Aliens Vs Predator 2
by Vivendi UIP
The sequel to one of the most frightening FPS is finally here. Alien Vs Predator was definitely an edge of the seat experience and the bad news is that the sequel is even more scary. Again the game gives you three games in one with the chance to play the Marine, Alien or the Predator. Whilst this game is definitely the cream of the current FPS crop, like the first game, it is difficult, in places, for the deaf gamer as we shall now see.
The game looks very good indeed. If you've played the original game then this sequel will look a whole lot better. The game uses the Lithtech engine and is all the better for it. The character and terrain models have a pleasing amount of detail. The level design is excellent and adds tremendously to the fearful and tense nature of the game.
The highlight of the game has to be the Marine levels. Wonderful level design, moody atmosphere and the inclusion of a motion meter mean this part of the game can be enjoyable. The weapons on offer are excellent and add real body to the gameplay. Weapons include the shotgun, pulse rifle, rocket launcher and ever popular sniper rifle. There are no such superb weapons in the Alien or Predator episodes, not as though they need them, but the Alien episode does have a novel twist to it. In the Alien episode you play an Alien from the moment it initially hatches until it is the fully grown killing machine that we all hate. An unusual feature with the Alien episode is the ability to wall-walk. Holding down the shift key allows you to climb up any wall or obstacle. I have to be honest and say that I found this nauseating as the movement is just so quick but nevertheless it is a very useful feature.
The game designers have done a good job with the subtitles. All speech is subtitled within the cutscenes and the main game. Holding down the Tab key brings up your objectives. The first time you play the episodes you are given text help that familiarises you with the controls which is excellent. The text information remains onscreen for quite a while so even the slowest of readers will have time to take it all in. The manual, while only small, does a good job of explaining the interface and all the other essentials.
The game is not entirely deaf gamer friendly. The marine HUD (heads up display) has a motion meter that shows all moving objects within a certain radius. Most of the time this is a perfect indicator of the approaching enemies. However as it is a motion detector it will not show you which enemies are motionless. As a hearing gamer you might have a chance in hearing something from a waiting enemy such as their breathing for instance, but a deaf gamer will not have this luxury.
Both the Alien and Predator levels do not have a motion meter. Whilst this isn't so important while playing either of these there are still times when you will be at a disadvantage. You do get some sort of warning when approaching humans that are having a conversation. You are aware of the conversations because of the subtitled speech. However when the humans are not talking, you have no idea of their presence until you make eye contact with them which in most cases will be a huge disadvantage. This is particularly so in the Predator levels as it is useful to make surprise attacks upon your enemies.
Overall Game Rating: 7.5/10 The game remains a chilling experience and designers Monolith have created an experience that remains true to the finest moments of the movie. Reviewing this game for a hearing gamer would have earned the game 9/10 but it does have some problems for the deaf gamer and as such the mark must reflect this.
Deaf Gamers comment: If you like your FPS games then this must be considered the finest at the moment. Looking at the game from a deaf persons perspective shows that there are difficulties that need to be overcome as, in a fair amount of circumstances, the gameplay becomes so much more difficult through the loss of audio information. However don't get the idea that the game is unplayable because its far from it. If you are interested in the game then I would say go for it. You'll just have to make extra use of the quicksave function.