Review: Negative

by the_demigod
    |     AvP 2 by Monolith
What we didn't like Back to Intro or Back to Positive Review 1. General. Doesn’t appear to be utilising all the features that come with the Lithtech engine. Too rushed?? Is Fox using AvP2 as a tester/teaser/market research tool for the REAL money maker- an AvP movie?? 2. Maps. They appear too small [most likely due to the division of each mission into smaller sections]. With the exception of [roughly] one big section per species everything is constrained. 3 years ago Unreal embraced the notion of giant scenic maps, where the player could wander, discovering a variety of helpful information, pickups or funny secrets left by the designers. AvP2 shares the same linear “from point A to point B” notion but the player is constrained to a narrow path, following what the programmers decided is the best [and ONLY] path. Entry into places/areas is through single access points. Why not offer TWO sets of doorways, air-ducts or tunnels?? For the added variation. What SystemShock2 embodied with a fully accessible collection of levels [going up, down, back to sections passed days ago, etc] is non-existent in AvP2. Every step is a one-way ticket. Why give the player access to optical enhancement tools [Pred spear gun, Marine sniper rifle] if the far away geological details are non-existent? Admittedly, sight seeing is NOT the primary focus of an FPS, but then- why have wide open spaces? Scattered across the countryside, Weyland-Yutani crates are taken STRAIGHT from Unreal and do not add anything to the overall experience. 2. Storyline. Not enough of anything. As opposed to AvP where virtually nothing was said about the species, in AvP2 the outlines are still TOO sketchy. The primary lure of the AvP universe is its complexity and depth. Marine. The main strength of the Marines lies in their futuristic military technology, yet no real attempt was made at introducing the player to such miracles. Solutions: yes- maybe a training level, where you get to experience the USCM in training, coexist with your fellow squad members [so that their loss will be much more painful]. Predator. Still nothing is known about the Hunters. The game offered a lot of space for a creative ‘species-building’ exercise, yet no attempt was made. Alien. OK. Not a lot more can be demanded. Gameplay. In-game movies. The USCM unit that travelled with Lt Ripley to LV426 in the movie embodies the whole genre. So, why could “C&C Tiberian Sun” have Michael Biehn star in its real-actor level movies, while the creators of Aliens and Predator were happy with game engine-produced movies?? Many criticized Kingpin for its disassociating in-game movies [fly-on-the-wall mode], yet AvP2 is filled with extensive movie sections following that same scenario. Many a good mission is interrupted too often. Marine. The much publicised welder tool is used sparingly and only in carefully pre-determined areas, nullifying its tactical benefits. Missions are simplistic. Relationship with the W-Y troopers could have been played out in an extremely complex manner, adding additional depth. Predator. The energy generation tool offers too much freedom. Still to powerful when placed opposite the other species. Only the cyborgs provide a good challenge. Alien. As always, the missions involve simple slicing, dicing and swiping. You spend hours destroying everything in a room to achieve whatever simple objective you have been given. Information flow is close to non-existent. All 3 species. Your fellow species’ members are only present to add colour and later act as cannon fodder. Lack of control [however minute] over fellow fighters. Control would have made a major difference in terms if depth. With so many cloaking/stealth options available, why aren’t there any spy/sneak missions that tax skills and not brute force? No consequences of your actions [conditional responses by bots and levels] that would limit the gun-wielding/lead-spraying tendencies of a conventional FPS. Graphics. Here and there glitches are visible. Walls covered with alien resin look flat, dead and sad. Sometimes you can walk through objects, and bodies of those just killed vanish into the floor. Blood spreads outward and disappears while bodies are still lying on the ground. The alien skin is sad, compared to the lithe black/silvery contours of those in AvP. Only one type of damaged/destroyed truck [identifiable by the bulet hole in its back window] Negative summary. This ISN’T AvP in a NOLF guise. The interactivity and experience dwell somewhere within the engine but they have not been used to their fullest. With a backer like Fox, that has made millions from the 6 movies [which make up the combined AvP genre] maybe more effort could have been put in AROUND the raw Lithtech engine and its amazing potential??? >>>Continue to next part: Conclusion Dear Reader: Don''t stop here!! Submit YOUR OWN AvP2 Review

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