Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

TG2- Arm Rhettsling

It's certainly good to know that Rhett did not die in vain. His valiant sacrifice saved Addison AND ensured that Content got picked on. Labor's such a dick.
Addy's funky gauntlet was just the first symptom of a malfunctioning gauntlet! All the wear and (literal) tear the Universe has gone through these past few epochs isn't helping to maintain the balance and flow of energy our favorite Forces require. Work to destabilize the world and go free or keep everybody safe but stay enslaved. It's a good thing the Sins are an unselfish lot that wouldn't- Okay, it's a good thing that the Sins don't know they have this choice just yet.


Long, Avoiding the easy reference Review: Aliens vs Predator (PS3)- The game just isn't anything special so the nicest thing I can say up front is that I really liked the health system for the Marines and Predators and that's kind of sad. You have a three tiered health bar and it regenerates within a tier, but once you get into the second tier, you can no longer regenerate the first until you find a health pack. So a burst of acid will take out 3/4 of a tier but as long as you stay safe, you'll recover, while a melee attack or a Facehugger will take out a whole tier on its own. It's a nice compromise between the health pack-only days of old and the current infinite health model. Let's break it down into the different stories. Marines: The game is just too dark even with the brightness cranked all the way up and your useless flashlight turned on. It's not dark in a spooky atmospheric way, it's dark in an “I can't see a damn thing and that's greatly affecting my ability to play the damn game” kind of way. That aside, it's fairly cliche both in movie and game terms. It suffers from stock characters, it's 100% guaranteed that your ally at the start would have been played by Michelle Rodriguez if this were a movie, audio diaries are used to tell the story and people record the most inane crap like badmouthing your character for all posterity, and save for maybe the smart gun, there aren't any unique or futuristic items or weapons. The story for the Marines is really stupid if you've seen the Alien movies because you already know everything that happens. The entirely of the story is that the Corporation wants a Xenomorph and that Bishop is a robot. I think that was all covered in the very first movie, so, I don't know. Spoilers? It has some decent scares though and relying on the motion tracker is fun even if they do abuse it. Combat is very FPS by-the-books with the only real change-up being that you don't want to go for headshots against aliens. Intended or not, shooting them in the leg is waaay more effective. It's pretty buggy (especially when it comes to playing sounds) and very short (roughly 3 hours if you're going at a normal rate). Predator: It's fun jumping around and trapping the humans for a bit, but the novelty wears off quickly. Against the Xenomorphs, all you do is block and counterattack. For the first 75% of the campaign, you're super weak and your melee is your only decent attack but at the end you get a one-hit-kill weapon that lets you breeze through the levels. Oddly as well, once a human sees you, every human can see you until you move to the next area even if you run away and re-cloak. Since its levels are based around stealth and avoiding fights, you can blast through the Predator levels very quickly. If you want to hurry, I think you could easily do it in 2 hours. There isn't even really a story for its campaign too. You move from level to level destroying Predator tech so the humans don't get it, find some other tech that was left behind, and then it just ends. You fight a bigger than normal Xenomorph at the end but the game doesn't explain what's so special about it (I think it was explained in the Alien campaign but even that's not clear) and the fight is pretty simple so it's disappointing. The Predators definitely got the short end of the stick on this one and I'd rather have seen the Predator campaign get cut and the Human and Alien campaigns improved. Aliens: This is the campaign I was most looking forward too so that's probably why it was the most disappointing. It's hard to orient yourself and the camera when crawling around and the transitions aren't smooth when climbing up walls or the ceiling. The game wants to either let you crawl over everything and get stuck on stupid clutter or it won't let you climb at all. Some times you can leap at people and other times you can't. I've made jumps where the alien actually changes angle mid-air but have been unable to make a simple straight jump other times. The levels are horribly laid out and there are invisible walls everywhere on top of it. It feels like the game forgets to assign you objectives and there's nothing on the map to indicate where you have to go and that's made all the more difficult to figure out because the exits can be on the floor, walls, or ceiling. If you get lost as the human, you know you just have to run around until you find a new passage. If you get lost as the Alien, you'll spend fifteen minutes blindly crawling into every vent or small space, jumping at every overhang, and running in circles until you find the one specific thing you can crawl over or vent that was hidden off camera until you stood on a specific part of the ceiling and reoriented the camera. The Xenomorphs don't have a storyline either. You just go level to level destroying power sources, killing Marines, or putting Facehuggers on civilians. It doesn't really transition area to area either. One level you're in one area and the next level you're just somewhere else. The Alien campaign is also the shortest coming in at less than 2 hours. Like the Predators, you don't have a radar but you also don't have the tiered health system (you just have a straight up regenerating health bar but no health packs) so as long as you don't madly rush into battle, it's almost impossible to die.
I didn't find any multiplayer games on my first few attempts, but honestly, I didn't put much effort into it, so I can't tell you how that plays.
Sins Committed: Bad camera, Bad level design, Bad characters, Bad story, Bad controls
Virtues Acted: Good ideas in theory, Good health system, Even poorly controlled and neutered, it's fun controlling the Xenomorphs