Aliens vs. Predator Review

For PC

By Contributing Writer Mike Bean

Rating: Awesome
   Aliens vs. Predator (AvP) is one of the first major game adaptations of 
a movie concept that I've truly enjoyed, and it's easily the most 
atmosphere-intensive first-person game to come along in months.  AvP lets 
you play as a colonial marine, an Alien, or the Predator.  Each of the 
three games show flashes of brilliance and are beautifully crafted.  No 
matter who you're playing as, there’s always just the right amount of 
uncertainty about what’s around the next corner. It makes for a very tense 
experience because you know that whatever is lurking around that corner 
might drop you before you have a chance to blink.
   The marine game is great, with clever enemy placement and lightning 
quick attacks that will have you on the edge of your seat.  The sheer speed 
of the Alien game, combined with your ability to climb walls and rip limbs 
off your victims in seconds, really captures the feel of being an Alien.  
The Predator game is incredibly detailed, and it often feels like it was 
taken directly from Predator 3 (which is a good thing).
   Like every game, AvP is not without shortcomings.  I can't even begin to 
fathom why the makers of the game chose to release the game in a form that 
isn't compatible with Riva graphics chipsets.  In theory, there are new 
drivers available that will support the chipset, but in practice, it took 
me a long time to get it to run on a system that is well above the game's 
minimum requirements.  It took several hours of web research and time spent 
on the phone with Fox Interactive's support before I finally got the game 
to run.  No game should ever be unplayable out of the box. I don't know 
which commandment of game design that is, but it is certainly one of the 
  In terms of gameplay, AvP's biggest shortcoming is its lack of a mid-game 
save feature (you can only save your progress between levels).  Considering 
that the possibility of a sudden, abrupt death lurks around many corners in 
the game, you may find yourself playing more than one level over and over 
again.  This often adds up to enough frustration to seriously detract from 
the game.  A patch is available that will enable you to save in mid-game, 
but this option should be been available right out of the box.
   Multi-player support is available through  However, from 
what I've played of it, AvP in multi-player is buggy and somewhat 
unreliable.  I often found that the wait for a game to begin lasted longer 
than the game itself.  This is a pity because there is massive potential 
here for some wild multi-player free-for-alls.
   You will almost never hear this from me, but AvP really earns its Mature 
rating. For example, you restore your strength in the Alien game by feeding, 
and the results can be less than pretty.  I am no stranger to violent video 
games, but to me, it is one thing to kill a marine that is trying to kill 
you, and it is another thing entirely to feed on an unarmed man who 
collapses into tears in front of you.  Don't get me wrong, it's touches 
like this that give the Alien game its distinctiveness and atmosphere, but 
that doesn't change the fact that AvP is not for the faint of heart.  If 
your sensibilities are easily bruised, you are probably better suited 
looking elsewhere for a good action game.
   Overall, Aliens vs. Predator is an exceptional piece of craftsmanship.  
It is not without its little dings and scratches, but I wholeheartedly 
recommend it to any fan of first-person shooters.

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