Reviews for Aliens Versus Predator 2 in Action for PC-Personal Computer ( PC ) :
Great variety in the different species. The mariens, aliens, and predators all have ups and downs. All in all, they are mostly even. The plot is thin on the missions, and you will find yourself eating small mammals and hiding from enemies alot. The mariens have the coolest levels in my opinion. The missions are good, but the most fun thing to do is to play on multiplayer. Personally i skiped the missions and went straight to multiplayer. Needless to say i got fragged, but learned tactics and stratigy quick. For instance...The title. Aliens vs Predator, notice they don't mention mariens? Thats because if they don't have seeking guns they are dead meat.
The number one complaint that I have with it is that the developers fall back to FPS design that is just getting too old: inductive logic.
Imagine a scene in any game where you enter a room: it has a tunnel branching off of it, a huge bomb in the center, and a per
son wiring the bomb. You will use deductive logic to guess what may happen here, just from looking at the scene. Maybe the guy will hear you and run away up the tunnel. Or maybe he'll try to attack you. Maybe he's a good guy and he'll talk to you. Or maybe he's a klutz and accidentally detonates the bomb. You will make a logical decision based on your skills of deduction, and perhaps based on what you've seen previously in the game.
Now let's put this scene in the context of AVP2. You enter the room, and deduce that the guy wiring the bomb is an enemy -- and that he must die. But you also deduce that if you kill him too close to the bomb he may accidentally set it off. Furthermore, if you're too noisy about it, guards may run down the tunnel and kill you. So your best guess is to sneak up behind the guy, make some noise at the last minute so he turns around, then one-shot him in the head.
As you move into the room, a magically-charged-lazer-beam-particular-infrared-sensor detects a piece of gum on your shoe, and sounds an alarm. Three soldiers with eartho-tunneling-bullet-proof-killer suits instantly burrow out of the walls and surround you. An invisible-until-you-move-to-within-10-feet-of-the-bomber-super-50-cal-machine-gun pops out of the roof. And finally the bomber turns around, laughs and blows you away with his insta-camo-super-small-hide-in-his-coat bazooka gun.
Oh gee, I guess you should have deduced that would happen -- what clever level designers. Well, now that you know it will happen, you can take steps to avoid the situation and re-load your quicksave.
Here you go again. This time you pull out your sniper rifle and decide the guy needs to die from a distance. As you discharge the rifle, the bullet triggers a super-duper-anti-ballistic-shield as it gets half-way into the room. It deflects the bullet into the wall which then triggers big razor-pointy-death spikes in the hallway you're in. Dead. Ok, let's try this again...
The humor might be lost on you, but the point shouldn't. Playing a game where inductive logic (that is: constant reloads) is required to progress in the game, just gets old and frustrating.
In a horror movie, suspense is a key element. Remember the scenes where a teenage girl would move slowly towards her closet, open the door and find Jason standing in there with a big knife? Well, what would you think if there were no doors on the closet. And you could see into the closet. And you knew there was nothing in the closet. And in the next scene, suddenly Jason jumps out of the closet and kills the girl. Is it scary? No it's stupid; unless there's a damn good reason -- like a secret door in the closet. And then you go "aaaah... I get it".
Well you will never say "aaaah... I get it" in AVP2. You will usually say "Huh? I just reconned this whole area and I didn't see a damn thing. Nor any way for any dang thing to get in here." But as you're torching that one last bolt on the door, suddenly 10 monsters will jump out of nowhere. "Oooooh, you say, on the 2nd bolt I need to turn around and kill those 5 monsters that jump out of nowhere 1. And on the 3rd bolt I need to jump around and kill those other 5 monster that jump out of nowhere 2". Reload, reload.
There is nothing wrong with scripting when it's done right, but in AVP2 -- in combination with the monsters from nowhere syndrome -- it's downright annoying.
The culmination of this stifling design comes in the last chapter as the Alien. You need to defuse some bombs
somewhere in the vicinity. For some reason the detonator sound is 2d, so you have no idea where it's coming from. And it's always proximity driven. So as you get X feet from the device, it triggers and you have Y seconds to get there. The solution is cut-and-dried. You must go to point q, run through the secret tunnel to point r, climb wall z, then run down slope x. Then you will be at the bomb with one second to spare. Time to figure this out? About 7 or 8 reloads. Other options to accomplish the task? Zero. Margin for error? Zero.
Ultimately this design ruins the Marine missions more than anything. The shoulder lamps are one of the coolest features in a game next to the infra-red goggles in Opposing Force. I was really looking forward to sneaking through dark tunnels, using my light to pick out aliens clinging to the roof or walls. What I got was monsters popping out of nowhere (usually behind me) -- even if I just killed an entire nest of them in the previous room. Where is the suspense in that kind of design? I guess it's for those people who like the amusement rides where stuff jumps out at you randomly in your cart.
Bottom line: AVP2 had a real chance at presenting us with a suspenseful game. But they gave us an overly-scripted, nonsensical, jump-in-your face kind of shallow thriller. It feels like the developers watched too much "I Know What You Did Last Summer". If you liked that movie, then you'll probably like this game. But it definitely does not build suspense like the original movies did. It cuts to the chase and simply gives you the jolt-factor.
i'lladmit that the graphics in AvP2 are not as nice as some other recent games including max payne, return to castle wolfenstein, and medal of honor. the orignal game's graphics were behind the curve when it was released with quake 2 powered (with quake 3 following not far behind) games surpassing it in quality and design. while the lithtech gaming engine may lack the reflective surfaces and curved shapes, the graphics and game design are presented in an accomplished manner.
one thing to understand is that the game is dark. thankfully, it's not nearly as dark as the first one...i feel that they took the darkness a little too far in the original...
attention to detail is abundant throughout the crowded and dark corridors and rooms that you will encounter throughoout the game. tables, chairs, computers, beds, boots, and other miscellaneous items populate the gaming world...these seemingly insignificant items make the game feel like the movies...it truly feels like you are in an abandoned and dark facility...
architecture is appropriate considering most of the environments portrayed are military or scientific installations. dark halls are flanked by clusters of pipes.
in some instances the graphics are simply amazing. the sense of scale that some levels portray is unparalleled in many recent games. in one particular level you enter a large valley with a giant research structure suspended over the ground by giant girders and beams...the predator campaign is filled with many grand locales and environments.
one minor effect that i found satisfying were the skies. in many instances it appeared that you were in the center of a massive vortex of storm clouds with lightning flashing intermittantly in the distance...very ominous and foreboding
there are, however, some low points in the graphical quality of the game. while these points may not seem important, graphics in a first person shooter, are one of the most important elements of the genre. good graphics make the gaming world all the more realistic and involving. human game models seem rather blocky compared to the enemy models found in medal of honor, wolfenstein, etc...some of the flora and fauna (particularly in the predator episode) are rather square and very unconvincing...
most animations are exceptional, obviously motion captured. there are a couple problems with the alien animations...it appears that the aliens slide across the floor as they move to attack (ala jedi knight). and it just doesn't look right to see an alien drone run along on two legs like a normal human...
the game sounds are taken right out of the films...everything from the sound of the marine's pulse rifle and napalm gun, to the sound of the predator's clicking growl and the aliens shriek...
not only are the character sound effects good, but ambient sounds add more atmosphere to an already atmoshpere drenched game...as you progress through the many dark corridors and rooms, you'll encounter a variety of sounds from mysterious footsteps, distant screams, and the quiet beeping of machinery.
the most effective sound element throughout the game was the marine's motion detector. the constant thrum of the motion detector was the most unnerving aspect of the sound...you progress through the halls and your only companion is the quietly thrumming device...it created a lot of tension that keeps the gamer on the edge of his/her seat.
music was also well done, something monolith took from nolf's ambient soundtrack...music is appropriately dark and moody. at times the music will drop entirely when the action slows...only to suddenly jump up in intensity when something starts to happen...