E3 09 Preview: Aliens vs. Predator
E3 - We just got a nice and meaty presentation of the human campaign in Sega's upcoming game, Aliens vs. Predator. Before the demonstration began, the two presenters informed us that AvP takes place about 30 years after Aliens 3, so everything should be pretty familiar to people who have seen the movies.
When a troop of human colonists land on an unknown planet, they discover a predator pyramid and the alien eggs within. Facehuggers happen, xenomorphs spawn, and now you have all the ingredients for a scary good video game. But developer Rebellion is adding a few touches of their own with their proprietary Asura engine. Given the importance of lighting to their game, the developers weren't sure they could get what they needed from anyone else's tech, so they made their own.
And the results are instantly recognizable and remarkable. The demo begins in a ruined station. Sunlight pours in from an acid burn hole in the ceiling, and reflects off all the tarnished metal surfaces in the room. The player's marine walks further into the base and encounters a dark room inhabited by another marine and a sentry gun, which is sweeping a beautiful blue laser wave over the chamber. The marine invites you in, and you walk into the marine stronghold.
Our marine went up stairs to help back-up a blockade that aliens have been testing. A few aliens leapt across the nearby sentry's laser sight, prompting fire, and also causing one of the marines to ask "Why do they just attack and then give up?" To which another marine responded "They're testing our defenses." Just then, all of the lights cut out, and people start screaming. Looks like the aliens passed the defense test!
You run downstairs where aliens are attempting to break through a metal door. There's a sentry gun in the room with them, but it's offline! You quickly turn it back on at a computer terminal, and listen as the machine gun fire eliminates one threat. Just then, a xenomorph that had slipped in attacked the player we were watching. Black, sleek and fast, the alien clawed up over a desk and leapt onto the chest of the player. It opened its jaws wide and seemed prepared to deliver a deadly bite, when the player kicked the alien onto the floor and finished it with a heavy burst of machine gun fire.
Just then, the player was called upstairs by a female marine. The upstairs chamber was a large, dark room with high ceilings, so the player through out several flares to illuminate the situation. The orange flare light glinted off the armor of approaching xenomorphs like stripes on black tigers; they dropped from the ceiling and immediately killed the female marine, before charging our player. He circle strafed, lit them up with fire, and then tried to get distance before getting ripped to pieces in three deadly shots by one of the aliens. Evidently, these bugs are very bad news and represent incredibly formidable fights.
The only thing that might be as scary fun as playing against them will be playing as them. Unfortunately, the alien campaign is not on display at E3. But when we do get our claws on it, you'll be the first to know.