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Aliens vs. Predator
Aliens vs Predator cover.jpg
Developer(s) Rebellion Developments
Publisher(s) Sega
Distributor(s) Sega (retail)
Steam (online)
Engine Asura[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s) NA February 16, 2010
EU February 19, 2010
Genre(s) First-person shooter, Survival horror, Action[2]
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Rating(s) BBFC: 18[3]

ESRB: 17[4]

Media Blu-ray Disc, DVD
System requirements [5] Intel CPU- Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz
AMD CPU- Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800+
Nvidia Graphics Card- Geforce 8800 GTS 512MB
ATI Graphics Card- Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB
RAM Memory- 2 GB
Input methods Keyboard and mouse, gamepad

Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. It was released February 16, 2010 in the US, [6] February 19 in Europe[7] and February 18 in Australia.

Contents

Gameplay

There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways. [2]

Predators

As in the films, the Predator prefers to stalk its prey from the safety of treetops and the gameplay reflects this, the player leaping from branch to branch automatically with the help of a "focus jumping" game mechanic. The Predator has different vision modes, the most recognizable from the films being a thermal imaging scanner, but the player also has different vision modes for spotting Aliens and viewing the world normally. Each vision mode only allows for targeting a specific race. For example, the Heat Vision mode allows the player to see marines, even at a distance, crystal clearly, while it renders Aliens nearly invisible,the Alien vision working in reverse, and regular vision seeing the enviroment and other predators better that the other two, making battles between two or all three species a tactical juggle to prioritize enemies based on their threat to the player.[2]

The Predator’s gameplay is more based on stealth and tactics than the average first-person shooter. The player has to be aware of Aliens, which have the ability to see through a Predator's cloaking device, that may climb up a tree and attack from below as well as taking care not to reveal themselves to marines too early as the marines’ weaponry and numbers are more than a match for the Predator. For long-range weaponry, the Predator can use a shoulder-mounted plasma cannon in addition to a glaive-like disc and a combi stick (or throwing spear). For close-range combat, the Predator has four retractable wristblades on its arms.[2]

The wristblades allow for the Predator to perform a "trophy kill," a nod to the movies in which the Predators take trophies, usually skulls, from their defeated enemies to show their prowess in the hunt. OXM labelled the trophy kill mechanic as "spectacularly violent" and it has been partially censored to avoid an Adults Only rating in the United States as it was "several measures more graphic" than any other recent games. There are several animations, one of which is, a "terrified" marine dragged into the center of the screen by his or her throat, which the Predator then snaps effortlessly with the accompanying sound of "someone biting into raw celery." The neck broken, the Predator decapitates the marine, a "sizeable portion" of the spinal cord following. Even after this, the marine is still alive for a short period of time, "gasping his last, with nothing but bloodied, glistening vertebra beneath his chin."[2]

A screenshot showing a player being attacked by a group of Aliens

Other animations include impaling on the wrist blades, twisting the head, and, in the case of attacking Aliens, ripping the skull off. Another Alien animation is taking the Alien in both hands, snapping his spine on your knee and then tossing the carcass away.In the multiplayer only, when grabbing predators, jabbing your wristblades into their neck, or just twisting their head to kill them. Jason Kingsley, the CEO of Rebellion, defended the brutality of the trophy kill system, stating "This is obviously a game based on adult-rated movies, and we want to make sure it’s very clearly an adult-rated game. It's an issue for me; some computer games are for kids – we're not making a computer game here for anyone other than adults. That's very clear and within that context, I think the violence is part of the character and the world – so we're talking about a fantasy world here and fantasy creatures and we're talking about trying to build up a mythos. I remember the first time I saw it, one of the particular Predator kills, everyone went 'Oooh.' But it's what the Predator does in the movies."[2]

The Predator campaign explains how their species considers the war tactics of the human Marines juvenile. A quote from the intro states “We are old, my brother. Our race is few and scattered. Our ancestry lost to myth. The humans are still children, creatures of desire and hubris, with no comprehension of the long hunt. Still, they make good sport.. They have discovered a trophy long locked away. They must not be allowed to find the crucible that spawned our most respected prey. If they succeed, all life will succumb to the crawling dark...” The Predator played is never actually named, or even given a personal title (unlike the other two characters), the closest thing he has to this is his rank, which is "Elite", only something he obtained after completing his trials. It is clear however, that the constant events he fights and survives through gains him a massive amount of respect by the end of the Predator campaign, including gaining an ancestral Predator mask from an ancient temple, (which grants him the Alien vision mode). It is also interesting to note, that the Predators refer to the Aliens as "Serpents". [8]

The Predator Plasma Caster is very powerful, capable of blowing an Alien (or Marine) to pieces. To prevent overuse, it uses a energy system which means if you use less-powerful shots it will conserve its energy, but by using a "locked-on" shot, (which is very powerful), you will quickly burn through your energy. Energy can be recharged at any charging console. Energy is also used for Proximity Mines and to re-charge the Predator's health in multi-player. On a final note, the predator can zoom in up to x4 for spotting faraway enemies.

Aliens

The Alien campaign tells the story of "Six", which is a captured Xenomorph that Weyland-Yutani has "very special plans for". To best utilize the Alien as a weapon, players are forced to get in close to their enemy as their only methods of attack are physical - this being the Aliens' ability to cling to walls and ceilings, cover great distances using its speed and leaping abilities and to attack with claws (light attacks), tail (heavy attack), leap attacks (whilst in Focus mode) and inner and outer jaws (used during Stealth Kills or to disable Predator power sources). Aliens are able to blend with shadows (it is also possible to destroy light sources to aid their concealment) and; using their enhanced senses, Aliens can seek out prey through walls (whilst within a certain amount of range). These senses also allow the Alien to clearly observe cloaked Predators. In the single player campaign, players will have the opportunity to harvest 'hosts'. By securing your prey, your character allows a nearby facehugger to latch on to it, thereby propogating your Hive. Throughout the game, the player also has the opportunity to perform 'Stealth Kills' by pressing the Action button / key when the player is aligned behind the target, causing the prompt to appear. The animations for this include headbiting with your inner jaw, impaling an enemy's chest, decapitating the helpless prey with your tail,(only in the case of a marine.) slicing another Alien's head in half,(MP only.) or ramming your tail up or down their throat, piercing their skull with your tail tip, or digging your hand into their eyes and pulling off their head. Animations on androids work the same as on marines.

Colonial Marines

The Colonial Marine campaign is far closer to that of a standard first-person shooter. The Marine arsenal includes the iconic M41AV2 Pulse Rifle (with underslung pump action grenade launcher), M56 Smart Gun (able to detect cloaked enemies using its variable electronic targeting system), M260 Flamethrower (capable of a 'wet shot' where fuel can be fired before igniting it manually with the weapon), the twin barreled Shotgun (which can fire a simultaneous shot through both barrels for maximum stopping power), the M42A Scope Rifle (a sniper rifle which can detect and outline cloaked or hidden enemies),and the VP78 Pistol (capable of three round burst fire). To help navigate your surroundings you are supplied with the use of a shoulder mounted halogen TNR lamp which gives some directed light, surveying flares (only in campaign) which help to briefly illuminate darkened areas, and the Motion Tracker, able to provide info on hostile positioning as they move. When trying to capture the atmosphere of the Marine single player campaign, Rebellion best describe it as immersing the player in: "the sheer terror of facing off against the two movie menaces of the title". The Marine campaign also contains the most information about the game's plot, whereas the others simply feature overheard conversations between marines, "shortly before you dice the marines into meaty chunks".

Plot

Marine

As a Marine, the game starts out above the planet, with the Marines squads on two separate ships, one of which is identified as the USS Marlow. The Marines have been given orders for a combat drop. When the Predators' ship comes out of cloak and destroys the Marlow, Major Van Zandt directs the surviving shuttle to land. The player Marine, dubbed "Rookie," is knocked out during the drop, and regains consciousness in the heart of the chaos itself. At Corporal Tequila's direction, Rookie is sent to several parts of the wrecked human colony with the purpose of getting systems back online to locate all the surviving Marines, especially Major Van Zandt. However, the Major is discovered cocconed, forcing Rookie to shoot him.

Moving further into the newly established hive within the refinery, Rookie encounters the Alien Queen and sets her on fire, ultimately killing her in an explosion with help from Tequila. Going through the swamp, Rookie is contacted by Tequila, on-board a drop ship to pick him up, but the ship crashes before a rescue can be made. The now-stranded Rookie receives the assistance of an Administrative Android, Katya, from the Weyland-Yutani group originally sent to investigate the pyramid. Following Katya's instruction, Rookie is able to locate other survivors throughout the ruins and fight and kill a Predator before finally rescuing Tequila herself. Tequila asks the Rookie to shoot her but Katya informs him that if Rookie could get her to the research lab, Katya could perform surgery on Tequila to extract the Chestburster from her. Weyland finds out about this and cuts the power to prevent Katya from trying to remove the Alien from Tequila and is forced to put her into a stasis capsule to prevent the Alien from hatching and killing her.

With their dropship and the Marlow destroyed, Rookie is sent to confront Weyland himself in order to acquire his datapad and use it to recall Weyland's personal cruiser, getting himself, Tequila, and Katya off the planet. Rookie, Tequila and, Katya are then seen in cryo-sleep on-board the cruiser, while the pilot speaks with Weyland and sets a course for the Alien homeworld.

Alien

As an Alien, the game starts out in a lab, where humans are being kept imprisoned. As one of them wakes up, a chestburster emerges from another subject, killing him, and soon after, another kills him too. As the scientists enter the room to collect the specimens, they find that "Specimen 6" (or "Number 6") is missing. A Chestburster then emerges from the victim's mouth, rather than the containment tube, and as a result the room is gassed by Dr. Groves, killing the two scientists. Mr. Weyland himself prevents the death of the creature, saying he has a feeling about it.

Soon after, once Number 6 is fully grown, during an observation of its abilities by Dr. Groves, it is told by its queen to escape, but it is gassed and recaptured. As Mr. Weyland opens the door to ancient ruins built by the Predator species' ancestors, the structure emits a beam of light that disables the local human colony's systems, also releasing Number 6's restraints, allowing it to escape. Dr. Groves escapes but his assistant is left behind and killed by Number 6. Number 6 releases the other Aliens and their queen. Once free, the Aliens go to the colony, where they begin to multiply through Facehuggers, and encounter Marines.

As Number 6 continues to kill Marines and disable the human colony's systems, it eventually finds itself at the ruins Mr. Weyland opened, where it and its sibling encounter a group of Predators, which they immediately battle and kill. An Elite Predator appears and battles Number 6, who weakens it to the point that a Facehugger is able to attach itself to it. As Number 6 ventures through the jungle, it is stopped and stunned as it senses that the queen is trapped in a fire at the human colony, and dies in an explosion. As it is paralyzed, Dr. Groves and a few combat androids discover Number 6, and on Weyland's request, capture it. They take the captured Number 6 off-world to an orbiting ship, where Number 6 kills the crew, kidnaps Dr. Groves, and escapes. Number 6 is shown sleeping inside the ship, going through a metamorphasis, increasing in size and growing extra appendages. While Dr. Groves is hived to the wall watching, Number 6 sheds what remains of its skin and awakens, transformed into a queen.

Predator

As a Predator, the game starts in the jungles of an unnamed planet, where a "young blood" Predator goes through the trials for his rite of passage. This level is essentially a tutorial for the player to familiarize with the Predator's interface. Once the trials are complete, the player character is assigned the rank of Elite, and dispatched with a group of other Elites to a planet to investigate a distress call by one of the Youngbloods from another planet (BG 386). On arriving at BG 386, the Predator ship destroys the orbiting human ship, the USS Marlow, and launches the Elites to the planet's surface.

There the player character finds one of the dead young bloods, and sets its wristband to self destruct in order to keep the humans from discovering their technology. The player character is told to make trophies of humans on account of their intrusion on the planet, which is one of their ancient, and therefore sacred hunting grounds for Xenomorphs. The player character goes on to infiltrates the Colonial Marine's forward base, disabling the systems and releasing the Xenomorphs into the open. It finds another Youngblood, and acquires mines.

The Predator infiltrates the Refinery, and finds the Alien Queen already killed by the Colonial Marine from the Marine campaign. In there it finds another dead Youngblood, and acquires the Disk Launcher, before setting the dead young blood's wrist gauntlet to self-destruct. The Predator enters the ruins and finds the mask of an ancient and legendary Predator. Replacing his own with this mask, it gains the ability to see and target Xenomorphs in the dark. The mask plays back a holographic scene from many years back celebrating the Predators' first victory over the Xenomorphs. It is at this point the player is instructed to find a certain artifact of high importance to the Predators - a wrist bracelet.

Venturing through the ruins, the player character finds stranded Colonial Marines and more aliens. Reaching an ancient combat arena, the Elite battles an Alien Praetorian. When the player defeats the Praetorian, the Predator acquires a Combi-stick, a spear-like weapon that can be thrown while maintaining the thrower's cloaking.

The Elite then infiltrates the lab Weyland-Yutani built around the Predator's Pyramid and searches for the wrist bracelet acquired by the human colonists for research. The player character has its first encounter with the corporation's combat androids. Karl Bishop Weyland attempts to capture the player character for live experimentation, but fails. The player character successfully acquires the bracelet, and makes it to the tomb. The player character is then informed the wrist bracelet is to be used to wipe out the entire tomb as its sanctity had been violated by the humans and to purge the stain on the Predator's history.

Immediately after, he is attacked by a "Predalien" (an Alien born from the body of a Predator). The two battle in an underground lava chamber. On defeating the Predalien, the player character throws the dead Predalien over the ledge, in the same fashion as the first victory celebration over the Xenomorphs. The Elite returns to the ship as the wrist bracelet detonates, obliterating the entire human colony. The victorious player character sets the ship for the direction of the Xenomorph's homeworld.

Development

In December 2008, a Kotaku article stated that Sega had announced that an Aliens vs. Predator video game was being developed.[9] This meant that Sega's other upcoming game, Aliens: Colonial Marines, would be pushed back so Aliens vs. Predator could be released first.

Australian controversy

An early build of the game was submitted for review to the OFLC, but was denied classification in Australia and effectively banned for sale altogether. Sega announced that there would not be a re-cut version released in Australia, and that they would appeal the decision. The game's refusal of classification again brought up the issue of a need for an R18+ rating in games, a move supported by many members of the public and government members.[10][11]

As of December 18, Sega has successfully won the appeal on the classification of the game in Australia.[12] "It is with great pleasure that we announce the success of our appeal," says Darren Macbeth, managing director of Sega Australia. "We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever. Australian gamers applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians."

The Board noted that "the violence depicted in the game can be accommodated within the MA 15+ category as the violent scenes are not prolonged and are interspersed with longer non violent sequences. The violence is fantastical in nature and justified by the context of the game, set in a futuristic science-fiction world, inhabited by aliens and predators. This context serves to lessen its impact. The more contentious violence is randomly generated and is not dependent on player selection of specific moves."

Reception

Critical reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings X360: 64.25%[13]
PS3: 66.11% [14]
Metacritic X360: 65/100[15]
PS3: 67/100[16]
PC: 73/100[17]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com D [18]
Eurogamer 6/10 [19]
GameSpot 5.5/10 [20]
GameZone 6/10 [21]
IGN 7/10 [22]
Official Xbox Magazine 7/10 [23]

Aliens vs. Predator has received mixed to slightly more positive reviews from critics, and currently holds a 64.25% at GameRankings.[24] Metacritic rates the game at a similar 65%.[25] GamingShogun asked how Rebellion could have made such a lackluster title after creating the incredible, first AvP title [26]. Official Xbox Magazine praised the game for its 'Superb atmosphere' and 'Unique multiplayer', but criticized the odd melee system and how the marines could knock back an alien, relieving some of the atmosphere.[27] The most scathing review came from 1UP, who found the multiplayer hard to recommend over the prior game in the series; Aliens vs. Predator 2, describing it as 'ultimately thin and awkward'. GameZone's Dakota Grabowski gave the game a 6/10, saying "If the recent films on the Aliens vs. Predator franchise haven’t been painful enough to sit through, then perhaps video gamers worldwide are ready to stomach Sega and Rebellion’s pitiful offering. Delivering poor results and half-baked ideas, it’s my regret to call Aliens vs. Predator the year’s most disappointing title thus far."[28] In a form of positity, this game did mutch better than Aliens versus Predator: Extinction and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (video game).

Sales

Despite its mixed critical reception, Aliens vs. Predator debuted at number one on the UK all formats chart. [29] It is currently the fastest-selling game of 2010 in the UK, a record previously held by BioShock 2.[30] It was also the best-selling game on Steam, as well as on the retail PC charts.[31][32]

Sequel

Following the commercial success of the title, the co-founder and CEO of Rebellion Developments; Jason Kingsley, has stated that the developer is in discussions with Sega about creating a sequel.[33] Kingsley has expressed his personal desire to revisit the franchise. [34]

References

  1. ^ Kozanecki, James (August 11, 2009). "Q&A: Sega on Aliens vs. Predator". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/aliensvspredatorworkingtitle/news.html?sid=6215126&tag=gumballs;title;2&mode=previews. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Channell, Mike (2009-05-07). "Aliens vs Predator". Official Xbox Magazine UK (Future Publishing) (47): 32–39. 
  3. ^ "Aliens vs. Predator rated 18 by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. December 2, 2009. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/website/Classified.nsf/e8ea0df3a881175480256d58003cb570/756fcfae42a137ca802576800032b779?OpenDocument. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  4. ^ "Aliens vs. Predator Rated Mature by ESRB". n4g. January 7, 2010. http://www.n4g.com/pc/News-454417.aspx/OpenDocument. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  5. ^ "Aliens vs Predator System Requirements". Game-Debate. http://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=609&game=Aliens%20vs%20Predator. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  6. ^ http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/105/1057249p1.html
  7. ^ http://blogs.sega.com/europe/2010/02/01/aliens-vs-predator-multiplayer-modes-dissected/
  8. ^ Josh (2010-02-05). "Aliens VS Predators walkthrough for all 3 species". VideoGamesBlogger. http://www.videogamesblogger.com/2010/02/05/aliens-vs-predators-walkthrough-video-guide-for-all-3-species-pc-xbox-360-ps3.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  9. ^ Fahey, Mike (2009-02-11). "Aliens Fight Predators Again in 2010". Kotaku. http://kotaku.com/5151456/aliens-fight-predators-again-in-2010. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  10. ^ "News: Aliens vs. Predator banned in Australia". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=228861. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  11. ^ "News: Rebellion "disappointed" with AVP Aussie ban". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=228887. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  12. ^ Wildgoose, David. "Aliens Vs Predator Appeal Successful, Now Rated MA15+ [Updated] | Kotaku Australia". Kotaku.com.au. http://www.kotaku.com.au/2009/12/aliens-vs-predator-appeal-successful-now-rated-ma15/. Retrieved 2009-12-18. 
  13. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/958076-aliens-vs-predator/index.html
  14. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/958076-aliens-vs-predator/index.html
  15. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/aliensvspredator
  16. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/aliensvspredator
  17. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/aliensvspredator
  18. ^ http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3177998&p=4
  19. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/aliens-vs-predator-2010-review
  20. ^ http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox360/action/aliensvspredatorworkingtitle/review.html
  21. ^ http://xbox360.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r37465.htm
  22. ^ http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/106/1069693p1.html
  23. ^ http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=17455
  24. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/958076-aliens-vs-predator/index.html
  25. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/aliensvspredator
  26. ^ http://www.gamingshogun.com/Article/6250/Aliens_vs_Predator_(PC)_-_A_Review.html
  27. ^ http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=17455
  28. ^ http://xbox360.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r37465.htm
  29. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27337/Aliens_Vs_Predator_Tops_BioShock_2_In_UK.php
  30. ^ http://www.mcvuk.com/news/37651/UK-CHARTS-Aliens-vs-Predator-takes-No1
  31. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/bestselling-pc-download-games-of-the-week-aliens-vs-predator-tops-charts-1907888.html
  32. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/news/a204739/avp-debuts-as-pc-number-one.html
  33. ^ http://mmomfg.com/2010/02/23/avp-selling-well-sequel-0223/
  34. ^ http://www.destructoid.com/rebellion-talks-avp-sequel-and-totally-sh-t-reviews-164714.phtml

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