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Archive for ‘Aliens vs Predator’


   
 

Aliens vs Predator Demo hitting February 4th!

I can now reveal that an online multiplayer demo for Aliens vs. Predator is about to land. The demo will be released simultaneously on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and STEAM on February 4th.

Aliens vs Predator

The multiplayer demo will allow gamers the chance to play as all three species – the Colonial Marine, the Predator and the Alien – and pitch their skills against each other in Deathmatch mode on Refinery, one of the game’s multiplayer maps.

Multiplayer Map Scenario:
The Alien Queen was drawn to the warmth of the Freya’s Prospect Ore Refinery. It was here that she established her Hive. Hence the Refinery multiplayer map features not only the signature metallic architecture of a Weyland-Yutani colony but also surfaces made entirely of Alien resin – the ominous first sign of Xenomorph infestation.

Aliens vs Predator

There are numerous vantage points for Predator hunters, dark corners and ceilings for Alien stalkers and tight corridors for heavily-armed Marines. On this map no species is at an advantage and all will have to fight for survival. Welcome to the Aliens vs Predator multiplayer experience.

Welcome to the war.

 
   
   
 

Aliens vs Predator Survival Mode Trailer on Gamestop.com

avp_survivalmode

Check out the newest Aliens vs Predator trailer featuring new footage from the Survival coop game mode.

 
   
   
 

Aliens: A Retrospective

There are a lot of intricate and compelling mythologies out there in films, books, comics, and games that I’m a big fan of, but I will say right off the bat that few — if any of them — touch the primal nerve that the Alien franchise touches. I don’t think it’s coincidental that the monster in Ridley Scott’s original film was inspired by artist H.R. Giger’s work, and that it evolved into what it did: Giger hits a very elemental nerve, especially in his more abstract artwork, and that sort of elemental menace is turned into screen presence with the sleek and vicious xenomorph of the Alien franchise. The Aliens, of course, will be taking on 1/3rd of our upcoming Aliens vs. Predator game, and with that in mind I’ve jumped at the opportunity to look back at this franchise and the media that’s come out of it.

HR Giger

And I’m a fan of the Predator too — there’s an intelligence and wickedness to the awesome creature design, and while for me it never quite touched on the same deep-down nerve that the Alien films did (note: as awesome as the Predator is, my rooting interest in the two AvP films and the AvP comics was strictly for the xenomorph), there is no doubt that the Predator was an exceptionally cool bad guy, and the original film’s jungle location helped set up the Predator as an enemy for the ages. Perhaps it’s just that something like 20% of the cast of this film went on to be elected Governors of various states, but it still has that primal impact when I watch it today — and as always, poor hapless humans thrown into the mix as victims! Note: Only in a movie like Predator does a man wielding a minigun qualify as an “underdog”.

Anyway, the point is that our forthcoming Aliens vs. Predator game is far from something birthed out of the blue — this is, pardon the xenomorph pun, a series that has long gestated, with a complicated mythology spanning decades (the first film came out in 1979), and every conceivable type of media. It is thus my solemn duty to offer this overview and retrospective of the Aliens franchise and mythology, along with their twisty-turny entanglement with the Predator franchise, and the versus — from comics to film and, especially, video games — that joined the two. The focus here, though, is on the Alien, and while this won’t be exactly comprehensive, it is my goal to talk about the highlights (and for fun, a few not-so-highlights) of the more than 30-year history of the Alien mythology. To wit: I do love my job.

    The Original Movies: Aliens through Alien: Resurrection

This is my fascination with the alien from Alien, a creature primal enough that it has never needed another name. Clearly, Ridley Scott’s original work touched on something deep-seated; the stuff of nightmares. Dark gunmetal-gray ship hallways, animal hissings  coming from ventilation shafts, an uncomfortable wetness overtaking the supposed dominance of technology, and the unforgettable tag-line, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream”.

Each sequel essentially reconfigured the primal formula of the first movie (humans stumble in where they shouldn’t, humans get infected by a parasite, creatures burst from chests, aliens run amuck, people die, aliens get blown into space, the end?) to its particular directorial style: James Cameron (Aliens) envisioned an action-oriented homage to awesome military hardware and posited the Queen Alien; David Fincher’s vision in Alien 3 was a weird, dark parable with religious overtones; Jean-Pierre Jeunet (with a proto-Firefly screenplay by none other than Joss Whedon) envisioned a kind of spiritual communion of alien and human in Alien: Ressurection that posited a Big Bad Government as the real villain (something that’s been true to varying degrees since Ash showed his true colors in the first film).

Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy??

I’m actually a huge fan of the last film in the series, Alien: Resurrection. There’s also something of an homage to the fourth film in the upcoming game, and it is done, I think, in a very cool way — I can’t say more yet but the game does give you a sense of what the movies increasingly highlight — that the alien is not just a dumb bug, but a highly intelligent species, adapted through the roaring vacuum of space to be an unstoppable force. Their colonies move as one and playing the games it is a weird visceral thrill to be the one doing the hunting from that perspective.

AvP

I think it’s fair to say that the two Alien vs. Predator films took a significant turn from the Aliens (or Predator) series, but I was a huge fan nonetheless. I had scored tickets to a sneak preview of the first movie in this series and after waiting for several hours ended up in the front row, which somehow only enhanced the experience. When the Predator warrior tears apart the alien carapace of one of its victims and gives the trophy to the “last heroine standing”, I was making poorly suppressed glee noises (and also doing my best to keep my neck from seizing up). It was almost enough to make me root for the Predators (or the humans, I suppose) — almost.

Aliens vs. Predator games: The Lineage

SEGA’s upcoming Aliens vs Predator isn’t the first game to ever take on the idea of these two baddies going at it (with the poor marines trapped in the middle, if you can consider a guy with a pulse rifle “poor”). Far from it: The first Alien game was 1982, on the Atari 2600. I show you this only because it is awesome:

This looks kind of like ... nah, let's just move on.

And as far back as the Super Nintendo, the iconic extraterrestrials have been slugging it out in various ways. If nothing else — and while I was a hard-core Genesis devotee at the time, I can admit this — that SNES game had fantastic music. An early arcade game offered a similar approach: side-scrolling beat-em-ups were certainly the rage around this time, and I remember pumping at least a few quarters into this game back in the day. Behold! YouTube reveals all:

YouTube Preview Image

It’s hard to consider these major entries in the franchise canon, though, particularly since they were essentially Final Fight but with Aliens/Predator sprites thrown in. I think the Predator may even execute a spinning powerbomb at one point. I feel compelled to mention these games, anyway, just because it is always fun & bizarre to see the direction some games have taken over the years. Plus they were actually kind of fun.

The first proper Aliens vs. Predator game that I remember playing was the 1999 game released by, drum roll, current AvP studio Rebellion. The game was reviewed well (garnering a 9/10 from IGN ) and what’s more, I remember that, playing it at the time, I was absolutely thrilled that someone had infused the rabidly popular first-person shooter genre with something as creative as the Alien and Predator mechanics (yes, and the marines too — the poor space marine, doomed to be murdered by creatures concealed in dark vents, or else vivisected for trophy sport by intergalactic big game hunters). This was the first time (aside from, I must say, the awesome Alien 3 game released on SEGA Genesis) that I felt like some of the menace & atmosphere that drew me to the movies was infused into a game.

AvP 1999

AvP 1999

The three stories and unique styles of gameplay felt refreshing in a first-person genre that had grown crowded with lame cash-ins. Playing as the Alien was a very unique challenge — and it should be noted, it is in the upcoming AvP game as well. It’s one thing to cruise around at ground level with a pulse rifle (and no offense to those who enjoy this — it’s a fine pass-time!); it’s another thing entirely to learn to alter your perspective to climb around on walls and hang from ceilings. The fact that Rebellion had designed three entire campaigns around this with totally different mechanics was very cool indeed, and I recall being fully absorbed into the 1999 game.

Check out the below footage for confirmation that Rebellion knows what they’re doing here, and has known for some time. This is, again, the 1999 version of the game.

YouTube Preview Image

But wait, wait, wait! Let’s backtrack a second: Go back to 1994, and one of Rebellion’s first credited titles as a studio was — wait for it — Aliens vs. Predator. This original title was a flagship game for none other than the Jaguar system. For those of you too young to remember the Console Wars, there were more systems around than just the Genesis and SNES — Atari entered the fray with their 64-bit system, and while it didn’t last terribly long, it had some memorable moments, especially in delivering first-person shooter mechanics to the console. Behold, a screen from long ago 1994!

Jaguar Does What TurboGrafx16 Don't?

What’s amazing is that even in 1994 Rebellion had figured out what was awesome about these series coming together — having the three unique styles of play result in three totally different atmospheres. The Alien playthrough has what’s absolutely essential: crawling through vents and jumping marines. The Predator even got a cloaking device, and this was awesome in 1994 and it is awesome in the upcoming game — and while I will be predominately playing as Alien in the upcoming game, boy howdy, I do love to hunt things while stealthed. And, appropriately, playing the Jaguar game as a Marine lends the feeling of abject terror as you are trying simply to stay alive. Here’s some footage of Rebellion’s inaugural work in the series — love the spooky intro:

YouTube Preview Image

Starting as the alien, you even get a broken-English sort of message that is the xenomorph’s own thoughts, their fear at the Alien Queen being imprisoned. Actually indoctrinating you into the hivemind like this is a pretty gnarly move on Rebellion’s part, but if you’re going to play as the Alien, you have to do it right. This early incarnation of Aliens vs. Predator has the same moody atmosphere and combat that would be refined later on. And there are still more Aliens versus Predator games out there — the 1999 game had a sequel (developed by Monolith Studios rather than Rebellion) and expansion pack for that sequel, each with various multiplayer modes. I have it on good authority these communities are still active today and devoted to the game: Giving people Aliens, Predators, and Marines to kill each other with strikes me as very noble work.

I find the development and history of the AvP franchise kind of fascinating — from side-scrolling brawler to first person shooter to next-gen shooter combined with lots of multiplayer modes, the primal forces driving the franchise have taken on all kinds of game-types, morphing to fit the popular game-style of the day. This is to say nothing of the aforementioned 1982, um, maze-based Alien game, and the absolutely fascinating 1984 Commodore-64 Alien strategy-RPG game (!). This all reminds me of how the Alien movies themselves worked — taking a primal, powerful idea and molding it to each director’s vision.

Aliens and Aliens Versus Predator: Dark Horse Comics

avp091_dark horse 01

Maybe the darkest, most gruesome, and most bleak place the franchise has gone to is in the comic books published by Dark Horse in the 1990s. Dark Horse was willing to publish the kind of grim & gritty works that other publishers weren’t, and they proved to be the perfect home for Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator comic books. The central conceit here was compelling to every fan of both franchises, and since I counted myself as a fan of both, I was hooked from the get-go.

Those of you who pick up the Hunter’s Edition will be treated to the original AvP comic done by Dark Horse, and it’s pretty fantastic. I remember reading this as a teenager and being blown away. This was Dark Horse at its rabble-rousing best, with fantastically detailed, gory, full-page images and thought-provoking writing & narratives. The inaugural issue brings up questions of “survival of the fittest” and how we humans tend to do the things we do, environmentally speaking, because we are at the top of the food chain — and that there’s no other species to really punish us for it. Of course, these words prove spectacularly wrong. The comics were also excellent for fleshing out the honor-based society of the Predators, and they serve as an excellent counterpoint to perpetual human naivete and wicked Alien cunning.

Weird confession: After getting my Genesis, I actually traded my original Master System to a friend (before eventually getting it back) for first editions of these comics.

I was also a massive fan of another early, six-part Aliens mini-series that Dark Horse did. You can find it available now as a single series, known simply as Aliens: Book One. I can’t recommend this series enough, and it changed the way I thought about comic books. It takes place after the Aliens movie and before the 3rd movie was made, and focuses on Aliens characters Newt and Hicks after they return to Earth. Illustrated in beautifully detailed black and white, it featured some absolutely stellar storytelling, showing what happened when Earth became infected with the alien parasites. Dark Horse nails something with this (and their other Aliens vs. Predator series) that I think is integral to everything to do with Aliens: the series is more than just shock horror/sci-fi; there is a desperate human loneliness and fear at the core of the Alien series, and the comic books investigate this with unnerving depth and skill.

The idea that humans — with all their awesome millitary hardware and resourcefulness — are the weakest of the three adversaries here, is continuously compelling. Predators, I think, represent the zenith of our hardware-lust and love of the steely gladiator archetype — they are the consummate powerful warrior. It’s the Aliens, though, that represent the Id — that dark, unexplored place in our subconscious, where creeping, pulsating biological horror overtakes the mechanical and the flesh and becomes the Other. The fact that a hideous parasite bursting through John Hurt’s chest in the original Alien film represents one of the most iconic moments in cinematic history says something about our fears and fascinations, I think; everything from then on in the series is a bit like mapping out, in detail, a recurring nightmare.

In short, go Team Alien!

 
   
   
 

Live in San Francisco? Free on Jan 28th? Come Play Aliens vs Predator with Sega and Rebellion!

avp logo

Yep, that’s right, we have a unique opportunity for those that live in or around the San Francisco Bay Area (or beyond, it’s up to you) – come play Aliens vs Predator this Thursday at a special community event. We’re showing off the remaining online modes for Aliens vs Predator and even have Tim Jones of Rebellion on hand to give you the full scoop on the game. The event will be a chance to play through all remaining multiplayer maps, modes, and grill Tim Jones about all the details you’ve been craving to hear more about.

Aliens vs. Predator - GamesCom Screens

The event will be on January 28th, from 12pm to 3pm (or so), so schedule accordingly if you can attend. We would love if we could get everyone into the event, but unfortunately we only have 8 spots available. We’re reaching out to our Sega community, across the blogs, forums, twitter, and Facebook – tell us if you can attend and we’ll lock you in to play some Aliens vs Predator!

If you are interested and can make the event, please post to the blogs and let us know you can make it! We’ll use the email address you post under to contact you about the event, so be sure this information is accurate! Good luck,we hope to see you this Thursday!

 
   
   
 

Aliens vs Predator- Community Q&A

The Q&A is here! Enjoy!

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Aliens Vs Predator E3 2009

Aliens vs Predator is just around the corner, just a little less than a month away and we know you are hungry for information on the game. To help satisfy the need for new AVP information, we’re setting up a digital Q&A with Tim Jones, project lead of Rebellion to answer Multiplayer questions from around our blogs, Facebook, and Twitter feed to bring you the information you’ve been dying to hear about!

How to Participate

We want to make this as easy as possible to get your questions in, so we’re taking submissions from a wide range of sources. We can’t guarantee that every question will be answered, but we’re going to get as many answered as possible. Questions will be answered on January 29th here across the blogs, so head on out, ask your questions and check back for the replies!

Sega Aliens vs Predator Forums
Head to the thread, post your comments

Sega Facebook Page
Post your questions to the thread about this blog

Sega Twitter
Send all questions to @Sega and use the #AVP hashtag when submitting your questions or just send us a DM!

The Sega Blogs
Post your question below!

We look forward to your questions, don’t forget to come back and see us on January 29th for the replies!

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Hey AvP fans, question writers, and Q&A awaiters. We unfortunately missed our window for posting our Q&A yesterday, but are working to get it sorted in the next few days. Tim Jones is really excited about the questions you all have been coming up with and we’ll have them out to you as soon as they are done. In the mean time, we have two impression threads from our recent community event that might satisfy the need for more Aliens vs Predator info.

http://forums.sega.com/showthread.php?t=311141 – Impressions from EMC
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1127284 – Impressions from Cheshire

We’re really sorry we couldn’t get it all sorted by Friday and hope you’ll stick around for the Q&A in the days to come.

 
   
   
 

Aliens vs Predator: Heritage Trailer

avp_heritage

Behold, the newest trailer for Aliens vs Predator entitled Heritage. One for the hardcore, enjoy!

 
   
   
 

First Aliens vs Predator Tournament Results and Wrap Up

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

We just got back from the unusually cold Orlando (seriously, 30 degrees and snow flurries?) and are back in SF to a warmer climate. Orlando was our destination for the Major League Gaming event and our chance to run a competition of our own for Aliens vs Predator. The event was a blast and we had a great time showing off a newer, sleeker version of Aliens vs Predator the MLG community as well as the AvP community.

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming TournamentAliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming TournamentAliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

Speaking of Aliens community, I have to give a nod to our friends at AliensLegacy.com for being awesome sending over some movie perfect Colonial Marines. This site hosts costumed Aliens, Predators and Marines and were on hand to help us spread the word at the MLG event. The Colonial Marine group looked absolutely pro with some movie authentic gear including an actual Smartgun, complete with chestplate attachment. Very big thanks to Angie, Chris and Sean for coming out and making Aliens vs Predator a great experience for everyone (especially us!).

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

Major League Gaming plays host to some of the best competitive players in all of gaming, so we thought it was an ideal spot to debut Aliens vs Predator in a competitive format. We opted to hold a tournament with a classic Deathmatch gametype. We had 8 rounds and 8 winners, all of whom returned for second round with one winner walking away with an Astro A40 headset. Rounds started with a five minute preview to give everyone a chance to learn controls, learn the maps, and form a strategy followed by a 15 minute final round with a single winner.

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming TournamentAliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

The classic deathmatch format was absolutely the way to go, while we did think it a bit weird to see aliens hunting aliens or marines gunning down marines, the format allowed anyone to jump in and get comfortable with their preferred species and playstyle. Being a shooter focused event, not surprisingly there were a lot of Marines showing up to prove their worth. Given the prize, I think a lot of players didn’t stray to far from their comfort zones and we had a lot of really strong Marines in the matches two of whom walked away with the Astros.

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming TournamentAliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

In an effort to mix things up we had our last tournament play with only Aliens and Predators, still within Deathmatch rules, but in a more vertical map that was not only bigger, but also allowed for stronger stalking and ambushing opportunities. This was the most interesting of all the tournaments we ran, with all players performing in a new space and environment. Pretty quickly we weeded out some very power players with both Aliens and Predators and had a final showdown that drew some pretty amazing kills and tense moments. Our final winner won as a Predator with some beautifully executed kills with the spear and disc.

A special congratulations to our winners! We hope you enjoy the Astro’s and look forward to facing you online when the game hits this February!

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

1st Tournament Winner: Carroll W. aka Taur1ne

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

2nd Tournament Winner: Jeff A. aka Killjoy

Aliens vs Predator - Orlando Major League Gaming Tournament

3rd Tournament Winner: Scott P. aka Bobo the Great

After all was said and done, we had to pack up and head out. I met a lot of great people at the event and had a lot of fun showing off Aliens vs Predator to the competitive world of gaming. Please enjoy the photos (especially of the Marines) and feel free to ask away if anyone has any questions on anything I missed!

 
   
   
 

Play Aliens vs Predator in Orlando this Weekend and Win Astro Gaming Headphones!

avp logo

We are out this week to sunny Orlando, FL to show of Aliens vs Predator at the upcoming Major League Gaming finals and want to get you in on the action if you can attend. AVP will be playable in full multiplayer form and we’ll be running a bit of a tournament to find the best Alien, Predator, or Marine and award them with some Astro 5.1 Gaming Headphones. Much like AvP, these headphones are serious business and a welcome addition to anyone’s multiplayer kit. We’ll have three pairs to giveaway during the event, so don’t hesitate to jump and show us how good you are! And of course, if competition isn’t your thing, we’ll have some free multi-play available to get some extended hands on with some different modes and play styles.

Aliens vs. Predator

The event is running this weekend from January 8th to the 10th and tickets can be picked up across the MLG website. The event is in Orlando Florida at the Gaylord Palms Resort, more info can be found across the MLG website! We’d love to see you at the event and give you a chance to get a leg up on the competition when the game launches this February.

 
   
   
 

Aliens vs Predator- US Hunter Edition Confirmed!

Hunter Edition confirmed for US consumers! There, I can finally say it; the Hunter Edition which was announced fairly recently from our European friends is now 100% confirmed in the US with an added bonus – a hardcover graphic novel from Dark Horse Comics featuring the original Aliens vs Predator comic!

Hunter Edition PS3
PlayStation 3 pictured, click in to see the images of the Xbox 360 version as well

Don’t worry, all the other goodies are still included, such as the four Multiplayer maps (before they release to the general public), a fully articulated and disturbingly creepy Facehugger model, Weyland Yutani sleeve badge, and a 3D lenticular postcard. To sweeten the deal, if you pre-order you can pick up some exclusive skins for all three species in multiplayer.

 
   
   
 

Actor Lance Henricksen to Appear in Aliens vs Predator

Hot AvP news just announced:

Actor Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Alien3 and AVP: Aliens vs. Predator) has signed up to appear in the upcoming Aliens vs. Predator game, developed by Rebellion in the UK.

Lance Henriksen will appear as Karl Bishop Weyland, a descendent of Charles Bishop Weyland, the founder of the infamous Weyland-Yutani corporation from the Aliens universe. He will lend his likeness and voice to the production.

Actor Lance Henriksen in Aliens vs Predator

“They’ve made me look very good,” said Lance Henriksen, “This is the first time I’ve been fully represented in a game, with my voice and how I look, and the Rebellion guys have done a great job. I might score from this game!”

Aliens vs. Predator is set for release in February 2010 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

 
   
   
 


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