Sega and British game developer Rebellion Developments are bringing us a new version of the Aliens vs. Predator video game, and SCI FI Wire got the chance to check it out at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles last week.
The game is set in the same time period as the first Alien films. Morgan Roberts, Sega America Producer for Aliens vs. Predator, told us that they didn't want to set it on Earth but wanted to include the Colonial Marines as well as the aliens and Predators.
In the game, you get to play as all three. Roberts gave us the story about the demo level we were about to see. "You're on a Colony planet, and the Colony has discovered an ancient pyramid," he said. "In that pyramid there are a whole bunch of aliens. After excavating it and getting attacked, they call the Colonial Marines to help. Unbeknownst to the colonists, there is an ancient Predator temple in the ruins. The Predators think someone is desecrating their temple, and they need to come out here and decimate everybody. Wipe out any evidence of their existence."
Obviously, we were playing as the Predator. "He's like a one-man army," Roberts said. "He's got a lot of technology; he's got a plasma caster, which is a shoulder-mounted weapon that can lock on to a target." He told us that this was one of the more bad-ass weapons in the game. He's also got proximity mines and wrist blades, which can put some serious hurt on your enemies.
And then there are the vision modes. He can see infrared for human spotting and alien vision for, well, alien spotting. The coolest part is the cloaking ability, which is an excellent tool for splitting up your enemy and taking them out one by one. You can also use the Predator's ability to mimic the human voice for this purpose. And you can hang back and let the aliens take out the army for you.
God mode was on while we were playing, so the alien acid spit didn't harm us, but don't think this guy is invincible. There were quite a few times where Roberts said we would have been dead without it. Fighting with the aliens was actually more fun than fighting humans, as you might expect.
Roberts showed us the holes in the landscape that allow the aliens to move quickly between areas and told us that these existed in some form on every level. They are also "fully dismemberable," meaning you can take off legs and other body parts ... and they'll still fight you.
The game is rated "M for Mature", which became obvious as soon as we saw the Predator rip off a guy's head and spine (a "trophy kill") and use it to bypass a retinal scan at a power node. Fantastic. The trophy kill for the Aliens involves ripping out their inner mouths.
Finally, we were shown one more enemy, the Predator/alien hybrid. The demo ended right after the reveal, though, so we didn't get to see him in action. Nor did we see the multiplayer mode or the Colonial Marine level. In fact, we saw so little it's hard to judge the game as a whole. The graphics are pretty well done, but nothing that's going to blow your mind. Aliens vs. Predator will be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC sometime in the spring of 2010.