by Chris Davis
reviewed on X360
What the Hell are You? (cntd)
All of this is a moot point, however, if you can’t actually enjoy a smooth matchmaking sequence. The lobby system in the game takes quite a long time to get a match going in comparison to most modern online shooters, and even if you get into a match there is no guarantee that you’ll stay thanks to the game’s lack host migration. The game features a ranking system like many others as well, but the experience points are based almost solely on kills, so you won’t find yourself enjoying the rewards as fast as you’d like to.
That’s a Real Nasty Habit You Got There
Four and a half years on into this console cycle we’ve experienced some of the most beautiful games ever conceived of, with games like Crysis still setting the bar despite being released back in 2007. At this point in the cycle, games like Uncharted 2 have approached the visual limit based on the console’s abilities. Sadly, it seems that Aliens vs. Predator has not reached this stage at all. Glaring issues are present throughout the game that will make the player cringe at times.
The largest offender in question is the texture work. While some areas do justice to the visual style present in the previous games and films, more often than not you find yourself looking at levels that neither offer the claustrophobic feel of a xenomorph infestation nor the feeling of awe at an alien jungle. The biggest problem present most certainly has to be the environments of an Alien hive. While the areas do credit to the lighting, feeling, and approach of the Alien’s realm, the walls themselves lack detail, or normal mapping at all. One of the most famous sequences from the Aliens franchise, the moment in which a xenomorph is sleeping within an indention in the wall and comes out to attack the player, is disappointing as the Alien sticks out amongst the background and gives a strong amount of forewarning.
The other largely annoying part of the game’s design is the use of human dialogue. For some reason the game likes to reuse only a handful of idle dialogue no matter what species you choose to play as. If I hear someone say, “don’t relax just yet Marines” one more time I’m going to hurt somebody. When planning a stealthy approach, the inane conversations grate on the nerves rather than help.
Aside from the dialogue, Aliens vs. Predator’s sound design is fantastic. Treading carefully down a dark corridor and hearing your motion detector go off as a pipe pings to the ground somewhere ahead of you instills a feeling of dread only usually seen in horror titles such as Dead Space. Lance Henriksen reprises his role from the original Aliens films as Mr. Weyland in a satisfying delivery. The animators deserve particular praise for their work on the trophy kills. Many of the trophy kills are beautiful in their lethality and make you afraid to ask where the designers came up with the idea for them. The design of the Alien character deserves considerable note as turning quickly enough allows the player to see their tale and looking down you can see your feet move in a very natural manner.
Game Over Man, Game Over!
Rebellion is a company that has a lot going for it, but for a third-time remake, this game is not what it should have been. In a market flooded with shooters, Aliens vs. Predator does make a good effort to introduce melee combat, but it is all for naught if the entire multiplayer experience doesn’t entertain the player. A lackluster singleplayer experience doesn’t help either. Now that the groundwork has been laid out for a sequel, the next effort could fix many of these issues. Until then, we’re stuck with a game that makes me pine for Aliens: Colonial Marines even more than ever before.
Best use of melee combat since Breakdown, strong cooperative modes
Lackluster mutliplayer system, weak singleplayer