Aliens vs. Predator Multiplayer Hands-On

We finally got to play AVP's multiplayer mode, including all three factions and a number of match types.

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After lurking like a xenomorph in the shadows for a number of years, the Aliens vs. Predator franchise is coming back in grand style. Developed by British studio Rebellion, which was responsible for the classic 1999 instalment, AVP will be heading to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC early next year, and we got a tasty treat when Sega finally let us get our hands on the game at a multiplayer event in London.

Deathmatch is claustrophobic, frantic, and a whole lot of fun.

True to its roots, AVP features separate single-player campaign modes for each of the three species: marines, aliens, and predators. Set 30 years after the events in the film Alien 3, the game is based on a jungle planet dubbed BG-386, which the marines have attempted to colonise. Things don't go according to plan, and we're told the marine's single-player campaign will have a survival horror flavour to it, with a reliance on raw firepower to survive the alien and predator onslaught. Unlike the other two species, marines can perform only basic melee attacks (in addition to a block move), but if they time it right, they can repel an enemy long enough to give you a second chance.

Predators have ranged weapons, melee weapons, and gadgets, including a shoulder-mounted plasma caster, mines, active camouflage, thermal vision, and wrist blades. While the aliens lack advanced weaponry, they're not short on speed and agility. They're able to attach to most surfaces, including walls and ceilings, and they constantly sprint, so you need to get up close to perform a kill. With the ability to slash, bite, and impale your victim with your tail for a stealth kill, playing as an alien feels grisly and immensely satisfying. Things can get a bit disorienting if you're on a ceiling, but you can reorientate your view to the current surface with a button press.

We spent most of our time playing Deathmatch mode, and as fans of the original game, we think it nails the sense of dread and panic with aplomb. Deathmatch supports up to 18 players, with the goal being to rack up the most kills. Playing as the marine, we had access to a powerful assault rifle, which was more than capable of taking down an alien or predator, as long as you can keep them in your sights. You also have the marine's motion sensor on hand to detect approaching targets. Unlike the aliens, marines can sprint for only short distances, and you need to rely on raw firepower and your weapon-attached torch if you hope to survive.

The predator is the most instantly rewarding character to play as and felt like a good compromise between the marine's heavy weapons and the alien's agility. A focus mode allows you to jump to nearby platforms, such as tree branches, and we were able to dish out damage from afar using the plasma caster. It's tempting to hunt marines by hiding in a tree, activating your cloak, and then using the plasma caster's lock-on aiming for an instant kill, but it's equally rewarding to rush in for a bloodthirsty stealth kill with your wrist blades. While you're invisible to marines when cloaked and motionless, you need to watch out for xenomorphs who can see you. While all of the predator's weapons were unlocked for us during the demo, you'll need to find and collect these on multiplayer maps. Unlike traditional ammo, the predator's energy-based weapons drain your suit of power and need to be topped up at recharge stations. You can also heal yourself with health packs that require energy, and like in the Predator movies, this results in a bloodcurdling scream, so you might want to find a quiet place to hide before doing so. Marines and aliens have three health bar slots, and three health packs that each recharge one slot. You can also collect additional health packs scattered around the map during matches.

We also got to try out Infestation mode, which pits a squad of marines against a single-player-controlled alien. As each marine is killed during a match, he will respawn as an alien until there's just one last man standing. Thankfully, the solo marine will receive a heavy weapon drop to try to hold the aliens at bay until the end of the round. The level we played featured the ruins of a predator pyramid, and while its summit offered good views of the battlefield, it also meant we had to use teamwork to cover our 360-degree exposure. Lastly, we had a brief look at Predator Hunt, where you get to play as a group of predators hunting a sole alien. You're given a short match time of three minutes in which to find and kill the xenomorph and rack up the most kills on your team.

You can pull off some pretty grisly stealth kills as an alien or predator.

Naturally, one of our biggest concerns is that all three factions will be balanced, but from what we've seen, we're cautiously optimistic that Rebellion will get it right. The predator was the most satisfying to play thanks to his range of badass weapons and gadgets and the ability to jump from platform to platform. Meanwhile, the alien's stealthiness, lightning-fast speed, and ability to cling to walls and ceilings certainly makes for a different experience. The marines felt a bit underpowered in contrast to the other species; however, we only used the assault rifle and shotgun, and it sounds like there will be plenty of powerful weapons at their disposal in the final version.

In addition to Deathmatch, Infestation, and Predator Hunt, AVP will include a four-player cooperative Survivor mode for marines, which sounds similar to Gears of War 2's Horde mode. We'll have to wait until we can play this for ourselves, but fighting wave after wave of aliens sounds like a frantic experience.

Aliens vs. Predator will be unleashed in early 2010, and we're looking forward to exploring the three species in greater depth at another point in the future. Until then, check out our previous coverage, and stay tuned for more information in the coming months.

Discussion

217 comments
Nashoba_Nowa
Nashoba_Nowa

i can't wait for the heart dropping thrill of playing as a human. i love creepy stuff.

Ultimamonkey
Ultimamonkey

cant wait to rip a hamburgers head off with wristblades cant wait 2 mimic humans and PULL THEIR HEARTS OUT MWUHAHAHAHAHAHA

Ultimamonkey
Ultimamonkey

cant wait ill get it purely for aliens and predators im 2 scared 2 play as a walking hamburger [a.k.a marine] :)

evan321456
evan321456

Aliens, Predators, Marines don't know who to be

ToolNut90
ToolNut90

nom nom humans xenomorph for the win

Nashoba_Nowa
Nashoba_Nowa

i have this game pre-ordered. cant wait for it to come out. how many weapons do the predators and marines have all the weapons from the 1999 version? and can you use them all in the campaign modes?

Thomasskins
Thomasskins

AVP 1999 was amazing for its time a classic I wasted weeks/months playing, I love every Aliens, Pretator and AVP films especially AVP2 which is what thyis game reminds me of. Im so exited about the Multiplayer aspect of this game and they have had 10 years to perfect it, lets just hope its not a let down. Marrine will be my No1 choise, then a Predator for some stealth kill and gadget madness. I will play as an Alien last for one reason, wall climbing can get aqwuard a its soo easy to get dissorientated and loose direction, apart from that i cant wait to get my two sets of teeth stuck into a Marines face lol. Wonder how much it will cost off play.com there normally cheap & very reliable....

diabloakaSAHA
diabloakaSAHA

OMFG!!! awsome HERE TAKE MY MONEY , im going too bu ythis game as soon as it comes on shelves, while many ppl are still anticipating games like heavy rain and mass effect, here i am waiting for AVP to release. :D

TheClown24
TheClown24

cant wait! marine ftw! no wait alien! but predator... ah who cares AVP FTW!

hellpolice
hellpolice

Stealth kills all the way! I'm going with the Xenomorphs I just like Speed and agility and the fact that I can hide on the darkness and sprint out silently and then hide back in the darkness, the marines don't know what's coming to them.

kyletm2003
kyletm2003

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

pyroone
pyroone

In AVP2 the humans dominated MP. It got to the point there were times the predator and aliens joined forces to try to take out the humans. Pulse rifle.. head shot... Humans win again ;) The aliens were the most fun to play however but took a long of coordination to be runnning and climbing walls. The predators were usually always fell back to standing there and using their shoulder cannon which the bullets actually curved and followed you, got pretty annoying when the bullet actually could turn corners. I hope they fix that here. It's AMAZINGLY fun and i've been waiting a long time for this to come out.

funnysplay
funnysplay

Even though the humans may suck. I still will probably play as them most of the time. Just cause i love the pulse rifle.

FahlazadDelOra
FahlazadDelOra

yeah! Predator will dominate all factions in this game! hack and slash everything in it's path.

Madmanreeper
Madmanreeper

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Madmanreeper
Madmanreeper

Hey!!, someone seal the rear exit, I can feel something big common. "Lock and load Marines"

KingsGambit
KingsGambit

If this is half as good as AvP2 was in its day, it will be my MP game of choice for 2010 and beyond. Loved the original, Predalien all the way :-)

Bentdawg
Bentdawg

In Aliens vs Predator 2 multiplayer ( for any of you who haven't played ) the marines really held there own with the pluse rifle, flame thrower, and smart gun... so don't count them out yet!! Does anyone know if and when a demo will be released??

Doolum
Doolum

an interesting looking game

anothereviewer
anothereviewer

honestly the humans only have the firepower to take out aliens in my opinion and might be able to take out one guy alone but probably after wasting half thier ammo trying to shoot something that fast and humans wont stand a chance against predator single handedly unless your arnold

theycallmeRP
theycallmeRP

I think the humans need some more love to stand up to the scary monsters... I think I'll be rolling with a predator though. I love the shoulder cannon.

Beawolf
Beawolf

This BETTER have dedicated servers!

xXpainXx123
xXpainXx123

wow being a human in this game sucks.

candybar_65
candybar_65

coolmidx~ the surival mode will be co-op online and i think offline. don't think theres split screen as in deathmatch, capture and so on

GreaseyJuggler
GreaseyJuggler

Fantastic. AvP Gold for the PC was a pleasure, AvP 2 lost something in translation but none the less was still a great game. This game looks promising. I only hope that more than 18 players will be possible for the PC version.

xxDEUCExx
xxDEUCExx

@ Koolmidx: Co-Op has already been confirmed. It'll have up to 4 player Co-Op playing as Marines. I'm digging this one. I played back in the 90's on the PC and loved the crap out of it.

Inconnux
Inconnux

The developers won't give a direct answer about using Dedicated servers or P2P. They are scared to say that this is just a 'mackey' (a crappy console port) and is going to use p2p like MW2. If they gave a straight answer, I might be more excited about this game.

koolmidx
koolmidx

this game has to be like or better than avp gold. play as alian, predator, or marine, multiplayer, and a level editor would be nice. I bet there wont be coop, just cause i want it in every shooter I play. coop ftw!

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

people DO know there were more AVP games than just the one on Jaguar, right? Rebellion made the 1st one on jaguar and then one for PC which was completely different. Monolith made AVP 2 a few years later. if you haven't played these gems, you can probably find them on ebay or one of those old pc game websites. it's certainly worth the effort.

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

i loved AVP 1 AND 2 (by monolith) both were great in their own rights and this looks like it will trump them both. if rebellion pulls this off they will have redeemed themselves for shellshock 2

xolivierx
xolivierx

I played the 1st one back in 1998, and I must say I have no faith in this one. Sorry to be negative.

Madcows
Madcows

Hope they have it right this time not like the last one.

ghostwalkerC
ghostwalkerC

I liked the AVP movie, and I think this game is going to be great!

the_edge7
the_edge7

AVP2 was a great LAN game, I'm hoping to pick this one up on PC instead of the Ps3 this time around.

Zero_Burn2
Zero_Burn2

Now here is something that has aroused my suspicions...One of the best films ever made turned into one of the best games ever made? who knows. All I know is that King Kong rocked when it came out and you could pick it up for a fiver from Woolworths (I love the way Woolworths isn't recognized by the spellchecker...FAIL) . For me, this is one to pre-order!

mer1in79
mer1in79

I to have fond memories of this game on the Jaguar and how great fun it was playing it with the tech today and hoping they get it right it should be an awsome game

slammedc
slammedc

I can only imagine how awesome this one should be compared to the one that was on the Jaguar, and it was awesome in its time. I can't wait...

pablodude
pablodude

epic win, i will definent be looking out for this when it comes out.

boots2300
boots2300

I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS GAME TO COME OUT!!!!!! SHOULD BE GREAT!!!! OR AT LEAST SUPER FUN.

Jim60360
Jim60360

this game and i were made for each other!

xXpainXx123
xXpainXx123

ive never played an AVP games but this review sound good, if it gets a score of 8 or more ill probably buy it.

funnysplay
funnysplay

Yep, this game is certainly for me. And it sounds like the the species are like a rock paper scissors type thing. Alien beats Predator, Predator beats human ect... Can't wait for 2010.

Lach0121
Lach0121

yeah i think now is a great time to release a new AVP, seriously its been a while lol, it looks amazing. i just hope it runs just as amazing, seeing as how this is one of the first DX11 games, i hope DX11 is executed way better than DX10 was.

pyroone
pyroone

oh and to wallmart56 If it's anything like the original avp you play the alien first person. Now imagine that while you climb walls and ceilings and leaping across rooms. Makes you dizzy but if you can handle it it's great fun.

pyroone
pyroone

AVP2 was the very first online game I ever played and I loved it. There was always questions of balance, no matter what is done people will complain about balance. But I can't wait to get back in the saddle when this comes out.

Double2008
Double2008

i think i justed cum in my pants :D cant wait 4 this

radde
radde

"...AVP will include a four-player cooperative Survivor mode for marines, which sounds similar to Gears of War 2's Horde mode." This Mode has been in the first and second AVP Game. It always Sounds like this mode originated in Gears of War. The same with this infestation mode, this mode was also part of the first and second AVP Game.