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E3 2009: Aliens vs Predator impressions

by: John -
More On: E3 2009
It’s been a while since there was an Aliens vs. Predator game but Rebellion is back and they’re looking to bring the IP to the next generation. Today, I got to see a demo of the game at Sega’s meeting room.

There are three campaigns again like the previous game and the stories all intertwine. All three campaigns will be unlocked right from the beginning so you can play them in any order or you can jump from one to another. The story takes place 30 years after Aliens 3 on a planet called BG386. A Predator pyramid has been found and in any good Predator pyramid, there are some Alien eggs.

The demo that was showed took place in a part of the Marine campaign. After everything goes to Hell on the planet, these guys are sent in to bring some order to the chaos. You play a rookie and it’s your first drop so you know things are going to go wrong.

What I really loved about the demo was the atmosphere it conveyed. The environments shown looked like they were straight out of the movie. There were acid holes in the floors, some of the things that hang down from the ceilings look like parts of Aliens, the architecture is just familiar for those that have seen the movies.

The dynamic lighting really does a great job in showing and hiding certain parts of the levels and items you hold. One of the cooler elements I witnessed was seeing the laser from a sentry gun scan the room. As it rotated, you could see smoke in the laser line swirling around creating an awesome effect. When placing down flares and using the flashlight, the dynamic lighting looked incredibly realistic in illuminating objects around it. The engine is an internal engine that really looks impressive.

The demo did a great job showing how the Aliens can bring about a lot of tension in the game. They’ll test perimeters and hide in the shadows silently stalking you by climbing on walls and ceilings. Just catching a glimpse of a movie Alien in the darkness can be pretty intense. They are quick and nimble making each fight an adrenaline rush. And of course you don’t want to get too close to them when you dispatch them because the acid from their blood will hurt you.

One part of the demo had the marine facing off against a few Alien invaders in a dark room. You had one friendly AI Marine helping you out during the sequence. She wasn’t lucky enough to make it past this part of the demo but her death wasn’t scripted. She could potentially make it to the end of the demo so you’ll encounter events that can be played out differently depending on how you play.

Aliens vs. Predator looked like a great follow up and a visually impressive sequel to the 1999 hit. Rebellion has made some great strides in what they can achieve now and I think they have a very impressive looking game on their hands that looks true to the IP. The game should be out in early 2010 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.