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Aliens Versus Predator

Entry updated 15 November 2018. Tagged: Game.

Videogame (1999). Rebellion. Platforms: Win.

The Aliens Versus Predator franchise began with the 4-issue Comic series Aliens vs. Predator (1990), written by Randy Stradley and published by Dark Horse, which already had licenses to produce Comics based on both Aliens (1986) and Predator (1987). This late twentieth-century equivalent of such Universal Studios films as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) (see Frankenstein) proved popular, leading to the creation of versions of the concept in a variety of media, including books, Videogames and the film AVP Alien vs Predator (2004). Perhaps the most interesting of these variants is the series of First Person Shooters for the Windows platform beginning with Aliens Versus Predator. The game is notable chiefly for its skilful evocation of the source material's sense of lurking dread, and for the fact that players could adopt the roles of a Predator or an Alien as well as a human Marine. (This latter feature had previously appeared in the developers' earlier FPS Alien Vs Predator [1994 Rebellion, Jaguar].) Gameplay in the three modes is significantly different; the Alien can walk on walls but must attack at close range, while the Predator can become invisible and has access to a variety of exotic weapons and modes of perception. However, it is the game's menacing ambience that is most impressive, and which proved influential on later FPS games such as FEAR: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005). While its plot is somewhat incoherent, the first Aliens Versus Predator is a well-crafted transcription of the spirit of its licences to a different medium.

Related works: Aliens Versus Predator 2 (2001 Monolith Productions, Win; 2003 Mac) is similar to its predecessor, but benefits from a much superior story in which the Alien, Predator and human games are all interwoven in an ingeniously designed linear plot (see Interactive Narrative). Aliens Versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt (2002 Third Law Entertainment, Win) is an expansion pack which serves as a prequel to the second game. In the twenty-first century Rebellion attempted to reprise their success with Aliens vs Predator (2010 Rebellion, PS3, Win, XB360) designed by Alex Moore, which reimagines the original Windows game with a more complex – if somewhat derivative – plot and extra gore. Reviews, however, were mixed. [NT]


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