I have been a fan of Alien and Predator since the franchises began. Now, I have to admit the last AVP movie was alright, and will be heading to see this latest one shortly, but I really hope the film is better than the PSP game. Please, do not get me wrong, the game is not horrid like Spiderman 3 or even Kane and Lynch, but then again, it just is not a game you would want to shell out a lot [if any] of cash for either. It fits into the renter/buy it used category, unless you are a diehard fan of the series.
Alien Vs Predator Requiem is a third person shooter/collecting (or should I say disintegrating) style game. For a casual gamer this title is actually perfect, if you nitpick on games at all then skip to the next game in the row. The reason I tag it as casual is merely because the level of difficulty is pretty much set at that level for all 15 or so levels, I really do not feel I was challenged at one point or another, and it is possible this was the developer’s purpose, who knows.
There are a few shining examples of game design in the maps and cut scenes, and a detail I do not see often in handhelds, where burn marks from weapons stay persistent to the spot a shot landed.
The level maps are unique, you can pan and zoom, but the real beauty is in how the maps show the distinction in latitude. Parts of every level are either above or below the surface and if you look at the maps details you will see the different shades. On the map are also icons of where you may see a predator, a husk or piece of technology that you have to disintegrate or an arrow showing you where your goal lies.
As far as the level of graphic detail and quality of cutscenes, I really did like the game, but it is not enough to make up for the ease of gameplay.
The story is about an alien ship that has come crashing down in small-town Colorado, and you (the predator) must destroy all traces of this newfound extraterrestrial life in the area. Along the way, you’ll also encounter a smattering of humans, both of the military and unarmed civilian variety. There’s early promise when you gleefully toy with the predator technology at your disposal, such as invisibility cloaking, three types of special vision modes, and a handful of neat weapons.
The other aspect that is really neat is the predator vision modes. You use the up arrow to go between the three modes (thermal, Alien and Tech) and the invisibility cloak is just fun to play with. One thing to note is the strategic value of the vision modes. I found Alien vision to be the most useful, granted you need to use Tech to figure out the small easy puzzle times of the game, but I found myself using Alien vision to find the husks and also to see and tag aliens from afar. That’s about as useful as it gets, but the switching of modes and also the general appearance of those modes are incredibly accurate to how they looked in the movies.
When it comes to fighting, you’re basically invincible. Your health bar can be depleted, but if you’re feeling particularly low you can simply bring up the map screen using the select button and literally choose the ability to restore all your health with a press of square. The price for this is your energy bar (which fuels cloaking and certain types of optional weaponry) depletes for a brief 10 seconds.
Taking down enemies is as easy as pressing both shoulder buttons to lock on and using your preferred ranged weapon to kill them from afar; the need to mix up weaponry never once arises. Battling swarms of aliens and armed military personnel amounts quickly enough to more of a nuisance, akin to swatting flies, than anything resembling a compelling challenge
You gain honor points by well doing anything, disintegrating husks and tech, killing an enemy that you have tagged (yawn) in first person view or well, any other action. Getting these “honor points” allows the game to choose your upgrades, I did just say the game chooses them right… yup a feature that should have given you some variety was taken from us (how dare they) and these upgrades turn an easy game into an even easier game really.
Anything that needs to be found on the map is pointed out with a nice old predator triangle and you simply approach and press a button. Smashing a wall, find the big arrow and press X please, go up a ladder do the same. Further upholding my theory that the game is targeted at either the mentally challenged or a very casual gamer.
Now here is a little about multiplayer. In skirmish, you’re given five minutes to clear out as many aliens as you can in one of the levels from the main storyline. The final score is tallied up in honor points, but nothing really comes of it. No rewards, no unlockables, nothing. The ad-hoc multiplayer is basically co-op skirmish in which you play alongside a friend. Even in this mode, you’re still not given anything of value for your efforts, and btw you do not even get to see your buddies score.
When all is said and done Alien Vs Predator Requiem is not a horrible game at all and seems to be perfectly suited to the casual gamer really. If that was the intent they hit the mark pretty perfectly.