Aliens Vs Predator: Hands-On Preview – So… An Alien, A Marine And A Predator Walk Into A Bar…

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The Aliens vs Predator videogame franchise has been going for quite some time and has always had a very decent following. This, due to the fact that they have all been pretty good not to mention that the multiplayer modes were some of the best in the business.

Movies have also surfaced over the last couple of years using the same title but don’t be fooled as the videogames are not some sort of licensed attempt at a silver screen to videogame console conversion, these babies have been going for a while now.

With the new title’s release on the horizon, we’ve had hands on time with the game to find out if this next offering is worthy of it’s predecessors’ good name.

As with all of the Aliens vs Predator games, the game is split into three separate campaigns: Marine, Alien and Predator.

Fans of the franchise will already know how this works and everything will feel instantly familiar. Each different campaign is vastly different from the other, with the Marine playing like a first person survival horror/shooter, the Alien as a melee/stealth game and the Predator as a high-tech mix between the two.

As I said in the paragraph above, everything will feel instantly familiar to fans of the previous games. So familiar in fact that this really feels like nothing more than a new version of what you have played before, but I don’t mean it in a bad way.

In fact, Aliens Vs Predator feels like what I wanted it to feel like. It feels like the older games but with new campaigns, better visuals and some nifty extras.

The Marine campaign and that damned motion sensor will make you want to wet your pants as you traverse dark (very, very dark) passageways with your flashlight, your weapon and the aforementioned sensor spitting out it’s ominous and legendary “thip, thip, thip” noise. Well that is until it detects something and tells you that it’s 18 metres away, but for the life of you, you can’t see it yet but it’s coming and it’s coming fast. The wuss in me has kicked in just thinking about it, so let’s move on.

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The Alien campaign is one that I have always enjoyed, although it won’t be for those of you who get motion sick too easily.

You are basically the bad-ass scary thing that I mentioned from the Marine campaign. You can see well in the dark, you can walk on walls and ceilings and you move at one heck of a pace. It is once you play the Alien that you fully understand what there is to be scared of in the Marine campaign, as you launch towards an enemy in the dark, and the noob (see: me in the marine campaign) knows you are coming but is not sure where from and how fast.

We weren’t given much to see from the Predator campaign except for the introduction tutorial that is masked as a coming-of-age trial for the Predator (sigh, they grow up so fast).

The Predator is pretty special in that you are given a myriad of tools and weapons to play with. From big scary sharp metal claws for melee combat, to the legendary shoulder mounted laser-pwnage thing that we all know so well.

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While I wasn’t able to try out any multiplayer for this game, I know that it has always been the brightest shining star of the franchise. Previous games had the incredible modes such as Hunt and Survivor (the first time I ever saw people scream from fear in multiplayer).

You could customise the game so that one person starts as an alien, and the others all start as marines. Every time an alien kills a marine, the marine becomes an alien as well, until there is only one marine left standing and a large amount of aliens tracking him down.

The modes were some of the best multiplayer fun I had ever had, and I am pretty confident that we are going to see them return in this new title and if that is the case, then I cannot wait to try them out again.

My brief time spent with this new Aliens vs Predator let me know that they understand what made the previous games great and have sought to bring that same feeling back but on next-gen platforms.

Aliens vs Predator should see local shelves on February 19. We are looking forward to it.

Last Updated: January 22, 2010

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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