|Aliens Vs. Predator was
scary, and the Gold Edition is just a little more ooze on top of an already frightening
experience. With AvP gamers got to experience a new level of horror gaming. You play as
either the marine, alien, or predator, and each character provides a unique gaming
experience. With AvP Gold Edition you get a chance to catch up on one of the greatest FPS
games of 1999, and you get some nice goodies.
AvP was something of a sleeper hit. Overwhelmingly, reviewers and gamers enjoyed it. The three different perspectives on the action provide remarkably good play, and the game is suitably difficult to last for awhile and provide good replay. Various gizmos and weapons offer a lot of killing variety, and on a LAN the multiplayer is remarkable.
The game basics are as follows: You play either the marine, alien or predator. As a marine you have access to a basic arsenal of powerful guns, including two new weapons in AvPG, and you can use your night vision goggles to see in the dark. As the alien you work to save your species eggs, and the only weapons you have available are your claws, tail, and teeth. The predator is the ultimate hunting machine, with access to several modes of vision and a full range of weapons. Everything youve seen in the Aliens or Predator movies is available, including the shoulder cannon, big machine guns, and that great little boomerang disk.
You progress through different missions, six for predator, six for marine, and five for alien, and follow separate storylines. In the Gold Edition you get five bonus levels, too. One of the feats of the game is how different each experience is. The predator is a hunter, and playing as a predator feels like hunting. With your cloaking device and super high-tech weapons you can proceed without much fear. Although its still tough playing as the predator, you feel firmly in charge. As the alien it really feels like youre playing an animal. You can run on any surface, floors, walls, or ceilings, and the camera is a warped fish-eye, just like the first-person perspective shots in the films. To gain health as an alien you must use your jaw attack to suck the life out of a human. Sometimes marines cower in fear at your feet, immobilized by your presence. The marine provides the scariest experience by far. As a marine youre being hunted by two different species, and you feel, despite your array of weapons, like a helpless ordinary joe.
The characters and gameplay captured the imaginations of reviewers and gamers when AvP came out, and those elements still make the game a lot of fun. The complaints of reviewers, which mainly focused on the lack of an in-game save, graphics, and multiplayer, have been addressed in the Gold Edition. An in-game save has been added, making it much easier to progress through the single player mission without repeating each level a bazillion times. Some say this game is too hard, other say it is just right. Its definitely hard enough, and might be boardering on too hard. However, the Prima strategy guide, included in the Gold Edition, does help a lot on the solo missions. So if youre intimidated by difficult games, have no fear the guide will hold your hand the whole time.
The graphics have reportedly been improved in the Gold Edition. Other reviewers say the graphics improvements are negligible, and having not played the original release I cant say much more than that. However, I can say I am impressed with the graphics. Again, the fish-eye perspective on the alien is great. Also, the different vision modes, essential to playing any of the characters, are really cool. Standard gameplay graphics arent cutting edge, but theyre not bad at all. Overall, I think any graphical shortcomings are the least of this games problems.
No, what was needed in AvPG was better multiplayer support, and we didnt get that. Sure, we got seven more multiplayer levels, some of which are pretty cool, but no in-game browser to find online games. Rather, Fox has kept with Mplayer.com to provide online play, and as anybody whose read any PC game reviews knows, Mplayer is not the best solution. I found it incredibly difficult just to connect to Mplayer, get all of the registration worked out, and then join a game. Once I did get to the point where I could join a game there wasnt a lot to choose from. Nothing available was running at a decent speed, and most of the drop-in capable games wouldnt let me drop-in. In addition, it seems that AvPG is not compatible with AvP for online gaming, restricting me to a scant number of possible games to play. The multiplayer issue is only so frustrating because it would be so much fun. AvPG is made for online play well, it really isnt, but you know what I mean. It would be a blast to play in a group, and there are a lot of options for play scenerios. If AvP 2 is in the works, Fox should take the lead from Quake III and Unreal Tournament and develop it with an eye toward multiplayer gaming.
Overall, there are too few improvements to make AvPG worth buying if you already own the original. You can get the Millennium Expansion Pack as an add-on and call it good. If youve never played AvP before, the Gold Edition is definitely the way to go. Aliens vs. Predator is a great game, and it is sure to scare the piss out of every last gamer out there.