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.