Rebellion's Miami Vice was excellent. It was one of PSP's best games of last year. So what exactly went wrong with this new shooter?
Where Miami Vice was a simple cover-fire game that worked a treat with the PSP's nubbin, Alien Vs Predator is over complex and awkward to play - especially on the train. Combat is easy enough, just hammer the r button and tap q if an Alien pounces on your Predator, but navigating is a pain. The shoulder buttons spin the camera and gameplay soon becomes a chore of run for a bit. Stop. Open map. Close. Run for a bit. Stop. Open map. Close. Tedious.
Sure, AVP is a more open-ended game. Levels are larger and span open areas that need to be explored. Your goal being to find all the parts of your crashed Predator spaceship before the humans find everything and unlock the secrets of the alien technology. Using the cloak suit it's easy to waltz past the human guards and Aliens, or you can hack at them to earn honour points. Every level pretty much follows this formula.
Feel the frustration
The problem is AVP tries too hard. Where Miami Vice had a simple control set-up designed around the PSP's single, restrictive nubbin, AVP attempts to wedge full PS2 gaming onto the handheld and we all know where that often leads... a clunky, frustrating game.
There is a bright side; AVP manages to include a decent multiplayer mode. It's nowhere near as fun as Star Wars Battlefront or Medal of Honor: Heroes, but it's in here, and you do get to run amok as a Predator, which admittedly is the only reason to pick up a copy of AVP. To paraphrase Arnie: 'What happened to you Rebellion? You used to be someone I could trust'.
A shallow and clumsy game that fails to make the most of the PSP and the AVP licence. Go for Star Wars Battlefront or Medal of Honor: Heroes instead.