Aliens vs. Predator Multiplayer Hands-On

It's three very unique species battling it out at once in AvP multiplayer. We chat with Rebellion's Tim Jones about all your options for staying alive.

by

One of the big calling cards of Aliens vs. Predator is that the single-player experience is split into three distinct campaigns. Rather than play as a colonial marine throughout the entire story who is dealing with the ominous threat of aliens crawling overhead or predators eager to separate your spine from your torso the whole time, you play as all three species over a trio of different stories. That buffet of options extends into the multiplayer side of the game as well. A number of modes pit all three races against one another at the same time, with each side using its wildly differing abilities to make sure the other side leaves this world in the nastiest way possible.

There's a certain rock-paper-scissors element to the three species. The alien is the quickest and has the ability to scurry on every surface you can think of, but its attacks are purely what-you-see-is-what-you-get. There are no power-ups or extra items lying around for the alien to use: It's all a matter of crawling around and clawing your enemies to death. The predator can cloak itself to perform a pounce-attack from a great distance, but it spawns with no weapons in-hand and has to seek out whatever gadgets he wants to use without dying. Then, there's the marine, who obviously suffers from being human and not a ferocious monster. But thanks to man's thirst for science (or more specifically using science to destroy things), the marine has an intimidating arsenal of assault rifles with grenade launchers, shotguns that can fire from both barrels at once, a smart gun that automatically targets enemies for you, and a flame thrower. In short: Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

What surprised us the most from our hands-on time with the multiplayer was the fact that each species feels very different in its movements and abilities, but the control scheme linking them all together is surprisingly consistent. This was one of Rebellion's big goals in the game, considering you'll frequently switch between species as soon as a new match loads, and in some cases, within the same match. Rebellion has done this by mapping similar abilities to the same buttons. So you'll use the same buttons for basic things like ranged attacks, melee strikes, and healing, but even the more complicated moves like leaping from ledge to ledge or pounce-attacking from afar (as both the predator and alien can do) are achieved with the same two-button commands.

In terms of game modes, you'll find some that seek to balance each species, some that place the focus squarely on one of them, and others in between. The usual Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes let you play around with the aforementioned rock-paper-scissors aspects of each species in what's basically a killing sandbox. The Mixed Species Team Deathmatch mode, however, lets you team up with other species to trade in canonical authenticity for some opportunities that provide very interesting tactics. Playing as a predator with a marine for a teammate? Team up and use your thermal vision to spy out hidden enemies then have your buddy roast them with the flame thrower.

But the two that really stand out among the competitive multiplayer options are Infestation and Predator Hunt. Infestation starts with one alien and a whole bunch of marines then turns every one of those humans into aliens when they get killed. The endgame winds up being a tense last-man standing with one person surrounded by xenomorphs lurking in the dark. Then, there's Predator Hunt, where one player assumes control of the predator as it seeks to rack up points by killing off marines. The twist, though, is that there's a time limit to how long you can remain the predator, and if you die, you relinquish predator status to the one that just killed you.

Marines are pretty well balanced in multiplayer, but that doesn't mean they're not still delicious!

Finally, there's another multiplayer mode called Survivor. It's a take on the familiar survival/horde mode wherein players must fend off wave after wave of AI-controlled enemies. That much we've seen before. What makes this version feel a bit different from others before it is the distinct Aliens atmosphere. A team of player-controlled marines must fend off aliens scurrying in on the ground, walls, and ceilings. Survivor maps often place the marines under a pool of faint light, with the aliens coming in from the dark corners in a flurry of teeth and claws. Knowing those aliens are hidden off in the black abyss can be a terrifying feeling, and the fact that you have to quickly dash out there for health packs and additional ammo certainly doesn't alleviate the feeling.

Aliens vs. Predator looks like it should offer up a well-rounded package with the three different campaigns, competitive multiplayer, and Survivor mode. We'll see how the whole thing comes together when the game is released on February 16.

Discussion

159 comments
Frost451
Frost451

The multi player is OK its not to die for, but I want this for the single player and the survivor mode. Turn up the sounds, turn off the lights and this should kick a$$.

Spike_Cloud
Spike_Cloud

me and my friends have been playing the demo quite a bit on steam, and have all preordered it. they've all played the other AVP games, but I never did.

Z0n3br34k3r
Z0n3br34k3r

played the older parts avp 1 2 and primal hunt last 1 - 2 years a loot on lan with friends the avp primal hunt...And the avp now whole new system is totaly messed up!!!they had keept the old system from primal hunt and other 2 parts they were enough it was all about skill and not like now...there som stupid part example i cant backwards double jump -.- what pissing me on with pred and trow disc or spear while backwards jumping so i have to turn my back on the enemy and he gets option grad klick im dead -.-...so only option foward jump enemy gets grab option you dead no matther what..... beacause this stupid part alien are overpowered...the whole system criples the movement its only streight foward...there a loots of diferent problems and i dont think someone is gonna adjust that and loots of stuff so that game will get over time bad raiting and end up in a trash can..its sad cause of these few problems and new settings the game will be totaly unplayable for team matches due huge movement criple sistem u cant dodge or something only bullets maybe but the grab system is totaly argh and movement system needs improvement.

hman1111
hman1111

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

TheVenlo
TheVenlo

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

porunga_namek
porunga_namek

I think the game will be amazing. The demo was really fun. Too bad there's only one map though. I was actually surprised though how well all the species are balanced out. The full version should be great though.

hman1111
hman1111

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

Predator123
Predator123

Got the demo, first impression.... thrown into a game, no explanation of any control sceme, ofbective etc, no idea what was happening. after a few rounds I figured out the techniques. The graphics look dated (the demo is only dx9, and even seems stripped of simple things like any decent lighting effects that exist in dx9) but with the promise of dx11 in the full version I am intested. The game istelf has a bit of a learning curve, and perhaps I was so used to mw2 style of fps that I forgot what a unique game felt like.... ;) After a week of having this demo I have officialy spent more time playing a stripped down one level avp demo then I have playing Star Trek online.... so Yes I am excited for feb 16th !!

imkain
imkain

I would like to start this comment that I am a veteran of Rebellion's AvP franchise. I have enjoyed ever one of their releases...including Primal Hunt expansion for AvP 2. I had mixed feelings about this revival (since most games these days just keep reusing and rehashing old ideas and failing miserably at it). Then this past weekend Steam was offering the demo of the new AvP. I played it and was instantly hooked. I will state that this game gives a great nod to all of the species, graphically and playability. I enjoyed the MP demo so much I bought the game on Steam and received Universe at War Gold Edition for free (not too shabby). The game ran excellent on my system...I would like to say 60-80 FPS solid with no slowdowns. This looks to be a solid online/offline game...I can't wait to play horde/infestation modes. Long live Rebellion, please give us more great games like this...also other game makers take note...THIS is how you make a game and rally your fellow gamers. I thoroughly believe that you will enjoy this game for the story, gameplay, and replayability. Enjoy!

slimify-d
slimify-d

playing the multiplayer demo was good fun altho i dont know how well it stands up in comparison to other heavierly played MP games (i.e MW2, halo 3 or if your a ps3er resistance 2 or KZ2) again im only going off the demo and from what we can see they have inclued many varions to MP so im hoping il be pleasently surprised but who knows....i think SP will be worth a go either way

KA91
KA91

Well they also made the campaign seperated in the old Alien vs predator 2. It looks very scary though but i think it's gona be hard to make a game on the same lvl as alien vs predator 2 all though this looks very awsome and im definatly gonna buy it. The only thing i find a bit sad when i played the multiplayer demo was that there wasn't the same flow in the game as in the old one, but that might have something to do with that free 4 all isn't how alien vs. predator needs to be played in multiplayer. Alien vs predator need to be fightet species vs species and not predator vs predator vs alien vs aliens vs humans vs humans. But nice game ! :D

Hellknite190
Hellknite190

Demo is great, but a single gamemode and a single map is a little bit small. Not saying that its not fun, but it could have used a bit more. The shame is that people will probably be playing all of the other modes and not this. Maybe that is the whole point of the demo. So getting this game next week. Surprisingly well balanced for such distinct races.

Retroman47
Retroman47

From reading this article, I can see that this game will be very interesting, especially in multiplayer modes. Separating the campaign into three different campaigns is a great idea. StarCraft by Blizzard Entertainment has three campaign sections for each of its races as well (anyone who has this game ill know what I am talking about), but I think that dividing them up in multiplayer will be a disaster. The three races will be greatly unbalanced. In StarCraft, they were easily balanced, but that would be because the game is an RTS. Having the predator spawn with no weapons seems like a bad idea too, especially if they spawn in front of an enemy (it happens it almost every game I know). Also, these races should not be balanced rocks-paper-scissors style. That, in my opinion, is a terrible idea. The Mixed Species Team Deathmatch is a great idea for a gametype, along with Survivor, Infestation, and Predator Hunt. In those gametypes the races do not need to be balanced. Overall, this game has a lot of potential. Most of the other older AVP games have gotten great reviews, so Rebellion should have no trouble making a great video game.

kharn_reborn
kharn_reborn

The demo is pretty nasty. I love playing as the alien. Rebellion got the speed just right. The awesome weapons that the humans have makes them my second favorite; plus you get a different sense of play with them (more survival-horror like, even in multiplayer!). The predators are cool, just not my favorite. You can get a disturbing amount of kills with the throwing disc. I feel like I've exhausted the one map in the demo and can't wait to play the rest of the maps. I recommend giving this game a shot!

ChosenOne489
ChosenOne489

Ok I love the demo for this game. It's got in my opinion a great solid multiplayer and the more people that join the match the more of a fight for survival it seems to become for each and every player. The only thing that wierds me out is how weak the predators feel. So far I'd give it an 8.0 just for the multiplayer. Remember guys this game will most likely get a bad rap on the gamespot review. Game Informer gave it a 5.75 which is crap because i think the only thing they did was play the mp demo.

CO0Ki3M0NST3R
CO0Ki3M0NST3R

yeah, i also played the demo. it was a freakin' AWESOME experience!!! its the first AVP game that i've ever played online, and I could not stop playing. I would have enjoyed it better if it were a TDM instead of a normal DM, but we get around that and team up, A v P style...

---SnakePiston---
---SnakePiston---

SEGA where is the single player demo? and Rebellion why did you guys put a bolt on Pulse Rifle?

AIRWALKTDK666
AIRWALKTDK666

@AlphaWolF_J Would you mind pm me the name of the sight because i heard there was gonna be dedicated server's for the pc (coz rebellion loves the pc) but not for the consoles.

AIRWALKTDK666
AIRWALKTDK666

@one_mad_spy You can't play as a face hugger but they'll appear in the single player as NPCs

one_mad_spy
one_mad_spy

Does any know if you'll be able to play as the facegrabber online?

Memoryitis
Memoryitis

the mechanics of the game sounds dam good, hope it gets good reviews

AlphaWolF_J
AlphaWolF_J

Im probably old enough to be your dad and been playing games ever since Atari 2600.

mookaone
mookaone

@acdc09 i get the feeling you're a little too young to be playing this game, non?

AlphaWolF_J
AlphaWolF_J

I was so going to pick this up for (PC) being a big fan of the original BUT if this info i grabbed of anougher site is true FORGET IT :( 1: No server browsing (which, in turn, means no dedicated servers.) 1a: Proven by the fact that, while playing, saw a "migrating server" message. 1b: Made worse by the fact that dedicated servers were promised. 2: Broken matchmaking (will list "6 ready, 2 waiting" then go back to "looking for game" over and over.) 4: Mic is always on, no push to talk, no sensitivity, just always on. No way to mute others. 5: No text chat in lobby as far as I can tell... 7: Cannot join a game in progress, so if you get disconnected from a game with your friends, you have to rejoin their group when they are done with their round, or they all have to quit. 8: When in lobby and game, all other audio on your computer is turned down in order to let you hear the people in the game. In other words, if you try to voice chat over Ventrilo or Teamspeak, or if you try to listen to music, it will all be turned down while playing AvP. No way to turn this off either. 9: No way to balance in-game voice audio against other audio. The "speech volume" applies to the character's speaking, not the players themselves. 10: Pop-up of "melee attack" always shows key you bound to melee attack, no matter how well you've memorized it. In other words: Hint system never turns off. P2P matchmaking = AVOID (THEY PROMISED DEDICATED?)

muze1
muze1

do u use an antenna to connect to the internet

Dreameux
Dreameux

I tried to play the multiplayer demo but after waiting 20 min in front of my tv screen starring at searching game ... I just resigned myself to play the multiplayer demo of bfbc 2 wich will be THE game to play online.... I wish it was not rebellion who was coming with this game because after WET I have little interest in what they propose ...

Darkbeyond
Darkbeyond

Played the multiplayer demo yesterday. And i must say its amazeing!! The alien definately is my favorite race to play, though i do enjoy the Predator. Never got to play as a human but they seem equally powerful!! Cant wait for the final version to be released!

acdc09
acdc09

I just played the demo multiplayer and I was loving it. Being a big fan of Alien and Predator movies I was wondering if Rebellion would be able to pull this off. I've only played as the Marine but I must say it feels really good. Not only that, the whole look is spot on and having that beeping radar like in the old Alien movies makes things more authentic and scary. Great graphics so far and just hell of fun. I'm getting this when it comes out.

vengeance00
vengeance00

Played the demo (360 version but haven't had a chance at the predator yet) and I absolutely love it. The game is fast and frantic; with games being close often (shows the races are balanced) and I thought that the marines would resort to grenades like they did back in AvP2 to keep balance but don’t need to. Had no trouble killing a alien or a predator with the marines, though I noticed some players were doing small bursts with their rifles (this game has a more arcade feel so less recoil) which they don’t need to do. The aliens are fast and deadly just like they should be, able to quickly close in (if they can stealth well) and rip their targets to shreds. I’ve noticed a few things which I haven’t figured out yet like tail whipping and getting out of instant kill attacks. The back attack thing can be overpowered at times but this is really designed for the lone prey scenarios do this in the middle of combat will most likely get you killed and you prey as well as they aren’t dead until you actually kill them so people can steal your kill (or in team death matches save them). overall I’m greatly enjoying this and if the campaign is as good as the MP then I can say it’s a good candidate for the GOTY award for 2010.

karlt321
karlt321

Edit: After some more play of the demo I'm starting to love this game. ^^ The pounce and rip has gone for aliens, but clawing away and spamming the E key seams to get the job done. Gets better as you do :)

GWA17
GWA17

i just played the mutiplayer demo for this game today and its addictive even with only one map and game type on this demo it was epic i cant wait til it comes out

grimmgramm
grimmgramm

i agree chrome, its becoming the norm. the dlc of games should be an after thought. something the team can work on that might address issues within the gaming public. iron some kinks or appease fans in areas that were lacking apon release. i'm just not sure what platform to buy this on... the matching system in the demo was a horrible reminder of mod war2, (which i cant seem to even play now, even tho my internet is sweet. joining a game takes tedious patience and usually breaks down after a couple of matches. i can play modwar1 just fine) seriously, why are pc owners getting bent over in the mp department. we own the friggin department!

Chrome_0001
Chrome_0001

RE: Three Editions?!? I will not pay extra for maps that should have been included in the standard release, or not to many years ago would have been provided as a free download a few weeks after release. I already pay more for PS3 games over the PC price as it is. People who pay extra for this stuff are rewarding developers for removing content from the game then selling it separately as DLC or Super Special Magic Funtime Editions.

redstroke
redstroke

Not including the Corporate vs Marine aspect from AvP2 I see. I had some fun matches in CvMvA rooms, but I suppose I can get by the "ol' fashion way". Can we please keep the smartgun whining to a minimum this time?

Solidsnake13_2
Solidsnake13_2

I'm telling you if its one game that will be big in Feb 2010 next to Dante's Inferno, BioShock 2 and Heavy Rain, it has to be this one. I mean everyone that played the classic AvP will have to get this one. Playing as Alien, Marines and Predator should be the coolest thing to play as. I can't wait for this game.

chaosbrigade
chaosbrigade

@ tenakakhan Don't get me wrong though, I was a huge fan of the original AVP and AVP2 PC games, and I'm almost certainly to get this reboot. This game got me all hyped up that I watched all the AVP series movies last night :P

chaosbrigade
chaosbrigade

@ tenakakhan I was really hoping that the 3 factions will play out distinctively different: Aliens should use echolocation and pheromone scent, Predators should use thermal and night vision, and Humans should have radar and flashlight.

tenakakhan
tenakakhan

@chaosbrigade Aliens, especially intimated in the books and the comics, were also to a large part reliant on pheromone scents to track prey. The trouble here is that after so many media avenues with this IP, nobody precisely knows what is canon, and what isn't. You see a similar problem in Star Trek IPs too. Frankly, for the purposes of creating a balanced game, the inclusion of eyes, or the illusion of eyes, for Aliens is something I can forgive. The game does look like an awful lot of fun though I have to admit, I'm just not sure the ol' ticker can cope with it. :)

chaosbrigade
chaosbrigade

I'm very disappointed that they didn't stay true to the biological aspects of Aliens in AVP. Aliens do NOT have eyes, it was explicitly stated by Ridley Scot, the creator of the original Alien franchise. Aliens rely solely on sounds to find their preys. AVP should have created something similar to the Daredevil's echo vision for the aliens.

10niknik
10niknik

hi guys, i work nights and have very few friends that play during the day (uk time). if there is anyone out there in a similar situation, send me a message and we can do some multiplayer.

Mister-Lee
Mister-Lee

the marines have just as good a chance as anyone else..? have they seen the films..?

TheGrudge13
TheGrudge13

does any one know when the demo will come for the PS3

e1337prodigy
e1337prodigy

Had an idea, instead of playing different parts of the story, play the same story with the 3 different species and then depending how well you do with one species, that is the one that wins. Different cut scene's according to how well you do. or it just a rubbish idea as it will get boring..

wraithlock
wraithlock

Another FPS, another day. Although I will enjoy going thermal with the Predator and slicing up some people. I'll definitely give it a try.

SysDefect
SysDefect

Needs to bring back alien life cycle, facehuggers were too awesome. Does anyone know if they'll be including different alien species at all?