Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem PSP Review
Regardless of my absolute hatred of the AVP films I am more than happy to put my distain aside when there is a good game behind the angst ridden name. However, for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem – which is a game based on the current movie of the same name – no amount of averting ones eyes is enough to look past the limitations of the game at hand. Right from the very first moment of the very first level it is event that the game falls below par at all the types of gameplay it tries its hand at (or horribly managed alien type claw). However, the game’s main problems are not the usual ones you’d expect for a movie tie-in, as it certainly seems like Rebellion have put their all into trying to create a game with some depth. But regretfully, even though Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem tries to dabble in different elements of the combat, adventuring, and platforming genres it still manages to come across a feeling rather limited.
At its core the game is a third-person action shooter, which most of you should know by now is a genre the PSP either has great success in, or more likely – just like over 80% of similar games on the handheld – fails dramatically. Unfortunately, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem falls into this latter percentage simply due to the experience which it offers being so bland. Yes, even though you are a Predator with that cool cloaking technology, those rocking three types of vision aids to make enemies easier to find, and a selection of great weaponry the game still manages to disappoint. Also, fighting your foe is never that interesting due to an over sensitive lock-on that snaps onto enemies to give you a pin point accurate shot from across the map.
Furthermore, another annoyance is that the game is overly easy, and at times almost seems to solely cater for people that have not touched a game before, by literally signposting the way to everything using unnecessarily huge red triangles. What’s worse is the game almost treats your character as a god, giving you too much health so you never feel threatened at all. Hell, there is even to option to boost your health at different times throughout the game, which feels like you are cheating your way to the end. I guess all this health would not be that big of a problem if your foe put up a challenge, but Rebellion have also made enemies almost stupidly easy to kill. You could close your eyes when you start a level and have a good chance of lucking your way though it. So, when you then combine those two problems you get a game that not only lacks challenge, but also one where you’re forced to do a selection of menial tasks over and over, which is obviously not going to end up been a whole lot of fun.
The game does have some good ideas, although none salvage it from mediocrity. Firstly, it offers a choice of branching paths that you can chose from, meaning that once you reach the end of a level there is a choice of three paths to carry on your adventure in a different kind of location. In addition, one of the better ideas the game introduces is an honour points system for upgrading your Predator’s armour and weapons throughout the game. This system works by rewarding you for playing the game the right way, by not killing civilians, by tagging enemies before you kill them and by completing optional objectives in each location. With enough points the game will then automatically upgrade your Predator for you, thus making him more powerful. However, with the game already being a cakewalk I guess this could be looked at this as yet another negative point towards the game. Regardless, the honour points system is still a nice idea, and I would love to see it expanded on in whatever game Rebellion move onto next.
So, when all is said and done there really is not much to like about Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. At best it is the kind of game you may end up enjoying if you found it in a bargain bin with £5 price tag scribbled on with an almost worn out marker. Paying any higher of a price will leave the buyer feeling more than a bit disheartened when they finally get their hands on the game. However, it should be noted that Rebellion are much better than this, and what they did with criminally overlooked Miami Vice: The Game in 2006 showcases that. So, if you want to see a recent top effort from them go pick up that now, you’ll most likely be able to find it somewhere with a low price tag on it.
Just like the movie of the same name: no one won, we all lost, and in the end no one really cared anymore.