs. Predator action in the comics!

Check out The Comics Console next week when we play Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker!

Andrew Hurst



  1. The game imo at least is a 3/5. What takes away from the game a LOT is the Xenomorph controls which take a lot of time to get right but after you get used to it it’s pretty cool. The game forces you to manuver and act how an Alien would in the movie plain and simple.

    The Predator could move a little better besides that huge jump to get across the stages. He’s big but he’s also agile and I think Rebellion didn’t convey that as well as it could have been. I think the power consumption of the laser is a little unbalanced but there are plenty of recharge stations laying about to kind of make up for it. I seriously disagree with the Predators feeling “weak”. Like I said the game forces you to move, think, and act like the characters in the movie and when you get up close to the Predators they pretty much have a two hit kill whereas the human and Alien ones aren’t as strong.

    All three campaigns have you as the “faceless rookie” and it’s pretty interesting to see how the three stories interact. Some of the stages do look like more time was taken with them than others which takes away as whole. Online play is pretty fun and if you’re human going up against the others then you BETTER get your co-op skills together because running off playing Rambo isn’t going to help you in the survival department lol

  2. Damn, sorry to hear it wasn’t that great of a game.

    The graphics look sick though!!

  3. I just finished this game last week and I’m kinda mixed on how I feel.
    I think they did a great job of capturing the essence of playing as each species. The alien moving controls kind of made me dizzy, but you kind of get used to it. I thought the story was a bit lame and short, but sets up for a prequel. I think this game has potential to start a good franchise for AvP though.

  4. Scott Banfield

    In my personal opinion i would give this game a 3.5/5. Now keep in mind ive only played the demo with a few good friends of mine, but we played the living heck out of it. Why? Well simply because the game is Fun! Wheather youre a sitting duck marine, a blood thirsty alien, or a creepy invisible predator, your always having a blast. The multiplayer is very versatile and does not get boring. The game feels so much like the movie. i would reccomend this title for anyone who is a fan of the series.

  5. billy

    Looks cool!

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