Aliens versus Predator 2, Primal Hunt, & Windebieste Skirmish Pack Review

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There are several games in the Alien vs Predator franchise and I think the most popular might be Aliens versus Predator, released in 1999. It’s a late nineties shooter with good representation of both the Aliens and Predator franchises. In my opinion, it feels more like an Aliens game with Predators thrown in there but it’s still great game, nonetheless. Despite its lack of polish in some areas, many would regard it as a classic. Developed by Monolith Productions and published by Sierra, Aliens versus Predator 2 was released for PC in October, 2001. It follows the same mold of the first game – letting you play as a Marine, Predator, and Alien – but with a whole new storyline, refined mechanics, and it also runs on the LithTech Talon engine. An expansion pack, Primal Hunt, released in August, 2002, was developed by Third Law Entertainment and published by Sierra Entertainment. Primal Hunt lets you play as a mercenary, another Predator, and a Predalien, and includes some new weapons, multiplayer maps, and even a new storyline. A Gold Edition of Aliens versus Predator 2 was released which combines both the original game and expansion into one package and by one package, I believe that just means both discs in one box. Nevertheless, for this review I purchased both the original game and expansion pack on eBay for about twenty bucks. As of this review, this game is not available digitally anywhere as far as I know so you will need to purchase a retail copy to play it. In other words, buy the discs. I’ll also be taking a look at the Windebieste Skirmish Pack which includes multiple skirmish maps.

I did play this on my Windows 10 PC. To get this running on Windows 10, I installed both the original game and the expansion using the discs. And at this point, I would recommend backing up your installation directories. I then installed the v1.0.9.6 patch which patches the original game, and only the original game, to version 1.0.9.6. After that I installed the Single Player Map Update #1 which fixes some bugs in the single player levels. Finally, I installed the custom launchers by putting the appropriate files in the installation directories. One launcher is for the original game and the other is for Primal Hunt. And that’s it, done. Run the custom launchers to play the original game or the expansion. The custom launchers allow you easily to run the game in widescreen, set the field of view, run in windowed mode if you so desire, and enable an aspect ratio fix, as well as enter command-line parameters. You also don’t need the discs inserted to actually play the game if you’re running it from the custom launchers. I would suggest you locate the “lithtech.exe” in your installation directories and set it run in Windows 98 compatibility. At first the game ran fine but then started to crash upon loading a saved game. Setting that exe to run in Windows 98 compatibility fixed the problem. If that doesn’t work, try reinstalling the game and expansion. If you still can’t get it running, then I don’t know. Remember, this is how I got it running on Windows 10, specifically, and if you want to know how I figured all this out, well it was through the power of Google, I found the Aliens versus Predator 2 PCGamingWiki page which provides all of this information and links to the files needed. I would highly recommend you read through it carefully. And once again as a final reminder, as of this review, you will need the discs to play this. Maybe one day a digital version will become available but until then, you need the discs.

Aliens versus Predator 2 and Primal Hunt both contain three campaigns each. As opposed to the first game, the storylines in each campaign are actually somewhat coherent complete with narratives, cut scenes, and characters. They’re not very good, mind you, but at least this time it won’t be a struggle to figure out what’s going on. All of the storylines seem to intertwine with each other in some way in their respective game. In the original game, you play as a Marine, Predator, and Alien. The storylines are primarily set on the fictional planet LV-1201 and take place years after the events of both Aliens and Alien 3. In the Marine campaign, the Primary Operations Complex, abbreviated POC, one of the main Weyland-Yutani facilities on LV-1201, basically goes dark so two Marine dropships are deployed to rescue survivors. You play as Harrison and accidentally awaken the Xenomorphs, or Aliens, which were initially dormant until you arrived. Some of your fellow Marines are captured by Aliens but you do successfully escape. Because Weyland-Yutani is involved, you end up being betrayed by people, shoot your way out, make it back to the POC, encounter a Predator, and try to save the day. In the Predator campaign, you play as a Predator and the storyline begins in the year 2211 where you get to stalk and hunt Marines. After this event, the story jumps ahead nineteen years and you arrive on the planet LV-1201 to hunt. You’re eventually captured and then escape but not before ripping through hordes of humans. You then proceed to hunt down the man who captured you. The Alien campaign may be the most interesting out of the three, not because of the storyline, itself, but because you actually get to experience the lifecycle of an Alien. This means you get to play as Facehugger, Chestburster, and full grown Alien, otherwise known as a Xenomorph. The story starts in the year 2230 at the POC on the planet LV-1201. You shred your way through Marines and humans, releasing other Xenomorphs being held as test subjects. Eventually the Empress, which I believe is supposed to be stronger than an Alien Queen, is captured and you pursue her captors in an effort to rescue her.

The events in Primal Hunt are also set primarily on LV-1201 but take place years prior to the events of the main game. The storylines all revolve around an artifact which is capable of repelling Aliens. You play as a Mercnary, Predator, and Predalien. The Mercenary campaign is actually called the Corporate campaign in-game but I’ll keep referring to it as “Mercenary” because that makes more sense. In the Mercenary campaign, you play as Major Dunya, a member of the Weyland-Yutani private military contractor known as the “Iron Bears”. Dunya manages to locate and acquire the artifact but its eventually stolen by a Predator. The Predator campaign starts in the early eighteenth century when a Predator spacecraft discovers planet LV-1201 for the first time. You play as a Predator and hunt Aliens before discovering the artifact and getting trapped in stasis for five hundred years. After waking up five hundred years later, you proceed to track down the artifact which was taken by Major Dunya. Just like the Alien campaign in the original game, the Predalien campaign also has you going through an Alien life cycle, ending up as a full grown Predalien, the result of a Facehugger impregnating a Predator. Once you’re in control of the Predalien, you need to locate the artifact. All in all the campaigns are nothing special but I do find the intertwining storylines to be pretty neat. Unfortunately, the voice acting in all campaigns sounds phoned in and none of the characters are very interesting. But if you enjoy shooting Aliens and turning humans into gibs, then the storylines shouldn’t matter.

The campaigns play out in missions which contain multiple areas separated by loading points. The campaigns in Primal Hunt are significantly shorter than those in the original game and each of them can be beaten in under two hours. In fact, I think I beat the Mercenary campaign in under an hour. Their extremely short length is very disappointing but on a positive note, the Mercenary campaign is balls-to-the-wall action from beginning to end. There’s four difficulty modes to choose from and any already unlocked missions can be replayed at any time. Each character class in both the original game and expansion can perform the same basic functions. They can walk, sprint, jump, and crouch. The Predator can zoom in and out at will and leap about twenty feet in the air and the Chestburster and Alien can leap about eight feet in the air. The Facehugger, Alien, and Predalien can pounce and the Facehugger will latch onto a victim’s face to impregnate them but you can only successfully facehug solitary victims, although in Primal Hunt the game clearly wants you to facehug a very specific Predator which is not made clear. The original game provides a little more guidance in this regard. If you try to Facehug a victim in sight of another enemy, they will make sure you don’t gestate and grow. The Marine has a motion tracker which will detect nearby enemies and he’ll acquire a welding torch which can cut through bolts and locks. He can also utilize a hacking device to unlock doors and interact with specific terminals and the Predators can utilize their charge emitters to I guess overload electronic devices, which basically means it serves the same purpose as the hacking device. The Mercenary can pick up and deploy Sentry Guns which will assist you in combat which is actually really cool. Predators drain health when taking damage and drain energy when using energy weapons, activating their cloak, or using their medicomp which requires half of their maximum energy to use. Activating the cloak turns you invisible and drains a moderate amount of energy. It will slowly drain more energy for as long as you have it active and you should know that walking in water will short-circuit the cloak, deactivating it. Once again, you may not be as hidden as you think when cloaked since enemies seem to always spot you. You can actually whip out an energy sifter at any time to completely restore all your energy which is really nice. Some of the environments can be quite dark and the Marine and Mercenary can utilize a shoulder lamp and night vision for better visibility, both of which will drain through your battery. But the battery does recharge slowly when not in use. They can also throw flares down but they do burn out over time and you don’t have an infinite amount. The Predator can switch between different vision modes – thermal vision for tracking humans, EM vision for tracking Aliens, and PredTech mode which helps you locate other Predators and Predator gear, although you probably won’t have to use it often in the campaigns. The Alien, in all its forms, can switch between Normal vision and Navigation vision. Humans and Predators emit pheromones which appears as an aura around them, visible through Normal vision, making it easy for Aliens to see them. You don’t see the aura’s with Navigation vision active but you can see better in dark areas. Synthetics don’t have an aura so you need to be careful when they’re around. The Marine and Mercenary can acquire health, armor, weapons, and ammo which are scattered throughout the environments. The Predators can use their medicomps to heal themselves and the Alien and Predalien can head-bite enemies to acquire a lot of health and slash away at dead bodies to acquire a little bit of health.

When playing as a Facehugger or Chestburster, you’re basically required to stay out of harm’s way. These result in very trial and error stealth situations and you really can’t defend yourself if you’re detected so you’ll need to run away or quicksave often and keep trying until you get it right. These are basically forced stealth sequences. I did say the Alien campaign is interesting because you get to experience the Alien life cycle, and that’s true for about the first ten minutes. You soon realize that playing as a Facehugger and Chestburster are not as much fun as playing as a full-grown Alien and it’s mainly due to the forced stealth. The Chestburster can bite but it doesn’t do much damage, deeming it a basically useless move. It is good for breaking objects so you can progress but that’s it. The Facehugger, Alien, and Predalien can wallwalk meaning they can walk along walls and ceilings and the Chestburster lacks this ability due to its snake-like body. The game indicates the Chestburster grows into a full Alien by feeding on mammals. At first, I thought this meant you need to navigate the environments looking for animals to eat and for the most part that’s true. But it means going from point A to B, B being the location of the mammals which activate a cut scene. Now you would think the Alien and Predalien would be slightly different in some way. They would have to be, right? No. They play exactly the same with the only difference being their appearance. At least as far as I can tell. I guess it makes sense, since only the host is different but it’s kind of underwhelming to see the Predalien has no new traits. Regardless, both characters can slash with their claws and tail whip enemies to stun them. You can also pounce and if you make contact with an enemy by pouncing, they basically turn into gibs, meaning they die instantly but there’s also nothing left to feed on, meaning you can’t acquire health. Just like the previous game, due to the Alien and Predalien’s ability to navigate anywhere, they offer the most freedom. And this time, when wallwalking, arrows appear on your HUD which are there to help you locate where the ground is, making it easier to get your bearings.

Many of the weapons from the previous game make a return and this time you can reload the human weapons manually. The Marine and Mercenary are always equipped with a combat knife but you’ll eventually acquire a pistol, which can fire standard and even armor-piercing rounds. The Mercenary can dual wield the pistol. You’ll also get your hands on the classic pulse rifle which can also fire grenades, a shotgun which can fire both standard shells and slugs, a flamethrower, minigun which can now be fired while moving and you can also pre-spin the barrel if you so desire, and a sniper rifle. The smartgun returns and can switch between tracking mode and freefire mode. Tracking mode means it will lock onto enemies and freefire means you have to aim manually. You can not use the tracking mode with night vision active. The rocket launcher is back and can also switch between freefire and tracking which makes it an extremely deadly weapon. And the final human weapon is the grenade launcher which can cycle between proximity mines which stick to surfaces, timed grenades that bounce until hitting a target or timing out, EMP grenades which will stun enemies, and smart mines which will chase anyone who comes near. Late in the Marine campaign, you’ll gain access to the Exosuit and it’s probably one of the most memorable sequences in the entire game. The Exosuit is a mobile weapons platform equipped with a laser and flamethrower in one arm and a rocket launcher and minigun in the other. It’s awesome. The Predators have access to both standard and energy weapons. They can use their wristblades and combistick, otherwise known as a spear, for close-quarters combat. They can also fire spears from their speargun which is a great long-range weapon. And you can pick up the spears from dead enemies or wherever they stick which is highly recommended since there are no ammo pickups for it. In the original game, you’ll eventually acquire a netgun which can trap enemies but they will eventually break free. The Predator can also throw remote bombs which can be detonated manually or they’ll just explode after a certain time. Now the Predator energy weapons include a disc, plasmacaster, plasma pistol and in Primal Hunt, you’ll get to use a plasma flechette which rapidly fires plasma. All energy weapons drain energy in some capacity when used. The disc is like a boomerang and can slice enemies to pieces, making it one of the more deadly weapons in the Predator arsenal. It will come back to you if it doesn’t get stuck in anything but you can pick it up if you can find it or retract it at any time after being thrown which will drain energy. The plasmacaster is the shoulder cannon that fires balls of plasma. With the disc or plasmacaster equipped, you can lock onto enemies as long as you have the right vision mode active, otherwise you will have to aim manually. The plasma pistol fires balls of plasma but feels a lot deadlier than it did in the previous game and it has an alternate fire mode which fires multiple balls in rapid succession but they don’t go very far. And you really need to be careful of splash damage when using the plasma pistol. The Predators can claim skull trophies by decapitating enemies but like the first game, it’s not really a visual spectacle, you just hear them roar if done successfully. As expected, the Alien and Predalien do not acquire any weaponry and only utilize their melee and pounce attacks.

In most of the campaigns, you’ll have to contend with tons of Aliens and their variations.  These include Facehuggers, Chestbursters, full grown Aliens, Alien Runners which are extremely fast, and Praetorians. And Aliens do leak acid blood when taking damage which can hurt you so you need to be careful. Facehuggers can kill you instantly if they manage to latch onto your face. Aliens and Alien Runners will come charging at you, climb along walls and ceilings, and even leap out of the shadows. Predaliens also rush you and they’re very powerful but they can also be taken down rather easily. The Praetorians once again feel like bigger and stronger versions of the Aliens that can take more of a beating before going down. It should be noted that some weapons are better for specific enemies and situations. The idea behind the Primal Hunt Mercenary and Predator campaigns seems to be how many Aliens can the game throw at you at once. You’ll constantly be surrounded by Aliens in Primal Hunt and they’ll frequently spawn behind you which does become annoying. Unlike the first game, there are no Xenoborgs, and none of the enemies will keep respawning. When playing as the Predator, Alien, and Predalien, you’ll have to battle your way through humans, Marines, and Synthetics, all of which will shoot at you, sometimes throw or fire grenades, and every now and then you’ll encounter Synthetics carrying rocket launchers. Synthetics can also take quite a bit of damage before going down, at least from projectile-based weaponry, but I found that using melee attacks on them is much more effective but that will require you to get close to them which can sometimes prove to be a challenge. You will have to deal with Sentry Guns as well which will shoot at you immediately upon detection, and they are definitely one of the more deadlier “enemy types” in the game. If playing as a human or Alien character, you’ll have to engage Predators every now and again. They will use their plasmacasters which are extremely deadly and if you get close enough they’ll whip out their spear. I did notice one battle that ended with the Predator activating its self-destruct sequence followed by its iconic laugh. But I think this was scripted and this time you can actually escape the blast radius. Some enemies use flame-based weapons but luckily you won’t encounter many of these. However, being set on fire is still kind of annoying since it takes forever for the fire to go out on its own. Primal Hunt contains a few new enemies, but not Alien or Marine variations. These newcomers include a Chameleon which normally remains in a ball-like form until disturbed and then changes color as it awakens. It leaps at you and it can apparently fire a beam from its mouth but I have yet to see that happen. You will also be attacked by Tentacles that come out of the ground which are these large worm-like creatures. And the third new enemy is the Buhlagh which is this moose-like creature that charges at you with its horns. I get the feeling these enemies are supposed to make the planet feel more immersive but honestly, they just seem oddly out of place. The enemy AI is improved compared to the enemies in the previous game but far from impressive. Most enemies just rush you and the game is more or less about dealing with multiple enemies at once. I find that being stealthy can be quite a challenge because when you’re detected, it may not be easy to lose enemies or even get away quickly. There are several boss encounters in the original game, most of which are pretty easy. The Predator’s encounter with the Empress is probably the most challenging boss battle. Unfortunately, Primal Hunt doesn’t include any traditional boss battles which is a real shame.

I’m actually somewhat conflicted about the level design in Aliens versus Predator 2. One of my complaints about the first game is that it wasn’t always clear where you needed to go. I can honestly say that is not the case here. But one of the positive things about the levels in the previous game was their open-ended design, allowing you to reach an objective or approach battles in different ways. That is also not the case here. The levels in AvP 2 are very linear, very straightforward, with objectives that require you to go from point A to B and down very specific paths. This lack of freedom not only reduces replay value but also negatively affects the Alien and Predalien campaigns the most. While the the Alien creatures have the ultimate freedom when it comes to navigation, that freedom is very underutilized here. Sure you can navigate anywhere, crawl along the walls and ceilings, under the floor, or through a vent, but only one of those ways will be the right way and possibly the only way to approach a situation. Furthermore, large chunks of the Alien and Predalien campaigns have you playing as a Facehugger and Chestburster which force you to remain stealthy and out of sight until you reach your objective. In fact, the Predalien’s campaign is the weakest out of them all simply because only one out of the three missions has you playing as a full grown Alien. Not only are most of the levels linear in design but the fact that enemies don’t respawn here also eliminates tension. In the first game, enemies like Aliens and Marines would just keep coming and coming, making you feel like you’re never completely safe. That fear is essentially gone here. Many of the environments are shared between campaigns but some are unique to specific ones. For example, the early Predator levels in the original game are a bit more open, allowing you to use stealth to hunt your prey but once you reach some of the shared environments with the linear level design, it becomes a matter of just blasting your way through enemies. I find that activating the cloak is basically useless if you’re going to engage enemies head-on and the Aliens always seem to spot you no matter what you do. A lot of games employ this style of level design which is not uncommon nor is it really a bad thing but the previous game showed that the open-ended nature was a positive aspect, accommodating multiple playstyles. AvP 2 more or less funnels you in a specific direction, which makes most of the playable characters feel somewhat underutilized at times. While you may not get lost this time around, you won’t have many reasons to explore, either. I did get stuck a few times, not realizing how to proceed which sometimes isn’t clear but it’s not as bad as it was in the previous game. The worst of it is the Facehugger mission in the Predalien campaign which offers very little direction on where to go. At least you can bring up a clear list of objectives at any time during gameplay. I found that the only campaign that encouraged any form of exploration was the Marine campaign. You can interact with all kinds of things like cameras, lockers, containers, doors, and sometimes going off the beaten path will reward you with goodies but that’s not the case in the other campaigns, including the Mercenary campaign. You will come across messages lying around or on terminals that provide some backstory and lore but unless you’re a massive fan of the series, or story, that’s hardly a reason to explore.My complaints regarding the level design are really just isolated to this game. However, not everything about the levels is bad. They are well crafted and put together. Some areas feel a bit a repetitive but, overall, the structure of the levels is coherent and the areas in each mission are somewhat diverse. The most unique location in Primal Hunt is probably the ancient Engineer ruins which houses the artifact. The levels in both games are also fairly well detailed and give off creepy vibes. During the Marine campaign, the Aliens leaping out of the darkness startled me a few times. You’ll occasionally encounter some kind of harmless large insect-looking things jumping around areas and they are detected by your motion tracker. You’ll come across Alien eggs that will open up and release Facehuggers should you get too close. You’ll come across NPC’s cocooned in nests and interacting with them may result in Chestbursters coming after you. You may witness NPC’s being pulled into vents by Aliens. You can see holes in the ground caused by Alien acid. You’ll even come across skinned NPC’s hanging upside down indicating a Predator passed through. There are some areas throughout the levels where you can witness Marines or Predators engaging Aliens. With that said, some levels include friendly NPC’s that assist you in battle but it isn’t often and in most cases, they don’t stay alive very long.

Unfortunately, there’s no in-game cheats to unlock like the previous game nor is there any Skirmish mode of any kind in the vanilla game but there are a couple of reasons you may want to return. The game does include online multiplayer but from what I’ve researched, it’s no longer officially supported. There is a way to get it up and running through community patches but I did not try. The game also allows for modding and there’s even a Custom Level menu where you can play user-created levels. And this is how you would play the Skirmish Pack. This pack basically resembles the gameplay seen in the Skirmish mode in the previous game except this time there are no options to configure and no species to choose from. You get to play as the Marine or Mercenary and that’s it, unless there’s cheats that dictate otherwise. You won’t be hunting Marines or Predators, only Aliens. Luckily, it’s very fun. You choose a map and try to survive as long as you can and that’s it. You’ll be swarmed by Aliens, Alien Runners, Facehuggers, Chestbursters, Praetorians, and even Predaliens. Ammo, health, and armor are scattered all over the maps and there’s a whole variety of maps to choose from, some of which are exceptionally well detailed. For example, the Backstreets map contains destroyed vehicles, garbage on the ground, graffiti on buildings, and in certain areas you can hear cats meowing and dogs barking. The Stranded Redux map is a remake of an AvP Classic Skirmish map. The Xenocortex map looks like a complex that was overrun with Aliens and contains Alien Eggs, skulls, and even a room with two Sentry Guns you can activate although they didn’t seem to work in the original game so I loaded Primal Hunt with the Skirmish Pack and discovered they work there. And because the Mercenary can pick up and deploy Sentry Guns, you can have a lot of fun with these. It seems like the Aliens are always spawning at the same rate, although I could be wrong, and you will be attacked from multiple directions but in some maps, I feel like not there’s not enough Aliens. But all in all, it’s an very well designed set of maps. If you really enjoyed the Skirmish mode in AvP and are looking for more of that, this Skirmish Pack should scratch that itch.

Aliens versus Predator 2 released two years after its predecessor and I would say it looks a lot better. You can still tell it’s dated but the texture work is solid, the lighting is good, and little details bring the game to life. You can clearly see the ridges on the Aliens heads, the Predator’s wrist gauntlet contains a working display, and you can see the Predalien’s mandibles on the sides of the screen when you head-bite enemies. The combat in this game is also immensely satisfying. You can decapitate enemies, blow off their limbs, slash off Marine body parts, and basically break enemies to pieces with your attacks. And watching the upper half of an Alien slowly crawl towards you is awesome. I did notice that the Marine’s left hand, or arm, is always visible when holding the pistol. It’s just there on the left side of the screen and it annoys me. I don’t know if this is normal or due to the game running in widescreen or possibly the field of view. Although, I configured the expansion with the same exact settings and the Mercenary’s left hand was not visible when holding the pistol. However, the field of view in the expansion seemed a bit off even though it was set exactly the same as the original game. When talking about the audio, the music is not as memorable as what we heard in the first game. Then again, the soundtrack doesn’t feel like it was ripped straight from the films, either. The soundtrack contains a few tunes heard in the films but most of the music is easy to drown out. But the tune that kicks in when engaging enemies in Primal Hunt is quite catchy and is probably the most memorable song in the entire game. The sound effects are of much better quality than what we heard in the previous entry and once again the Alien enemies sound just like they do in the film Aliens with their hisses, screeches, and squeals as does the motion tracker with its clicks and beeps. You can hear the iconic Predator clicks when playing as the creature or just navigating the environments and its roar is loud and sounds very intimidating. The weapons fire sound effects are pretty good with the Exosuit minigun sounding pretty beastly. Most weapons are on point and the sound effects in combination with the satisfying gunplay, make the combat extremely enjoyable. As for the performance, after setting “lithtech.exe” to run in Windows 98 compatibility, the game never crashed again. Furthermore, it ran smooth throughout my entire experience with no noticeable frame rate dips. However, there are a few glitches. Sometimes character animations would start to glitch during cut scenes. I got stuck on the geometry once or twice but I’m happy to report it’s not as rampant as it was in the first game and the Alien no longer gets stuck just trying to navigate around ledges or on stairs. You may notice enemy Aliens can be quite glitchy. Their animations may freak out for a second and they will sometimes get stuck in spots like near ledges or under platforms which results in them running back and forth endlessly. Sometimes they seem to have trouble running up and along walls. I do like how this game incorporates shared controls between each playable character. It reduces the tediousness of having to set the same buttons to the same actions for each character. You would only have to think about setting keys for the unique functions of each character if you decide not to stick with the default controls.

I had a great time with Aliens versus Predator 2 but I think its biggest problem is the linear level design. It just eliminates a lot of the replay value and the open-ended environments is what made the first game so enjoyable, among other reasons. However, I do think the core gameplay here is much better than that of the first game. The Marine and Mercenary campaigns feel like actual first-person shooters that could hold their own. The Predator, Alien, and Predalien creatures also saw refinements to their mechanics and new additions but the linear level design exposes how these creatures can never reach their full potential in the campaigns. The game feels more suited for the first-person shooter genre than the stealth genre. While the original game’s atmosphere was basically that of the film Aliens, I will say Aliens versus Predator 2 has its own unique atmosphere which makes it feel different. Not once did I ever feel like I was playing through sequences seen in any of the films and the game still manages to retain a good representation of each species. Although, I do feel the Predalien could have been better. In fact, the Alien and Predalien campaigns suffer the most due to the linear level design and because of the Facehugger and Chestburster sequences. Not that these are bad, mind you, I absolutely love that the developers implemented these creatures, and as far as I can tell, they remain true to the source material. It’s just that these sequences in particular force you to play a certain way and you can’t really defend yourself so the novelty of playing as them wears off rather quickly. I would say if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise, you’ll probably appreciate being able to experience each stage in the Alien’s life cycle but from a gameplay standpoint, it could have been implemented better.

Ultimately, Aliens versus Predator 2 is a fun game and I would recommend it. The linear level design really brings it down in some ways but if the game only intended you to play as human characters, it would probably be a non-issue. Like the first game, it incorporates two different genres and for the most part, only caters to one really well – first-person shooter. However, it’s much more polished than the first game, the actual core gameplay is significantly improved, and it’s one of the best video game representations of the Alien franchise and Predator franchise. I’m not sure how much AvP 2 borrows from the comics, if at all, but I can say it does not rip most elements from the films, giving the game a very unique atmosphere. That’s not to say I thought the previous game’s obvious Aliens influences were bad because they’re not, it’s just that this feels more like an original experience if that makes sense. AvP 2 borrows just enough to stay true to the source material and is wrapped in its own world and atmosphere, with original storylines that, unfortunately, fail to remain interesting. But then again, I don’t know who would play this specifically for the plot. If you enjoy the Aliens and Predator franchises and fun action-packed games, definitely check out Aliens versus Predator 2.

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