When I think of Aliens vs. Predator, I think of a battle between two alien species who are on completely different sides of the spectrum. On one hand, you have the Aliens, with their unmatched superiority in numbers, speed, and ferocity. On the other hand, Predators are the perfect assassin. They can camouflage themselves while using various vision modes in order to pick out their opponent from its surroundings. It seems like no matter what, they always seem to be pitted against one another, and it usually makes for an entertaining experience.
Aliens vs Predator allows you to play as one of three species: Marines, Aliens, or Predators. Each species’ single-player campaign revolves around the same story, but told through a different perspective with each species having their own mission to complete. The 3 species have their pros and cons in terms of how they control, their abilities, and their mobility through the game world. Marines rely heavily on different arms that can be picked up throughout their campaign and sonar to track movement in dark areas, Aliens use the darkness to their advantage to sneak up on unsuspecting enemies, and Predators have the ability to use camouflage and a variety of lethal weapons.
Each species definitely has their shortcomings as well, such as the Marine’s flashlight being too weak when navigating through dark spaces, or how easily disoriented the player can become when navigating across walls and ceilings as an Alien, and this is where the game’s single-player campaign can get hard to handle when playing each campaign separately. I understand their shortcomings were necessary to keep each species balanced, but continually trying to adapt to each species can be frustrating. Upon finishing a chapter, Aliens Vs. Predator allows you to change to another species’ campaign, but I found this feature made the overall story harder to keep track of.
Both the Marines & Predator campaigns offered a good variety of missions and delivered a story I’m sure Aliens vs Predator faithfuls would understand, but the Aliens campaign felt like a complete waste of time. Its mission structure was, for the most part, go to point ‘x’, kill everyone in point ‘x’, rinse, repeat. Granted, the Aliens campaign is shorter than the other two, but going through 6 chapters of this same kind of mission structure can get old very quick.
To be fair, there are some good moments during Aliens vs Predator. The brutality of the Aliens & Predator kills are some of the most gruesome I’ve seen in a game. Heads are ripped off, bodies impaled, and spines removed all with very little effort and remorse. What made it more brutal was seeing your enemy’s face up-close during these gruesome acts. Needless to say, they didn’t look too happy during these moments. Graphically, Aliens vs. Predator doesn’t disappoint either as character models are very well detailed and its dark environments keeps players on their toes, especially during the Marine campaign as their vision is greatly limited in comparison to the Aliens’ & Predators’.
Aliens vs Predator’s multiplayer seems to make more sense than what I experienced in the single-player campaign. In fact, it almost feels like the only real reason a single-player mode was even included was to help players learn the intricacies of each species in order to compete online. The multiplayer mode allows you to play as either of the 3 species in multiple deathmatch modes, which makes things interesting due to neither one of the 3 species were more powerful than the other. Things get more interesting when it’s a team based multiplayer mode as having a team of at least one of the 3 species working together can make things quite challenging for the opposing team.
FINAL THOUGHT: Aliens vs. Predator will not satisfy fans of the FPS genre. The single-player campaign does not tell an engaging story and each species’ shortcomings doesn’t make this game particularly enjoyable to play through. The multiplayer has some fun moments, especially when the 3 species are working together, but it isn’t enough to deem this a title I would recommend.