Predator: The Duel
| Predator: The Duel

There have been some truly magnificent one-on-one scraps in recent years. The Bride vs. Elle Driver in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 was eye-gougingly gruesome. Yoda vs. Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones had me grinning inanely and punching the air for the little green guy. But neither of these can match the sheer comedic brutality of May 16, 2001, when former deputy prime minister John Prescott punched an egg-thrower in the chops. Brilliant.

Predator: The Duel is the latest movie tie-in from IG Fun, but is it a battle of epic proportions or a tame toddler tussle? Well, let's just say it uses a rattle as its primary weapon and wears a bib instead of a bullet-proof vest.

Set in the maximum security prison camp of Terminal City, you take control of either Predator or Major Duke, each one trying to vanquish the other. The levels alternate between playing as man or monster, with each character having different abilities and firearms at their disposal.

For the most part, the controls remain the same regardless of which brute you take charge of, with the D-pad taking care of movement (including jumping/climbing) and the '5' key being used to fire any weapons in your possession. Pressing '0' scrolls through your arsenal.

Ah yes, the arsenal. As Predator you have access to a plasma caster which can lock onto nearby hostiles, and a shuriken which can be used to kill multiple foes from a distance. Instead of picking up conventional ammo, you extract skulls from fallen enemies. Now that's what I call resourceful.

As Duke you have to salvage weapons from dead soldiers, so you'll have to make good use of your fists during the early stages of the game. You also have a small robot friend called Robbie who you can take control of to unlock certain doors, which in turn triggers a separate mini-game.

Your path to victory is of course littered with dangers: gun wielding marines, spike pits and life-threatening laser beams to name but a few. The challenge is certainly rife, but all the better for it.

Most importantly it's a lot of fun to play, with a healthy mix of shooting and platform elements. There's nothing brilliant to mention from a visual standpoint, however, as the prison setting is dark and lacks colour.

There are some nifty sound effects, though. Enemies scream in agony when your blade hits the skin, and ripping the skull out of a downed assailant sounds suitably cracking.

The main drawback with Predator: The Duel is that it's too damn short. There are only five levels to complete and doing so takes just under an hour, which is pretty slack if you ask us.

Furthermore, no sooner does a new obstacle appear than it never shows up in the game again. It's as if the developers had all these great ideas, put them in one location and then thought, 'Sod it, who wants a cuppa?'

Predator: The Duel has lots of courage but surrenders far too easily. In fact it's a bit like turning up to war with lots of guns but forgetting the bullets.

Predator: The Duel

We like what there is of Predator: The Duel, there's just not enough of it to warrant a warrior's score
Dan Spooner
Dan Spooner
Dan Spooner tells really bad jokes. Really bad. For his first game review the opening line read, "The only backgammon I'm familiar with is cooked and served with eggs!" We made him change it.