E3 2002: AVP2 Primal Hunt impressions
We hunt down the expansion pack to Aliens vs. Predator 2 at the Sierra booth.
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The expansion pack to Aliens vs. Predator 2 was on display at the Fox Interactive booth this year, and we were impressed by what we saw of it. In development at Monolith Studios, Primal Hunt is actually a prequel to the events of last year's first-person shooter, and just like that game, it will let you play through three unique campaigns as a human, predator, and alien, respectively.
In terms of gameplay length, Primal Hunt will be about half the size of the original Aliens vs. Predator 2--that game had 21 single-player missions, whereas the add-on will have nine. You'll start the game off as a human, move on to play three missions as the predator, then round the game out with a trio of alien-specific levels. The human character is no longer a colonial marine. Instead, you'll play as a corporate mercenary who's out to capture a live alien specimen. While most of the merc's abilities mirror those of the marine's, there are a few key differences between the two. Specifically, the corporate mercenary has a motion tracker that detects movement a full 360 degrees--that's twice the area of the marine's 180-degree tracker. There is a drawback to this new feature, however; its range is limited to 15 meters instead of the previous game's 30. Monolith representatives called this a fair tradeoff, and it seems like a logical assessment to us. The mercenary can also pick up sentry guns and place them nearly anywhere in any given level.
Primal Hunt's predator has a new energy flechette weapon that's especially effective against fast-moving aliens, and his missions will pit him against a number of new indigenous creatures that are brand new to the Aliens vs. Predator series. These animals look like alien rhinos and oxen, but their size belies their agility--these creatures will charge you and spear you with their massive tusks. Additionally, many of them can sustain quite a beating before getting killed, while others can camouflage themselves by blending in with their surroundings.
The alien missions in this game, however, are the most intriguing. Like in the original Aliens vs. Predator 2, you'll start out as a small face hugger, but instead of attaching yourself to a hapless colonial marine, you'll actually attack and drop your egg into a predator. The offspring of this unholy marriage is an alien-predator hybrid that blends the strengths of both species into a single, powerful creature. The hybrid retains the speed of the alien, but he can withstand a lot more punishment than a standard alien could otherwise. The predator's mandibles are visible onscreen from the first-person view, and the devastating head-bite is still intact.
Primal Hunt is scheduled for release this August, and it requires a full version of Aliens vs. Predator 2 in order to play. We'll have more on this game as its release date approaches.