The kind people at Rebellion were gracious enough to spare one of their developers and send him down to visit us in NZ. Paul is one of the producers on the ever more imminent Aliens vs Predator. The reason for the visit was to show off the multiplayer portion of the title and expand on what we (read, Wugga) had already seen at E3.
On the road up to the visit we got to discussing the importance of the Marine given that he wasn’t a named partner in the game. We were assured almost straight away that despite not getting a mention in the title, he is just as efficient at dealing death and standing up against the more naturally equipped alien species.
This assurance was important to hear, but there was no way it was going to deter me from playing as an Alien during our hands on time. We started off with a free for all deathmatch. It became apparent rather quickly that with my lack of long range attacks I would have to change up my typical strategy of trading bullets face to face. The aliens speed and climbing abilities meant that it was better to use stealth and speed to get behind my prey and pounce on them. Because your alien is traversing vertical walls and walking along roof tops, it becomes a matter of knowing your orientation and direction you want to travel. Jumping from place to place then heightens how you can get from point A to point B, the Predators also have a similar ability of jumping to higher perches.
Our second game mode was Infestation, similar to the ButtonMasher favourite Halo 3 game type, one person starts as an Alien while the other players start off as marines. The alien must kill the marines who, once deadened, join the ranks of the aliens until there is only one man left standing against the now numerous aliens.
The marines seemed to be better rounded opponents than I had imagined they would be, more immediately accessible to the FPS masses, but also a nice balance of offering ranged combat and an expandable arsenal. Less agile, but with a keen eye able to kill effectively when utilising all options to find enemies.
I didn’t get the chance to play as a predator but they looked pretty complicated to my untrained eye. Perhaps a race that requires greater dedication to master.
Overall the game modes and abilities of the players made for an entertaining experience. With the addition of the extra players that will be able to play in the final build of the game and I can’t see much to complain about from the multiplayer offering of Aliens vs Predator. Infact, the opposite, a hell of a lot of potential fun and bragging about awesome take-downs and stealth kills.