Reviewed on ZZZZZZZ


Reviewed By: Rick Casteel
STAFF REVIEWER (originally posted at Christian Computing Magazine)

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Fox Interactive

Price Range: $20-25
Learning curve time: 15-30 mins.
Age level: Adult
ESRB Rating: Mature
Patches / Upgrades: Save game patch available
System Requirements: Min. Intel P200 MMX, DirectX 6 & vid card & 3D accel card & sound card, 32Mb RAM (64MB recommended), 128MB free hd space, Win 95/98

Genre: Sci-Fi shooter
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 3 of 5
Violence: 1 of 5
Adult Content: 2 of 5

Most of us are familiar with the Aliens movies that have been around for about 2 decades now. I remember being fascinated with the original movie with its totally original look, feel and tremendous sense of dread. You never knew where that Alien would show up. Predator proved to be equally as popular a title, again creating a believable and dangerous alien creature. I also remember the level of violence and foul language that earned them and all subsequent sequels an “R” rating. Well the computer game named after these titles is no different. Violent, dark, tense and full of great effects, it drops the player right in the midst of the environment the movies are famous for.

Marine - image from 'Aliens vs. Predator' One unique element of this game is the ability for the player to play as one of 3 characters. You can select to play as the Alien, the Predator or as a Marine. In each case you have a set of specialized abilities and weapons you use to navigate the totally different scenarios. The levels are all very tense and require the player to destroy numerous creatures to reach the end point. As the Marine you fight primarily the Aliens and there is no sense of killing unrighteously. To explain, if I had an Alien coming after me I wouldn't consider it a sin to shoot it! However, in the Alien or Predator modes your primary targets are defenseless humans or marines and the method for killing them very gruesome.

There is also a great many expletives used in the voice-overs during the game. As the players navigate, there are brief video or voice clips to direct or describe to the player what needs to happen next. To keep with the “R” rating of the experience. The producers throw in plenty of foul language.

The gameplay is very intense regardless of the mode you play in. The game developers did translate the environment and experience of the films very effectively. One beef I have is that they decided to “enhance” the tension by not having a save game feature during levels. The player must get from one end to the other intact or start completely from the beginning of the level. Very frustrating and time consuming, if effective and the reason I took it from a “4” to a “3” in the gameplay rating.

This is definitely an adult only game and then I advise you skip the Alien and Predator modes and see how far you can get as the Marine. And be prepared for the Captain's video and radio contact. It brings new meaning to "Curses like a Marine"!

My spin on this (in my opinion excellent game) is that I see it thus: As the Marine, though it is suggested that the Alien infestation is the result of negligence on the part of superiors, your cause is just: to protect humanity from the menace of the Aliens, and to keep yourself alive long enough to accomplish your goals. War is hell, plain and simple. As the Alien, you are defending your Temple, and the young of your hive from invading humans. The Aliens are much like insects, who will defend to the death their colony against all attackers. As the Alien it is true that you can kill defenseless humans. However, the Alien is a wild beast, it needs to kill to survive and for food. Thus to an Alien it is not immoral to kill when necessary. As the Predator, perhaps the moral compass comes up. If you think about it, the Predator is merely a hunter. He kills for sport, for bragging rights. He takes “trophies” home to show his friends over a mug of Predator ale (you never know). However in the campaign of this game, the Predator is seeking to rescue a fellow hunter who was captured (we found out later, for hideous experiments done on him by the military). So in this case as well, the Predator is justified in his (defensive) aggression against humans. The Aliens in his path are running rampant because of the failure of the humans to contain them. In all, I would agree that the game really encapsulates the atmosphere and spirit of the movies quite well. However, compared to games like “Kingpin” the language is very mild in comparison. If you see this game, be sure to buy the GOLD EDITION, which fixes many of the problems of the initial release, adding a mid-level save feature, extra maps, and a strategy guide (it's a tough game).
   —Kurgan, age 22

I very much disagree with Rick's review of the game Aliens vs. Predator. He states that the marines are the one race you should play, while I think they are one of the races you should avoid. The only race that should be played is the Alien. At the very beginning of the game, your quest, as an Alien, is to protect your hive. That is the home you have always lived in and these marines are invading it. You must go through their base and destroy the science equipment that they are using to examine your races unborn children. At no point must you kill anyone. In fact, you can run through the whole level without hurting a single marine, although these marines will constantly shoot at you… My Ratings: [2/4]
   —Andrew Lozupone, age 20

Comments from Young People…

Positive—Aliens V.S. Predator is an awesome FPS, the lack of in level save game feature is replaced when you purchase the Gold Edition. This game is made for mature players only. I think the Marines is the best race to play because you are always fighting against armed and dangerous enemies, not murdering unarmed civilians (like the alien and predator). The game is a lot like the movies and captures the same image they did. I give this game a 95% rating. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Jon, age 14

Great game - marvellous playability and tension. Maybe not one for devout Christians but top fun all the same. Grasps the atmosphere of the movies perfectly. My score: 92% My Ratings: [2/5]
   —David Cashen, age 14, non-Christian

Neutral—Man oh Man, is this game intense! If you've ever played 1998's Game of the Year Half Life, then you'll love Alien VS Predator. This game is true to the format set by all the (mediocre) movies. It puts you into the boots of a marine, exoskeleton of an alien, or thermal vision of a predator and gives you linear mission objectives to complete. This game didn't put an emphasis on storytelling, it just gave you a weapon and said go get 'em. It's very disturbing playing as any of the three races, mainly the alien who has the ability to bite heads off of humans and such. It even rewards you for the most head bites and marine kills at the end of each mission. The only reason I would buy this game is because of the sense of suspension that you feel playing as the marine. The pinging of your motion sensor, the dread you feel as you turn every corner, the adrenaline rush as you take on a covey of aliens. All in all, this is an ADULT game and is best played by fans of the movies. My Ratings: [4/4]
   —Dru, age 14

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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