Aliens vs Predator: Requiem
Over the course of recent years, last generation consoles were bombarded with some of the blandest and most mediocre gaming experiences to be had in the shape of film licensed games. Most of these consisted of flicking switches and hitting the same enemies with the same attacks for six hours, whilst the developers stuck in a timely clip from the movie every now and then to keep their employers happy. Aliens vs Predator: Requiem is rather unique to licensed games, as instead of following this traditional pattern it simply leaves out any relation to the film. No story. No film clips. Nothing.
Parents usually get roped into buying their children the new movie game (along with the Happy Meal toys and general ‘merchandise’ tat) after the latest family film so they can relive the movie for themselves. However AVP was released a whole two months before the film was due for release, so playing this on release is a bad idea, right? After all, you wouldn’t want to spoil the movie for yourself…
Wrong. Somebody up in the offices of Rebellion studios decided that to avoid this, they would leave the story out of the game altogether. Infact, I had to read the back of the box after an hours play for any idea as to what was going on. Turns out that an Alien ship has crashed into Gunnison, Colorado and as a lone Predator it’s up to you to save the world by eradicating all traces of the ‘menace’ from Earth. Whereas games like Spiderman 2 have given the gamer an entire city to explore at their leisure, Requiem gives us a selection of three different roads to ‘explore’, all of which follow the pattern of running in a straight line looking for a flashing red triangle highlighting a ladder, button or door. All this drama takes place whilst under the menace of the Alien race which come in a whopping two varieties (one of which not showing up until the final missions).
It’s the combat which is the most disappointing element of AVP. In order to defeat an Alien the player must press the two shoulder buttons simultaneously, whilst deciding between pressing square or circle to attack the enemy. Press square and Predator will slash the enemy with his trademark claws, whereas circle will take advantage of one of Predators more powerful weapons you have unlocked and upgraded during your progress, such as the dual cannon which fires two blue lasers at your target. However, the game’s aiming system is so broken you will often find yourself targeting the humans you are supposed to be defending. If you found yourself frustrated at the targeting systems in the last generation Grand Theft Auto games, don’t even think about this.
According to the dictionary, games are supposed to be a source of amusement, which somebody clearly forgot to tell Rebellion. Each level is structured in exactly the same manor and the most excitement to be found is in the final mission when you know you can soon eject the UMD with a clear conscience, little more than five hours play after booting up. The game attempts to keep you interested and coming back by adding ‘Honour Points’ which are earned from killing Aliens, finding Face Hugger casks and saving humans, but there is absolutely no incentive to try and improve your score. This is mainly due to a lack of an online leader board, and if your able to find a group of friends to compete for the highest score with competitively, then I applaud you. A couple more tedious attempts to keep you playing after completion have been implemented in the forms of Skirmish mode (a five minute challenge in which you must kill as many Aliens as possible) and local multiplayer which is basically Skirmish for two players.
Graphically, AVP looks like an early Playstation 2 game which is no criticism for the PSP; however the lack of variety in levels and the way most of the levels take place at night hamper the visuals and make the game as boring to look at as it is to control. There is no voices whatsoever in the game, you are directed to your objective by on-screen prompts which means you can play happily on mute and avoid the limited SFX and the occasional piece of music which comes in at inappropriate times.
If by now you’re thinking that Aliens vs Predator: Requiem is a terrible game then you’re a little wide of the mark. It’s not a bad game, it’s just one of the most tediously easy, generic and downright bland games of the year. This is where you might expect me to say should a sequel be released it has potential to become a decent movie tie in, but I can’t honestly say that as the game does everything it sets out to do as the developers clearly had no desire to create a remotely memorable experience whatsoever. The game has clearly been aimed at children; however that 16+ age rating means it can’t even adequately cater for its audience. If you’re a die hard AVP fan then you may take some enjoyment from controlling the Sci-Fi legend, but if so then this game will be a must-buy for you regardless.
“Whoever wins, we lose…”