Aliens Versus Predator: Gold Edition
|a game by||Fox Interactive|
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Why, you may ask, are we reviewing AvPGold in the online section when in the past it has mainly been played as a single-player game? Well, the answer to that very valid question is simple, because even though there are two new weapons to add to the Marine arsenal and nine extra levels, they are all geared towards multiplayer gaming. You can try out the marine pistol and skeet weapons in the skirmish game, of course, but that really isn't much fun if you are on your own. No, for single-players, especially those who bought the original game, AvP Gold is something of a no-no. The 'free' Prima Official Strategy Guide is obviously what has driven the price up from what should be a budget release and although you get a save-game feature (which is the same one released as a patch some time after the original game) and the graphics have a been updated, it all feels a bit of a con. Search the bargain bins instead and try and get hold of the orginal release.
On the multiplayer side of things, AvP has kind of got its act together. Developer Rebellion has tidied up the Net code and the game is now compatible with Mplayer, Static and Fragfinder, which means you will be able to find others to play against rather easily, or at least it's easier than it was before. (Mplayer it has to be said is not one the world's best servers to play across.)
Although the two new weapons are fun, they're not quite as effective as you would imagine. The pistol lacks firepower and the Skeet gun just doesn't fit in with the AvP setting. Quite frankly, we find it hard to fathom why no shotguns or Autosentries were included, seeing as they featured quite heavily in the Aliens film. In fact, after watching the entire Aliens series on DVD, there's a hell of a lot more that could have been done to expand upon its themes. Although, with talk of a sequel on the way, it's obvious such ideas are being saved up.
AvP Golds best features are its extra levels - and for the most part, the levels are good. Nostromo, based on the original Alien team is perhaps the weakest, as it is set around the outside of the ship from the first Alien film rather than within and constitutes one of the flatest maps you'll ever play. Leadworks, however, (from Alien 3) is absolutely superb, especially if you play as a group of marines against computer-controlled Aliens.
For a few extra levels and a couple of weak weapons, AvP Gold represents something of a effort. To make matters worse, those who own the original game will be unable to play against those who buy the Gold Edition, although for US$9.99, old-timers can upgrade, which represents far better value for money than buying this edition. At the end of the day, AvP Gold can only be recommended to those who've yet to experience the original game. Even so, apart from the strategy guide, there's very little here to justify the price. AvP has dated and was never the multiplayer game we all hoped it would be anyway. As such, we can only recommend that first-timers buy the original game and old hands eager for more get hold of the expansion instead.