Giant Bomb Review

106 Comments

Aliens vs. Predator Review

2
  • X360

While there's still a certain charm to its interspecies play, AVP is plagued with issues across the board.


  Marine shoots Alien, Alien eats Marine, Predator stands back and laughs about it.
There's something conceptually terrific about the three-way dance that is Aliens vs. Predator, but Rebellion's rework of the formula--which has been around for well over 15 years now--flubs the execution in a lot of different ways. The franchise's class-based take on multiplayer combat still elicits a few thrilling moments, but the three single-player campaigns aren't any fun at all.

Aliens vs. Predator is all about the differences between the three playable factions. The Marines carry weapons, like the iconic Aliens pulse rifle and even more iconic Aliens motion detector, which blips out frequently enough to let you know that something's moving out there, but not often enough to serve as a direct map to your enemies. The aliens are a purely melee class that can crawl on walls, see well in the dark, and detect silhouettes of enemies through solid surfaces. Predators can cloak themselves, get two vision modes to help them see the other races, and are largely a melee class as well. But they can collect and use specific Predator weapons as they hunt. These weapons end up being especially devastating, but they're kept in check by low fire-rates and a finite amount of energy for your beam weapons.

  A big part of the Alien campaign involves putting Facehuggers onto faces.
So with two classes relying heavily on strikes, that melee combat needs to be pretty good for the game to work. But it doesn't fit with the action especially well, and the end result is a rock-paper-scissors-like system of strikes, blocking, and counters that feels out-of-place in the game's fiction and also isn't much fun to perform. The aliens end up feeling especially weak. These things are bred to rip out the throats of the opposition and claw them apart in the process. Standing still, holding down the block controls and waiting for your enemy to strike so you can counter just feels silly. These mechanics do, however, make AVP feel very different than your average first-person shooter, which is a nice reprieve from the standard rifle/shotgun/sniper/rockets gameplay that you've come to expect from the typical sci-fi first-person shooter. The game offers a variety of different multiplayer modes, too, but on the 360 version, it was often hard to find players. You may have to wait around for five or 10 minutes before collecting enough players to get a game started.

Of course, that doesn't forgive the game's single-player portion, which drags you through the same dull events from three different perspectives. At best, the instruction you get on the use of your class's tools makes it a passable tutorial for the multiplayer. At its worst, though, AVP contains multiple scripting bugs where things that were supposed to happen simply didn't, forcing me to restart at the most recent checkpoint and hope that the game would carry forward. Also, the AI can't pilot an alien very well at all, like it can't deal with the concept of running up walls. If there's a pillar between you and an alien, it'll run up the side of it and start twitching and spinning around. It gets its bearings after a few seconds, but it looks pretty terrible. It'll take around six or seven hours to work through all three campaigns on the default difficulty setting, but they're not really worth seeing through to their conclusions.

That's really the largest problem with Aliens vs. Predator. There's no one solid aspect of it to make up for the other, busted-up parts. You're left with the impression that the single-player was an afterthought and that multiplayer was the focus. But even the multiplayer is saddled with enough flaws to make this game missable. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
106 Comments
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Posted by Skinsforlife21

Totally agree

Posted by Jadeskye

I agree (surprise) with jeff's view here. It's broken.

Posted by cap123

aw, i really wanted this to be good.

Posted by big_jon

Wow Jeff this was a harsh review, I really think you were a bit to hard on this one.
Posted by TomA

Ouch

Posted by Delta_Ass

Whoever wins, we lose?

Posted by Yummylee

Shame, got a mate whos foaming from every orifice for this game.
Posted by Pie

Kinda pleases this is bad, gives me the money for BC2 and other games coming out soon 
That sounds a bit bad

Posted by big_jon
@cap123:
Dude don`t just not try it because it got one bad review.
Edited by Death_Unicorn

Posted by MAN_FLANNEL

Although it had potential, this game is truly a piece of shit.   

Posted by SinGulaR

That's just sad to hear. The original AvP and it's sequel were pretty ok games.
Posted by Tactical_Kill

Shame it didn't turn out better. Nice review Jeff.

Posted by TripMasterMunky

God dammit. You think it would be easy as hell to make an Aliens game. Aliens FPS. I know it was in the works and then cancelled, but still. Stop the versus stuff. It should be easy and fun enough to make a good Aliens FPS game.

Posted by RHCPfan24

Nice review. I loved the second AvP (back in 2001) but this seems to be a shoddy remake/reboot. Rebellion sounded like they knew what they were doing but, after playing the multiplayer demo, I see many problems with it that you brought up here. So I agree with you on this one ;)

Posted by Skytylz

Short review

Posted by General_D23


Damn. Really wanted this to turn out better. I'll still give it a rent.

Edited by Bummey

Well, shit.  Gamefly just shipped it off a couple days ago and with their slow ass shipping I guess there's two weeks of wasted subscription time.
 
I'll still give it a go and form my own opinion, but I was hoping for a better review.

Posted by TheYear20XX

Unfortunate, I was hoping this would turn out well.

Posted by lolgreg

I figured this would get a bad review.  I felt like I was part of a minority when I said this game looked brutal.

Posted by iAmJohn

Rebellion made a disappointing game?  What are the odds!

Posted by Tuggah

The multiplayer demo was fun but certainly nto worth 60 bucks. 20 at most.

Posted by AngelicRampage

what really gets me pissed off about htis game is the stupid 1 button kills
 
those stealth/trophy kills are the worst idea they couldve come up with, mainly the trophy kills, i wouldnt have mind them in singleplayer, but for multiplayer too? what?

Posted by PureRok
@TripMasterMunky said:
" God dammit. You think it would be easy as hell to make an Aliens game. Aliens FPS. I know it was in the works and then cancelled, but still. Stop the versus stuff. It should be easy and fun enough to make a good Aliens FPS game. "
Fuck Aliens. Predator game.
Posted by JoelTGM

Thanks for the review Jeff.

Posted by RocketFacepalm
@TripMasterMunky: 
 
While its not exactly an Aliens game based on the movie, try Natural Selection. I still maintain the stance that game is still the best Aliens/Marines multilayer ever made. Its too bad that Natural Selection 2 is going the way of Duke Nukem Forever.
Posted by ToxicFruit

I just got and I am enjoying it a bit, more than half way through most of the campaigns and have not run into any scripting bugs, I am playing on PC, but I have seen how poorly the AI controls the aliens. As a lot of people have said this is a love it hate it game and I am barely on the of the love it side. I am not going to tell everyone how great this games is and how they should buy it ,no, because I can see that it is not perfect and the developers could have done more to fix all the little things that ruin it. I respect your opinion Jeff and I hope you can force your self in playing a few hours of the PC version and see if it handles better !

Posted by Three0neFive
@PureRok said:
" @TripMasterMunky said:
" God dammit. You think it would be easy as hell to make an Aliens game. Aliens FPS. I know it was in the works and then cancelled, but still. Stop the versus stuff. It should be easy and fun enough to make a good Aliens FPS game. "
Fuck Aliens. Predator game. "
Fuck Predators. Marine game.
Posted by RobotHamster

Damn a two, I was expecting at least a three.  I actually had hopes for this game but oh well.

Posted by Derangel

Rebellion made a bad game. Is anyone surprised? I want to check it out, but not for $50. By the end of the year I bet Steam will have it for $5. I'll buy it than.

Posted by Woodroez
@Three0neFive said:
" @PureRok said:
" @TripMasterMunky said:
" God dammit. You think it would be easy as hell to make an Aliens game. Aliens FPS. I know it was in the works and then cancelled, but still. Stop the versus stuff. It should be easy and fun enough to make a good Aliens FPS game. "
Fuck Aliens. Predator game. "
Fuck Predators. Marine game. "
Fuck Marines. Space Jockey game.
Posted by Hot_Karl

I liked the demo & thought it was a ton of fun, but my tastes are usually in line with Jeff's so I'll probably skip out on this unless my friends incessantly play over XBL, to which I'll join them but only if the game is $20 or lower.

Posted by Artifax

Not even worth a rental it seems. I was going to gamefly this but, meh.

Posted by natetodamax

Dude that's a short review. I knew this was going to be two stars.

Posted by Milkman

Well, that's a shame.

Posted by Jambones
@RobotHamster said:
" Damn a two, I was expecting at least a three.  I actually had hopes for this game but oh well. "
I know what you mean, but after reading Jeff's unimpressed reaction on his Twitter as he played through. 
 
Anyone else find the voice acting terrible in this?
Posted by Dracomaster01

I have to disagree with Jeff and most people about this game.  I'm really enjoying the game, single player is fun and unlike Jeff, I haven't had any kind of scripting problems with it. Also getting into a muliplayer game only takes a few minutes for me. I'm enjoying the game a lot, more than MW2 right now.  Guess this is really a either you love it or hate type of game.
Posted by MeatSim

Had some potential but looks like the ball was dropped.

Posted by copycatzen

2 out of 5 = not very good, that doesnt mean it has not some good in it.
Posted by Ubiquitous

It is a shame that this game turned out the way it did. I have many fond memories of the first game. Though I can't say I didn't expect it to be released in this condition, Rebellion isn't exactly known for making the best of games, let alone good ones.  
 
What was the last good game they developed? Wait let me rephrase that; What were the good games they developed? 
 
Oh yeah, Rainbow Six and AVP.... they haven't really made a good game since 1999. 
 
Thats 11 years of relative crap slowly devolving into complete crap, hence my initial suspicions.

Posted by VagrantPoop

Feels like a very rushed review ;)
 
"Yeah, this game sucks. Aliens are hard to control. And some scripting bugs. Melee is bad, but good? I dunno. Need to get home!"

Posted by Amatsu

Jaw dropped when I saw that score.  Didn't expect that.

Posted by jonnyboy

I'm still going to get it, I wanna play something new and there's nothing else out that really tickles my fancy. If I don't like it, I'll sell it.

Posted by Djzed

i kinda like its a goood game moody and atmospheric
Posted by bartok

I hope this game doesn't kill any future game plans that involve Aliens and Predators it is great fodder for what could be some fun games in competent hands. I hate to say but without a decent major film involving either  the Alien and Predator franchises they are pretty much dead. I am not holding out hopes for Robert Rodriguez's Predator film being made since he doesn't realize that his R Rated movies are pretty decent but his kids movies are just terrible. More Dusk Before Dawn and less Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D please.

Online
Posted by Kombat

This seems like a review that someone just really didn't want to write. 
 
But despite the length, the writing's good enough to pass, so I won't complain too much.  this game was never on my radar.  Neither the Alien nor the Predator "mythology" has ever had any profound affect or significance to me, despite having heard great things about the multiplayer portions of the older PC iterations.  Sad to hear the game's not great, but glad to hear that my lack of interest isn't leaving me out in the cold.

Posted by Mechanized

Don't agree at all. I really like the game and haven't experienced any of the bugs people are talking about. The combat requires skill, it's not bad by any means. Out of place? Kinda, but the alternative is nothing but instakills. Where would be the fun or strategy in that? Whoever sees someone first wins? I do agree that the stealth/grab kills have animations that are way too long and should be sped up double time for multiplayer. This is by no means a 5 star game, but 2 is way too harsh imo. Try playing the PC version, haven't had any bugs with that, the graphics are better and controls MUCH better. To anyone who read the review and took it as law, try the game yourself first.

Posted by PureRok
@Three0neFive said:
" @PureRok said:
" @TripMasterMunky said:
" God dammit. You think it would be easy as hell to make an Aliens game. Aliens FPS. I know it was in the works and then cancelled, but still. Stop the versus stuff. It should be easy and fun enough to make a good Aliens FPS game. "
Fuck Aliens. Predator game. "
Fuck Predators. Marine game. "
Plenty of games about Marines. Have fun with those.
Posted by patrick5152003

i didnt read this review but you're wrong
Posted by spacekatgal

Gosh, I've been playing it and really grooving on it. I loved the 1998 game, and the updated graphics are just really working for me. Granted, I haven't tried multiplayer yet, but I've liked everything I've played so far. This is the first GB review I've disagreed with. 

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