When I found out Chi was going to review this game, I laughed. Movie licenses have had a history of failing miserably when ported over to video games and with the exception of GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64, I had little reason to believe this trend was going to change. In fact, Rebellion had all the odds stacked against them. They were going to make a FPS shortly after we were all blessed with Half-Life. Plus, it was a license based on a movie that fans (me included) have been begging for for years so scrutiny would be at an all-time high. And finally, the last attempt at an AvP on the Atari Jaguar (again by Rebellion) was long forgotten, and for good reason! When I sat down with this game I expected the worst and was ready to tear it to shreds in my review, but AvP showed me very quickly and clearly that it was up to the challenge.
I agree with everything Chi says in his review. This game is just an unreal piece of software. I don't know how they did it, but Rebellion managed to recreate three entities from the Predator and Aliens franchise, fit them all together, and produce a game that most certainly did the movies justice. Like Chi, I've read negative reviews for the game and I think that few people appreciate how difficult it was to replicate and mesh the two franchises from the big screen onto the small one. The environments in the game look totally authentic and while most environments are tailored towards a certain character, they all fit together nicely once the action starts. And most impressively, there is no doubt I am controlling a specific character from the movie and the whole experience of being the Xenomorph, Marine, or Predator was copied better than I could have ever hoped.
I just had a ball playing this thing. As a Marine, I ran around the bases in a panic hoping that my radar wouldn't go off, knowing it meant that the relentless Xenomorphs were closing in. And as a Predator, I remember my hairs standing on end when I first engaged the thermal vision and sniped a hapless marine patrolling nearby. But what was most exciting and offered the biggest thrill was the playing the Xenomorph. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like being able to crawl along all surfaces of the surrounding environments. I could run through air ducts, up walls, and go pretty much anywhere while hunting humans. In any other game, the non-human modes would have been diluted, but Rebellion went all out to give me that first-hand experience of being an Alien or Predator. Even with the excellent graphics, sounds, and control notwithstanding, AvP should still be credited for walking the fine line between being faithful to the franchises and being an unbelievably fun game in its own right. It's the highest compliment I can pay when I say that, as far as I'm concerned, AvP is not only the perfect benchmark for all future FPSs, but especially for all movie-licensed games afterwards.
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