They Mostly Come at Night

Aliens vs. Predator (Mac)
Reviewed On
Available For
Mac, PC

Mostly. Sure PC gamers have been treated to this fun franchise since 1999, but that does not make it any less enjoyable now that Mac-based colonial marines are joining the fight.

Aliens vs. Predator is actually three games; each with its own first person shooter protagonist. The first is the Alien, who is defending his temple against shadowy humans. The second is a Colonial Marine, trying to escape an outpost overrun by the omnipresent Aliens. The third is a Predator infiltrating a scientific facility where the humans may be conducting experiments on fellow Predators!

The second adventure most follows the spirit of the movies and was therefore my favorite. A lone human must quickly find an escape route while gathering weapons, armor and information. The game-player learns early on that to stay and let the aliens come to you, even from a defended position, is a suicidal tactic. Survival is granted to the swiftly moving and judiciously destructive Colonial Marine.

The reasons for this are a good mixture of classic combat game ingredients: the weapons have limited ammo, the armor provides limited protection, and it only takes a few swipes of your opponent’s claws to end your existence. An interesting variant on the game is that if you handle your weapon improperly you can end up killing yourself. I enjoyed shooting grenades until I got too close to my target eliminating both me and my opponent in one click of the mouse.

The Alien race was alienating to this reviewer. In this game the Alien defends his temple from human intruders. The Alien starts with a limited method of attack and a wall crawling method of movement. As you turn the ceiling into a “floor” the environment on screen rotates, keeping the view in the Alien’s perspective. It makes movement confusing but to some it may be an interesting challenge.

I didnÝt enjoy this particular game variant for two reasons. I found the attack methods limited and the mission uninspiring. Who cares if the humans are desecrating an Alien temple? After I killed three humans, each by a quick claw slashing, I found myself hoping they’d destroy my murderous alter ego. The original movie hero was a strong and sexy woman, to now take the side of a mindless monster seems almost traitorous.

Predator is a much better anti-hero to game-play. He has an incredible choice of weapons and a time limited invisibility. Just like in the movies, the humans are not totally fooled by the predator’s hi-tech camouflage. Use of certain weapons shut it down and if you stray too close to a guard he will notice.

Unlike in the Colonial Marine scenario, taking your time is healthy. Stealth and sneak attack are the Predator’s strength. Don’t try a shoot out with the soldiers. Trying to be Wyatt Earp will only turn you into a Frank McLaury, dead and filled with holes. I would have preferred being the resourceful human prey of the Predator, but this version of the game is pretty fun.

A cheat mode is provided along with some shoot-’em-up scenarios for the firefight junkies. Overall, I’d recommend this game to anyone who wants challenging scenarios and fast action. I’d give it 4 out of 5 GiN Gems.

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