Remembering the Aliens vs Predator video games

alien-vs-predatorThe Alien and Predator franchises… As a sci-fi/horror fan, these movies are the pinnacle of awesomeness, the combination of which should result in pure, kick-ass, pants-messingly splendid offspring. And yet it didn’t — the Alien vs Predator movies, while entertaining, were a bit of a let down… They left out some of the kick-ass, and replaced it with pretty much standard sci-fi fare. But they’re still relatively cool, for what they are…

AVP video games, on the other hand, are a different story. While it took the movies many moons to come to life, AVP games have been around since the early to mid ‘90s and most (if not all) have been sufficiently impressive…

AVP - Atari Jaguar

AVP - Atari Jaguar

I became interested in AVP games in the early 90s following the release of the Atari Jaguar. Of all systems available at the time, I wanted the Jaguar the most, but it was far too expensive (and didn’t last very long, so I guess I was lucky)… AVP on this system looked awesome for the time. It was an FPS, and you could play as a colonial marine, an alien, or a predator, and it was a dream of mine to play this game, even given the average reviews (what do game critics know?).

Fifteen-odd years later, when I finally did play the game, I learnt why it only received average reviews. While it had some great ideas (which were pretty well implemented), the environments were repetitive, and the controls were horrible. Still, I wish I owned a Jaguar… And AVP on the Jag is still up there as one game I most want in my collection… I guess I need a Jaguar first, though…



Next on my AVP radar was the Aliens vs Predator Arcade game, which was released in 1994 — around the same time as the Jaguar title, actually. You could play as either a predator or a colonial marine, and you were tasked with defeating an alien onslaught in a side-scrolling shoot-em-up along the lines of Metal Slug — although not nearly as difficult. The AVP arcade game is fondly remembered by those that have played it, and it remains one of my firm favourites. I really hope it gets released on XBLA or PSN, because it’s a corker, and best played

with friends…

AVP 1 & 2 -- PC

AVP 1 & 2 -- PC

At the end of last century, AVP was released on the PC. Touted as an improvement of the then 5-year-old Jaguar title, it was a vastly better game in terms of gameplay and design and followed the same tried-and-true formula, allowing you to play as any one of the three species in their own story-based campaign. The game looked great and played well, but it was AVP2, released a couple of years later, that became hugely popular.

AVP2 improved on the first title mainly in the graphics department — it was much clearer, less chunky, and the colour palette was somewhat brighter than the original. The Alien was also much easier to use, and AVP2 quickly became a popular online shooter — and remained so for some time. A truly great title that worked on many levels.


Other AVP titles

Over this period, there were several AVP games released on other platforms as well, but these were titles I never had the chance to play. Alien vs Predator: The Last of His Clan was released on Game Boy in 1993, and, in the same year, Alien vs Predator was released on Super Nintendo. From my understanding, these were fairly popular games, but were not based on any other titles — they were simply platform shooters. Aliens versus Predator: Extinction was released on PS2 and Xbox in 2003, but by all accounts this was a pretty bad game, so I steered well clear of it.

AVP card game...

AVP card game...

The release of the AVP movies prompted at least one AVP mobile phone game in 2004 (which I hear was not worth the purchase), as well as Aliens vs Predator: Requiem on PSP in 2007 — a game that received fairly average reviews — depending on who you asked, of course. I was also interested to note that there was an AVP collectible card game published in 1997, but I’m not sure of its popularity…

And the reason for this post? Recently, a new AVP game is on the horizon for the PS3, X360, and PC, and things look rather promising. I haven’t heard much about it, but it’s following the popular “play as alien/predator/marine FPS” method, and it looks great. We’ll see how it goes on release, but it is looking to be a pretty fine title, and one that I am looking forward to. Current ETA is 2010.

New AVP -- looks gorgeous

New AVP -- looks gorgeous


1 Comment

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One response to “Remembering the Aliens vs Predator video games

  1. The most difficult thing is to find a blog with unique and fresh content but your blog is different. Bravo.

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