Aliens vs. Predator 2
Score: 8.0 / 10
strange that we are at a point now with first person shooting games
where it takes unbelievable amounts of x-factor to satisfy the majority
of reviewers and most hardcore gamers.
I say this because on the PC, in the past two to three years,
there hasnít really been a glut of FPSí that have really sucked
(Aside from perhaps Mortyr). Instead,
weíve been treated to a base level of quality where even when not
innovative, the FPS games in recent memory have been fun.
Aliens vs. Predator 2 (AVP2) fits somewhere in that category
where with itís own unique cast of characters, it has managed to
provide a fun experience without innovating the FPS genre or even its
primary draw to AVP2 will be its licences, and Monolith has come through
in this aspect by faithfully representing the three species.
The graphical representation of each species takes advantage of
Monolithís newest Lithtech engine, and environmental graphics are also
beautifully done. The only
minor complaint I have is that the bland, dreadfully moody, contrast
between ambient red light and darkness has not been used as much as it
was in the first game. The
suffocating mood and ambience has been lightened up a little with more
variety between environments, and more colour being used.
The price to be paid for all these lovely visuals is some long
load screens. I was playing
on a K7 500, and the load times were about twice as long as they were
for Max Payne.
The species have been made more balanced with the addition of various weapons, gadgets, methods of attack, and through the tweaking of overall constitution. The Predator can now recharge his energy levels at any time, provided that he is not cloaked. The Alien now has a targeting reticule and can regain energy quickly by eating the heads of dead marines. The marine is now a little tougher, and has his usually arsenal of weapons.
play balance improved, the resulting fun to be had in multiplayer mode
has increased greatly since the first installment.
With a couple patches since itís release date, the net code has
been solidified. With an in
game server browser, a solid community and more game modes, multiplayer
in AVP2 is an excellent extension to the gameís play life.
The new game modes included are Evac, and Overrun. In Evac, one
time must make it to a predetermined location and survive in that area for 10 seconds. In Overrun, one team must defend a location while the opposing team provides an all out assault.
single player aspect of the game succeeds in capturing the moods of the
films on which it is based. The
missions as a marine put you at the mercy of waves upon waves of Aliens.
There are many cool scripted events that will surprise you and
cause you to clench your mouse a little tighter.
In one rescue mission gone wrong, a fellow marine that has been
cocooned will give birth to a chest burster and you will have to escape
by trapping hordes of aliens behind doors.
the Predator, you will hunt humans using stealth and dispatch Aliens
with your various gadgets. There
are also some jumping puzzles with the Predator, but not too much as to
frustrate the gamer. The
storyline of the Alien will have you play through all the various life
cycles from a face hugger, to a chest burster, and finally to a full
grown drone. The Alien
missions include more sneaking around, and trying to reach a given
destination with minimal detection.
All three of the species offered some challenging moments but
nothing as mind numbingly difficult as in the first game.
storyline aspect of the game has been significantly improved since the
first installment, but it is by no means involving.
The scenario is set for the three species, and playing through
each will give you a different view of the events.
Though the story involves the gamer to some extent, do not expect
the plot to be as good as the films.
If you follow the Alien Vs. Predator comics, none of the plot
line will be new or groundbreaking to you.
With another solid first person shooter on the market, one has to wonder how long the streak of good releases will continue. Fairly soon, perhaps games such as AVP2 will be considered average, but for now, this game can be considered great.
- Mark Leung
(February 15, 2002)
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