Making an Aliens Vs Predator game is a mammoth task. Not only does it have to sit well with the fans that are precious about every morsel of detail in the original Aliens and Predator movies (the good ones), but it also has to live up the previous classic AVP game.
CVG recently sat down Dave Brickley, the senior producer of Rebellion's new-age Aliens Vs Predator, to discuss how they went about achieving these lofty goals, how they balanced a game with three vastly different characters, how it can survive against the might shooter of shooters, Modern Warfare 2, and what's in store for the future.
The game appears to be very heavily multiplayer-focused - are you confident in its chances going up against Halo and MW2? Will we start to see AVP at the top of the 'Most played Xbox Live games' charts?
Those are really awesome games, and it's not hard to see why they are so dominant. Which is why it's nice not to be going into such a competitive market as a "me too" shooter - FPS is just one of three strands in Aliens vs Predator, and it's that three species approach which means we have a unique opportunity to tear people away from what they may be enjoying.
Even as an FPS it's a very different proposition - we've carried the survival / horror ethos across from the single player into modes like Predator Hunt, where a lone warrior goes up against up to 17 Marines who know the last thing they may ever see is the foliage moving before they're deprived of their spinal column. Or Infestation, where survival is dependent on individual players working as a unit because if they don't and "just one of those bastards gets in here" then the tide can turn very, very quickly.
With Survivor, and AvP returning to the co-operative Skirmish mode of 1999 which proved so influential, we're particularly happy that the experience that comes of standing your ground against incoming waves of Xenos makes great use of the genuine United States Colonial Marine to put players in the place they've had nightmares about since 1986.
Both the Predator and Aliens films are particularly atmospheric - it's what defines them. The game seems to have nailed that. Was it a focus from the start?
Most definitely. It meant cracking every problem - visuals, controls, audio, combat, objectives, narrative - three times. Bit mental when you think about it. But it's very nice to see the reaction from people when they cycle a vision mode, fire a pulse rifle or stealth kill from a ceiling.
Let's be frank - the AVP movies suck, right? You've put together an excellent-looking AVP game - if giving the powers to do so, do you think you could do a better job making a film? You said the ones that are out focus too much on pleasing everyone...?
Yeah, I mean in spite of drawing on some great source material like the comics, the 1999 game as well as the original films, the AvP movies went for the biggest audience they could find with a lower age rating and that I think is what pissed people off the most. It's not something we ever even considered for the game, as you can probably tell by some of the kill moves. But it's impossible to pay homage to the material without being so graphic.
Look out for the rest of the interview with Dave Brickley on CVG tomorrow.