Alongside little grey men with bulbous eyes and ET, there are few more iconic extra-terrestrials than those that inspired AVP: Evolution. These are creatures of nightmare, perfectly evolved to destroy anything squishy and human-shaped that gets in their way.
It's been a very long time since either species on show here, be it alien or predator, has had justice done to it in a video game. Unfortunately, AVP: Evolution does little to buck that trend, presenting two of the most fearsome killing machines in the universe as little more than muddled, half-blind saps.Regressed
The gameplay alternates between an angry predator out for revenge and an angry alien, who is also out for revenge. Their paths to right the wrongs done to them are very similar - stumble around a grey and brown 3D environment mashing buttons and killing things.
There's very little to differentiate between the two creatures to begin with. Both have a simple two button fighting style, both can perform quick time event executions when a skull appears above an opponent's head, and both get in a lot of trouble if they ever wander into a corner.
That's because the game's camera is awful. You can move it yourself by swiping a finger across the screen, but often it'll just jump back to whatever silly position it thinks is right for you. When there are two robots trying to kill you, and all you can see is the inside of a wireframe predator model and a wall, you know you're in trouble.
You can only run on some walls when you're an alien, you don't have access to all of the predator's cool gadgets and cloaking devices to begin with. The game essentially hobbles you from the outset, and then keeps on bringing that hobbling mallet down.
At no point do you feel like the ultimate space-faring bad-ass. The aliens aren't lithe, coiled springs of inhuman movement and energy - they're plodding blokes in badly fitting suits who like biting the heads off scientists.They're stuck in all of the walls
The game mainly takes place in a human-inhabited research base. You trudge through boring corridors, fighting knife-wielding androids and heavy weapon-toting marines, performing poorly animated executions to top up your health.
Sometimes you'll have to push a switch to activate an elevator or a door. Then more men will come and you'll have to hit them for a bit. After a while you'll level-up and be able to purchase new moves and equipment if you've got enough in-game cash. Which you probably won't have.
There are painful difficulty spikes here and there to make sure your frustration level keeps up with your boredom, and there are some underwhelming set-pieces involving facehuggers and drop ships.
Some nice and interesting ideas do occasionally creep into proceedings, but they're so mangled by the rubbish camera and monotonous pacing that they never get a chance to shine.Devolved
There are also items and powers to unlock later in the game that add a little of the flavour of the films, but by then the damage has been done.
You'll be sick of the floppy, ineffectual controls, bored by the endless parade of identikit marines to kill, and fuming about the fact that there's rarely any actual alien versus predator action going on.
As a third-person brawler featuring unrecognisable characters, AVP: Evolution would be underwhelming. As a licensed product featuring two of the finest killers the human imagination has ever produced, it's insulting.