We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PC games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Aliens vs Predator review

£29 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sega

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

Aliens vs Predator is a good shooter with great visuals, but the gameplay just doesn't have what it takes to stand up to modern first-person shoot-'em-up.

Aliens vs Predator is a good shooter with great visuals, but the gameplay just doesn't have what it takes to stand up to modern first-person shoot-'em-up

We were playing BioShock 2 just prior to Aliens vs Predator. Bear with us, we're about to go off on a tangent - but it's all in the name of context. So in BioShock 2 we were at a point in the game where we needed to get the Little Sister to suck the Adam out of a dead Splicer.

If this sounds a bit weird then wait till you hear the description: basically you get a five-year-old girl armed with a syringe to suck the blood out of a dead guy while you stand guard. The problem is that the minute you do this countless waves of enemies swarm you. More than you can possibly fend off by regular fighting.

So you need to prepare. You can hack nearby security systems and lay traps. In our case we'd just picked up some disposable gun turrets and noticed that above the dead corpse was a walkway. We sneaked up the walkway and dropped the turrets where they'd have a clear view of the impending herd, but be safely up out of reach. Then we set the Little Sister to work.

The splicers arrived and the gun turrets made mincemeat of them, leaving us with a big 'We thought of something clever' grin on our face. Add to this a narrative that includes a heady mixture of Randian objectivism and Marxist philosophy, combined with a 1930's art deco style and you get a truly intelligent and unique experience. So that's BioShock 2. Go out and buy it.

Why are we blathering about this? Well the problem with Aliens vs Predator is that for all its visual sheen - and make no mistake it looks great - it just feels old. It's like somebody got a game from five or even ten years ago and ran it through the best 3D graphics engine they could afford.

The single player mode in Aliens vs Predator enables you to play through three separate campaigns, either as Marine, Alien, or Predator.

The humans are fairly straightforward, the Aliens are stealthy, and can move extremely fast and can climb up walls and along ceilings (making for some confusing mechanics), but they only have hand-to-hand combat. The Predators can leap from one pre-determined spot to another, and use mostly hand-to-hand with the odd laser-targetted shot.

For all the attempt at invention, the experience of Aliens vs Predator just felt basic to us. We spent most of the marine levels back-peddling while trying to remember the layout of the maze behind is so we could continue to run backwards and avoid the advancing Aliens. The first thought that went through our head was: 'didn't we first do this in Doom?' The second thought was 'We'd rather be playing BioShock 2'.

The Alien and Predator levels are somewhat more interesting, but the level of ingenuity simply isn't enough to clear the bar set by other games on the market. Even the online mode is standard fare with the usual deathmatch modes. The co-op game mode turns out to be a two-player versus waves of enemies affair. And for some reason it eschews its own game lobby and uses Mplayer to find matches instead.

Let's put it this way: you won't be putting down Modern Warfare 2 in a hurry. After almost 20 years of first-person shooters it's just not enough to do run-and-shoot gaming.

And that's our problem with Aliens vs Predator. It's just not interesting enough. Oh sure it's pretty looking, and the different styles of play on offer with the three character types show some attempt at invention (well, at least the Alien and Predator modes do, the Marine mode is the aforementioned back-pedal frenzy first seen 20 years ago), so there's plenty here to look at. But whether you'll be bothered to see the whole of it is another matter.

NEXT PAGE: Our expert verdict >>

Aliens vs Predator Expert Verdict »

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800+
2 GB RAM
nVidia Geforce 8800 GTS or ATI HD 2900 XT 512MB
DirectX 9
10 GB disk space
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

There just wasn't enough here to keep our interest. Aliens vs Predator is a good looking game, but it's from an earlier age. Nowadays there are cleverer, smarter, and more interesting games vying for your attention, and your time is better spent elsewhere.

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines review

    Aliens: Colonial Marines

    Game over, man, game over.

  • Wired2Fire Diablo Predator review

    Wired2Fire Diablo Predator

    The Wired2Fire Diablo Predator is a balanced PC system with good monitor, wound up from 3.3GHz to 4.7GHz to keep up with more expensive systems.

  • BioShock first-person shooter

    BioShock first-person shooter

    What if a game's narrative was as intricate and as immersive as its graphics? What if as much attention went into dialogue and atmosphere as went into pixel shaders and high-resolution textures? Ladies and gentlemen, the answer is BioShock.

  • HIS ATI Radeon HD 5770

    The HIS ATI HD Radeon 5770 takes much of the technology of the new 5800 series cards, but makes it available a lower price. Updated 12 August 2010.

  • Dino PC Angry Lizard 3770K review - powerful gaming PC

    Dino PC Angry Lizard 3770K - powerful gaming PC

    Dino PC's Angry Lizard 3770K is a gaming PC that produced some of the best performance results we've seen. Here's our Dino PC Angry Lizard 3770K review.


IDG UK Sites

Microsoft Band UK release date and price rumours, features and specs: Microsoft smartwatch unveiled

IDG UK Sites

Why Sony's PS4 2.0 update is every gamer's dream (well, mine at least)

IDG UK Sites

This Grolsch ad combines stop-motion & CG for majestic results

IDG UK Sites

Apple rumours and predictions for 2015: What to expect from Apple in 2015