Sunday, February 23, 2014

VGR Aliens Versus Predator 2

The game that finally established AVP as a viable franchise of its own right!

Want more Alien/Predator-related reviews? Check the following!!

VGR: Aliens Versus Predator 2 aka Alien Vs Predator 2 and sometimes AvP 2
From Monolith Productions/Fox Interactive/Sierra Entertainment
Played on PC
Also available on Mac

Type FPS
Year 2001

Developed by Monolith Productions, Aliens Versus Predator 2 is the follow-up to Rebellion's 1999 title Aliens versus Predator.

For this second episode, all three species are back. 

In a way, you kind of get three-games-in-one. You can select at the main menu to either play as the Human Colonial Marine while the two deadliest alien predators duke it out or either follow the plot as either an Alien or a Predator. Three separate and distinct campaigns are available. They all run for about 7 missions for a total of 21 stages. 

Like the original game it's also a first person shooter

Each campaigne as its own gameplay sensibilities, different and varied enough to each offer its own experience.

Aliens Versus Predator 2 is not directly connected to its previous episode.

The events takes place about half a century after the story depicted in Aliens.

The Weyland-Yutani corporation was able to establish a trajectory path from the Derelict Ship found on LV-426. They tracked it back to a world full of extraterrestrial life and showing signs of civilization.

In a brilliant move, they simply decided to set a research facility held by a certain Dr. Eisenberg to study the planet and the ancient alien ruins. They dubbed this world LV-1201.

While studying the local fauna they also found Xenomorph eggs

Eisenberg decided it was better to hire a bunch of mercenaries, lead under General Rykov as head of security.

Long story short, some Alien creatures escape from the contained Xenomorph hive area. Chaos ensues.

The humans launch a distress signal... which is caught by a Predator spacecraft.

Colonial Marines are dispatched to LV-1201 this time. But the USS Verloc arrive too late on the scene.

While trying to help the few survivors they will unlock the mysteries of this very strange planet...

3 species, 3 campaigns.The Colonial Marine campaign will have you play as the human marine Lt. Harrison.

The Marines are the prey to both the other two species.... but fear not! Those badass mofo are armed to the teeth!

Be prepared to kill... or be killed!

Harrison is a technician, so not only has he access to great many weapons to help you out but he can also use other gadgets to track your enemies and whatnot.

This campaign is the one that plays the most like a classic FPS game. Despite somewhat classic controls, it does have a unique horror tone.

The marine can use a wide range of weapons, collect ammo, health packs and armor.. Your weapons range from typical guns found in the Alien franchise to some new ones, such as a flamethrower, a minigun, a grenade launcher, the smart guns, etc. You also have access to the motion tracker on screen as well as a flashlight mounted on the shoulder, a nightvision and flares. You can finally also use a hacking device as well.

The gameplay feels unique to the franchise. Rich and very fun. All the maps are always quite interesting, with some scripted events to put you in the story.

For its time, Aliens versus Predator 2 had some great graphics. And despite the low-res, they still impress from time to time for their sheer innovations and originality.

Huge large levels with great attention to the details.

This game also marked the first time exploring several classes of Aliens in a game. From Drones to Warriors (the given names to the Alien 1 and Aliens Xenomorphs). Also the first appearance of the Alien 3 Runner Xenomorph.

This game was a true labor of work, a great deal of attention was given to this game. Various elements inspired by the production of the films.

The prisoners being experimented on was taken from the unproduced Alien 3 script by David Twohy, for example.

The Alien campaign has you play as a newly hatched Xeno.

You will have to find a host body first, in order to hatch.

The Alien has a more stealth approach to the gameplay.

You can hid in the darkness, climb walls, jump several feet high and use your claws and bite to gain your health back.

The "plot" will see you through various stages in the Alien's cycle of life.

The Alien has also access to a night vision of sorts. Detecting "auras" of the living beings (good luck with the androids!).

It's pretty fun and really easy putting you in the skin of these dangerous creatures, the deadliest of the species!

The Predator campaign is a solitary quest. An hunting game, chasing these humans that soiled their sacred domain.

You play as a future Predator clan elder! This young "prince" is a high-ranking hunter amongst the Preds. 

You have access to the Predators' superior alien tech. Ranging from stealth gadgets to weapons. You can use the cloak system, a medi-comp, several tracking vision modes from the standard infrared to other useful hi-tech visions. The Predator uses energy to power his entire arsenal, from the plasma cannon to a disc, a net gun, etc. 

Finally, there's a pretty detailed and complex multiplayer mode. 6 distinct modes from the traditional Deathmatch, a Team Deathmatch to 3-species specific big hunts. By using these species as distinct "classes" the guys at Monolith were able to craft some very unique and interesting modes. 

Such as a Team Deathmatch Species, a "Hunt", a "Survivor" mode and finally "Evacuation".

These 3 gameplays offer their own specific experience.

It's a fairly long game, despite some shorter stages. All thanks to these three different campaigns and the various excellent multiplayer modes (which are still supported to this day by some very dedicated players!). 

Great sound effects and score, as polished as the rest game. And a fairly decent story for this sort of game, which you are only able to catch a brief aspect and need to go through all three entire campaigns to get the bigger picture.

Overall, it's a great and very suspenseful action-packed first person game!

Not only does it updates the gameplay of the original, but it also improves and totally surpasses the first game in every possible way.

Aliens Versus Predator 2 validated the AVP franchise as its own separate IP. Solid and captivating. And different enough from the films it originally originated from.

The game was followed in 2002 by expansion "Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt" (more on that below), and was later re-released in a new "Gold Edition" containing both games under a single package.
I give it:
3 / 3 Quacks!

VGR: Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt 
By Third Law Entertainment/Fox Interactive/Sierra Entertainment
Type Expansion pack
Year 2002

Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt plays as a prequel to the original AVP2 game. In this one the story of the original game is expanded through an alternate scenario as an hired help before the arrival of the Colonial Marines as well as an Alien and Predator campaign taking you through events taking place a hundred years before those.

Primal Hunt is an expansion pack developed by Third Law Entertainment. You will require the original game to play this one!

Primal Hunt adds several new weapons and multiplayer maps.

In these all-new campaigns, the plot will intertwine these Human, Alien and Predator characters between themselves AND the original Aliens Versus Predator 2 game. Some events taking place earlier, starting 500 years prior to the main game, to six weeks before the events of the main game,  explaining some events such as the original destruction Research Pod 5 at the Research Facility.

The Human campaign puts you in the shoes of Major Dunya, a private military. First she has to retrieve an artifact from the Alien Hive at Zeta Site, where she encounters more traces of the "Space Jockeys" before getting stuck in what seems to be the worst case scenario you can have in this Universe. Her campaign is action-packed. There's no more hacking tool this time.

The Predator campaign starts in 18th Century (in space though). When his spacecraft crash landed on LV-1201 for the first time. Then a bug hunt goes wrong as he finds out that Aliens inhabit this planet. He goes searching after the Alien queen... Let's just say his story turns out for the worst and his death triggers the events of the entire plot, with an Alien bursting out of his chest... You play as a much tougher Predator this time! He has new energy flechette weapons.

The Alien campaign starts with a facehugger some 500 years earlier. Exploring an Alien hive and going through the Predator camp. Fast forward to the "present day" and the Predalien is now left loose running havoc and looking for food while growing into its adult form! As the Predalien you will go through several android guards and exosuits! This Alien hybrid monster is mostly the same as an Alien, despite a taller size.

There are some new addition also available in the multiplayer mode. The humans can use a new sentry gun. They also added the Predator ability to use a self-destruct bomb when almost defeated.

Overall: While decent, everything feels smaller. From the less open stages and more claustrophobic areas, and there's way too much monsters spawning around the player this time to be as enjoyable.

You won't mind much missing this expansion. It shows some details that explain some later turn of events but it doesn't detract much from the overall experience.

I'd say, it's mostly for big fans of the main game looking for a bit more to prolong the game.

Primal Hunt doesn't offer much of a challenge and has some very limited new locations.

Some nice little additions in the form of the prequel story and more focus on the Predalien, but otherwise? Meh.

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score! 

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