Also available on OSX
First and foremost, this is the 1999 PC game, not the 1994 Atari Jaguar game or the 2009 game. Anyway, I got it for like $2 on GoG's summer sale because I saw it was cheap and a late 90s FPS (late 90s/early 2000s is my favorite era for FPS), so I thought why not? I honestly wasn't sure what to expect given that the Alien games have a....less than stellar track record. I've also never seen any of the Predator movies. I LOVE the Alien series, but I've yet to see anything with Predator.
Fortunately my hesitations were completely unneeded. The game's not a masterpiece, but it's a damn good time in short bursts. The game consists of three campaigns, each roughly six levels long; the colonial marine campaign is six missions, the xenomorph campaign is five missions, and the Predator campaign is six missions. In addition to the main missions, each species has a handful of bonus missions that you unlock after finishing that species' campaign. While I love that they added this to give the game a little more value, I only played a couple of these bonus missions; they're just the other species' missions rehashed. For example, some of the colonial marines' bonus missions would be a mission from the xenomorph campaign with the addition of a jetpack to allow you to traverse the 3D parts as a human. Certainly cool but nothing really new if you've already finished the three story campaigns.
Speaking of story campaigns, while the story isn't strong or told particularly well, there is a story for each species. In the colonial marines campaign, your goal is to try to rid various USCM ships before a final confrontation with the xenomorph queen. In the xenomorph campaign, you try to drive the humans out of your hives and recover eggs that have been stolen by human scientists and marines. In the Predator campaign, you....actually....I'm not entirely sure what you're supposed to be doing. All I really gathered from it was "Go kill shit and prove your honor" or something. Idk. Anyway, that campaign ends by hunting a xenomorph queen.
Anyway, the visuals are okay for a 1999 game. They don't look quite as good as Unreal Tournament, but for the time, they're certainly not bad. The sound design, while generally kind of "meh," did stand out in one regard. The game featured a sort of pseudo-3D stereo sound where the volume of dialogue and which speaker played the audio changed based on your proximity to the monitor and where it was in relation to your character. I know that's nothing too unusual these days, but to see it done pretty well in a 1999 game stood out to me. Otherwise, the sound design is just okay. The music is forgettable, and the sound effects are just okay. One thing that was BRILLINATLY done, however, were the FMV scenes that played on monitors at various points in the game. They were pure 90s FMV brilliance. Worse acting than a high school play and more cheese than a deep dish pizza, they truly were the highlight of the game for me.
In addition to the single player, there's also online multiplayer (which I assume still works; I honestly didn't care enough about it to test it) and your local multiplayer mode against bots called Skirmish. I know that's an alien concept (no pun intended) for kids these days, but back in my day, we used to play multiplayer matches against either real life people in the same room or AI controlled characters called "bots." Just another thing these damn kids killed with their PlayStation Live and Xbox Network or whatever.
Aliens Versus Predator is a perfect example of a late 90s licensed video game done right. It's not flawless, and it definitely shows its age in both visuals and gameplay, but it's fun, it's got a huge amount of gameplay diversity, and it's one of the most fast paced FPS games I've played in a long time. It's got a couple dozen single player missions with three different difficulty settings as well as both online and bot multiplayer, and to top it all, it's dirt cheap, even when it's not on sale. If you're into either the Alien and/or Predator series, late 90s shooters, or (ideally) both, definitely make sure you download this on either GoG or Steam.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.