Release Date: 2/16/2010
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The Aliens vs. Predator license has struggled for the past decade, and this recent entry tries to revive the brutality and haunting ambiance of its predecessor (Aliens vs. Predator 2 from 2001) but falls flat on that main aspect. The original game was a bit slower paced and slowly wrung the fright out of you with jumpy dark corridors, and haunting atmosphere, but this game just falls flat, and I’m talking about the Marine campaign. The weapons don’t really pack a punch, and there are only a handful of weapons, and you only kill Xenomorphs (Aliens) and only once do you encounter a Predator. The original game really made you dread wanting to fight a Predator, and when you finally did you were scared out of your pants by it. This game just throws one at you and that’s it.
While the Marine campaign was the strong point in the last game it’s the worst in this one. However, the Predator and Alien campaigns really shine and make you feel like those creatures. The Predator allows you to stalk humans with thermal vision, turn invisible, using your shoulder blaster and proximity mines, and witness brutal kills that will make you cringe. Watching the Predator rip off ahead with its spine attached and put the spine in admiration is gut-churning, but it’s awesome and never gets old. Jumping around trees and high cliffs is a great way to stalk prey, and the distraction ability is great for isolating a Marine from a large group. Being a Predator is just so awesome and it’s a shame the campaign is so short.
Playing as an Alien is just as cool with fast movement and the Xenomorphs deadly fatalities that will also make you cringe. Stabbing someone in the eye with your tail or eating their brain with your tiny mouth is nasty, but satisfying. You can crawl on walls and ceilings with the touch of a button and jump towards enemies from afar and lash out is awesome all the time. While these two campaigns pack a serious punch I just wish it were more cinematic instead of just kill, kill, kill. Also, the environments all look the same in every campaign and this is a shame.
The story really takes a back seat as well with you trying to stop Weyland from unleashing some powerful artifact or something…it’s never really clear, but the story is seriously lacking despite the decent voice acting. In the Predator campaign, you’re just trying to recover the fallen Young Bloods’ technology completely disregarding what’s going on between the humans and Xenomorphs. In the Alien campaign, you’re freeing yourself as well as your siblings and the Matriarch.
Despite the huge disappointment of the Marine campaign, the game looks amazing with DirectX11 and all the features that go along with it. If you have the powerful rig to run it you will be treated with astounding visuals that really make the game pop and the creatures come to life that was only seen in the movies. The multiplayer is decent, but won’t last too long, and I just wish the Marine campaign wasn’t so boring! The previous game’s campaign was just so amazing and spooky it really makes the game fall quite a bit. The game is worth a purchase just for the creature campaigns and the visual aesthetics, but in the long run, the game could have been so much more.