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Release Date

Aliens vs. Predator 2
July 7, 2003 | Eddie Park

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You cough as the dust from several hundred pounds of metalwork settles in its new resting place. Only moments ago, you were part of an elite team of marines assigned to find survivors in a malfunctioning facility. Now, thanks to the collapse of an entryway, you've been cut off from said team, trapped in a building with who knows what.

Gripping your pulse rifle a little more tightly, you squint as you attempt to see down the corridor. Red emergency lights pulse softly, creating moving shadows that trick the eye. You move to turn on your headlamp, but stop yourself, telling yourself to save the battery charge for when you really need it.

As you ease down the corridor, you hear the soft sound of dripping. Swallowing, eyes darting everywhere, you slowly turn around a corner. Greeting you is a viscous red puddle, created by someone's blood dripping from the ceiling. As you scan the ceiling for the source, your motion tracker goes off, its harsh beeping cutting through the air like a knife. Something is headed your way - something large and fast…

Welcome to the world of Aliens vs. Predator 2. The sequel to Aliens vs. Predator, AvP2, brought to the Mac courtesy of The Omni Group and MacPlay, looks to bring even more intense FPS action to the Mac platform. Not to mention another chance for players to become a well-armed Marine, a vicious Alien, or the ultimate hunter, a Predator.

Unlike its predecessor, AvP2 carries a semi-cohesive story that ties all of the missions and races together. Though it would be criminal to give away all the details here, players will find themselves in familiar environments and situations as they progress from the Marine campaign to the Predator campaign, and from there to the Alien one. In a nutshell, however, Marines have been sent to a colony to search for survivors of what turns out to be an Alien attack. Digging a little deeper into the story, they discover that humans are once again attempting to research, breed, and genetically modify the Aliens for their own use. Of course, Aliens have proven in the past to be adept at escaping such research facilities, and this latest instance appears to be no exception.

The Predator story, which intertwines with the above, proves to be a little more original. While they're doing their usual hunting routine (coincidentally at the same facility), they encounter a human commander that has a serious grudge against them. Apparently, a Predator severely wounded him in the past, and now he's out for revenge. Not only that, but he seems extremely well prepared to deal with any Predator types that may cross his path.

Marines: Walking Meat Popsicles
The single player aspect of AvP2 is broken up into three segments: Marine, Predator, and Alien. The Marine campaign puts players in the shoes of Harrison, who goes by the nickname Frosty for his ice-cold demeanor in combat. Luckily for players, Harrison's reputation also means he gets all the choice assignments, like going alone into an infested building to clear a path for the rest of his team, or going alone into an Alien hive to attempt a rescue, or going alone…well, you get the idea.

Unfortunately, for all his toughness, poor Harrison is only human. His body, made up of simple flesh, is easily torn and bruised. This makes him yummy to Aliens and perfect trophy material for Predators. Not an enviable position to be in.

Thankfully, Marines have access to a variety of high-tech equipment to make them a little less appetizing. Besides being able to wear armor, which helps shield from damage, Marines have access to the widest array of long-range weapons in the game. This includes standby favorites such as the pulse rifle and the smartgun, but also includes heavy hitters such as the flamethrower, minigun, and sniper rifle. The minigun in particular is an interesting weapon, as hitting the alt-fire causes the barrel to constantly spin, meaning that one can fire the weapon instantly if necessary.

Besides the array of weapons, Harrison will also have to solve simple problems during the game. Doors with locks on them can be tackled with a welding torch, and a hacking device can be used to interface with various electronic devices when necessary. For when things get dark, he can either turn on his shoulder lamp or toss a flare. He can also activate night vision, but this drains the battery at a rapid rate, meaning he might get stuck in the middle of a pitch black corridor with hungry Aliens all around him.

Of course, another point in favor of the Marine is the motion tracker. Always on, this handy device lets one know when something large and lethal is on the way. Unfortunately, it only indicates this by relative distance, meaning you have no idea if that something is in front of you, above you, or below you. Its high-pitched beeping will definitely give you the heebie-jeebies though, particularly in a low-light setting.


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