Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction Review

PS2 - Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction Review
EA's - Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction PS2 Review

Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction is the latest game to come from the successful series of Alien vs. Predator games that have usually taken the form of first person shooters. Now Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction has taken a completely new route in terms of game play for the series, it's a complex real time strategy game on a console.

AVP series has always let you play as either, Aliens, Predators or Humans and Extinction offers the same. Each team has a seven mission campaign to play through while giving you a wide variety of mission objectives. Unlike the C&C series you will not have to build any bases, Extinction focuses entirely on troops, whether they are Aliens, Predators or Human. Each of the three units require very different tactics in order to succeed, this is due to the varied way in which you will acquire new troops for each team. The Predators system of acquiring new troops is

 
PS2 - Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction Review

probably the most basic of the three. As you kill enemies with Predators you can rip the skulls from the corpses as a trophy from the hunt. The more trophies (skulls) you have, more new Predators will join you clan, you will be able to call the new recruits in at any point. Predator units are all combat orientated, but they all have special abilities like cloaking and self healing.

The Marines gain credits by killing enemies and repairing atmosphere generators, these credits can then be put towards upgrading the abilities of troops and calling in new troops via drop ships that will land near landing beacons. The Marines have a number of different units including standard troops equipped with rifles, troops with flamethrowers, smart gunners that use huge machine guns plus a few support units to boot. You have medics that can heal troops, the synthetic can deploy gun turrets that have motion detectors for picking up off screen movement and finally you have the commtech who is your standard support unit that can be used to call in for extra troops and repair the atmosphere generators.

Finally there are the Aliens which have the most original if not slightly complicated methods of gaining new troops. The queen remains in the hive to lay eggs and she is also able to deliver extremely powerful attacks. The eggs will hatch into face huggers which can latch onto other creatures and impregnate them with an egg. The egg in the impregnated creature will then grow into a full size Alien. This is where things get a little complicated, there are two different kinds of face hugger that correspond to two different kinds of Alien; there are purebreeds and transbreeds. The purebreeds include the queen and some other Aliens which are capable of powerful attacks. The transbreeds are made from regular face huggers, but what you get as and end result depends on the host. If the host is an oswoc, the yielded will be a drone which is a worker of the alien hive. If a human is the host of an egg the end result will be a warrior alien and if a Predator is impregnated it will yield a Predalien. As you can imagine the Aliens are a pretty fearsome team to play with. It is these mechanics that really make that really make Extinction a game to play, even though it is a RTS game on a console. Unfortunately after you have finished the three sets of missions the game is over because Extinction does not have a skirmish or online multiplayer mode so the replay value is very minimal.

Why aren't there many RTS games on consoles? Well there is a pretty good reason for it, RTS games and keyboard and mouse all go hand in hand; while a console control pad's only have a limited number of buttons and analogue sticks really don't offer the same precision as a mouse. Thankfully though, the developers of Extinction have spent a lot of time adapting the controls to the console control pad. The controls will take some getting used to, but after some time of playing Extinction you shouldn't have to think too much while ordering your troops around the map. If you have played any RTS games on the PC you shouldn't have any problems with the internal workings of the game because once you know the buttons, selecting, deselecting and moving troops and units around works in pretty much the same way as it would on a PC. Extinction's controls mimic the keyboard and mouse actions as well as I could have expected so its hats off to the developers for the control system.

Graphically Extinction was never going to look anyway near as good as a PC RTS due to the high resolution. But overall Extinction looks pretty good if a little bland in places. Most of the Weather you have a PS2 or an XBOX Extinction looks pretty much the same, but the XBOX version is a touch clearer due to the better resolution. The sound in Extinction is mixed but generally good, the Predators scream after killing and taking a new skull is great, just as you might remember from the films. All the gun fire sounds nice and authentic too, but the music is nothing to shout about.

Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction is a very good attempt at a console RTS game, but once you have finished the missions there is no replay value. A skirmish mode would have been fantastic but unfortunately it was not to be. Apart from this omission Aliens Versus Predator Extinction is a great game to play, the mechanics are great and the controls work very well, even though this is not the norm for this genre of game. Aliens Versus Predator is a very good game, but is could have been a great game with a little extra development. If you like the RTS genre you should give Extinction a go because you will like it while it lasts.

7.5 out of 10

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