AVP Multiplayer Impressions: Dancing On The Ceiling

In late January SEGA rented out The Bat Cave an internet cafe in inner Sydney to demo the multiplayer features of the upcoming Aliens Vs Predator. After a few hours of the darkness of the room and the flashing of the lights, I was hypnotised into some kind of stupor.

When the haze finally lifted I was on an intercity train heading west and clutching a piece of paper in my pizza-grease covered hands. This is what the paper said:

Dear Queen Mother,

The Hive Brood greets you and hopes you are in excellent health, O Cruel Queen of the Dark!

I woke up today, roused from my decades-long slumber by the heat and smell of warm food. It scurried around on the ground and my brothers and I chased it and ate it. It had things that spat fire and caused some brothers to bleed and die but the taste was worth it. It wasn’t a hunter though, but something else. We went back to sleep, curled up in the chitinous grooves of the ceiling.

Hoping with joyous rapture to see you again soon,

- A. Drone

The rest of the evening’s details are understandably hazy, but I recall playing some multiplayer game modes cribbed from other successful games.

There was Survivor mode that sadly had nothing to do with being voted off an island and instead everything to do with Gears of War 2’s Horde mode or ODST’s Firefight. Predictably acceptable levels of alien killing ensued.

One of the more socially engaging modes was Infection which starts with only one alien and all the other players as marines, with each marine killed joining the alien team. So if you’ve played Zombies from Halo 2/3 you get the gist. I teamed up with the player adjacent to me and we held off a corner of a cargo hold until it was the two of us against all ten other players.

A King of the Hill mode called Domination seemed like just another excuse for shooting each other.

But the reigning supreme “good idea actually boring in implementation” was Predator Hunt in which one person plays as the predator and tries not to get killed by 11 marines (hint: he doesn’t). In my time with it the majority of the players aimlessly wandered around looking for that wobbly invisible effect that the predator gets when cloaked so you could shoot him and become the predator yourself. Why anyone would want to, since he spends most of his time hiding, is anyone’s guess.

So that’s what you can expect to be doing in AvP’s multiplayer when it drops on February 18. My best guess is the cooperative stuff will see the most use, but there’s nothing here set to shake the world of online multiplayer. Nothing to see here people, move along, move along to your Modern Warfares and your Halos. Unless you really like hanging around upside down on ceilings all the time.


    That you would flippantly brush off survivor mode, is completely wrong. This series was the primary innovator of this game type. It was Gears and Halo that took the idea from AvP, not the other way round.

    I usually find Kotaku articles quite informative and humorous. However, as a gaming website, you should be able to realise the gaming lineages through a series.

      Two things:

      1. Ben didn't claim such a mode originated with Gears of War 2, he merely claimed it was similar.

      2. Drawing a comparison between two very well-known and recent releases allows more readers to understand the mode than referencing a game from the 90s that a much smaller percentage of readers would know.

        It may not be stated, but it's almost certainly implied.

          It would only be implied if it was claimed Survivor mode "borrowed from" or "ripped off" Horde mode. As mentioned, the comparison was made for ease of comprehension.

          Anyway, regardless of where the mode first appeared, my experience of it at the same multiplayer event only showed that Horde and Firefight are vastly superior to this particular iteration.

            "but I recall playing some multiplayer game modes CRIBBED FROM OTHER SUCCESSFUL GAMES."

            "everything to do with Gears of War 2’s Horde mode or ODST’s Firefight"

            Most definitely implied that the survivor mode is borrowed from horde mode and firefight.

            Don't mind making the comparison, horde and firefight are probably the biggest two known incarnations of survivor mode, but don't go suggesting they invented it!

              you know what, i don't even care. I'm so fucking excited over this game that you could claim it caused cancer and the proceeds supported paedophilia and i would still buy it.


    a beta release would be good for testing the game, but like bad company 2 you have very limited use until you crave more game play functionality.

    I expect as AvP series goes, with noobs playing some game modes are painful. But can be excellent with good mates in a lan or internet cafe.

    I have fond memories of playing Survivor mode back in the day at my friend's house when we were supposed to be studying...

    Why did it take all that time until Gears of War before it started to become REALLY popular? It was the best!

    You have an annoyingly fun job David.

    That's a shame, I thought Predator Hunt actually sounded pretty cool. Is it just the Predator vs Marines, or are there Aliens in the mix too? Does the Predator show up on the motion detector?

    Infection sounds absolutely beast.

      It was an awesomely fun game mode in the original AvP, especially for a group of friends! :)

    I thought the idea of predator hunt would be for the predator to rack up as many kills as possible, you were probabaly just playing with cowards.

    Ben, what platform were you playing on? I assume that because it was at an Internet cafe it was the PC version.

    I only ask because this seems like the kind of game that would play very, very differently on PC as compared to console, with some classes/weapons on the console version being more overpowered (predator auto-lock on weapons, marine minigun/smart gun) and others being underpowered (all aliens, sniper rifles, spear gun) due to the gamepad.

    For a similar example, look at the console version of TF2 compared to it's PC version. In the console version, pyros, heavies and engineers reign supreme, while snipers, spies and scouts are next to useless.

      Maybe your playing with the wrong snipers, spies and scouts ;)

        while there are always exceptions to the rule, and i don't doubt that there are players who are exceptional at spy/sniper/scout on console, my main point is that TF2 was balanced around the PC version, and therefore created large imbalances in the console version

    Also, I was a bit dissapointed that there was no mention of the standard deathmatch/team deathmatch modes, as while the gimmicky modes like infection and survior were fun in the origional games, it was that showdown between three completely different and distinct races that made the multiplayer.

    I think this is where AvP will break away from 'Modern warfares and halos'.

      The version we played was the PS3 version. I'll remember to specify that next time.

      Like you, I probably would have enjoyed the PC version a bit more. I think I spent a fair bit of time struggling with the controls (especially with the Predator) even after doing a tutorial. I also don't own a PS3 myself, so I'm not a PS3 "native". =)

    Nice all the old game modes are back, can't wait to bring this to LAN.

    I for one am really looking forward to AvP.

    Can't wait to see how it really plays. Any comparisons are irrelevant until I play it for myself.

    Infection mode: What came to my mind first, was not any Halo 2/3 Zombie mode, but Zombie Panic Source.

      Same here, heh.

    I played "Survivor" mode which they now renamed "infection" of avp2 for 3 years straight.

    Its gonna be epic.

    Infestation mode was one of the most popular game types in AVP2. If anyone remembers playing this mode on Quarantine in AVP2 you will know this game mode alone is worth buying the game.

    I dont want to move back to MW2. It wasnt very good...it only sold alot of copies because of the reputation of COD4.

    Hmm very xboxy flavoured article this one.
    Very much looking forward to this one

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