Friday, 8 June 2012

Aliens Versus Predator (PC) - Guest Post

He comes from another world to hunt humans for sport.

And now he's stuck on Earth and plays first person shooters to earn his cab money home.

Click the pictures for PNG if you find JPG offensive!

This game was requested by fellow Super AIG contributor Ocean in a comment in one of my earlier posts!

This is the first Aliens vs. Predator. Not to be confused with the arcade Alien vs. Predator beat em up, the SNES Alien vs. Predator that Ray played this time last year or the Jaguar Alien vs. Predator. They've only got the one Alien each.

These dudes don't half get around, don't they? Between the two of them, they've taken on the Justice League, Witchblade, The Darkness, Terminator, Judge Dredd and Tarzan.

True to the title, we can pick from the Alien or the Predator. We can also pick the Colonial Marines as a bonus. Each of the three races has a separate campaign. That's practically three separate games! To the extent that they all have independent control configurations even though they all share standard FPS walk/turn/strafe/jump/duck/vision-mode controls.

Hiiiiiissss! I'm going to play as the Alien first because they're at the top of the list.

Level 1: TEMPLE.

This is the Temple of Unknown Origin. Home to one particularly arty Xeno who simply can't stop scribbling on the walls. He's all alone in this place and I can't for the life of me figure out how to get out. I think this guy is either incredibly unpopular with the other Aliens or he's a master Hide and Seek player.

"Our temple has been violated. Eliminate intruders and seal the entrances."

Alright. No intruders around here just yet.

What's this thing? Is it some kind of teleportation/levitation beam? Hop right in and get taken to the next area...

ARGH NOPE. Instant death lava flow is what it is.

This first level is a bloody maze! Everything's pitch black as well, which is really helpful.

If I didn't know that the Alien could crawl along any wall by holding 'crouch', I'd be completely stuck. Perhaps they should've added an Alien Hazard Training Course. I'm sure the immersion can take it.

Hey, the Aliens live in the orichalcum factory from Indiana Jones and The Fate Of Atlantis! (That's not an Indy spoiler, by the way. It's on the box.)

What on earth could this lava machine be for?

I need to slice the blocks holding these blocks to the ceiling so that the blocks can fall down and block the lava flows. With the flow unflowed, I can venture down the Atlantean lava chute! (So to speak.)

I'm sure it's cold enough. I've left it a couple of minutes. Time to go and take care of these intruders!

Sneaky sneaky, along the ceilingy...

It's an enemy. Multiple enemies. I can see their FEAR. THEIR FEEEEAR I CAN SEE. IT. OF THEM. GERONIMO!

Alright, when I clicked on them they exploded and reduced my Alien to a screaming ball of fire. Not quite the sneakings I was hoping for. Restart the level.

This music track is pretty obnoxious. It's nothing a sequence of dramatic musical cues unrelated to what I'm doing. I don't know why it's trying to scare me; I'm supposed to be the scary one here!

It's an FMV guy on the telly! This guy is not a proper actor. You can tell by his expression he's venturing between 'indifferent' and 'glib'. He's talking about the Xenos as if they're an annoying neighbour. 'Oh, those darn Xenos are loose again.'.

Confound you, FMV man. You've ruined everything. I'm trying to be serious here. I hate you. Get out.


What WAS that? Was it a marine or a turret? Doesn't matter, 'cause I'm going Back To The Start. I'm going to save the game immediately before going anywhere near THAT room again. Only one save left, which I'll probably use as soon as I figure out a way past these turrets.

I don't know what to do against them. I can't run toward them to slice 'em. I can't run around them in a semicircle to get them. If I do a crouch-pounce, I end up stopped dead on loose edges. I can't trick the turret by moving slowly and I don't make noise when moving. (So that's what happens in the Directors Cut of Aliens. All the ones that get blasted up by the turrets are my many incarnations going into the blender.)

Even when I get a lucky shot in at the turret, Mr. Super Claws here swipes right through the turret and hits the exploding barrels behind it and blows himself up.

The only way to put out the fire is to run about like crazy and that's hardly dignified. Most times, I end up running out the room, down the corridor and get killed by the turret in the room's mirror opposite.

There's a vast vent system connecting all the rooms. This has gotta be the key to it all.

I hope you've got a solid sense of direction, because these vents go in all directions. There's no xeno-gyro telling you which direction you're facing. The best way to get your bearings is to let go of 'crouch' and let gravity roll you around so you at least know where 'down' is. No falling damage!

When you find an exit, you'll have to strain your eyes to get any more information than 'Yep, that's a white abyss right there.'.

Through luck (and systematically trying every possible exit in the vent) I've dropped into a recessed area behind the turret. There's two civilians and a Marine down here, doing whatever is humans do in a dark, inescapable pit. I don't think they've seen me yet! I must be as hard to see as a black object in a dark room.

Gun guy sees me. I bounce about, stopping to take cover behind the whimpering civilians and unfortunate hilarity ensues. Eventually the Marine snaps and starts running around the room screaming to I smack him with my tail to shut him up.

Fun times, but I needed those guys alive! I eat their heads to get health back and that only works if they're still on!

I hate being stuck! This is rubbish! What am I doing wrong? I thought the exit would reveal itself once I killed all the intruders, as the mysterious objective giving caption asked, but no dice.

Want a hint?

In the previous screenshot there was a pair of neon-lit panels and a red light like those all over the temple. If you smash the panel on the right, nothing will happen. There's FOUR of these identical rooms in a square around the central lift, each with their own bloody turret. Knocking the correct panels opens the lab doors.

"Laboratory 2: Access Granted"

Wait... "Access Granted"? That's the -normal- way to get into the labs!?

I was beginning to wonder. There's no buttons either side of them. They're heat sensitive so I must've added our Dave Alien to the valid users list. That's xeno hacking!

Now, to the lab itself. These rascal humans will never be able to replace their SMALL ANGLED POWER CABLES. Hurrah for alienkind!

In Lab 2 there was a guy with a shotgun who killed me in one hit from 'a lot of health'. Oh-oh! Why couldn't I see him on my fear-o-sense?

I'm going to start again from the start and only save just before the turrets and just after the turrets. That leaves me two saves to complete the level.

There's human experiments going on here! As an alien, I'm appalled. Appalled and ashamed. I'm so angry I could eat their heads.

You! You're pretty smug for a kid stuck on a far out planet in a laboratory cage standing next to an alien egg.


That's better.

Am I looking out of my mouth? Do Xenos have eyes in their mouth or am I a multitude of successively smaller xenos, each inside the other. A Matryoshka xenomorph.

After breaking their glowing cables and eating their lab subjects... nothing. I'm stuck again. Oh, TWO labs. There's more neon panels that I haven't smashed. Could've used a reminder or an acknowledgement there.

Smashing the labs up activates the central lift. It's not the level exit; I really haven't done anything yet. Down the lift, there's another group of Marines who pulled the old explode-into-flames trick on me again.

There's only a split-second where you can see the otherwise unarmed civilians suddenly grow a grenade. Unless you sneak up on them perfectly, they'll activate it and blow themselves up. (That's if they don't drop the bomb anyway during their death animation.)

The awful FMV telly man orders some reinforcements, so I back up into the lift shaft ready for anything. And then I get squashed by the lift coming back down. ALIEN THREAT AVERTED.

Next time, I get a tiny bit further but find myself splattered by a pair of turrets I couldn't possibly see. The end.

Sorry, Liam. I can get used to your controls but your levels are rubbish. It doesn't happen often, but I'm completely out of patience. If I get out of this room, there's only going to be more rooms with more explode-when-you-touch-them enemies and invisible-till-they-kill-you turrets. The only way to play the level is to know the full layout of the level in advance.

I think the Alien needs more super-sensory abilities. His night vision's blinding and he's got a distorted view which means it's hard to understand what you're looking at. It would be nice if I could see trails leading from people rather than static auras.

I worked out why I couldn't see the shotgun enemies in the labs using my fear-o-sense: they were androids. So there's enemies walking around that you can't possibly see and that can kill you in one hit.

Hitman games can get away with this sort of nonsense because something amusing sometimes happens when you mess up and you can always fall back on brute force.

Time to play as the COLONIC MARINES. (Now there's a sequel to Rex Ronan that's not going anywhere. (And if you have colonic marines and they're not going anywhere, see a doctor.))

Here's our guy. Private Whatshisface. He's having a nightmare about facehuggers and WAKES UP! Probably having a nightmare about being stuck on that Alien level for hours.

He's already wearing his uniform... and his helmet. And he's holding his gun.


"Look alive, Private. You're in some seeeeeerrrrious shit."

I didn't do anything! Well, I may have overslept. Maybe I was daydreaming.

Blimey. Couldn't have been a daydream, this is the furthest possible thing from day there is! I'm going to have to turn on the Image Intensifier just to be able to walk around my quarters.

Hey there! Can you show me the way out?

That's my reflection. Where's the damn door? Would it kill these guys to get some decent lighting? (It's definitely going to kill them if they don't.)

All the doors to everybody else's quarters are locked. There's not a lot of signage around. Why don't these guys have a map of their own base? You know, like they do in the movie.

I'll have to keep bumping into all the locked doors until I find one that opens.

Oh, you silly guys. You simply couldn't resist having a XENOMORPH EGG FACTORY, could you?

Hope you don't mind me shooting up all your eggs because this is A STUPID IDEA.

And they put it right outside my quarters as well!

"We've had some light failures so you may need to use the Image Intensifier."

No foolin', Sarge! This isn't dark. This is black.

It's an alien!

Thanks a lot for warning me, motion sensor! You're supposed to beep when bad things are around.

This monkey's running all over the place! And now he's stuck running into a wall... and now he's diving right into my face! ARGH! He must've leapt right offa me. Humans are just gym equipment to these guys!

I spin around in a panic to try to find the bastard and end up wandering off the fifty foot drop at the end of the hydraulic platform. Splat.

Back to the start!

Ho ho, you're stuck in a pit! You're a silly computer controlled xeno who doesn't know how to use your wall climb! Ha ha ha! OH NUTS HE'S WORKED IT OUT RETREAT.

These aliens sure are brittle. Two good hits and the aliens shatter like glass, leaving twitching and thrashing bitsa everywhere.

What kind of gun noise do you call this anyway? Phhroo. Phhrhrhroo. It's rubbish. RUBBISH.

I've gotta wonder why I can't use the image intensifier and motion sensor simultaneously. It can't be because it's unreadable under the intensifier scope because I can see my good buddy FMV Sarge just fine on loads of different screens. Besides, the thing has a distance-pitched beep so it's designed to be used without looking at it.

I've found a room with some lights in it so I can give my poor hurting eyes a rest. Woah, how did my health get so low?

That's your game is it, aliens? Get me to shoot you while you're running at my face so my gun turns you from a lanky, shiny bundle of spikes into a fine cloud of corrosive dust.

Tricky punks! I can't win!

You've gotta be kidding me.

Not only do you build your base AROUND AN ALIEN ARTIFACT but said base GOES THROUGH IT? People have to WALK THROUGH THIS THING ON THEIR WAY TO THE TOILET?

Hell, worse than that, it's the EMERGENCY EXIT for Christ's sake!

The surface tunnel leads to a small lift, which then leads to this massive cavern. What on earth is THIS? This must be from the first Alien film, which I haven't seen.

Down some more green corridors and I win! There was only a single ordinary alien in here.

We're instantly whisked off to the Quake-style results screen. Could've at least had a closing message from Sarge telling me I was close to the exit.

Level select, hooray! It's working on exactly the same rules as GoldenEye: you can only play levels on the same difficulty (or easier) as you won the previous level.

No prerendered video into to level 2. That's a shame.

Hey! It's Hadley's Hope from the movie! It's identical! And that doesn't make any sense at all! What the heck is going on here?

Why are all these movie landmarks all bunched up right next to each other? I'm going to write these first two levels off as a nightmare. But why is the Marine having a nightmare about something he didn't experience? Is he having nightmares from watching the films? Or was Ripley's report simply that good? Maybe I'm playing as Hicks! Who's been demoted to Private because... he's forgotten to pack the shoulder mounted light AND the portable light that you see constantly throughout the film.

I give up. This could be an Alien themed theme park for all I know.

On this level, I've got to run around outside, flicking switches to open a door, to lead to some more switches that will then open the gate to the next area. FMV Sarge is trying to talk me through it, but it doesn't really matter what he says, because he's assuming that I know my way around but I don't and I have no way of knowing what he's referring to.

Argh. It's you again.

The aliens leap through me as if I'm not here.

It's never fun having super fast things leaping into your face, but I do like that he isn't sticking to me or getting himself jammed in a position where I can't aim my gun easily, he isn't affecting my movement or preventing me from firing my weapon, and there's definitely no stick waggling involved.

In fact, that gives me an idea!

Oh yeah, I'm cookin' on gas now. I'm holding the jump button down so I'm constantly hopping diagonally at a phenomenal speed, bouncing off all the walls. You can't match this nonsense, can you aliens?

Smartgun! It auto-aims, which is a bit naff, because it's a bit slow. Nevertheless, it's handy because I can use the movement of the cursor to tell me whether there are aliens in my line of sight! Yes, I'm still bouncing around like a lunatic while carrying the Smartgun. And I can carry the Smartgun and the Pulse Rifle at the same time.

Another incoming communication from FMV Mega-Sarge, if I can find a working telly to watch it on. It's nice having someone talk at me through this instead of receiving cryptic objectives through the ether as the Alien.

The diddly-boop sound effect for an incoming communication takes me right back to System Shock 2, but we've got dramatic movie music than RAVE this time. It's still just as intense and it's really getting on my nerves. There's sort of swishy sound effects and stuff in there too which makes it difficult for me to listen for aliens.

FMV Sarge is slowly coming to terms with how simply 'saying your lines very loud in a silly voice' doesn't count as proper acting and he's having a bit of an introspective moment while he tries to remember what an emotion is.

To give the man his dues, he really was trying to help me escape. After much running around, I find a narrow canyon path leading towards the evac APC.

When I finally reach it, it's surrounded by aliens! Oh no! And then Level 2 abruptly ends. I didn't have to fight the aliens surrounding the APC and there was no cutscene. I don't think they even bothered to model the APC even though it already looks like something out of a computer game (external link). According to the message log, I made it. Great.

Criminy that was boring. I guess it was supposed to be scary but the music ruined it. I had to go out of my way to find places where I could turn the image intensifier off so I could show you something other than violent green.

What am I going to find on the next level? Some aliens! What a surprise. Next guy!

It's Predator time!

Holy moly! There's light! It's daytime! The Predator's already the best character.

This time, I think I'm tracking down another Predator that got lost on his way from school. If he's dead, Pred-neko must confer vengeance upon all responsible.

My Predator's got all of the gizmos that the one from the film had. First up, the cloak!

Switch to the nifty wristblades and I've got myself a shiny new skull trophy!

Daft sod roars when he decapitates people! Argh.


How am I supposed to get up there? Bah.

There was a 'Grappling hook' option on the control screen, but I don't have it yet. It's not down here. What do I do? I can't believe I've managed to get completely stuck at least once as each character.

The way out is a door on an otherwise unconnected platform that can only be reached by jumping. To open it, you need to use a very easily missable switch (that looks more like a lamp than anything else) at ground level.

Thermal vision? Check.
Plasmacaster? Check.
SVOWWW triangle lock-on? Check.

We're ready to go!

One charged up shot and this figure turns into a pile of smoking trousers. The shoulder cannon's not a zany fireworks display like in the film, but it still works. The energy even recharges!

There's a not-charged-up-shot but it doesn't even injure the humans. It's probably just for theatrical use.

Look, a waterfall! I'm having great fun on this first level. The Marines are a fun opponent; you can sneak up on them (with or without the cloak) if you're not stupid and it's not instant game over if they see you.

It seems like months since I was lost in the Marine's snot vortex or the Alien's booby-trapped darkness.

Zoom. Zooooooooooooooooooooooom.

Poor guy never knew what hit him.

There's been a lot of attention paid to the detail in this game, both in terms of graphics and sound. I saw Predator the other day and Rebellion must've really liked it because everything is spot on. He does his clicky growl when you leave him alone for a bit and all that stuff.

There's jungly action music and themes based off the movies' soundtrack done in the same relentless style as the other characters. After going to all that effort to get the damned soundtrack working, I have to say that this game is probably better all round if you simply don't have the music on at all. Maybe that's why it came on a separate disc.

I've also got a speargun. It's perfectly accurate and good for stapling heads to walls. Unless the humans have boxes of awesome Predator gear lying around, I'm stuck the ammo that I start the level with. I've got to save it for special occasions.

Well, I knew the outside couldn't last forever. I've not had to use any kind of night vision yet.

One other cool gadget I've got is the Medicomp. Y'know, like when in the movies the Predator is shot and he uses the tools in his wrist computer to treat the wound? For a whole bunch of energy units, I can heal myself to full health! Cool beans!

Of course, I can't do that while I'm standing like an idiot in front of a firing squad, so I've gotta either shake off the Marines and hide or scramble up and down the corridors like crazy. (Which puts a player Predator at somewhere between a Bloody Flying Enemy and a boss with regenerating health.)

According to the objective caption, I need to use the laundry chute in this room. Where the heck is it? What other vision modes do I have?

I've got the blue one, which is thermal. I've got a red one, which is boring. And I've got a green one which has turned this laundry room into THE EVIL DIMENSION.

I've found a Predator ship! It must belong to my pred-pal, but it's been nicked by the nasty Marines. Kinda looks like a sculpture made from brains. Maybe it was. (I hope not.)

End of level.

The next level continues right where the last one left off. Inside the ride, I've found a pistol and a disc. The Marines mustn't have been very interested in our super high-tech stuff. They got the door open, but didn't look inside.

"No, you go inside the most-likely-boobytrapped unknown alien ship!"

The Disc doesn't seem very useful. I thought it would ping off the walls and come back, but it just sticks in the wall. I have to manually walk over to where it landed and pick it up like a savage. Sometimes it gets jammed in odd places or at odd angles and refuses to be recollected. Sure, it's got glowing trouser potential and doesn't cost energy to use, but it's lame.

Huh, I can waste half a health-pack's worth of energy teleporting the Disc back to me. Doesn't seem worth it.

The pistol is weird. It's more like an energy grenade launcher and redundant when I've got the shoulder cannon.

"Hiya, Predator. I have a question. Can we... be in your game please?"

Oh, okay. Because you asked nicely.

In moderation, lads! Jeez, this place is absolutely humming with aliens!

Now, this is what I call a special occasion. Hitting a xeno with the Speargun is like hitting them with a bloody log!

I wouldn't have thought so before, but I think the Predator can easily out-run the aliens. The aliens tend to run in zig-zag paths through the corridors and run in spirals across the ceilings and floors. I've just got enough time while I'm running from one end of the base to the other to constantly switch weapons so I don't run out of speargun ammo, and heal myself when I get enough energy back to use the Medicomp.

Those wacky humans just love to do research on captured aliens. My pal is somewhere in one of these cages and if there's a scratch on his dreads, you're all for it.

Woah! Xenos behind me! You sneaky bastards and your vents! Time to dance!

The energy pistol is damn good against the xenos. It's got a huge area-of-effect and leaves them somewhere between paralysed to dead.

Hey! Alien! Let's call a truce for a second and laugh at the humans. The last guys alive have 'shut down the power' and they 'think they can stop' us. Don't they ever learn?

It's a sphere with things. Do I shoot the prongs? Or the sphere? The sphere. Okay.

AHHH, it's a Predator-Alien! Oh no! This is what they did to my Pred-pal whom I know very little about? I'll destroy you all!

Well, he didn't like the electric pistol much either. Two shots and he's dead.

"Self destruct in one minute"?? Destroying the sphere holding the Predator-Alien in place set off the self destruct? What is this, Alien Breed?

The objectives caption says there's a door 'nearby' but everything looks the same! There's no doors slamming shut behind me, so this 'nearby' could be anywhere!

Okay the door was nearby but there's no way to see it when you've got a choice between BLACK, dark BLUE, dark RED or incomprehensible GREEN.

I'm lucky I saved just before I found the sphere... even if I activate the lift, there's still a bit more level to go. And you have to board the Predator ship without getting stuck on an angled piece of floor.

I don't even get a level ending cutscene for my trouble, that's lame.

What does the next level have in store? I walk forward a couple of steps, shoot an alien, and then get sucked into a giant ventilation fan and die.

I enjoyed playing as the Predator more than the other two. A lot more. You've got different types of weapons, you can sneak up on people properly, you can recover from mistakes. He's also got the nicest looking levels, the funnest enemies and the easiest to read interface.

Plus the Predator is really freaking cool.

If you were to play this game (and there's no real reason you should to be honest), you should play as the Predator first, then the Marine and then the Alien. Make sure to leave the soundtrack disc out.

If you'd to pick a game for me to play, please leave a comment in the box below! I love comments!


  1. Hi mecha-neko!
    I have little request for you. Could you try out Terminator Future Shock or Terminator SkyNET? These are little known fps games from 90s by Bethesda. You can showcase them for other players who dont know them. Thanks.

  2. I'd play AVP 2 it's a way superior game.

  3. Hey, Patrik! That's no problem at all. Just need to find a copy of either of 'em first. I had the demo of Future Shock when I had my very first PC and it was wonderfully silly.

    Hey, Morbo! Yeah, I should play avp2, but I'm going to give sci-fi a rest for a bit. I will play it in the future though!

  4. This is good, I remember mostly playing the multiplayer part. So it's always interesting seeing how that worked there, especially when you have to deal with multiple opponent types and all.

    I don't remember there being music, maybe there was and I forgot to put the music on. Maybe that could have indeed ruined the atmosphere...

  5. I played Alien Vs Predator on the PS3 last year. It's surprisingly good, and it's similar to this game here. The Predator is, again, the best character to play as in that one. I kinda wish I hadn't sold the game. You might want to check it out. Is a PS3 game out of the question for a blog post?

    Since you like the movie Aliens, you'll definitely want to look into Aliens: Colonial Marines in a month or so.

    1. I'm afraid I don't have a PS3 or a HDMI capture device, so it would be kinda hard!

      The current gen AvP was released on the PC as well though, so I'll keep an eye out for that.

  6. Ah, I see you played the Gold edition. Back in my day (when the game first came out), there was NO in-game saves! You had to get through the mission without a single death.
    It was definitely a challenge.

    One of the cool things that you missed, is that there are goals for each level - eg, finishing in X time, biting Y heads, etc. Completing a goal awarded you a cheat of some sort, just a fun addition.
    The one that springs to mind is the second level as Alien - get through in a certain time (or killing people with your blood, I forget which) awarded "sniping headchomps" - basically unlimited range headchomps. Much fun!

    1. Oh right, I completely forgot about those!
      I loved the "wire frame" one, where all the enemies looked like wire-frame stick people made out of neon lights.


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