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Alien vs Predator Single Player Preview
Well, the short answer is all of them because you've got the option to play as one of three races in the game. You can take on the awesome Predator, scuttle stealthily through vents as the Alien or just get endlessly beaten to death as the Marine. Each has their own strengths, weaknesses and bring a unique perspective to the experience.
Britxbox's Jasper Kashap has already got to grips with the multiplayer and you can read more about it in our Alien Versus Predator Multiplayer Preview but read on to find out more about the single player campaigns.
Weyland-Yutani, led by Charles Weyland, is once again up to no good on a distant world. Not content with experiments on Xenomorphs; he's digging up old Predator temples too. Marines are drafted in to control the inevitable Xenomorph outbreak but get their ass kicked when a force of Predators come looking for their lost Youngbloods on a hunt. It's a suitable premise to once again throw together the always explosive mix of creatures and man in a hellish survival horror first person shooter.
Melee combat plays a big part and can be very challenging at first.
The story is told through a series of cut-scenes as well as through the eyes of “The Rookie” marine, a Predator warrior and one nasty Xenomorph dubbed “No 6” by the unfortunate scientist studying it. While the CG is suitably impressive, the in game visuals still look very raw and unpolished when compared to contemporaries. Marines have taken on a “COG” look with bulky armour and huge weaponry while design on the Predators and Aliens has stayed close to the original.
Naturally, playing as the Predator you get the feeling of being top of the food chain. You have access to advanced weaponry, stealth shields, different types of vision and massive strength. Your plasma caster compliments a pair of double wrist blades allowing you to effectively fight at range and at close quarters with whatever the world can throw at you.
As the Alien you're weaker but have speed, stealth and powerful attacks on your side. Wall climbing is easily initiated by holding the left trigger while hopping through vents requires you to target them and hit A. They're incredibly fast and fluid creatures that are difficult to get to grips with at first leading to some embarrassing failures and clumsy deaths. The ability to perform head bites along with other nasty kills makes them particularly deadly in close quarters but very susceptible to ranged fire.
As the Marine, you're screwed man! Advice from your fellow soldiers of keeping Xenomorphs at range to kill them feels hollow as they drop down from all angles and move very quickly through shadowy levels to attack. Initial encounters with Xenomorphs are surprisingly tough as you only have weak melee skills which involve blocking attacks with your weapon or pushing your opponent far enough away to open fire.
Playing as a Marine can be very unforgiving in this survival horror without mercy.
There are two combat systems in play at once, a ranged weapon system for the Marines and Predators controlled via the triggers and then all three races have a bumper controlled melee system. The melee system allows Predators and Aliens to fight with light and heavy attacks as well as blocking moves and grabs. Each race also has access to further unique abilities like the Marine's tension creating motion trackers, the Predators various vision modes and the Xenomorphs pheromone detection.
Game play is intense and fast paced as the Alien while playing as the Marine is more like a standard shooter but with a very strong survival horror slant. Predator action is slightly slower paced with the ability to use multiple tactics to approach any given situation. It's great fun reliving the Predator movie by ruthlessly hunting humans through steaming jungles by leaping from tree to tree using brutal stealth kills, distracting prey by mimicking their voices or blasting them with plasma.
More often than not, you'll find yourself following waypoints and fighting in almost complete darkness as the Marine. Once you've got yourself a Pulse rifle, you'll fare much better but it can get a little frustrating having to constantly toss flares around to spot targets and basically be funnelled into human death traps from which you just manage to scrape out of alive.
The audio is spot on, from early on in the game the droning sound of distant pulse rifles, the screams of attacking Xenomorphs and the pained roars of a wounded Predator brought back memories from the classic movies which have spanned the last three decades. Having Lance Henriksen voice Charles Bishop Weyland is a great coup of Sega and Rebellion and really adds weight to the game's authenticity within the established canon.
Individual campaigns don't appear to be very long, but having three different gameplay experiences in one title is fantastic, add to that some potentially thrilling multiplayer options all wrapped up in a classic franchise and Alien Versus Predator is a very appealing package.
Alien Versus Predator hits the streets on Febuary 19th.