by Howie Howard
previewed on X360
Aliens and Predators
I fondly remember the original 1987 Predator movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger that placed what appeared to be a weak and technologically inferior human against a strong beast of a being with powerful weapons and a cloaking device. Arnold needed to improvise and use his superior fighting and tactical skills in order to emerge with his skin intact in this one.
During this same time period we had Sigurney Weaver leading the charge against a hideously ugly and dangerous Alien creature bent on propagating its species by impregnating anything and everything on 2 legs. The Aliens movie series took place on various drab and dirty planets through out the Galaxy. These movies featured plenty of slashing and bloody mayhem that was sure to provide nightmares for all.
A short while later the powers that be in the film industry saw fit to place an Alien and a Predator together and give us a couple of Aliens versus Predator movies that were guaranteed to turn our heads in horror and our stomachs in nausea. I still can't figure out how they managed to go from a late 1980s setting in Predator, to one a few hundred years in the future in Aliens and then back again to the late 20th century in Aliens versus Predator. I guess anything is possible in the fantastical world of movies.
Of course popular movies always seem to spawn computer games and since the age of video gaming was beginning to take form during the late 1980s and early 90s there had to be an Alien game. In fact there were numerous Alien, Predator and Predator vs. Alien games that came along to celebrate the success of the films in the following years. The last one was the 2002 sequel to the popular 1999 Aliens vs. Predator game by acclaimed British developer Rebellion.
Now we have another one. This new First Person Shooter, Aliens vs. Predator is also developed by Rebellion and published by Sega. Slated for a February 2010 release date for the Xbox 360, PC and PS3 it contains both a 3-campaign single player mode and an 18-player "multi-player" style of game play mode.
If you have watched any of the Alien, Predator or Alien versus Predator movies then you know what this new action game is all about. In case you aren't familiar with the movies I can tell you that Aliens vs. Predator is a game that features plenty of futuristic weapons and plenty of blood and gore and I put an emphasis on the blood and gore. This one is extremely graphic in nature and it may not be suitable for the younger game player. The game follows the movie script perfectly and does it quite nicely. Throw in a completely overhauled game engine known as the Asura engine and you can bet your trusty plasma rifle that there will be plenty of Alien blood spilled again.
Speaking of plasma rifles, there are a lot of new weapons in the game. There are grenades and shotguns with alternate fire modes built into them that allow them to rapidly unload shots should the need arise. The human Marines in the game use these conventional hand held weapons and the other two races use their own weapon schemes.
Although the Marines do not have the ability to cloak themselves they do have advanced detection devices they can use to locate their enemies. Aliens vs. Predator presents the Marines as being the last line of defense pitted against a menace from the far reaches of space. Unfortunately the Marines, even with their advanced weaponry are the weakest characters in the game and the hardest to play.