Delayed Hat-Tipping: AvP Classic 2000

This enjoyed a more timely mention in Saturday’s bargain bucket, but as an aged fanboy of Rebellion’s finest hour, it would be frankly remiss of me not to grant last week’s surprise release of Aliens vs Predator Classic 2000 a post of its own. The name is absolutely ridiculous, and could only possibly stem from someone important losing their mind in a board meeting – “no-one must possibly mistake it for the new game! Keep adding words until it sounds like something different, no matter if it sounds like an ancient console or the sequel to Aliens vs Predator 1,999! Add more! More!” But this does not matter. What matters is that it’s the original PC AvP, one of the finest first-person shooters ever made, spit’n’polished for maximo-compatibility with modern PCs, and available for a silly price on Steam.

There’s a part of me that thinks releasing this is absurd, because it’s so good a game that it might hurt demand for the new game, but that’s probably just me being guilty of fogeyism. You and your fancy modern pixel shaders – in my day, all we had was trilinear filtering, but we were happy. Kids today, etc.

The downside is that the super-important multiplayer’s missing. Rebellion claim it’s due in a free patch, but the frothing, paranoid cynic in me wonders if perhaps it’s being deliberately withheld for a while to ensure Nu-AvP’s online shenanigans suffer no stolen thunder. It’ll be a fine day once it is released, whenever it may be, because it means gangs of us can set to tackling the still-wonderful, still-atmospheric, still-frightening Skirmish mode with the greatest of ease, rather than dicking around with IPX networking. I do look forward to coralling the RPS community into doomed adventures once this tantalising patch arrives.

Back in proto-RPS days, I wrote about Skirmish’s curiously fulfilling futility – a rustily tense-hopping piece I suffer a strong urge to rewrite whenever I link to it. Stalinist revision, but with Aliens.

Anyway – for £2.99 there is essentially no reason not to own AvP Classic (no need for that 2000, let’s be honest). I hope it pitches up on other download services too soon – certainly, it’s exactly the kind of thing that should be on GoG.

Here’s what it looks like. Am I just being a nostalgic old fool again, or does that still look pretty impressive in its admittedly blocky way?


  1. massivesheep says:

    Hardest. game. ever.

    • Bret says:

      Someone here has been remarkably lucky in game choices, I’d bet. Haven’t played as much AvP as I’d like, but considering some games…

    • Chaz says:

      Agreed, I thought it was rock hard when I first played it all those years ago too.

      I remember the game being good in so far as it was the first good Alien game to come out, but I didn’t think it was brilliant, even at the time.

  2. Riesenmaulhai says:

    This had a singleplayer mode?

    • bookwormat says:

      yes, 3 campaigns. I wonder if there are bots for skirmish? (Edit: Yes, skirmish is single player friendly)

      Edit 2: Holy fucking shit the sound in this game is awesome.

    • kromagg says:

      The single player marine campaign was pure awesome. If you haven’t played it yet you really should. (as mentioned in the other reply, the sound rocks).

  3. Jakkar says:

    Tempting, for so little. I’ll have to snap it up once i’m done nostalgia-running Halflife, modding Red Faction: Guerilla, trying to encourage some Emerald and Silver to end my Groundhog day trap in The Void..

  4. Arathain says:

    As I think I mentioned in the other thread I think AvPs slightly low-tech look really helped it. The environments were stark and cold, and everything was so dark it hardly mattered. The sound design was first class, and the Aliens moved with perfect fluidity. The atmosphere was so thick when things kicked off it hardly mattered anyway.

  5. MacBeth says:

    Resistance was useless. Purchased, for the price of a pint. Looking forward to terrifying myself as Marine, mostly. Also keenly awaiting the multiplayer patch so I can stalk some Marines as a Xenomorph. Top tip for that – knock out all the lights you can find so they have to use night vision and thus can’t use the motion tracker. Hilarious japes and munching heads all round.

  6. SirKicksalot says:

    Headshotting humans with the speargun never gets old.

    I’d like them to add achievements, since this game is always replayable.

    • Tom Camfield says:

      @ SirKicksalot

      I was being the Predator last night, and indeed, it never gets old. He’s so fast, and the music thunders through the speakers, and you can press a button to ROAR, which I do, by accident, all the time, RAAAAAA!

      I’ll be there for the skirmishes, it’s an old LAN party fave.

  7. Brumisator says:

    I bought it as soon as I read the bargain bucket.

    Hooo boy, all the memories, oh how this make me feel like a zit-faced awkward teenager again!

    Being an alien, hanging from the ceiling and biting people’s heads off for health and awesomeness…how can a sick, twisted mind endeavour to more than this?

  8. Tom says:

    Hmm, so now I can finally stop buggering about with the original version, which actually runs on modern pcs – just not very well..

  9. kyrieee says:

    This game is amazing, but really janky at the same time. I’ve always felt like the game was good by mistake. I mean, the movement speed and stuff is just really weird

    I love the marine campaign though it’s so scary. I couldn’t bring myself to finish it when I first played the game. The alien campaign is really good too. There’s no way the new game will live up to this one. They won’t make it as hard, as fast and even the guns sounds sound wrong in the trailers =( the sounds are such an important part

  10. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Probably too much to ask them to do this for the mac version as well, eh?

    Yeah, I thought so. Bummer.

  11. ZIGS says:

    I have a feeling this game is selling like hotcakes…

  12. Harlequin says:

    I’ll buy it as soon as they enable MP for Skirmish mode. I remember playing that for hours with some of my friends way back when.

  13. Mortis says:

    For me “Rebellion’s finest hour” is Rogue Trooper (trooper not warrior, the 2000ad comic) which is completely fantastic. AVP is kind of middling around above Dredd vs Death, which is to say, second place i suppose?

    My point is Rogue Trooper is vastly underrated.

    • Bhazor says:

      Anyone else really reminded of Batman: AA when playing the Alien Campaign? Except much much harder and with an incredibly twitchy wall climbing thing that will flip you upside down on a pillar before you can say “Shouldn’t crouch be a toggle?”.

      Edit: Not a reply. I’m an idiot.

    • Thiefsie says:

      I don’t get rogue trooper, I deliberately installed it on the backs of many comments saying it is great, and after a bunch of levels it just doesn’t seem good at all. Shooty mechanics are way too simple and consoley, story is rubbish (admittedly I don’t know the comics) I mean seriously obviously enough guys get killed off to become your kit – what a coincedence! I don’t get what the hoo haa is about with Roge Trooper? AVP is much more impressive imo. Gotta love the alien campaign which I found hellishly hard. AND THAT CO OP BUNKER LEVEL. <3

  14. Spacewalk says:

    Alec I accept your fogeyism as reality.

  15. Caiman says:

    I had AvP on my desktop machine for the longest time because it never relied on the registry, so even after I’d reinstalled Windows numerous times I could still fire it up. It also supported silly resolutions, and still ran fluidly at something that seemed ridiculously hi-res at the time – I could hardly read the text on my old 19″ CRT. I never could get past the marine mission where you first encounter aliens and a predator – a ship stranded in space. When the alien and predator locations and behaviour weren’t set it stone, it made for tense stuff.

  16. Shadowmancer says:

    Xenomrph on the something awful forums is an expert on all the films and lore he’s done a lets play of this and has moved onto AVP2 go here (link to if you want some advice or just some random Alien trivia his commentaries are excellent.

  17. the wiseass says:

    Honestly the best part of the game was the survival coop mode on the “stranded” map. Me and my buddies spent hours defending that bunker. So until they add multiplayer, this is a no go for me.

  18. Hunam says:

    I just like how good the flame thrower effects still looks. They are really nice and soft. I do love how the aliens just jump at you, like you walk around a corridor and they just jump across the screen and chase you. It’s like they have no motivation, they just exist to eat your head. It’s nice to see something like that in games where now the baddies are all given a sense of motivation or regard to feel more alive to the player, which obviously is what people want now, to see a more real baddy to fight, but back then, the monsters didn’t have a reason to exist or have any regard for them selves, they just wanted to kill you and that was that.

  19. swiftasaurus says:

    Mortis, you’re… you’re joking? R-right? About Rogue Trooper being a good game? Seriously? I mean, the fact that you said it was better than AvP is laughable, but the fact that you said it was good at all just blows my mind. I hate everything in that game, the graphics, the gameplay, the style, the plot… just the overall package.

    • Psychopomp says:

      I think you’re confusing Rogue Trooper with Rogue Warrior

    • Bret says:

      Maybe you’re confusing it with Rogue Warrior. Rogue Trooper, from all I’ve seen, is perfectly good. Is the game you’re thinking of the one with the blue dude?

    • bill says:

      Rogue Trooper was an awesome game.

      I wouldn’t say it was better than AvP, because AvP was totally awesome… but it was a vastly underrated game… he’s right about that much.

      Rebellion really needs to do something more with the 200AD license – even if it’s just release some newer Rogue Trooper and Judge Dredd games… those are probably the two most marketable properties. Those two properties on modern tech (with less vampires) would rock.

  20. Cedge says:

    I think I understand the reasoning behind the “2000” in the title. I imagine that you could also have an “Alien vs Predator Classic 1994,” referring to Rebellion’s first AvP game on the Jaguar. Sure, more people know the PC game, but I can see why just “Alien(s) vs Predator Classic” could, in theory, not be definite enough.

  21. Scandalon says:

    I still have my Mac copy, haven’t tried the PPC binary under Rosetta though.

    (What, you don’t keep a G4 around dual-booting OS9 and 10.2? ;)

  22. J. Prevost says:

    Damn. I get tense just watching those let’s play videos. I really hope the new version gets that “shit shit shit gonna die gonna die gonna die” vibe down right. :)

  23. Little Miss 101 says:

    Does this include the patch that allowed saving? Because I’m too old to make those missions in one sitting anymore =(

  24. Will says:

    Played this to death in the office at the time – fantastic multiplayer. The (Monolith?) sequel was unexpectedly good too.

    I really wish more action games encouraged roleplay in the way that AvP does – I used to really get into playing the different sides in this. The pants-fouling terror of being the last marine in the mode where you turn into an alien when you die, and the glee of hearing a particular colleague scream from two offices away when I netted him and cut his head off as the predator.

    Good times! Is it any good as a non-LAN game?

  25. Malagate says:

    Wait a sec, you can do Skirmish in multiplayer on the original? Holy crap, that’s grand! I’m way too chicken shit to do Skirmish all by myself, when multiplayer gets patched in I’ll be the guy hiding in the middle of the group covering “below” and “above” us.

  26. Shadowcat says:

    there is essentially no reason not to own AvP Classic (no need for that 2000, let’s be honest).

    While we’re being honest. there’s no need for that “Classic” either. The new game is AvP 3 or AvP 2010. There’s already an AvP, so it’s pointless referring to the new game by that title, or to the old game by anything else.

  27. Schmung says:

    Must get this. Spent so, so many hours in skirmish mode. Nothing like the terror of a predalien appearing when your back is already against the wall.

  28. Brumisator says:

    Thsi is already one of the top 10 best sellers on Steam, yes, it quite seems there is much love out there for this.

  29. Cooper says:

    Only got this a couple of years ago due to some super-praise, somewhere.

    Was bloody amazing. Sure, looks and feels a bit lo fi, but that’s not problem. Because you get to player as a motherfucking predator and mess shit up.

    The most grotesquely overpowered game character, ever – it’s amazing.

    I kinda think the marine third of the game was a bit of a cop out. As alien, you’re eventually able to solo-wipe out entire bases. As a marine, you gun down hundreds of the buggers…

  30. Alastayr says:

    I was 14 when this came out and I remember a friend of mine bragging about it in school and boasting how awesome it was and not scary at all and shit. So we go to his place, and he fires the game up. A new game. He had no saves. Poor kid couldn’t stand the tension, never finished a level. There’s a valuable life lesson in there folks. I… guess.

    Thanks to last months Christmas Killer Sale, I’ll be one of those people that can wait until the multiplayer is patched in and still drown in games. And with the original AvP readily available, I cancelled my pre-order of the new one. Gonna wait for the reviews first.

  31. Guido says:

    Thanks for the heads-up :) I might have missed this otherwise. I’m not sure I’d have payed a lot more, since I have a few other games both sitting on my HDD and coming out soon are waiting for me, but at this low price leaving it out would be a sin :)

  32. pepper says:

    Just got this, missed this beauty when it came out due to only having a low end computer, now its time to enjoy it, just a decade to late.

  33. Calabi says:

    I dont think I ever completed the marine campaign it took me ages to just get past the first Alien, the speed and the darkness compared to the other games at the time. The darkness and the bleeps and scurrying and arrgh my face.

    It would be kind of humiliating if the new game wasnt as good as this.

  34. IFaced says:

    One of the things that makes this game so great is how fast and spazzy the aliens are. The way they run up walls and on the ceiling forcing you to be as twitchy as if you’re playing quake deathmatch. The speed of the aliens adds as much tension as the darkness. That’s one of the things I fear the new version will lack because everything’s got to be controller friendly these days.

    I hope they prove me wrong. :)

  35. Calabi says:

    The odds are as well if they do have difficulties that they’ve gone the cheap way of increasing them more hit points etc.

    I doubt they’ve had enough time to be particularly innovative in their design.

  36. jsutcliffe says:

    Bah – a Steam update has enabled a command line option to enable unlimited saves. Lightweights!

  37. ZIGS says:

    The new update pretty much seals the deal:

    * Proper widescreen support. Previously the game allowed non-4:3 video modes (e.g. 1920×1080) but just rendered a stretched 4:3 image. Now the game renders at the correct aspect ratio (e.g. 5:4, 16:9, 16:10), with the vertical field-of-view remaining fixed and the horizontal field-of-view changing accordingly. (i.e. 16:9 modes now render more to the sides than a 4:3 mode).
    * By popular demand, added an “-unlimitedsaves” command line option. By launching the game with -unlimitedsaves in the command line, players can now save as many times as they like, rather than being restricted to a set number of saves per level. To set your command line options, please right-click on the game in Steam” “My games” browser and select “Properties” and then “Set Launch Options”. Alternatively you can edit the command line options directly if you are using a shortcut to the game exe.
    * Replaced timer code with a new high-resolution version for improved accuracy.
    * Frame-rate now locks to a maximum of 120 to fix gameplay issues when running at very high rates (e.g. when vsync is disabled).
    * Mouse sensitivity/accuracy improvements for mice with a high poll rate.
    * Fix for invalid characters in device name in video resolution menu causing rendering problems.
    * Fix for crash on machines without a sound card / where the sound drivers are invalid. (Game will now run correctly with no sound.)

    It’s as if… they actually listened to the players’ complaints/requests and obliged! WHAT SORT OF MADNESS IS THIS?!?!?!

  38. Carra says:

    When I grow up I want to be a marine!

    Then again, buying this game seems safer then having to run away from dozens of aliens.

  39. Matt says:

    As I recall this was originally going to come out on the Sega Saturn, so Rebellion pulled off a number of rendering tricks (coloured lighting instead of textures, or something like that) to get it to run like silk and still look decent.

    I just finished AvP2 the other day. Arguably the more polished game, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the raw terror of the original, the simple commandment: “Survive.”

  40. akbar says:

    Oh, hell. Bought it. My resistance lasted a full 48 hours from seeing the bargain bucket.

  41. ZIGS says:

    My resistance lasted until I saw they had fixed the mouse and widescreen

  42. GameOverMan says:

    I need to get this and finish it again, such a classic should’ve been updated to run without issues on modern PCs much earlier, but better late than never. One of the best game experiences (that’s the appropiate term) of my life. Thank you, Rebellion and Steam.

    That said, no -unlimitedsaves for me, I like the tension. I even played the game for some days before the quicksave update. You had to be extra-careful, but wouldn’t you be if you were alone in a ship infested by xenomorphs? (“-A what? -A xenomorph. -It’s a bug hunt”).