Electronic Arts has been signing up a bunch of popular licenses for years. They have a keen eye for what’s cool and the muscle to be first in line. Their Harry Potter games could have been digital dregs but they ended up being pretty fun. So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when I found that Extinction is an ambitious game. Take three races, balance them, make them all cool and faithful to people’s expectations and throw them in an RTS arena to do battle. Sound familiar? Kinda like Starcraft eh? Well SC was clearly an influence on the game (as SC’s design was influenced by the Aliens movies). It’s always good to shoot high just to see if you can attain a nice chunk of your inspiration’s magic. AvP:E catches just enough to warrant some praise.
From the 1989 Dark Horse comic story that started the craze to the latest videogames (Aliens Vs. Predator 2 and, yours truly, AvP: Extinction) there’s just something about two badass alien races going mano a mano for title of baddest-ass. Of course, we humans always have to be there to participate in the carnage -- so our marines tend to waddle in with their little pea shooters and bravado.
AvP:E is a decent game and, in my experience, the best RTS you’ll find on the PS2. It has its problems, mostly in AI, control and replayability, but, overall, it’s yet another strong entry in the AvP arena, the latest in a string of critical successes for the 20th Century Fox licenses.
Extinction has a rough start. There are very useful tutorials (basic and advanced) which take you through controlling all three races. Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed pretty fast by all the unit-building trees and abilities so playing the first level (as a marine) was a total bust. The problem was I had all the races’ abilities swimming around my head but I really needed to be focusing on the humans. My advice? Do the basic tutorial and then the marine mission (or the Alien mission since the units are less valuable overall). Leave the Predators for last.
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