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Publisher: MacPlay    Genre: Action
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 233 MHz    RAM: 64 MB

Aliens vs. Predator: Gold
November 29, 2001 | Michael Yanovich

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Just about every game player over the age of 15 with testosterone flowing through their veins has seen at least one of the Predator movies (only one of them was any good), and one of the Alien films (there were TWO good ones!). So what better way to continue the carnage than by playing with your very own interstellar disemboweler?

Yes, folks. Here in the fall of 2001, MacPlay has finally released the long-awaited Mac port of Aliens Versus Predator. Granted the game’s released was delayed by so long that if it were a human baby, it would be celebrating it’s 2nd birthday while still in momma’s womb. Which makes this review more challenging than most, as it has to answer two distinct questions. First, is the game any good? And if “yes,” well… is it good enough compared to today’s games?

Well the good news is that overall the game is amazing. The bad news is that a few extremely minor tweaks would have made it even better, especially in the multiplayer arena. Granted, none of these problems are related to the Mac port – they are all relics of the PC version. But since we did have to wait several Christmas shopping seasons longer than everyone else had to, you would expect these issues to be addressed. Right?

Anyway, first things first.

Single Player Game
The single player game is by far the strongest aspect of AVP. Unlike most FPS games that have a distinct beginning and ending, AVP has three separate story lines, each played via a different character: a human marine, a Predator, or an Alien. You can play them in any order and even switch between the storylines at will. So if you get bored playing one species, feel free to hop over to another one at any point.

For anyone who has seen the films, the gaming experience is fantastic. Sounds are taken straight from the films – that is, they sound identical. If they were re-recorded elsewhere, more power to them because they sound like the real deal. Music is also straight out of the movies. I think. (The instruction manual credits list the film composers in the Thank You section, but do not list exactly who scored the music for the game.)

Either way, the atmosphere in this game is superb. The sound of a marine pulse rifle, the Alien screams, the Predator’s rattle… these mix effortlessly with the spraying acidic blood and the infrared vision modes.

You want to know what it is like for an Alien to hang from the ceiling in a dark shadow, only to spot a human meal glowing bright blue in the darkness? Then play this game.

Curious what it feels like to be a technological warrior chasing after easy prey? What it’s like to cloak your body as your heat vision pinpoints all your targets in a room? Play this game.

Wondering what it is to be a person as you are ripped apart limb from limb by a drooling, over-toothed space cockroach while your ineffective bullets tear holes in its carcass, only to allow it to drip its acidic blood directly onto your burning shins? Play this game.

Seriously, the game has it all. It nails the experience of being all three of the playable species, down to minute details like the Alien POV having a fish-eyed lens effect, and the Predator’s vision becoming distorted as it activates its cloaking field. Though my favorite part is playing as an Alien and being able to walk on any surface – up walls, upside down on a ceiling – as well as leap huge distances.


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