"Especially when you have dead aliens twitching and spouting blood and human heads nailed to the walls by spears "
Title: Aliens vs. Predator
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: "Chase, hide or advance in over 40 levels of the most nightmarish, chillingly detailed futuristic environment your mind could ever imagine. Now the three most ferocious species in the universe are pitted against one another in a battle for the ultimate prize- survival. Choose to be a Colonial Marine, a Predator, or an Alien as you make your way through horrifyingly suspenseful environments ranging from spaceships and colonial bases to space stations and eerie planet scapes. One wrong move turns you from hunter into prey. Your species is counting on you."- Fox Interactive Wow. That is an incredible amount of drama to try and give a video game. Granted, it is pretty intense, but I donít know that a standard FPS, even if itís an exceptional makeup of one, could ever live up to that. This, by the way, didnít. Just as an FYI.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: Hmmm... What's the best way to put this. Outstanding! comes to mind. The graphics in AvP are, without a doubt, fantastic. Realistic character models, dark moody surroundings ripped straight out of the movies, incredible death animations- especially when you have dead aliens twitching and spouting blood and human heads nailed to the walls by spears. For the system requirements, which are fairly low, a definite 5 out of 5.
Game Play: The playability definitely rates pretty high. With fully customizable controls and defaults that don't totally suck, it makes the active learning curve pretty small. Missions are fairly well designed and multi-player maps have a good combination of environments o make it interesting. However, the key configurations don't stick from race to race. (So, for example, you have to, for each of the 3 races, reprogram even basic keys like walk forward). Which is very annoying, figuring out which maps are good/balanced for which characters is harder than it should be, and ammo is little more scarce than I'd care for. Also, prior to the patch release, it had no options for mid level saving or restarting where you died. You will repeat levels dozens of times, which always sucks. 3 out of 5.
Multiplayer & Replayability: Well, without question, multi-player kicks ass. The choice of games- team, death matches, race based teams, alien hunt, etc, make multi-player an absolute blast. And, since they have single player campaigns for each of the 3 races, you shouldn't get bored with that too fast either. 5 out of 5.
Story/Dramatics: Pretty much the best I was hoping for here would be to have the single player games reflecting true-to-movie plot lines. On that, AvP shines right through! Kick ass, immersing, authentic adventures make you actually feel like your a predator or space marine, and while the motivation is no more compelling than that of any of the movies (You must survive, or, you must kill) it's still passable. Truthfully, the only thing I found disdaining here was that, when playing the Aliens single player, your health recharge packets are innocent civilians (read: women and children). Well, two things about this bother me. 1st is that, even though I'm much in favor of graphic violence, this goes a bit to far. Have we devolved that far into immorality that we have to kill kids? Hey, I've got an idea, the next great FPS could be "Mall Attack, the action game where you wander into a crowded shopping mall and slaughter the masses. (Extra points for stroller babies and old people). 2nd is that, at least according to everything else I've read in the Alien's world, it's not dramatically accurate anyway. Sorry guys, but I just find it crude. 4 out of 5.
Instructions, Installation, and Real System Requirements: The instructions werenít anything to scream about either way. They gave you the basics but they did little to enhance game play. You could just as easily check out the key config. setup and learn everything the instructions say. Installation went okay but had the INCREDIBLY annoying necessity that you do a full defrag before installing the game. Yes, you heard right, a full defragÖWhich tells you a little bit about how loose the coding is. As for System requirements, well, they say itíll run on a P200 with 32 meg of RAM. And, you know, it just MIGHT. The sluggish game play and ridiculously scaled down graphics it would take would probably make you wish it hadnít. We ran it on a wide range of machines and found it to be good enough in single player on K6-233 (though, youíll be running at reduced graphics) and minimum for multi is a P2 266 (still reduced graphics). 2 out of 5.
The Good: Graphics, multi-player, replay-ability, and of course, being able to play three of your favorite sci-fi freaks.
The Bad: Same old tired puzzle solving and really doesn't do much to differentiate from other FPS. Morality leaves something to be desired.
The Overall Ugly: Basically, what you have here is an outstanding game. Good graphics, good game play, nice multi- player. If you need a new FPS, especially if you've got an older machine, look strongly at this!
What it's Worth: Market