Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is a first-person shooter based on a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. It was released February 16, 2010 in the US [6] and is set to be released February 19 in Europe[7] and February 18 in Australia. �


[hide]*1 Gameplay

[edit] GameplayEdit

There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.[2]

[edit] PredatorsEdit

As in the films, the Predator prefers to stalk its prey from the safety of treetops and the gameplay reflects this, the player leaping from branch to branch automatically with the help of a "focus jumping" game mechanic. The Predator has different vision modes, the most recognizable from the films being a thermal imaging scanner, but the player also has different vision modes for spotting Aliens and viewing the world normally. Each vision mode only allows for targeting a specific race. For example, the Heat Vision mode renders Aliens nearly invisible, making battles between two or all three species a tactical juggle to prioritize enemies based on their threat to the player.[2]

The Predator’s gameplay is more based on stealth and tactics than the average first-person shooter. The player has to be aware of Aliens, which have the ability to see through a Predator's cloaking device, that may climb up a tree and attack from below as well as taking care not to reveal themselves to marines too early as the marines’ weaponry and numbers are more than a match for the Predator. For long-range weaponry, the Predator can use a shoulder-mounted plasma cannon in addition to a glaive-like disc and a spear gun. For close-range combat, the Predator has four retractable wristblades on its arms.[2]

The wristblades allow for the Predator to perform a "trophy kill," a nod to the movies in which the Predators take trophies, usually skulls, from their defeated enemies to show their prowess in the hunt. OXM labelled the trophy kill mechanic as "spectacularly violent" and it has been partially censored to avoid an Adults Only rating in the United States as it was "several measures more graphic" than any other recent games. The animation for trophy killing a marine with a Predator is the only one known, though the Aliens also have a trophy kill system that is "far less disturbing." To begin the Predator's trophy kill, a "terrified" marine is dragged into the centre of the screen by his or her throat, which the Predator then snaps effortlessly with the accompanying sound of "someone biting into raw celery." The neck broken, the Predator decapitates the marine, a "sizeable portion" of the spinal cord following. Even after this, the marine is still alive for a short period of time, "gasping his last, with nothing but bloodied, glistening vertebra beneath his chin."[2][1][2]A screenshot showing a player being attacked by a group of AliensJason Kingsley, the CEO of Rebellion, defended the brutality of the trophy kill system, stating "This is obviously a game based on adult-rated movies, and we want to make sure it’s very clearly an adult-rated game. It's an issue for me; some computer games are for kids� – we're not making a computer game here for anyone other than adults. That's very clear and within that context, I think the violence is part of the character and the world� – so we're talking about a fantasy world here and fantasy creatures and we're talking about trying to build up a mythos. I remember the first time I saw it, one of the particular Predator kills, everyone went 'Oooh.' But it's what the Predator does in the movies."[2]

The Predator campaign explains how their species considers the war tactics of the human Marines juvenile. A quote from the intro states “We are old, my brother. Our race is few and scattered. Our ancestry lost to myth. The humans are still children, creatures of desire and hubris, with no comprehension of the long hunt. Still, they make good sport.. They have discovered a trophy long locked away. They must not be allowed to find the crucible that spawned our most respected prey. If they succeed, all life will succumb to the crawling dark...”[8]

The Predator "Shoulder Blaster" is very powerful, capable of blowing an Alien (or Marine)to pieces. To prevent overuse, it uses a energy system which means if you use less-powerful shots it will conserve its energy, but by using a "locked-on" shot, (which is very powerful), you will quickly burn through your energy. Energy can be recharged at any charging console. Energy is also used for Proximity Mines and to re-charge the Predator's health.

[edit] AliensEdit

The Alien campaign will tell the story of "Six", which is a captured Xenomorph that the Company has "very special plans for". To best utilise the Alien as a weapon, players are forced to get in close to their enemy as their only methods of attack are physical - this being the Aliens' ability to cling to walls and ceilings, cover great distances using it's speed and leaping abilities and to attack with claws (light attacks), tail (heavy attack), leap attacks (whilst in Focus mode) and inner and outer jaws (used during Stealth Kills or to disable Predator power sources). Aliens are able to blend with shadows (it is also possible to destroy light sources to aid their concealment) and; using their enhanced senses, Aliens can seek out prey through walls (whilst within a certain amount of range). These senses also allow the Alien to clearly observe cloaked Predators. In the single player campaign, players will have the opportunity to harvest 'hosts'. By securing your prey, your character allows a nearby facehuggers to latch on to it, thereby propogating your Hive. Throughout the game, the player also has the opportunity to perform randomly generated 'Stealth Kills' by pressing the Action button / key when the player is aligned behind it's target, causing the prompt to appear.

[edit] Colonial MarinesEdit

The Colonial Marine campaign is to be far closer to that of a standard first-person shooter. Confirmed weapons are the iconic M41A Pulse Rifle (with underslung pump action grenade launcher), M56 Smart Gun (able to detect cloaked enemies and display silhouettes behind closeby walls using it's variable electronic targetting system), M240 Flamethrower (capable of a 'wet shot' where fuel can be fired before igniting it manually with the weapon), the twin barrelled Shotgun (which can fire a simultaneous shot through both barrels for maximum stopping power), the M42A Scope Rifle (a sniper rifle which can detected cloaked Predators and 'see' close proximity targets through walls) and the M4A3 Pistol (capable of three round burst fire). To help navigate your surroundings you are supplied with the use of a shoulder mounted halogen TNR lamp which gives some directed light, along with surveying flares which help to greatly light up darkened areas (albeit briefly). Use these at your own peril as they may very well give away your position. The Motion Tracker made famous in Aliens also needs to be utilised to a player's advantage to highlight and allow the player to take action against likely ambush opportunities by enemies actively seeking you. When trying to capture the atmosphere of the Marine single player campaign, Rebellion best describe it as immersing the player in: "the sheer terror of facing off against the two movie menaces of the title". Rebellion have confirmed that no cutscenes will take place other than from the perspective of the player character and that the point of the campaign is to simply survive. The Marine campaign also contains the most information about the game's plot, whereas the others will simply feature overheard conversations between marines, "shortly before you dice the marines into meaty chunks"[2].

[edit] DevelopmentEdit

In December 2008, a Kotaku article stated that Sega had announced that an Aliens vs. Predator video game was being developed.[9] This meant that Sega's other upcoming game, Aliens: Colonial Marines, would be pushed back so Aliens vs. Predator could be released first.

[edit] Australian controversyEdit

An early build of the game was submitted for review to the OFLC, but was denied classification in Australia and effectively banned for sale altogether. Sega announced that there would not be a re-cut version released in Australia, and that they would appeal the decision. The game's refusal of classification again brought up the issue of a need for an R18+ rating in games, a move supported by many members of the public and government members.[10][11]

As of December 18, Sega has successfully won the appeal on the classification of the game in Australia.[12] "It is with great pleasure that we announce the success of our appeal," says Darren Macbeth, managing director of Sega Australia. "We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever. Australian gamers applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians."

The Board noted that "the violence depicted in the game can be accommodated within the MA 15+ category as the violent scenes are not prolonged and are interspersed with longer non violent sequences. The violence is fantastical in nature and justified by the context of the game, set in a futuristic science-fiction world, inhabited by aliens and predators. This context serves to lessen its impact. The more contentious violence is randomly generated and is not dependent on player selection of specific moves."

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