Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem PSP review

Like Spider-Man and many more, Predator seems to have been born to star in a game. who’d pass by the chance to play as an alien with dreadlocks who can turn partially invisible anyway? Certainly not me. With such a great character, how could you possibly go wrong? Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem answers this very question with a rather underwhelming and mediocre game.

A lot of people are cautious when it comes to film tie-ins and licensed titles in general, and with lacklustre games on the shelves such as this one it’s not difficult to see why.

Yes, not once do you get the opportunity to play as one of those freaky aliens, it’s all about turning partially invisible and murdering other alien creatures as the Predator (hence the Aliens Vs. Predator name of course). There’s one of you versus a load of those nasty “nightmare causing” aliens, but luckily their intelligence isn’t going to win them any trivia games or more importantly, any battles against Predator.

Requiem is a boringly bland game that never changes its colours. You run around the levels killing unchallenging aliens, turning partially invisible every now and then to avoid taking gunfire from the human soldiers, and completing simple tasks (removing evidence, pressing switches and destroying stuff). The structure is fine, but the game may have been brought out of the oven prematurely.

The combat is decent but rather unexciting. It’s possible to reverse alien attacks and some of these counters actually resemble wrestling moves. I’ve always wondered what Predator does in his spare time when he’s not on the job, but now I know that he spends this precious time in the wrestling ring. You also get to use various weapons in Predator’s arsenal, but you’ll only need your melee attacks such is the inconvenience of using the rest of your weaponry as well as the dimness of your opponents.

In a nice touch there’s three routes to take through the game, and in this way it’s almost like Predator has hopped into a Ferrari and raced his way into SEGA’s OutRun series. There’s underground, industrial and suburban routes, with each obviously presenting you with different stages to play through, all leading to the same final level. If you like it enough to keep on playing, the different routes certainly add to the longevity of the game (the same can’t be said of the online mode, which is as weakly populated as a shopping centre after a bomb scare).

In another decent idea there’s a honor points system, wherein killing aliens and tagging them before doing so will earn you points. These points unlock new weapons and upgrades, and avoiding the temptation to kill people and heal yourself will earn you more points at the end of each level.

There’s not much variation in colour, but graphically the game is mostly excellent. The animation of Predator is rather nice and his colourless surroundings are drab and uninviting. It’s just a shame about the camera which requires constant adjustment to see where you are going or to simply view what faces you up ahead.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem isn’t a terrible game, but it’s an average one at best and shows us how a game can depressingly fail with the Predator character. There’s certainly better action alternatives on Sony’s handheld, as Requiem feels unfinished and just not very exciting. Sure, the core mechanics and controls work well enough, but the game itself is disappointing.