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 Aliens vs. Predator Review

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Aliens vs. Predator Review Empty
MesajSubiect: Aliens vs. Predator Review   Aliens vs. Predator Review Icon_minitimeSam Feb 20, 2010 8:05 pm

Aliens vs. Predator Review



Enough to make you scream or worthy of a gubernatorial run?




February 19, 2010
- Ever since the Predator and
Aliens franchises made their debut on the silver screen, people have
wanted to see them wage war against one another. In 2004 their wish was
granted with an abhorrent film adaptation, followed by another poor
attempt in 2007. In an effort to breathe new life into the struggling
franchises, [Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
Games (the very same studio that brought us the last great AVP effort
in 1999) is taking a stab at a virtual iteration for the PS3, Xbox 360
and PC. It delivers three short single-player campaigns along with a
suite of multiplayer modes and maps.

You've got Aliens, you've got Predators and you've got hapless space
marines. The only question left to answer is: is it any fun to play?


Note: For this review I played on an Alienware desktop running
Windows 7 with an Intel i7 processor running at 3.2 GHz, 6 gigs of RAM,
and a GeForce GTX 260.



While that answer will be stretched into the next thousand words or so, I will start by saying that [Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
has an extraordinarily steep learning curve if you're playing as either
of the extraterrestrials. For that reason, you're going to want to
start with the marine campaign. It's a much more straightforward
first-person shooter that does a good job of introducing you to the
world around you. You'll hear the same radar blips from the films and
that telltale machine gun effect has certainly made the jump to the
virtual world as well. The audio effects adequately pull you into the
Alien world, it's just too bad that there's nothing beyond that to
enjoy. See, the design of the marine's campaign is very cookie cutter
as far as FPS design is concerned. There's some fun to be had, and it
provides an introduction to the melee mechanics that you'll need for
the Alien and Predator campaigns, but at the end of the day there are
just too many better FPS games out there.


[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]Multiplayer madness.
Now,
one might think that when you venture into the two alien campaigns
things are bound to get cooler and more fun. That's not really the case
in AVP due to the poorly constructed mechanics. Both the Alien and
Predator campaigns make use of melee attacks. While the Predator has
some ranged options in his repertoire, your main attack is still going
to be the blades strapped to your right and left hand. As anyone who
played Namco's Breakdown knows, first-person melee is tough to pull
off. Sadly, AVP is no different. The camera can be entirely too shaky,
the pseudo-lock-on function can cause needless deaths, and, to put it
frankly, melee attacks with these characters should be more fun.

Thankfully once you do take the time to understand the finer points and
frustrations of the melee combat, AVP presents some interesting
abilities and play styles -- for better or worse. When playing as the
Alien, speed is key. The Alien can move on walls and ceilings at a
blinding rate, but sometimes it can be too fast to handle, especially
when you click on the left stick to sprint. The Predator is more about
stealth. You'll need to stick to tree branches and the tops of
buildings to take your prey. All of the sneaking around made me feel a
little underpowered when playing as what appeared to be such an
impressive creature. Thankfully (or perhaps not) once you get the combi
stick combat is greatly simplified, perhaps to the point of being
unbalanced thanks to the one-shot kills.

[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]Owned.
So,
while the single-player component doesn't hold up when compared to the
Call of Duty or BioShocks of the world, it does a fine job of
delivering the separate universes in AVP. Playing as the marine can be
haunting, the Predator is out to hunt his prey and the Alien is built
to get in and out of combat quickly without drawing much fire. Now if
only the mechanics had panned out better and the design had been more
imaginative, then we'd have something truly special on our hands.


Thankfully the multiplayer piece to the puzzle fares better than
the solo play. There are six adversarial modes complete with six maps.
This, paired with the four-player co-op offering across two maps, makes
for a nice serving of fun with your friends. The modes are nicely
varied and largely stick to what makes sense given the subject
material. One mode has Aliens infecting marines, another has one
Predator hunting a pack of humans. It's all solid fun, especially when
you get 18 players willing to work together and play to the strengths
of their respective characters.

Where the multiplayer stumbles a bit is in the total of lack of
expandability. I understand that there's a concern with balance, but
the fact that you gain only new skins and no new abilities as you level
up your character is a real drag. Couple that with a few questionable
design decisions, like the whole game quitting when the host leaves or
drops his connection, and the multiplayer package is slightly less
attractive. I ran into a few instances of slowdown and lag in the PC
version. While it was fleeting and didn't happen in every game, it was
something that wasn't present in the other versions of AVP.


Where the adversarial play drops the ball, the cooperative mode
known as Survival is right there to pick up the slack. You and up to
three buddies can hop into a map and take on endless waves of Aliens.
It's modeled after the many Horde-style modes that we've seen before,
and it works quite well. But as with so much of what AVP offers, there
is a fault. For whatever reason [Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link] decided to package only two co-op maps in the standard edition of [Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link], thus limiting your play experience significantly.


[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]Note the better detail in the environment.
In
case you haven't seen the trend developing in this review, for every
positive note, there seems to be a negative one. There are next to no
glaring issues – less a few unsightly bugs – but nearly everything in
AVP is held back by one of its faults. Thankfully the overall
experience is enjoyable, especially if you're a fan who has been
disappointed by the movies, but it really could've benefited from some
more time in development to give it that needed layer of polish.

Speaking of polish, the graphics have been given their due on the PC.
Textures on surfaces and objects look much better and are much higher
detail when playing on my rig with maxed out settings. Gone were the
muddy looking exteriors of the Predator campaign and the slowdown that
popped up on the consoles is almost entirely removed on PC. The only
spot where I ran into an issue was during multiplayer, but that was
likely due to the host's connection rather than a fault in the game
itself. Campaigns other than the Predator's have seen the same bump in
visual fidelity. The Marine's closed off interiors have better looking
models and the same goes for the Alien's levels. The only downside is
that the PC version was obviously held back slightly by its
console-bound cousins. Despite the improvements enabled by the hardware
in my PC, there weren't many effects that were specific to the platform
and designed to take advantage of some of the more impressive graphical
possibilities.

[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]Intense moments aplenty.
While
the visuals have seen a bump thanks to the increased specs on my PC,
the sound effects are identical to what you'll see hear in other
versions. Every sound that should be recognizable from the Alien and
Predator worlds comes through just as you remember them. From the
marine's machine guns to the Predator switching between different
vision modes to the Alien's unpleasant hissing sound, it's all here.
Sadly the voice acting, less Lance Henriksen as Weyland, is subpar. The
story isn't all that good to begin with – nor does it need to be – but
it's not aided by characters that lack emotion.


Closing Comments
Aliens vs.
Predator could have been a truly great game. It’s there, you can almost
feel it, but it’s constantly ripped away from you because of some poor
design decisions and a general lack of quality that keeps the game from
having that triple-A feeling. It’s by no means a bad game and will
almost certainly please fans more so than either movie effort, but when
compared to other first-person shooter titles on the market, the
difference is clear.
IGN Ratings for Aliens vs. Predator (PC)



RatingDescription
[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
out of 10[Trebuie sa fiti inscris si conectat pentru a vedea acest link]
7.0Presentation
Everything from the menu design to the look of the cutscenes isn’t up to par with the current crop of FPS games.
7.5Graphics
Some
nice draw distance, good details and more solid framerate than what was
seen on consoles. Now if only the game could’ve broken free of the
constraints of its underpowered alternate versions.
8.0Sound
Despite
some lacking voiceover work by all but Lance Henriksen, the rest of the
universe comes through perfectly with just about every recognizable
sound making an appearance.
7.5Gameplay
There
are certainly issues with the mechanics and the design is a bit ho-hum,
but there’s fun to be had in every aspect of AVP if you can conquer the
learning curve. Customizable controls don't hurt.
7.0Lasting Appeal
The
multiplayer could have boosted AVP quite a bit, but its lack of maps
and expandability holds it back. Collectibles and three decent
single-player campaigns help justify the sticker price.
7.3
Decent
OVERALL
(out of 10 / not an average)

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