Aliens vs. Predator
In 1999, Rebellion released Aliens vs. Predator for the PC, bringing the three-front war to gaming with separate campaigns for each race involved. It was hailed as one of the best games in the genre by many, making the excitement for the developer's 2010 return to the series all the more substantial. With a new coat of paint and a robust online multiplayer selection, the developer sets out to prove that despite failures at the box office, there's still plenty of potential in the ongoing struggle between Aliens, Predators, and Colonial Marines.
Players shouldn't approach Aliens vs. Predator expecting a typical first-person shooter. While there are segments that are, indeed, right in line with other games in the genre, Rebellion once again thought it wise to split the story into three parts, which take place simultaneously from different points of view. It all focuses on the Weyland-Yutani corporation's practices on a planet that turns out to be home to ancient secrets for the Predators, detailing their age-old conflict with the Xenomorph aliens. Weyland obviously wants to get his hands on this information, setting into motion a mad dash by the Predators to protect their ancestry, the Colonial Marines to deal with the Xenomorph outbreak, and Aliens to, well, do what Aliens to best: kill everything. While the actual plot itself isn't all that engaging, and the overlaps are few and far between, the way Rebellion blended together three campaigns is interesting in its own right. There are plenty of "Oh! That's why that happened!" moments, and it should provide a different experience depending on the order in which the campaigns are played.
Each side has its own mechanics, bringing with it a unique set of accomplishments and a unique set of problems. The Colonial Marines section is likely the most typical of the bunch, clocking in at about four hours and playing out like a traditional first-person shooter. While it's likely not the Colonial Marines games Aliens fans have wanted, it portrays the struggle between Aliens and humans fairly well, and gives players all of the tools they've come to expect in the universe. This means, among other things, that there are a large number of battles in cramped, dark corridors, with Aliens jumping out at the marines from vents. In these situations the game shines (though not literally, the player's flashlight is woefully incapable of illuminating the room), and there are a number of memorable set-piece battles that will have fans talking for years to come. It's a tense, action-packed experience that only falters as it becomes stale in the ending levels.