Alien vs Predator (Jaguar game)
|Alien vs Predator|
|Series||Alien vs. Predator|
Alien vs Predator is a video game developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Atari Corporation for the Atari Jaguar console in 1994. It was one of only a handful for games for the Jaguar to garner significant critical acclaim (along with Tempest 2000 and ports by Id Software of their games Doom and Wolfenstein 3D). An early member of the Alien vs. Predator franchise, it allows the player to play as one of three characters: an Alien, a Predator, or a human, Private Lance Lewis of the Colonial Marines.
When playing as the Alien, the player's objective is to rescue the Alien queen, who is being held captive on a Predator spaceship. The player must fight numerous marines and Predators through various sublevels of the ship in order to reach the Queen. The Alien is unable to heal itself from injuries and instead "cocoons" marines; if the Alien dies a cocooned marine will become a new Alien, allowing the player to continue from that location. The Alien is unable to use elevators and instead travels between levels of the ship through air ducts.
As the Predator, the player's objective is to reach and kill the Alien queen in order to claim her skull. The Predator can use elevators to travel between levels, carry medical kits and use them to recover health, and use a cloaking device to become invisible. Weapons and scoring are based on how the Predator kills enemies. Killing an enemy while invisible results in a loss of honor points, which can in turn result in losing equipped weapons. Killing an enemy while visible, conversely, results in an increase in honor points which in turn allows access to more weapons.
When playing as Private Lewis, the player's goal is to escape a military base which has been invaded by Aliens and Predators. At the start of the game, Lewis is in the base's brig and has no weapons, motion tracker, or security clearance. The player must find weapons and security cards in order to fend off enemies and access new levels of the base, activate the base's self-destruct mechanism, and escape in the escape pod. Lewis can use medical kits to recover health, but cannot carry them and must use them immediately. Available weapons include a shotgun, pulse rifle, flame thrower, and smart gun. As Lewis, the player can use both air ducts and elevators to access new levels of the base.
The game system and gameplay were programmed by Mike Beaton (3D graphics engine, gameplay engine) and Andrew Whittaker (alien AI). All in-game artwork was by Rebellion (additional intro and outro artwork by Atari). Level design, sound effect design and sound programming were completed largely by Atari staff drafted onto the project in its later stages, as it became clear that the the scope of the game was leading to significant release delays. Whittaker recounted how the game's artwork and graphics were produced:
The creatures were models. We purchased high-quality kits of the Alien and the Predator, airbrushed them, and used stop-frame photography and digitization to achieve the desired animation. The Marine was the most fun - we actually got one of the Alien's movie costumes and photographed one of the gang wearing it. The wall panels were digitized from models. Toby [Banfield], Stuart [Wilson], and Justin [Rae, Rebellion's three artists] made a huge selection of panels and airbrushed them appropriately. Then we chose the best for the game.
Alien vs Predator was one of Atari's most high-profile Jaguar games, and was eagerly awaited after several delays. Most reviews of the game were favorable, with reviewers commenting on the atmospheric and frightening sounds and visuals, diversity of gameplay between the different character types, and the greater reliance on strategy over the standard first-person shooter.
In 2006, GameTrailers named the game one of the "Top Ten Scariest Games". It was one of only two games released prior to 1996 to make the list (the other being Dark Seed). The reviewer noted that the early hardware of the Atari Jaguar did not allow the player to notice an enemy sneaking up on them, and with little other noise and desolate backdrops in which the game took place, the overall atmosphere was amplified to a level that modern survival horror games do not always reach.
- Alien vs Predator at MobyGames
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