When Satisfied is Enough

It’s hard being a gamer. You pay a lot of money for a game that can last from six to sixty hours and hope it entertains. Picking a game relies upon using the advice of a  reviewer to guide you  and yet you may love a franchise so much you ignore reviews and take the risk of severe disappointment. The latest Aliens vs. Predator was one such risk.

Colonial Marines from the latest Aliens vs. Predator game

I have just completed the Colonial Marine campaign in a game that received really average reviews from magazines citing gameplay and graphics. Reading some reviews, you’d think fans were in for a major disappointment and whilst I agree with some of the points involving controls and over-familiarity, I was reasonably impressed with what I had played to consider it time well spent.

Aliens vs. Predator was a game I greatly anticipated because I love the Alien film franchise. What I wanted from the game was for it to capture the experience of being a colonial marine complete with camaraderie and the atmosphere of being holed up in LV-426 with Hicks, Hudson and Vasquez, manning the barricades in a last ditch attempt to stave of waves of Xenomorph long enough for a drop-ship rescue.

In essence, I wanted the game to capture the full-blooded action, claustrophobia and terror that the film Aliens unleashed.

The game managed to get this in parts as what unfolded was a series of follow the marker missions and some fetch quests whilst a disembodied voice and some data-diaries filled in the story – overly familiar gameplay mechanics for anybody who has slogged their way through Bioshock. But when the atmosphere was captured it was glorious, which is what fans must want right?

I had not come to this game for anything new or revolutionary, I wanted to experience the increasing tension brought with every ping of the motion tracker, the sound of pulse rifles and smart-guns, the waves of enemies falling to my squad-mates and I as we threw out harsh language and standard light armour piercing rounds.

I found that experience. Every gun fired, every human encountered, every furious dash through dark corridors with bugs coming out of the walls reminded me of the film, how much I love the world the film created and why I love it.

Sure the game lacks the polish of Halo, the AI is lacking and game-play is familiar, but fighting my way through atmospheric parts of the game buoyed up by the sound-effects and the presence of Tequila with her Latin-lilt made the four-hours entertaining, which is what games are meant to be regardless of review score. Money well spent.

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