Aliens vs. Predator Update - Sneaking Through the Dark and Ripping Off Heads

We explore the very beginning of the Aliens and Predator campaigns from this sci-fi horror title.

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Here in New York City, Sony has set up shop in a downtown art gallery to show off some upcoming first- and third-party PlayStation titles. Among the more impressive third-party games on hand was the PS3 version of Aliens vs. Predator. Developed by Rebellion and published by Sega, this first-person action title is heavy on tense atmosphere and even heavier on gore. What sets it apart from other games in the genre is how the campaigns are organized: you can play through three separate storylines as the Predator, the Xenomorph Aliens, or the Colonial Marines.

We were able to have a look at the very beginning of the Alien and Predator campaigns. Each has its own unique tutorial, shedding some light on just how differently each of these playable species will feel from one another. We'll start with the Alien campaign. This one begins with a delightfully morbid intro cinematic depicting a number of humans in a deep-space research lab. They're all strapped into chairs and pinned down by large tubes mounted over their chests. It's unclear at first what these are for, but then it happens: baby Aliens burst from the stomachs of these poor saps and safely into the tubes. (Well, mostly. Let's just say the guys who walked in to do cleanup duty weren't hoping to see an Alien burst from one of the corpse's mouths rather than inside the chest tubes.)

Flash-forward a bit, and you're playing as one of these Aliens at a slightly more advanced age. The scientists have you locked up in a viewing chamber, but something goes awry and you're introduced to your first taste of combat. As an Alien, darkness is your best friend. During the tutorial you're taught how to use your massive tail to knock out the overhead lights, luring a guard into the darkness and mauling him with your claws. You can also scurry around on walls and ceilings. To minimize this ability's disorienting effects, the reticle in the middle of your screen always points toward the ground.

If you effectively keep yourself cloaked under the cover of darkness, you can sneak around enemies and go in for a trophy kill. These are stylized kills that take longer to perform and leave you open to enemy attacks, but they offer a more vicious and rewarding viewing experience. Our favorite was the trophy that pulls the camera back behind your Alien teeth, giving you an in-the-mouth view of chomping the head off a poor human guard. Overall, the Alien combat style is entirely focused on short-range melee attacks, and you'll need to use your speed and wall-hugging abilities to their full effect if you want to combat enemies equipped with guns.

After the Alien intro sequence, we took some time to check out how the beginning of the game plays out for the Predator. This tutorial has you playing as a Predator youngblood, someone just learning the powers at his disposal. You're dropped into a giant pit, and your brethren toss in Xenomorph after Xenomorph to teach you basic combat. The Predator can attack with his wrist-mounted blades or use his shoulder cannon and specialty grenades. And rather than using the regenerating health of the Alien, the Predator has to take health packs that you twist apart and jam into your chest.

If you survive this youngblood trial by fire, you're dropped into your first real mission, which is to recover all the Predator technology from the Marines and destroy any of your fallen comrades you encounter along the way. You begin in a lush jungle, and you can leap effortlessly up to branches and platforms tens of feet above you. From this vantage point, you can create a distraction by mimicking a human voice, calling one soldier away from the other, and then use your invisibility cloak to sneak up behind either of these lone Marines. Why sneak up behind them? For the awesome trophy kills, of course. The Predator trophy kills run the gamut from ripping out the spine of a human enemy, to lifting him up by your wrist blade and listening to him gasp for air with giant puncture wounds in his chest. It's chilling stuff, but it's pretty entertaining if you can stomach it.

Down the road, the Predator has to storm his way into a Marine base housing some technology that has to be recovered. There are certain security measures in place restricting you from the really well-protected stuff, but there are workarounds. At one point, you have to go through a series of retinal scanners to proceed past a number of checkpoints. The solution? Find someone with clearance authorization, rip his head off, and carry it around with you for the rest of the level as you occasionally produce it from offscreen to trigger the scanner. Yes, this game is very much a hard M rating on the ESRB scale.

Altogether, Aliens vs. Predator looks horrifying and twisted in all the right ways. Since this was a hands-off demo, it remains to be seen how well these different species control, but we do know that they're entertaining to watch--and that's something. Expect to see the game released on February 16.

Discussion

96 comments
XYLag
XYLag

AvP is gonna be so awesome!

BoaMo121
BoaMo121

Oh man cant wait, Alien and Predator f**k s**t UP!!! As for Marines I'll proably crap my pants in that campaign...

BloomerNYC
BloomerNYC

Im usually not too big on games based on movies or movies based on games, but to be honest, this game really does look promising.

popcan160
popcan160

sounds like i'm gonna get nightmares

Goods_Merchant
Goods_Merchant

Alien vs. Predator Requiem was a pretty gory movie too.

BudgetMonkey82
BudgetMonkey82

This game is shaping up to look excellent, if it's half as scary as the Atari Jaguar version I will have to sleep with the lights on!

tomcrole
tomcrole

sounds good, alought i did read that in multiplayer the classes are realy unbalanced hope they fix this + sry all asturlans shame as adults you cant make your own dessisons

jin-ro
jin-ro

sounds verry nice ,but prioryty have aliens colonial marines !!!!!!!! thats look just unbeliveble!!!!!!

taner_123
taner_123

im...so... cut man. still cant believe its banned :( :(

vengeance00
vengeance00

this looks and sounds awesome, too bad for australian gamers it will probably get banned or censored for the gore its going to show. EDIT: also, though the've played only part of the inrto, it sounds like we won't be playing a facehugger or chestburster which after playing AvP2 will detract from the experiance.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Looking forward to this, for me: Marine = Tense Alien = Sneaky-Sneak Predator = The toys : )

Mojake2k7
Mojake2k7

I'm gonna be aliens most of the time. I love the look of them. Predators look cool too. Marines will be GREAT to play as! Someone said before that nobody will play as them. I bloody will!!! The tension and sense of vulnerability is like a drug! Can't get enough of shi**ing my pants!

Fayt1986
Fayt1986

ive allways wanted a really epic aliens game and im hopeing this game will be it.

hexhunter222
hexhunter222

thenephariouson posted: "February is looking to be a very expensive month so far: AVP, SC:Conviction, Bioshock2 and i desperately want them all : ) " You're not kidding, with games like Mass Effect 2 also it'll be a busy 1st quarter for alot of gamers.

D1zzyCriminal
D1zzyCriminal

We all know we will need new underwear after playing this game. The marine campaign will be soul destroying and playing as the alien in AVP2 was pretty scary too. The whole survival element as the face hugger was tense.

mygunz
mygunz

dont let me down hope it gets a good review

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

February is looking to be a very expensive month so far: AVP, SC:Conviction, Bioshock2 and i desperately want them all : )

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

This is looking like my first 2010 must buy. Great stuff.

Angre_Leperkan
Angre_Leperkan

This game looks amazing. Nuff said. Pre-order for sure at this point

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

There is no excuse for this game to be less than great. If they mess this up then they are retards.

AD_06
AD_06

I was born ready for this game!!

Anabub
Anabub

The single player is going to be intresting but the multi player really needs to work on the balancing ... no one at the moment is EVER going to go as the marines!!!

Bashers79
Bashers79

If i remember correctly AVP2 had one of the first ever horde style mulitplayer modes. It was one of the few FPS's that stood out from the crowd, hopefully this one will to. Can't wait to chop someone in half with the Predator throwing disc!

XavierThrone
XavierThrone

Dude... Alien all the way. This game looks/sounds amazing.

vengeance00
vengeance00

@ bodylotion same here :D i hope ther don't screw it up, the films already damaged the avp franchise.

o0MrCheesy0o
o0MrCheesy0o

Too bad this won't be released in Australia :[ Import anyone?

MaNiKore
MaNiKore

When, when can we play???

maverick_76
maverick_76

I remember that in the original AVP that Marines were the weakest but had the best weapons, the Aliens were moderate in durability but were lightning fast and could kill a human in two swipes or one head chomp and the predators were like tanks but their weapons only could target one person at a time and they had to recharge their batteries after so many shots. Some levels favored one species over the others but overall they were fairly well balanced.

bodylotion
bodylotion

AvP 2 probably is one of my favourite shooters of all time and Aliens is one of my favourite movies of all time i'm confident this game will be great.

nomorepain4u
nomorepain4u

hope the game is as good as the old one. screw you isreal

jawacki
jawacki

predetor all the way

gusterul
gusterul

man i hope they will make this game hard, so it wont be played by everyone, i hope they wont make the same mistake with avp2 multi (if you played avp gold you know what i;m talking about), i for one dont wanna see to many ppl playing this game, this game must choose its players not the players choose this game, if some1 cant control the alien or has no dexterity for the predator then play as the marine, i hope they make i such a way that you need skill and ability to controll the alien and predator, as for the marine, well marines are my favorite :) they can leave them be, but I want firepower !!! Good luck!!!

Hicks_1
Hicks_1

Cant wait to squish some bugs. rock and roll.

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

i don't know you, but unbalanced or not (and this HAVE to be unbalanced as hell, where talking about a pitty human vs A hideous full of rage allien, or vs an almigthy predator who born for the unique pourpose to kick zillions of butts) but manage to kill a predator with a simple marine will be quite an achievement.

Erik729
Erik729

For those of you who never played AvP2, I think you're in for quite a treat, for those of you who played AvP2, we know if it's anything like AvP2, we're in for an awesome game. AvP2 controlled and played amazingly well, and there were no real balance issues online when I used to play, and I'm sure the same will be the case for this game. I can't wait. As for "focusing" on the marine campaign, that is not the goal of these games. AvP's focus on all three, not one in particular, each campaign was equally fun, as well as equally important to the game as a whole.

Senior_Rosa
Senior_Rosa

People here think it will be unbalanced as an online experience being three different races. If the multiplayer modes are set properly (and this only depends on developers), it can be f***** interesting to try to shoot a predator down in a 1 predator vs 20 marines game (or something around it, if they are indeed that unbalanced). I can't wait to try it!!!

gladin09
gladin09

GAME OF THE YEAR! (I think)

claykenobi
claykenobi

It's too bad that this game may be more frustrating than it is fun..It's hard to picture the controls giving you the advantage as an Alien or Predator..Hopefully the game is focused on the soldier campaign. That would probably be the most promising because the graphics look incredible!