How do you update one of the best PC shooters of all time, take it to the stupid console audience and keep everybody happy? That's what we got to ask Rebellion's assistant producer, Eric Miller, and senior producer David Brickley at a recent event in London.
Read our full Aliens vs. Predator hands-on preview to see what we thought of the game too.
How have you maintained the winning formula of the '99 AvP game while modernising it for today's audience?
Brickley: Well I guess the original was predominantly a multiplayer game with a single-player component built around the same material. For the tech that was available at the time it was very innovative, but frankly things have moved on since then.
There was the Jaguar version of course but the PC version was the bigger seller and the one that most people remember I think. Now we're bringing it to a console audience ten years on so there's a bigger demand for story, which is not a problem when you've got material like Aliens and Predator to play with.
I suppose that was issue number one, to make sure that as a single-player component it brought all the best bits of this IP into one, but let players chose who they want to play and experience things from different angles.
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Do you guys still play the original?
Brickley: Yes, it's always being played in the office along with the movies, books and comics and everything else.
One of more interesting game modes you've come up with for the new game is Predator Hunt. Can you run us through that?
Brickley: Basically you are the Predator against a team of marines. Someone will be chosen to play as the Predator and he has to keep killing to keep his honour up. Then you have a set time limit within which you have to find your weapons, find a good spot to kill from and then retreat without being killed yourself.
As a marine if you manage to kill the Predator, you become the Predator. You remember the bit in the movie when Dutch goes mental and basically starts firing everything into the undergrowth? You get these moments when the marines are just lurking through the trees looking for the Predator. It's like watching an ad-hoc version of the movie.
Miller: It's about staying alive as long as possible. You can only score points as the Predator... it's a pretty advanced game mode in a sense. You get the most out of it once you know what you're doing with the species.
How difficult has it been balancing those species?
Brickley: It's been the biggest challenge of all because you don't want any of them to be seen as the lesser. You can see the marine as the meat if you like, but he's got pretty powerful stuff at his disposal. But the great thing is that the guy who makes the kill in Predator Hunt becomes the Predator, and in Infestation your team mate is suddenly an alien. There's always this co-operative-horror switch going on.
Miller: It's also a tactical switch in a sense because you're on the same team as the marines in both game modes, but in some sense they're not your friends.
That guy who you're sticking with just killed the Predator - you didn't want that, you wanted to kill the Predator. So what do you do? Do you hit him in the back just as he's about to get killed by the Predator to help things along? Or do you try and work together and accept the consequences?