Alien vs Predator (Jaguar game)

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Alien vs Predator
Alien vs Predator (Jaguar game).jpg
Cover art of the game by Andrew H. Denton [1]
Developer(s) Rebellion Developments
Publisher(s) Atari Corporation
Moomin (Japan)
Producer(s) James "Purple" Hampton
Designer(s) Dan McNamee
Andrew Keim
Hans Jacobsen
Hank Kappa
Lance J. Lewis
Sean Patten
Programmer(s) Andrew Whittaker
Mike Pooler
Mike Beaton
Artist(s) Andrew H. Denton
Jeffrey Gatrall
Stuart Wilson
Toby Harrison-Banfield
Composer(s) Alex Quarmby
James Grunke
M. Stevens
Nathan Brenholdt
Paul Foster
Tom Gillen
Will Davis
Series Alien vs. Predator
Platform(s) Atari Jaguar
Release
  • NA: October 20, 1994
  • EU: October, 1994
  • JP: December 8, 1994 [2]
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player

Alien vs Predator (エイリアンVSプレデター Eirian tai Puredetā) is a first-person shooter video game developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Atari Corporation for the Atari Jaguar in 1994. Being one of the earliest entries based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, the game allows the player to take control of one of three playable characters available: the Alien, the Predator, or the human Private Lance Lewis (named after one of the designers and testers of the game) of the Colonial Marines. It received critical acclaim for it's graphics, atmosphere and the single-player campaign. It is often considered one of the best games released for the system and the killer app of the Jaguar, selling more than 50.000 copies, making it one of the best selling games on the system.[3] In Japan, the game was bundled with the system.

Atari Corporation started discussions with Beyond Games about developing a sequel to the game, titled Alien vs Predator 2: Annihilation due to Rebellion being occupied by other projects they were developing for the system such as Checkered Flag, Skyhammer and the unreleased Legions of the Undead (which used a improved version the game's engine) but the negotiations stopped shortly before the official discontinuation of the Jaguar.[4]

Overview[edit]

Alien vs Predator is a first-person shooter which takes place on a rudimentary 3D environment (similar to Wolfenstein 3D) with two-dimensional digitalized sprites. Each player character has its own scenario, objectives, weapons, and abilities.

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 the only character unable to heal itself from injuries, instead it can "cocoons" marines; if the Alien dies, a cocooned marine will become a new Alien (cocooned Marines act as lives in this scenario), 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.

When playing 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 but he cannot travel through the air ducts. He can carry medical kits and use them for later to recover health, and use a cloaking device to become invisible from the Aliens and the Marines. 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 result in an increase in honor points, which in turn allows access to more weapons. Avaiable weapons on this scenario includes a combi stick, shoulder cannon, flying disk and a wrist blade. Stepping on the Alien's acid blood after being killed results in the lose of health. The Predator, along with the Marine are the only two characters that can get attacked by the Facehugger.

When playing as the Marine Private Lance J. 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 awakes in the base's brig after a cryosentence for strike offence at a officer and has no weapons, motion tracker, or security clearance. The player must find new 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 and food scattered on the base to recover health, but unlike the Predator, he cannot carry them and must use them immediately. He can also use computer terminals in the medical laboratories to recover health but depending on the security card level the player may have, he can recover little or full health. Available weapons in this scenario 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. Like the Predator, Lewis is the only other character who can get attacked by the Facehugger and lose health by stepping on the acid blood.

Story[edit]

Taken from the game's introduction in the manual:

Alien vs Predator is a tactical simulator decipting the events following the fall of the Camp Golgotha Colonial Marine Training Base to a group of xenomorphs [aliens] not yet fully classified. Limited data from the incident allow for reasonably extrapolated simulations from the viewpoint of the two alien groups believed to have participated in the incident. The data contained herein is considered top secret as of this release, and any duplication, distribution or display is punishable by court-martial with a maximum penalty not to exceed seven years imprisonment in the Yuggoth penal colony, SYS Aldeberan IV. [USCMC, 53622a]

The game takes place in the Golgotha Training Base of the Colonial Marines on the Vortigern Sector Perimeter. When a unknown vessel approaches to the base, a Chatterjee Class tug is sent to retrieve it for further examination. As soon as the vessel is aboard on the base, it is quickly overrun by the aliens, leading to the ejection of many escape pods from the base. After the occupation of the training base by the aliens, a predator ship looms over the horizon from their home planet preparing for aboarding the station, starting the events of the game.

Development[edit]

The game was jointly programmed by Andrew Whittaker and Mike Beaton, both were brought from UK to the USA to work with the level design and testing team at Atari.[5] According to Whittaker:

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.[5]

The graphics were compressed using JagPEG, an Atari adaptation of the JPEG format.[5]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review score
Publication Score
AllGame 4.5/5 stars [6]

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,[7][8] diversity of gameplay between the different character types,[7][8] and the greater reliance on strategy over the standard first-person shooter.[7]

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.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.dal.net/ahd/art/alien/alien.html
  2. ^ http://tk-nz.game.coocan.jp/gamedatabase/software/DB_ATC_JG1994-1995.html
  3. ^ http://betaphasegames.com/Feature_Jaguar_Lifetime_Sales.html
  4. ^ "Crumbling Atari Still Defiant". Next Generation. No. 16. Imagine Media. April 1996. pp. 16–17. 
  5. ^ a b c "Making the Jaguar Roar". GamePro (59). IDG. June 1994. pp. 20–21. 
  6. ^ All Media Network. "AllGame – Game Over". allgame.com. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Die Hard GameFan "Alien Vs Predator" Review". Jameshampton.net. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  8. ^ a b "ProReview: Alien vs. Predator". GamePro (65). IDG. December 1994. pp. 180–181. 
  9. ^ GameTrailers Top Ten Scariest Games. Retrieved 2-21-2010.

External links[edit]