When I go to see an action movie, I want action.
Throw in a two-dimensional romantic subplot if the lead actress is pretty; hell, you can even include some wacky comedy sidekick for the idiots in the audience.
But as long as there’s 30 to 40 minutes of intense and satisfying explosions and shooting, I’m a happy man.
Reading the reviews that’s exactly what Predators the film is attempting to be, and from my own playing time that’s exactly what Predators the game is.Get to the chopper
Being based on an action film means there’s no exploring or faffing about here. Predators is firmly set in the sidescrolling shooting-platformer camp.
Along with the well-appreciated ‘2’, ‘4’, ‘6’, ‘8’ movement buttons and ‘5’ for shooting, Predators also comes with an autofire mode, activated by pressing the ‘*’ key, that takes care of the shooting while you get on with dodging hundreds of creatures.
These hectic encounters happen frequently over the game’s nine levels, with giant bees, spiky hog things, and the titular Predators all vying to win a trophy from an encounter with your human protagonist - the kind of trophy that resembles more a bloody spine than a shiny cup with a model of a happy soldier on top.The jungle just came alive
The Predators have picked a pretty lousy homeworld for finding their prey though, with miles of jungle and rickety wooden bridges aplenty.
This means that Predators very rarely changes locations – you’re almost always somewhere in a jungle. Yet despite the lack of variation, the graphics are detailed and interesting enough to hold your attention during the main platforming sections.
On two occasions the game moves to a 3D chase-a-thon in which dodging incoming vines and avoiding the Predator’s iconic laser targeting system becomes the order of play.
The obstacles are signposted just enough to ensure things remain fair, and they help add a bit more variety to the game.I ain’t got time to bleed
What doesn’t work though are some of the later boss battles against a spiky Predator, which fall into the undesired category of endurance fight.
With very few windows of opportunity for the player to fire back in-between dodging the, just about, signposted attacks, these fights can feel like they drag on for eternity. There aren't any mid-battle save points either, so getting killed by the 50 percent health attack can be utterly crushing.
There’s an easy explanation for it being like this though. Without them Predators would be a short game.
With only nine levels, each lasting a few minutes, the boss fights are the only things that stop the game being done and dusted in under 30 minutes. There’s no dangling carrots to tempt you back either – once it’s done, it’s done.
It’s still a good 30 minutes (plus boss battle time) of top-drawer 2D shooting and 3D running. Those entering the game expecting action will get action, and come away very satisfied.