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Author Topic: Aliens vs. Predator [3]  (Read 5815 times)

MadassAlex

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Aliens vs. Predator [3]
« on: 17 Aug 2009, 02:30 »

Aliens vs. Predator was never really destined to be much more than pulp. After all, its source material is half based on Predator and Predator 2, jarringly simplistic and tame productions in comparison to the likes of ALIEN and ALIENS, the first of which was balls-out psycho-sexual and the second of which has since become a staple of both the sci-fi and action genres without letting go of what made the creature what it was.

If you expected anything else from the crossover, you've evidently forgotten that the pairing was a profit-child - Dark Horse were actively trying to come up with a pairing of existing franchises so they continue to milk them with the minimum of effort. After all, while the paring was alluded to in Predator 2, the two franchises were light years apart in both setting, purpose and depth.

This did not stop the result from being fucking awesome.

For those who haven't read it, the original comic is very little like the movies and more like ALIEN and ALIENS with a few Predators thrown in for good measure. The plot, dialogue and art, while not amazing, set a very pleasing standard for the ensuing series of comics. This would've translated well into the first game, if the first game had any plot to speak of. While the game itself was very enjoyable and neatly encapsulated the core elements of the crossover - Aliens, Predators, Colonial Marines and copious amounts of explosive pulse rounds - it wasn't until Aliens vs. Predator 2 that the narratives were given life beyond the pages of a comic. While it took some liberties with the source material (and not many at that), it was surprisingly intriguing and well-done as long as the infamously poor expansion pack Primal Hunt is ignored.


Insert ineffectual mouse flailing here.

That screenshot is from 2001. The limitations of technology were manyfold, but especially painful for a game based upon two monsters that relied on stealth. The Predator could circumnavigate this somewhat, having the capacity to turn completely invisible at will. Playing as a Xenomorph was different, however. you had to maintain good distance and know the sight arcs well to avoid notice. Being found out resulted in the A.I. becoming unable to forget your exact location, rendering the Xenomorph's trademark mind-games absent from an otherwise quality game. But the year is not 2001.


This time around, the Xenomorphs are somewhat less agile, but substantially tougher - even in the face of armour-piercing, explosive rounds.


Melee combat is somewhat more advanced this time around - although an element still mostly absent from the Marine gameplay.

Current gameplay videos make a few suggestions in regards to what we can expect:

- The Predator only has four weapon slots. While I'm fairly sure this was done to ease the strain on console gamers, I think this is a great move in increasing the challenge of single player and reducing the spam that was so bothersome in AvP2. With this kind of limitation in weapons, a Predator player will be forced to take more risks, including engaging in melee combat on a more regular basis.

- The Xenomorph has become slower this time around, although it appears to retain its pounce and gain a substantial health upgrade. The nature of modern graphics technology and the segments we've seen so far imply that many of the maps will be built with the Xenomorphs in mind, allowing them, for the first time, to hide effectively in plain sight.

- Using the pulse rifle grenades now knocks you back if you're too close. We haven't had a clear view of Marine on Xenomorph action, but said pulse rifles don't seem amazingly effective against the animal kingdom's bastard offspring of Spiderman and a Ringwraith.

Many of the details are still under wraps. I personally consider map design to be the most important element of a game such as this, as with three races with vastly different capabilities, setting up scenarios that allow those to not only be used, but used cleverly is of paramount importance. The best games, even in multiplayer, do not present a single superior choice when it comes to progressing through obstacles and I hope no different for this game.

And now, personal wishlist:

- Give the Xenomorph the stealth capabilities that made it the terror of cinema in 1979.
- Keep all the game-modes from AvP2. Perhaps add even more. They kicked so much ass.
- Take measures to prevent weapon spam in multiplayer. This was an absolutely massive issue in the last game and I hope Rebellion take note.
- More tactical, considered multiplayer rather than run 'n' gun Quake-influenced fare. The nature of both ALIEN and Predator is in seeking out the creature and taking the fight to it under considered situations.

Thoughts?
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Boro_Bandito

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Re: Aliens vs. Predator [3]
« Reply #1 on: 17 Aug 2009, 08:35 »

Have to go to work, so I just have to chip in real quick. Aliens vs. Predator 2 was amazing, had a fun single player campaign, and the multiplayer was the first me and my brothers had the opportunity to play on a dsl modem, in fact made the switch from dial-up to, for a real side-by side comparison of gameplay ("oh my god guys, the lag is gone! and holy crap we're up to 100kb a second on Kazaa!"), so there are nothing but fond memories.
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Yeah, I mean, "I won't kill and eat you if you won't kill and eat me" is typically a ground rule for social groups.
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