If like us you’re still awaiting the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines, why not visit this excellent shooter?
The first thing that strikes you about Rebellion’s game is just how freakishly scary it still is. Sure it looks a little rough around the edges now (it’s 14 years old after all) but the lighting and sound delivers a terrific atmosphere that can be genuinely terrifying.
Unlike later games in the franchise, AVP 2000 doesn’t forget the scares and it’s no more apparent when you’re playing as a marine. Sure you’re a hardened grunt who can hold his own with the best of them, but if you let an alien get near you then you’re toast. Needless to say every darkly-lit corridor you stumble down fills you with trepidation, as you never know what’s going to be waiting for you in the darkness.
When Aliens strike the strike with a fast-paced deadly velocity that can be awefully unsettling the first time you witness it. These guys are fast, frightfully fast, and if you let your guard drop for a second then it’s ‘game over man. Game over’. Short controlled bursts of gunfire are the key, but when two or more xenomorphs appear on screen it’s all too easy to forget and you’ll start spraying the room in blind panic.
Playing as a Predator makes for a completely different game experience, mainly because you’re tooled up with some truly ridiculous, and extremely dangerous weaponry. Of course Aliens and Marines still present a problem for you, but there’s a sense of empowerment when playing as a Predator that you don’t feel when playing as one of the other races.
These gameplay mechanics are truly noticeable when playing as an Alien. Unlike the Marines and Predators, your weapon is your actual body, so you need to resort to quick hit and run tactics. It makes for some truly entertaining moments, especially as you’re able to freely run along walls and ceilings like some sort of deadly gecko.
And that the real beauty of Rebellion’s game, it really does feel like three games in one. Each race have their own distinct campaigns and missions, and there’s some nice overlap as well, allowing the story to play out nicely. The combat is highly satisfying, thanks to the wide variety of different weapons, and it’s arguably one of the best examples of the licence that we’ve ever played.
We’ve been playing the Classic 2000 edition which features enhanced visuals, all the additional content from the Gold version of the game and the Millennium Pack add-on. It also features Xbox 360 pad support (because we’re console gamers at heart) and is available from Steam for just £2.99.
If Aliens: Colonial Marines manages to capture the terror and excitement of this classic then gamers are going to be in for a very good (if rather terrifying) time.