Aliens versus Predator


Genre:   Action

Developer:    Rebellion

Publisher:    Fox Interactive

Released:   1999

PC Requirements:    Microsoft® Windows® 95/98, Intel® Pentium® 200 MMX PC or 100% compatible, 32 MB RAM (64 MB recommended) DirectX® 6 (included on CD) or higher required, 400 MB free hard drive space (uncompressed) minimum, CD-ROM Speed: 4X CD-ROM drive (minimum), Direct3D® compatible 3D Accelerator Card DirectX7reg; compatible graphics card supporting High Color (16-bit at 640x480 resolution recommended), Direct3D® Accelerators (4 MB recommended), DirectX® compatible sound card; Multiplayer: DirectPlay® Internet, LAN (IPX, TCP/IP) support for up to 8 players. Serial Modem Support




by Drizzt

Somewhere far away, so far away so you can not see it, there is a dripping sound. Around you, the metal walls are on occasions lighted with a red beaming light emitting from some kind of lamp indicating danger.

As you proceed down the quite broad corridor, your boots echoing at the metallic surface, you can feel the sense of claustrophobia slowly closing in on you.

As you pass a destroyed pipe hanging out from the ceiling, its fluid splashes onto your face, making you grimace before you walk a few steps more, and lower your rifle as to be able to wipe it away.

To your left is a small ventilation duct, one which you have to pass through in order to go any further. As you crawl through it, fighting claustrophobia all the way, you hurry up until you fall out on the other side, into a control room.

One lever is labelled Blast Doors, which you quickly pull, and you feel relieved as you pull it and hear the sound of the complex being sealed.

Above you, coming from the ceiling, you hear a hiss look up just in time to see two pair of clawed hands descending onto your head and a roundly shaped head preparing for the kill, before your vision is no more.

What was written there is just one fine example of what could happen to you in Fox Interactive action/horror/sci-fi game Aliens vs. Predator.

As the name indicates, if focuses on the races we were presented in the cult movies Predator and Aliens, and I can assure you no fan will be disappointed by this game.

Practically every element from the movies that made you shiver when you saw them is there. But first, let us go through the races and their attributes.

First out, we have the marines, humans, cannon fodder, expendable, whichever you want to call it. These are simply soldiers happening to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as well as they experimented with the wrong things.
They can not take very much damage at all, but they do have some of the most powerful weapons, and the motion sensor (straight from the film) is probably a single reason alone enough to want to play as them.

Then, of courser, there are the aliens. Fast, agile, fragile and sneaky are words that describe this race most fitting.
If you choose to play them, you will find yourself running upside down, sideways, clinging in ceilings waiting for your prey, and devouring them in order to gain health. They can not take very much damage at all, almost as little as the marines.
Where the marines and predator rely on firepower, this race relies on hiding and striking at the best opportunity.

Last, but not the least there is the predator, a mean killing machine, killing for the sport of it. You can even collect trophies from the ones you kill.
The biggest advantage it has is its ability to view through different spectres, allowing you to catch sight of aliens, humans, heat sources and also watching in night vision.
The weapons are almost straight from the movies, and a favourite is the spear gun (resembles a sniper rifle when zooming and using the correct spectre mode).
The other weapons all rely on energy which slowly recharges or can be picked up in small containers on the level.
From this energy, he can also cloak himself with something which is near-invisibility as well as heal himself.

So, how are they balanced? Extremely well, I must say. Marines have their advantage in heavy firepower and numbers, but can hardly take anything before going down. Another big disadvantage with them is that they have no way to locate enemies except their usual vision and night vision.

Aliens are weak, but one swift strike is usually enough to remove the head of a marine, and they can hide and wait for their prey to arrive, which makes them dangerous hunters.

The predator is the most well-equipped and most technically advanced. He can also take the most damage, but he meets heavy resistance in numbers later on, so that is to his disadvantage.

The levels of the game are the typical science fiction levels, almost taken directly from the alien movies. Laboratories, complexes, long corridors, strange alien structures along with some levels on the surface on the planet as well bode for a great lot of fun.
They are all very well thought out and designed, too, and you really get the same horrifying feeling as in the movies.
One plus, and which is original, is that you get the briefing in your missions, from screens mounted on the walls, where a commander is bossing you around your mission. This adds much to the atmosphere, as it feels as if you really are down there and are taking orders in real time from somebody.

And how is it about the technical bits of the game? For quite an old game such as this, I must say they are really good. Most levels are very dark, but that is just to be expected, and it really fits, with sources emitting often dark red light, lighting everything around you.
The few missions outside are simply great, and you can really feel you are there.
Talking about feeling, the game also has one hell of an engine when it comes to shooting. For example, I heard aliens for example, can be shot into 26 different pieces, and I am in no way doubting it.

The sound is top-notch, and if I had not been able to see the screen and know this was a game, I would swear there was someone watching the alien movies. The beeping sound coming from the marine motion sensor is probably the most frightening sound yet to appear in a game.
The music is simply excellent, and sits just fine with the game. In case you wanted to know, the whole of CD2 is nothing but a soundtrack CD you can play in your CD player in case you wanted some creepy atmosphere in your room.

This is also a game you will sit with for a long time…most levels are big, huge in some cases, and it could take up to an hour or two to complete the biggest ones. And then, of course, you could try them in different ways.
And there is a set of levels for each race, and if you are really good, and can beat the directors cut difficulty level, you can gain access to some more (which is playing the other races’ levels as another race).

I feel I must warn you, though. If you are easily frightened, do not even think of getting this game.
There are only two games that have ever managed to scare me as much that I jumped and my nerves felt as if they were playing a guitar solo or whatever in my stomach.
Realms of the haunting, when I met one of the most frightening monsters ever.
Aliens vs. Predator when I first got jumped by a face hugger (trust me, you will jump out of your chair, and it will take half an hour before your nerves have returned to normal).

As it also is out in Gold version now, with some extra levels and other goodies, I can do nothing else but to highly recommend it to whoever feels he/her wants to travel into a world of horror and lurking death.
One of the best science fiction games ever, based on a few of the best science fiction movies.


Graphics: 9/10
Sounds: 10/10
Gameplay: 10/10
Story: 9/10 (it is not very complex, but it surely manages to make you feel as a part of it)
Replayability Value: 9/10

My Rating: 9.4/10

A Classic, simply put.

copyright © 2003 GameBoomers

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