Aliens vs Prequel

By Alec Meer on December 22nd, 2009 at 10:25 pm.

Bold attempt to contextualise shooting dudes in the face ahoy! Rebellion’s AvP remake seems determined to make the world take Aliens seriously again – though alas it’s a doubly hard task after the UK developer making a woeful mess of things yet again with the recent Rogue Warrior. I got the chance to try out AvP’s multiplayer a couple of months back, and left the event extremely concerned about how formulaic and rustic my admittedly very brief time with it had felt; but hopefully the Rebellion guys are now driven and veteran enough to kick more heft and character into it than my superficial encounters have suggested. Perhaps, as in the Lance Henriksen-narrated trailer below, pinning it tightly to Weyland-Yutani lore will help…

It’s totally that guy from Millenium.

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55 Comments »

  1. Heliosicle says:

    I hope its good…

  2. TNO says:

    Not that I mind much, but I’m sure some sci-fi fans will have your head for misspelling Lance Henriksen.

    I’m still not sure what sort of coherent storyline can emerge from arbitrarily combining two seemingly seperate sci-fi universes into some bizarre monster melting pot. It always just felt a bit Super Smash Bros to me, or Scribblenauts. Cthulhu vs Godzilla, who will win?! The trailer certainly doesn’t do anything to make me abandon that belief, it just feels a bit… wrong. As it did from the first time they tried this, for me.

    • Jesse says:

      Yes, but the old multiplayer was excellent!

    • Triangulon says:

      @ TNO

      Its worth pointing out that the two universes have been combined for many years, and very successfully. Ignoring the two crap films we have excellent comic books, two very good novels and two great games. All with very clever and engaging story elements.

    • dog says:

      wow, cthulhu vs godzilla i’d pay to watch/play….

      though would probably be over fairly quickly when godzilla’s soul is eaten….

  3. Jesse says:

    If it felt formulaic and rustic then, it’s probably not going to improve. How often do critics who preview a game see it improve greatly before it comes out? I have no way of knowing, but I bet you can usually tell how a game will turn out far before it goes gold…

    • Gorgeras says:

      Arkham Asylum: the good bits were added after people complained it was just a simple, even if enjoyable, beat ‘em-up.

  4. StalinsGhost says:

    Gah!

    I’m filled with nothing but apprehension about AvP. I want it to be good, I really do. But nothing about Rebellion’s recent efforts seems to fill me with optimism.

  5. Weylund says:

    I just want Colonial Marines. I wish they’d stop holding up its release.

    • blah says:

      Same here, I can’t wait for Aliens: Colonial Marines. Playing the new AvP game will only make me want it even more. :)

      “Let’s rock!”

    • Caiman says:

      The first two AvP games were, for me, great Aliens games with some additional Predator stuff tacked in there that I safely ignored. For me, it’s all about the interplay between tough, lethal killing machines (aliens) versus soft and squishy humans with weaponry.

  6. Pundabaya says:

    TRUFAX: Weyland-Yutani was originally supposed to be Leyland-Toyota..

  7. jamesworkshop says:

    All I want this to be is AvP 2 primal hunt with better graphics

  8. Wisq says:

    I guess it’s just a trailer, but it seems like they spent a whole lot of time on the Aliens — including the implication that this is where the whole Alien thread began? — and almost nothing on the Predators. And in fact, the whole thing seems carefully set up in the Aliens universe with Predators thrown in as an afterthought.

    But then, I’ve only seen the Aliens stuff and that humorous rhyming recap of the Predator movie, none of the AvP stuff at all. So maybe this is normal for AvP stuff? Or maybe it’s just the result of an inherently awkward mash-up, as TNO mentioned.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      reply to Wisq

      — including the implication that this is where the whole Alien thread began?”

      Probably, the new Alien film out next year is a prequel (Specifically it’s about the ancient derelict crashed ship from the original Alien film), so it’s probably a loose tie in with that.

    • Baboonanza says:

      Oh god, no. Please tell me that’s some sort of joke.

      The crashed derelict in Alien was clearly some sort of ship of alien origin (and probably very ancient). Since I doubt they are making a film without any humans in I can’t imagine what preposterous plot they’ll have to come up with. Goddammit.

      What is wrong with these people? JUST DO THE GRAPHIC NOVELS AS FILMS YOU RETARDS!

  9. qrter says:

    I sometimes wonder how it would’ve been a lot more interesting if they’d never gone down the Aliens/Colonial Marines route, dropped the whole Predator angle, and gone for a survival-horror game more mirroring the first film, Alien.. oh well..

  10. Paul says:

    Hmmm. Quite a nice trailer, but I am still wary…Shellshock and RW are too shitty to make me really excited about new effort of Rebellion. And I still find it stupid that they are calling it AvP and not AvP 3.

  11. Guy says:

    The explodey bits look fine but I worry about the fear. AVP isn’t really a horror game, its a fear game. The monsters themselves aren’t scary, they don’t suddenly shock you. Its just the knowledge that (unlike so many recent FPS) if you screw this up you die. Excruciatingly. Its that dread, that fear, those moments of standing there evaluating everything you can do so as not to die. My abiding memory is standing, listening to the bleeps, aware there was an Alien in the corner ahead- but where? -and paralysed by the fear that if I went forwards it would kill me. Those slow beeps, the desperate plans, the awareness that even if I killed this monster there would be another one and another and…

  12. El_MUERkO says:

    played AvP at the EG expo, lighting was naff, textures were naff, gameplay was naff

    the stills i’ve seen of colonial marines don’t instil me with confidence either

  13. Carra says:

    I just read the review of Rogue Warrior in my favorite PC Gaming magazine. This game received the worst score of this decade. Why anyone would give a top license to them boggles my mind.

    Then again, the trailer looks quite nice. Let’s hope for the best.

  14. Vandelay says:

    It’s worrying that they have made a multiplayer that allows you to play as Predators or Aliens into something “formulaic and rustic.” I’m actually kind of intrigued to see how they have pulled that one off.

  15. DMJ says:

    I think Rogue Warrior has done nothing but absolutely kill the pre-orders from the press-aware segment of the market. If it’s good, I’ll buy it. But I won’t gamble, I’ll be waiting for the verdict.

    Unless Aliens’ heads are replaced by lamp posts.

  16. SirKicksalot says:

    A different Rebellion team is developing AvP, not the Rogue Warrior/Shellshock 2 lads. AvP’s team still has many of those that worked on the first AvP FPS.

  17. SirWhat says:

    trailer actually doesnt have that Alien thing feeling, also those bits that seem to be actual in game moments looks so scripted. i really hope this is one of those trailers that look worse than actual game altho its usually the other way around.

  18. teo says:

    Wow the weapon sounds are way fucked
    Listen to the smartgun at 2:23 and then the pulse rifle right after it

    Sorry to be a geek but that’s NOT what they sound like

    • SH4RKY says:

      Not so sure, the rifles sound the same as the ones in AVP1 and the film. In fact, i was happy to hear they had kept the same noise.

      or was it the smart guns that sounded like that…..

  19. mandrill says:

    AvP has a venerable history, the original graphic novel tied the two together in a believable and coherent way. The movies are to be ignored as the pap that they are, and IMO the first AVP should have been more closely wedded to the graphic novel.

    I never really got into the original game (I got dizzy running around on the ceiling) or its sequel, but the aliens and predator universes deserve a decent video game. The background is there for the milking, it just needs to be treated with a little thought and less flash-bang-whallop.

  20. GreatUncleBaal says:

    Aliens vs Predator HAS to be a great game. I need this. If it is not, the onus is on you, ladies and gentlemen, for not believing hard enough. No pressure.
    I know it’s not going to feel quite like the unique FPS experience the original impregnated our faces with, but get it right and Rebellion could be loved again. Personally I am glad the multiplayer element is included, but still believe that the franchise is best suited to a focused single player campaign (yeah for each species, and yeah also, please keep the skirmish mode in – it was and is bloody amazing fun).
    I introduced friends to PC gaming with the little “ooh, the lift is triggering the motion sensor” skit that the first game threw out – I would like to be able to recommend this title with the same displaced pride.

  21. vhati says:

    I am buying this game for the marine campaign only.

    And because the better AvP does, the sooner Aliens: colonial marines will be released.

    Other than that, i could care less about AvP.

  22. Matt says:

    (responding to qrtr)

    This might just be me being small-minded, but I have a hard time seeing how that could work in a way that wouldn’t suck. I’m no expert on survival horror, but in Alien, the idea sort of was, if you ended up in the same section of the ship as the alien, you died (horribly), because it was better at this than you. You can’t run away, you can’t hide, you can’t fight back. A game that captures the zeitgeist of you being totally helpless and depending on pure chance for your survival wouldn’t be an interesting game. Nothing you did would be of any consequence – It would be like a Russian Roulette simulation.

    Of course, I’m not a terribly creative person, so maybe someone else could have a better go of it than me, but I think “Alien” is better left as a movie.

    • qrter says:

      But that’s exactly what survival-horror as a genre is about – the odds are stacked heavily against the player, having little or no weapons to attack/defend. It’s all about suspense, more or lesss about avoiding any confrontation.

    • Daffs says:

      I was umming and ahhing about this, if only because I far prefer Aliens to Alien and ‘cus of the traditional ‘games need action’, but it would make a wonderful, Rogue-like type of short game. One enclosed level (the ship), one Alien, and a new character everytime. Lots of near-misses (it appears and you either get a few shots off or run or it kills you) till eventually one of you wins, and start again…

      That sounds beautiful to me.

      …Gah. This holiday is pushing me further into geekdom than ever before.

    • GameOverMan says:

      Well, such a game could be something along these lines: the player can escape or kill the alien/aliens, using any avaiable tools in the level/map, cameras and sensors that show where the enemies are, you could use doors to confine them (for some time, until they can escape) airlocks to launch them into space (if you are in a ship), you could also set some traps, and even use weapons (flamethrowers that would be almost empty, for instance). The developers could create varied scenarios to employ different tactics and ways to plan your escape or complete a mission (reaching the communication room to ask for help).

  23. Shalrath says:

    You’re right, and for some reason that really bothers me too… probably because AvP had my favourite weapon of any FPS (The pulse rifle) in terms of accuracy, rate of fire, damage, etc. It just felt like a GOOD weapon.

  24. bill says:

    The problem is that (if they keep it a pure FPS) there’s really not much different that they can do with the setting. It’s a truely awesome setting, but it’s been done many times (both by official Aliens games, and many other sci-fi derivatives). Other than some next-gen graphics and lighting, it’s essentially the first AvP game again… and that’s about all it can be. The weapons, settings, enemies etc.. are all iconic and can’t really be messed with.

    Of course, they could have taken it Squad based (eg:colonial marines) or Space hulk (FPS vs RTS) or L4D. But doing that would probably have meant leaving out the Predators. I wouldn’t mind that, but it would mess with the IP.

    Actually, a L4D AvP would be pretty cool. Maybe you could have the predators and queens as the equivalent of l4d bosses.

    PS// Does this CAPTCHA have a time limit???

  25. pimorte says:

    @Wisq – that’s because the Predator is almost always alone – it’s not an army or brood in itself.

  26. bildo says:

    @ Bill

    OMG!! AvP L4D would be AWESOME! Yes, you could manage to put the predator in the game though. Make it one of those tense moments in a level where there is a lul in the alien horde and then all of a sudden someone spots a predator. He cloaks and now your group has a sort of timer where for every so often he will kill someone until they find him and take him out. Oh man…someone mod AvP for L4D now!

  27. Maxheadroom says:

    reply to Wisq

    “-including the implication that this is where the whole Alien thread began?”

    Probably, the new Alien film out next year is a prequel (Spacifically it’s about the ancient derelict crashed ship from the original Alien film), so it’s probably a lose tie in with that

  28. Theblazeuk says:

    Has anyone here at RPS read the AvP comics from Dark Horse? The original series was by far the best, but there’s plenty of good shorter strips out there.

    The movies haven’t done the combined franchises any favours – but the comics give you a better impression of how things tie together, where the Predators enter the dynamic, and of course **Earth becomes infested and abandoned***.

    From everything I gather, Rebellion are well acquainted with the comics.

  29. The Dark One says:

    I wouldn’t mind if franchise crossovers like this ignored ‘the story’ as much as possible. I don’t want some stupid exposition about how all of it is possible as much as I want to shoot at baddies. Either that, or just don’t take things seriously.

    The Star Trek/X-Men crossover gets a pass for everything else it did wrong for the ‘Doctors McCoy’ joke.

  30. Bhazor says:

    So surgeons operate on man/monster. Monster bursts out of man/monster comes back to life. Surgeons bang on glass to be let out. Surgeons get killed.

    I think I’ve seen that exact scene 12 times by now.
    I know I saw it in Dead Space, Spiderman 2 (if you class doctor octups as a monster), at least one of the Alien films, Jurassic Park and Resident Evil 4 but I can’t think of the others.

    • diebroken says:

      Others:

      - Independence Day
      - Alien Lockdown

      + many other B-movies i can’t recall right now.

      The classic requirement of any alien study/autopsy scene in a SciFi B-movie! :]

  31. LionsPhil says:

    Independence Day, too. If it’s not listed on TVTropes, it should be.

  32. vhati says:

    Aliens: colonial marines is basically L4d aliens.

    IT is being built from the ground up as a coop shooter/survival horror.

    If pulled off it will blow l4d away, because l4d isnt survival or horror. Its just a coop shooter.

    Anyone saying the AvP franchise cant be messed with is retarded. How do you think we got AvP in the first place. Basically they took a 2 great franchises, and murder them both horrible, and released 2 beyond terrible movies and pretty much turned off some key players from wanting to touch aliens ever again.

    I take that back. Joss whedon is partly to blame for 1 movie. Even great actor can make up for that talentless hack.

  33. LionsPhil says:

    I am confused by the hatred for the first AvP movie. Sure, it wasn’t great, let alone at the giddy heights of Aliens, but there has been much, much worse than brain-in-neutral action fluff. All y’all must be those Alan Moore-worshipping comic-book fanatics that rage against anything that isn’t a direct translation of your little drawings.

  34. disperse says:

    Did anyone else think of L4D when the four marines bust out of the back of the transport?

    Any chance they’re going to have a co-op marines vs. the ai-controlled alien horde mode? That would rock.

  35. Matics says:

    I totally agree with you mate… i mean, i’m crazy about this game and i’m counting the days until it’s release, but i’ve been waiting for colonial marines since it was first announced.

  36. Vivian says:

    Um… why is bishop now running a factory? He’s a Bishop, so unless they have an android boss this is silly. He’s immediately recognisable as one of the iconic characters of the series – you can’t just stick Lance Henricksen in an Aliens thing and have him be any old joe bloggs, its as ridiculous as getting Arnold to play a psychologist in a terminator thing. Bah.

    This looks:
    A) pretty
    B) like it has been given the most generic aliens-involving plot imaginable
    C) like it will probably be heartbreakingly average

    • DXN says:

      @ Vivian:

      *** SPOILERS ***

      IIRC Bishop’s face is based off that of Weyland. At the end of Alien 3 he arrives (played by Lance Henricksen) to try and take Ripley with him (presumably for experimentation etc) but she jumps into the molten metal instead. I could be completely misremembering that though — can’t seem to find a video of that scene online.

      *** END SPOILERS ***

  37. Mikmanner says:

    let’s face it – Rebellion have really sucked this generation, Shellshock 2 was shocking, Rogue Warrior was a disgrace, simpsons game was..okay.

  38. amoe says:

    i somehow feel as if paul w.s. anderson just jerked off in my face…

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