Outlook 2010: Aliens vs. Predator
Kyle Orland: Gus Mastrapa dragged me to the Sega booth to see Aliens vs. Predator on the last day of E3 2009. He had to drag me because I had never seen an Alien or a Predator film, much less an Aliens vs. Predator film (is there more than one?). Of course, being on the periphery of nerd culture, I was vaguely aware of both franchises. But seeing the humans getting disemboweled at that hands-off E3 demo, I couldn't help but feel a little bored. I didn't really know these characters, or why they were fighting, or why I should care about them or their game, which looked like a prettied-up continuation of the old Nintendo 64 Turok games, albeit with slightly different monsters.
I'm guessing that people who have seen the relevant movies will feel differently, of course. But I dread that the final game will be tuned toward the rabid, existing fans of AvP and ignore people like me who are potentially interested but not already absorbed in the world.
Evan Narcisse: Maybe this just makes me one of those overly invested fans, but the thing that got me excited for Aliens vs. Predator was watching a hapless Space Marine lose his shit. Think about it: This helmet-wearing machine-gun wielder would ordinarily be the hero of a typical Halo knockoff. But, playing as the Predators or the Aliens (Xenomorphs), you get to make that guy crap his pants. That inversion of genre convention appeals to me, especially since the movies from either franchise were told from the human point of view.
I got to see a bit more of the game after E3, and was surprised by how flexible the gameplay was. Each faction could approach combat with unique skills and perspectives, but it never seemed like the gameplay was overly directed. The Xenomorph level I saw gave off a stealth vibe, and the Predator mechanics -- giant jumps, gutting fools and ripping their spines out -- imparted a sense of animalistic physicality. The three races seem to be very different experiences, and I have every hope that AvP will win people over, if only with the option to unleash their inner extraterrestrial monster. It'd be nice to be the scary thing that pops out of the vents for once, wouldn't it?
Our Outlook for the first half of 2010 continues...
- Outlook 2010: Alan Wake
- Outlook 2010: Aliens vs. Predator
- Outlook 2010: APB
- Outlook 2010: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
- Outlook 2010: BioShock 2
- Outlook 2010: Command & Conquer 4
- Outlook 2010: God of War III
- Outlook 2010: Gran Turismo 5
- Outlook 2010: Heavy Rain
- Outlook 2010: Just Cause 2
- Outlook 2010: Final Fantasy XIII
- Outlook 2010: Red Dead Redemption
- Outlook 2010: Star Trek Online
- Outlook 2010: Supreme Commander 2
- Outlook 2010: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction