Violent in a way that would displease the genteel and the members of an Australian ratings board, Aliens Vs. Predator is all about stabbing heads and bursting chests. Not surprisingly, this game's playable Alien is no diplomat.
Kotaku has witnessed the human and Predator sides of the game. Now Aliens.
The Aliens campaign, like those of the human and Predator, can be activated separately by players, though the three intersect to form the game's overall plot. The Aliens' story starts with its birth. Specimen 6 bursts out of a lab-patient's chest into a glorified test tube. Soon you've grown and soon enough you're out of your shackles, killing people.
All three campaigns are played from a first-person perspective. The Alien stands lower than the human, who stands lower than the Predator. When you make quick turns as an Alien, you see your tail swish by. When you trigger one of the game's gruesome killing animations, your famous mouth-within-a-mouth juts out and fills the screen as it chomps your victim.
Aliens run up walls, onto the ceiling and can leap to the floor. A targeting reticle always points in the direction of the floor so you don't get too dizzy. The Alien is fast and brutal with melee kills. I didn't see it use guns, and one would think it can't. But it can take orders from a mama Alien, who utters it commands via a floating-Alien-head icon in the corner of the screen. The Alien also can smell well, sniffing the outlines of other characters through walls and reading the colour of the outline to determine if that character is hostile and on the attack.
The Alien can do light and heavy attacks, can lock on and can perform stealth kills. I saw all of this and saw the Alien have to climb up into the vents above the lab where it was born. Mama was summoning but the vents were blocked. I had to leave the demo, but was told that the Alien would soon be joining other non-controllable members of its species for more violence.
My glimpse of the Alien section was brief, though two things did stand out. It looked nothing like the Predator mode I'd seen, which involved thermal vision–assisted high-altitude stalking through trees. The other detail: This game is indeed for gore lovers. The Sega rep showing me the game was quite enthusiastic about how the Alien can chomp at brains and how the Predator's wrist blades can go up a man's throat and be visible down his shouting mouth. Sounds a bit much, but as noted above, these aliens are not diplomats.
Aliens Vs. Predator is set for release on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in February. Developed by Rebellion, published by Sega.