I have a bit of a problem when it comes to collecting things, and games are a prime example. Over the years I have accumulated almost 600 games on Steam, which is alot. Of course, this does not include console games, direct to Windows or on Origin.
I made it my mission to finally, finally, play through them all, which of course I kept making so much harder but continuously buying more shit. Please bear in mind, these aren’t really reviews, more of my thoughts on the games as I play them, so there will be some opinions you won’t agree with.
Here are my thoughts on these games, which I select completely at random. These will be in order of when I played each game. Please to enjoy!
20. Titan Quest (2006)
Dev: Iron Lore Entertainment Pub: THQ
An isometric role-playing game filled with mythological monsters to kill, Titan Quest was first released in 2006, and then re-released as Anniversary Edition, which was the version I played, shortly after THQ closed down, rest in peace.
You create your character, then you get to chose from a selection of abilities, which you can upgrade via each level-up. So far, so standard.
The main difference between this and other RPG’s is it’s ancient world setting, you’re not fighting D&D style monsters in places with ridiculous names, you’re fighting Hydra’s and Centaurs in Ancient Greece & some other locations.
The gameplay consists almost entirely of just clicking, so gets a little repetitive. There’s fun in the progression, although the loot system is completely antiquated, requiring you to hold down Shift (Or ctrl, I forget) to see the loot before you can click on it. Of course a nit-pick, but just slightly annoying.
It’s a fun RPG for those who are tired of Fantasy, and it’s a long-ass game, the first area alone can take you up to 12 hours-ish, and there are three different zones, but for all that time, it will still get pretty repetivie.
19. SkullGirls (2012)
Dev: Reverge Pub: Marvelous/Autumn Games/Arc Systems
A 2D fighting game featuring a mixture of the most striking art-work and some of the most ridiculous characters, Skullgirls was first released onto the PSN & XBLA before rolling onto Steam.
It’s a fun enough romp, as with all fighting games on PC, best played with a controller, rather than fiddly keyboard & mouse.
As with most 2D fighters, it takes a little getting used to. There’s a fairly helpful-ish tutorial to get you started, then you choose either the ninja-nurse, the one with a hat that has arms or a disembodied cat, or any of the other nuts roster and start wailing.
If you love fighting games, you will love it. If you’re not a fan beforehand, you might struggle to get into it. The soundtrack is bangin’ though.
18. Strider (2014)
Dev: Double Helix Pub: Capcom
A reinvention of the Strider character, who most people may only know from his appearances in Marvel vs Capcom.
A beautiful 2D hack’N’slash by Capcom and a reboot of the original story, Strider focus’s on swift platforming and timed sword attacks to destroy your robot adversaries.
The story is pretty bare-bones, like many Capcom games, you given a task to kill the Grandmaster in his city/fortress, and you’re a Strider, and that’s more or less it. There’s a little bit of extra story to uncover from other dead Striders and there’s a whole host of interesting antagonists though.
It’s hard as nails, but entertaining enough. It’s fluid and solid, with a progression system based on new abilities often gained from defeating bosses.
If you like your 2D slashers challenging with a beautiful art style that seamlessly melds 2D backdrops and 3D models, you’ll love this.
17.Game of Thrones (2012)
Dev: Cyanide Pub: Atlus/Focus Home Interactive
No, not the good one.
Yes I am one of those guys, I’ve been watching since the series aired and I’ve read the series twice over, so I’m somewhat of a fan of GOT, yes.
It’s a phenomenon now, at the time of writing this anyway. I only know a few people who don’t watch it, and that’s only because everyone else does (Good work you guys).
But before it became as big as it was, things were a little shaky. Sure, it was popular, but nowhere close to where it is now, and because of that much of it’s promotional material and merchandise appeared to suffer. Hell, this isn’t even the worst GOT game out there.
This is an RPG, and like the much superior TellTale version, has a heavy reliance on choices in situations which will affect how the story plays out. That and the customisation for your two playable characters is excellent, and you will switching between them both simultaneously in overlapping chapters.
An intriguing approach, but the gameplay is stale and boring, the characters are horrifically miscast with their voices and look like an early ps2 game, and the animations are ridiculously funny. Even Lord Varys and Commander Mormont lend their voices to this for some reason, but even they sound bored as hell.
If you’re desperate for some more GOT content and can stomach the bad gameplay and visuals for the admittedly very good story and open approach to it, give it a try, it’s still gonna be a while until the final season.
16. Tengami (2014)
Dev: Nyamyam Games
Tengami is, brace yourselves, a mobile port on steam (gasp!)
That may explain everything you need to know about it. It’s a casual puzzle game with a beautiful aesthetic, that of a Japanese pop-up book, but there’s no real substance.
There are no collectables, or story or narration or anything. And the puzzles are not exactly taxing. I completed this game in an hour.
The only real reason to play this is to soak in the beautiful art style and the relaxing music. If you picked up this game in a bundle and you’re looking to kill some time or relax I would say give it a shot, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want to pay money for this individually.
15. F3AR (2011)
Dev: Day 1 Studios Pub: Warner Bros
The third entry in the F.E.A.R series, F3AR takes place a little while after the events or the second game. A franchise that has always interested me, but one I’ve never played before.
F3 is a stylized FPS with horror elements, and you take control of either Point Man, the protagonist from the first game, or Fettel, the antagonist from the first game. The game empathises on it’s co-op campaign, with one person controlling either brother, who each have different abilities. Fettel was killed in the first FEAR (spoilers) so is now kind of sort of a ghost, so he mostly just possesses enemies, and PM uses a slo-mo effect similar to Bullet-time.
The combat is punchy and fun, the guns responsive and varied, and the AI is tactical and tough, always trying to find a way to flank you or outmanoeuvre you, leading to some interesting challenges.
The story acts as a resolution to the trilogy, and is interesting enough with some fun set-pieces. Despite it’s setting and AI, there isn’t much else to set this apart from other FPS games of this generation. Oh and the multiplayer is as dead as you would expect. If you’re interested in horror FPS titles, it’s well worth a try, but don’t expect it to blow you away nowadays.
14. Guacamelee (2013)
Dev: DrinkBox Studios Pub: DrinkBox Studios
Boy oh boy was I excited for this game. I love the art style, I love Luchadors (anyone else remember that cartoon network show? Mucha Lucha? Someone please convince me that wasn’t a fever dream I had as a kid)
Yet another Metroidvania on this list, Guacamelee mixes platforming with brawling, with explorable elements and upgrades to your abilities. Add in a full co-op mode and a cast of some ridiculous characters and some great music, and there is your Guacamelee.
The game also mixes an alt-dimensional switch, where you activate a bumper on the controller which will take you from the land of the living to the land of the dead, which will remove or add obstacles and platforms, so switching between both is the only way to progress.
This is a feature that appears to be becoming increasingly popular in games, even AAA titles such as TitanFall 2 use this, however I hate it. Maybe I just lack the hand/eye co-ordination (actually it’s definitely that) to achieve it, but I just found it frustrating. A real shame, because I loved the combat and the world, but it just wasn’t for me.
13. Dust: An Elysian Tale (2013)
Dev: Humble Hearts Pub: Microsoft
In Dust: An Elysian Tale, you take control of, uh, Dust, an amnesiac cat/dog/elf person in a beautifully drawn fantasy world.
It is a third person action/platformer, with punchy combat and pleasant visuals, and an interesting story that covers things from racial ostracising to genocide.
You will start off with the mysterious blade of Ahrah, who will act as your guide, and an anthropomorphic fox/bat and all around a Furrie’s wet dream, Fidget, who will assist you in combat.
The combat utilises a progression system, when you level up, you can add this attribute to your health or strength, and etc. New abilities are given to Fidget after fighting one of the cool bosses, and can be combined with your own abilities for some cool effects.
For the most part, the levels are fun to explore and are Metroidvania like in comparison, with side quests and secrets to unlock.
However, some of the platforming, combined with the frustrating enemy placement can really get annoying, and my biggest complaint is when utilising combo’s, as incentivised by the XP bonus you receive, is that when mixing a huge amount of effects, you can barely ever see what’s on screen, there’s just flashes of effects and numbers, and then an enemy will spawn and attack you, breaking your combo, and there’s no way to avoid it.
A beautifully crafted game with a whimsical score that helps build the atmosphere, but with some undeniably frustrating moments that prevent this from achieving greatness in my opinion.
12. Tomb Raider (2013)
Dev: Crystal Dynamics Pub: Square Enix
My experience with the old Tomb Raider games is minimal. I played some demo’s on PS1 and watched friends play their own copies, so consider this my first foray into the series.
Designed as a complete reboot/origin story of Lara Croft, it takes place with you controlling a much younger Lara on the hostile, mythical island of Yamatai.
TR is a cinematic third person adventure game, utilising weapon upgrades, ability progression and QTE’s in a large open map.
I’ve said before that most open mapped games play the same nowadays, and this reboot helped pioneer some of those tropes, but it doesn’t do it without reason.
The item upgrades and ability progression are necessary, you’re playing as a young woman learn to survive on an island full of inhabitants that desperately want to kill her. It makes you feel like you are progressing, and Lara is developing into a survivor. Of course, it doesn’t completely justify how an archaeological student has gunned down well over a hundred cultists in the course of a few days, but for video games, that’s pretty good.
The game still looks beautiful, the deserted island and dilapidated ruins are a pleasure to explore, and doing so rewards you with upgrades and a history of the island, which is plenty of incentive.
The combat is mostly cover based, with brutal melee finishers and utilising the environment to survive, such as activating traps or utilising fire to give yourself an edge.
Platforming is unusually fun and as a testament to the visuals, even activated my debilitating fear of heights a few times. My major complaints/nit picks are the irritating side characters, although some effort is taking into making them appear as three-dimensional people, often this falls back. My most hated aspect of this game is how it forces you to use the left analogue stick for QTE’s, which I find is archaic and unresponsive, and when you have to repeat a cutscene because you weren’t apparently mashing it hard enough, it’s a real cause to get frustrated.
11. The Secret World (2012)
Dev: Funcom Pub: EA
I’m not really one for MMO’s. The only one i’ve ever gotten lost in for hundreds of hours was Runescape, if that tells you anything about me, but not for lack of trying.
The Secret World is an MMORPG with a contemporary setting that mixes political conspiracies with the Lovecraftian mythos, which is right up my street.
You choose between three factions; Illuminati, Templars or the Dragon, and after a brief intro, you customise your character’s looks, skills and weapons.
Apart from the unique setting for an MMORPG, the main draw I had heard, for TSW is it’s unique take on quests. While World of Warcraft and similar will give you the standard “kill 20 of-” menial tasks, The Secret World puts it’s HP Lovecraft inspired story front and centre.
Additional to your starting weapons and skills, you are given a PDA device that connects in real time to Google. This is handy, not for looking up quest walkthroughs, although there’s really no-one stopping you, but because understanding some real world knowledge is essential to progressing. One such example is in a quest early on in the game, where you need to find a password, and the only clue is the person love’s a certain real-world composer, and once you find out which, you have your password.
The lateral thinking required and the unique setting are what set The Secret World apart from it’s competition. The gameplay, however, is pretty standard for MMORPG’s however, and doesn’t do much to grab you or reinvent the wheel. If you love Cthulu and MMORPG’s, this is for you.
10. Transistor (2014)
Dev: Supergiant Games Pub: Supergiant Games
Boy oh boy, do I love Supergiant Games. I played Bastion a few years after it’s release, and while originally having reservations, I was blown away by it. Transistor, lives up to the same quality.
You play as Red, a singer who wakes up after an assassination attempt leave she unable to speak (You can see how this would be a problem), but she is guided by the talking sword, the Transistor.
Transistor is an isometric strategy game, that blends real-time and turn based strategy seamlessly. To fight enemies, you access a planning mode called Turn, which pauses the action and lets you plot out a course of action, which will then happen instantaneously after you release it. As you progress you will learn new moves, and be able to combine some with your favourites, offering a deep and dynamic possibility for strategy.
When your life bar drains in combat, you will lose one of your abilities until you can ‘fix’ it, causing you to change your strategies in a blink of an eye, further deepening the strategy.
The art style is beyond gorgeous, taking place in a world called Cloud Bank that is slowly overtaken by enemies known as the Process. It’s fascinating to watch the Art-Deco city slowly fade into blank data as the game goes along. There is plenty to discover in Cloud Bank, and doing so will grant you more knowledge about the world you inhabit.
As with Bastion, the story hits unexpected notes, and the voice acting is great, particularly that of your only companion-The Transistor itself.
The gameplay is fun and challenging and rewards experimentation. Particular shout out to the final battle, which tests everything you learnt throughout the game in a fun and unexpected way, but it was probably one of the easier parts of the game I found, when you compare it to the hype it had built up for itself, but by then you’re such a powerhouse I barely lost any life during it.
If you love turn based strategy, this is for you. Don’t let a slightly disappointing final boss distract you, because this game is about the journey towards it.
9. The Darkness II (2012)
Dev: Digital Extremes Pub: 2K Games
To preface this, I never played the first Darkness, but I was aware of it, and I knew of the comics it was based on.
The Darkness II is a first person shooter, where you play as Jackie, the new mob boss with the host of a demon (The demon is voiced by Faith No More front-man, Mike Patton, no less) called The Darkness (Obviously), who is haunted by the events of the last game, particularly the death of his one true love, Jenny.
The first thing you’ll notice is it’s beautiful cell shaded art style, of course looking like something straight from the pages of its comic roots. The locales are all interesting enough, though none appear to stand out in my mind so much as the one level where you infiltrate a brothel. Hmm..I wonder why that is? If you play the game, i’m sure you’ll find out..
The gameplay balances using and upgrading your darkness powers, which include grabbing objects and people and brutally tearing them apart, and combing that with gun-play to demolish your way through the never ending waves of baddies hired by this secret organisation.
The story is compelling enough with some fun set pieces, and I enjoyed each of the characters, despite not knowing any of them from the first game.
Definitely an enjoyable romp, especially if you like power-fantasies. There’s also a co-op mode where you can play as one of four stereotypes each with a different aspect of Jackie’s Powers, with the idea of combining their abilities. This feature was designed for four people, but you can play it alone if you have no friends like me.
8. The Cat Lady (2012)
Dev: Harvester Games Pub: Screen 7
The Cat Lady is a horror based point and click adventure with branching choices and a meaningful look into depression and the human condition.
Fuck is it bleak though.
You play as Londoner Susan Ashworth, the titular Cat Lady, shortly after she kills herself. That’s it. Game over. You win.
No not really, it’s not quite that simple. She awakens in a strange dimension, greeted by The Queen of Maggots, who grants Susan the gift of immortality, so long as she helps take care of five ‘parasites’, who deserve death.
The gameplay is standard point and click stuff, with emphasis on choices made and how they affect the story, not just through dialogue choices, but in the success of certain tasks and their order.
The art style is dark and bleak, with the 2D characters looking basic and occasionally, pretty freaky. It’s drab and eerie.
The ‘parasites’ you encounter are all disgusting and disturbing, with one even being played by David Firth, the creator of Fat-Pie.com, and of course, Salad Fingers. He creeped me out before, but now hearing his voice again makes me feel a little bit ill.
The story is mostly dark and depressing, but there are ideals of hope and occasionally humour in there. The atmosphere is dark and serious, and the horror, even though as stated, you are playing as someone with new found immortality, is very real.
The choices have real consequence though, sometimes they affect how much you learn about a character, or sometimes they just make you connect to Susan more. Definitely not for everyone, but if you love psychological horror, like Silent Hill, and come stomach some seriously disturbing scenes, you’ll probably love this.
7. Braid (2008)
Dev: Number None Pub: Microsoft
Hailed as one of the first great indie games, along with titles such as Limbo and Cave Stroy, Braid was a pioneer that helped introduce the masses to indie games, and the game’s designer, Jonathan Blow, who designed the game pretty much by himself (For more info on that, please watch Indie Game: The Movie, I can’t recommend that movie enough).
Braid is a platformer with puzzle elements, where you play as Tim, a young man in a suit trying to re-piece together his memory, and has control of time.
Distorting time is the principal mechanic at play here. You begin with being able to reverse time at will, however to differentiate it self to other games that do this same thing, there is no limit to how much you can use it.
You start off in the hub-world, and can chose which world to jump to, each world has it’s own number of stages you need to complete to progress. Braid’s strength here, is that each world introduces a new mechanic which changes the way you play. For example, there is one world where some objects sparkle, and these are not affected by the time distortion, and carry on as usual. This changes the way you play each stage, and to get each of the memory pieces that hidden away in each stage you will spend a lot of time laterally thinking and alot of trial and error.
These puzzle pieces will unlock the truth about the main character, and it’s a bit of a doozy.
The art style is beautiful, the animation is fantastic, and the score is wonderfully crafted.
My personal rating for this game is based purely on the fact that I don’t really enjoy platformers as whole, and I found it a little bit frustrating (probably because i’m an impatient idiot) but if you do, you will absolutely love this.
6. BioShock (Remastered Edition) (2016)
Dev: 2K Games Pub: 2K Games
Well, this might divide some of you.
BioShock is hailed as something like the Citizen Kane of games. When it was first released in 2007, it blew everyone’s mind. However, I never got to play it.
I was late to the Next-Gen party, and the first in the series I played was BioShock 2, and then BioShock Infinite (Fun fact, the first game I ever pre-ordered, out of three) and I really liked those games, but never felt the same sense of wonderment everyone else apparently did.
The remastered version was included in the BioShock collection released in 2016, and I found it in my library after receiving the original BioShock with the pre-ordered version of Infinite. Since then, the PC port has gotten nothing but horrible reviews for it’s optimisation and muddy visuals. Which doesn’t work, because BioShock was praised for it’s stunning water and beautifully haunting Art-Deco world of Rapture.
The fact is, if you’ve ever wanted to play BioShock, you probably have, or have watched someone else play it. I did not like it. I didn’t like the combat, swichting from Plasmids (Elixr based powers) and weapons felt archaic and clumsy, as in subsequent games, you can use both on the fly. I found myself in a state of panic in combat, my fingers somehow always choosing the wrong thing to use.
10 Years after it’s release, it’s okay not to love this game, as almost everyone else does. Watch the cut-scenes on YouTube, admire the still-impressive beginning and that jaw-dropping revelation, and pick up Infinite and it’s DLC-where you return to Rapture anyway.
5. Betrayer (2014)
Dev: Blackpowder Games
Betrayer is certainly a difficult game to recommend. Set in colonial america, you play as an unnamed character exploring an empty fort, which you soon discover, is not as empty as it first appears.
It’s tagged as a horror game in the first person perspective, and it definitely has it’s spooky moments. You make your way through a linear path and into the fort which acts as your base, and the only character you encounter is the maiden in red, who cannot remember how she got there.
Also in the fort you’ll find some mysterious remains of people, and you’ll be told to interact with a bell, and that is the first real spook of the game. It changes the world Silent Hill-style into a dark world where you can speak to the dead, but you’re also vulnerable to skeletons and ghosts and the like as you explore it’s open world.
To defend yourself you will be using bow’s, pistols and tomahawks, and the enemies do not always go down easily. Stealth can be used on some enemies, such as the twisted Conquistadors that you’ll encounter in certain moments.
The main thing you’ll notice is the striking art style, reminiscent of Sin City, which is no bad thing. The world is mostly monochrome, with flashes of red which does look beautiful and gives it it’s own identity, but it does create a drab and gloomy atmosphere which isn’t for everyone.
The story holds it’s own, but it won’t blow you away, and I found that the combat is just okay. If you like first person horror and mystery, give it a try.
4. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)
Dev: Ubisoft Montreal Pub: Ubisoft
One of many iterations into the now divisive Assassin’s Creed series, the fourth into the main line, Black Flag, is considered one of the best, ranking somewhere near Assassin’s Creed II.
Taking the much loved ship based combat from the often maligned Assassin’s Creed III and basing the entire game around it was a smart move by Ubisoft, which nowadays feels like a rare one in a sea of questionable decisions by the company. Black Flag acts sort of as a prequel to the third game, with you playing as Edward Kenway, the grandfather of the least popular Assassin and protagonist of AC III, Connor.
Open-world games now, sad to say, have a tendency to follow the exact same guidelines as every other, and Ubisoft, I think, helped start this, with the AC and FarCry series. They all follow the same path: The open map filled with bad guys you need to clear out, empty side missions and climbing towers and tall things to open up your map a little more.
I have only ever played AC II, as one of the first games i bought for my PS3 (I was a late bloomer into that generation of games) so this was my second foray into the series, but I had also played many other open world games with similar mechanics that came out after Black Flag (Shadow of Mordor, Arkham City, to name a couple) and that may have been my mistake.
While those games are fluid and solid, Black Flag now feels clunky and archaic. The stealth system is worthless and the parkour is frustrating and often too clunky compared to the previous games. While it’s not fair to compare this game to ones that came out after, they do make it feel out-dated.
The trailing missions are some of the worst ideas in the series, and are overused CONSTANTLY. For those not in the know, it involves you walking very slowly in a circle on the mini-map, trying not to move too fast or too slow because that results in a game over. Riveting, right?
The ship combat is fun, although the ship stealth (yes, that is actually a thing they make you do) mission can die in a thousand fires. My favourite moments were just when I was sailing around in the beautifully rendered oceans, listening to my crew sing jolly shanties.
The characters and interactions are pretty much all great, Matt Ryan, who I’m a big fan of anyway, is great, and special shout out to Edward “BlackBeard” Teach (or Thatch) for some great moments.
However, despite all the above grievances, the absolute worst offender is the Modern Day sections. Ubisoft once used this platform for an interesting setting, but have dug themselves a hole now, and they have no idea what to do with these now. In these you play as someone in the Abstergo company, making films or something, I have no idea, and I really don’t care. These sections involve you walking so slowly around a bland office, being blackmailed by an IT guy for no reason, and briefly talking to some characters from the other games, but I could not give less of a shit, I really couldn’t. It retracts from the pace and adds story elements only true AC fans will care about.
All in all, it has it’s moments of excitement and wonder, especially regarding the fauna you encounter in the Caribbean and discovering new locations, but do I think it holds up today, only four years afterwards? No, better games have come out since, and it’s impossible not to wish you were playing those.
3. Aquaria (2007)
Dev: Bit Blot Pub: Bit Blot
Aquaira is an underworld third person adventure game with Metroidvania elements.
Set deep under the sea, you play as Naija, who is some sort of Merperson with amnesia. You swim through the beautiful backdrops, your main abilities being that of her singing. You use these for different effects, and learn more as you progress.
Aquaria was originally designed with the mouse being it’s primary control scheme. You use this to guide Naija, and to activate each song, which relies on a fair amount of memory to activate each one.
As said, the artwork is beautiful. The backgrounds and scenery look fantastic and the music is beautiful and melodic.
That being said, I hated the mouse controls, and experimenting with other schemes frustrated me a little bit more. It’s certainly not an easy game, obviously drawing on inspiration from retro games, obviously like Metroid and Castlevania, utilising the same sense of progression. Eventually I got so frustrated I decided not to complete it all, once again.
If you love tough indie games with a sense of wonderment, this will be for you.
2. Alpha Protocol (2010)
Dev: Obsidian Pub: Sega
Obsidian have a pretty great track record when it comes to choose-your-own-path RPG’s, many holding Fallout: New Vegas as their favourite in the series, and Alpha Protocol is no less ambitious.
A spy thriller with options to turn the character, Micheal Thorton, into your own type of spy. The dialogue choices are based on different spy tropes; similar to James Bond, Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne, with a variety of customisation choices that affect gameplay itself. And the choices don’t stop there, each mission can be affected in different ways by which ones you chose to take on and in what order, and of course your choices, you can kill all your enemies or change them into allies (which is what I did) and these choices affect how different characters view you. These choices all have lasting effects and you can feel the weight of each.
In terms of gameplay, you can sneak around, or kill everyone, or talk your way through situations, again very similar to New Vegas. Played in the third person perspective, there’s a large amount of fun to be had sneaking around, using weapons you can purchase and armour and ability upgrades to give you an edge, and fulfilling side quests for extra money and XP.
However, the game is far form polished. The enemy AI is laughable, sneaking is no problem once you realise they can only see and react in a small radius. Cut scenes appear well acted, but the animations and janky and disjointed. And please, please, don’t get me started on the hacking mini game. For such an overused feature in modern games, it is easily the worst I have encountered, and during stressful moments where you need to do it in a rush, it will make you rage, and in my case, prevented me from completing the game entirely (Please bear in mind this isn’t a professional review, these are just my impressions)
It’s a bit of a disjointed mess, but there is alot of fun to be had here if you’re patient. If you love spy thrillers and creating your own story, give it a try.
1. Alien vs Predator (2010)
Dev: Rebellion Pub: Sega
The history of AVP is a rocky one, I find. What started off as an Easter egg in Predator 2 (By the way does anyone else find it weird that Xenomorphs have skulls, and not exoskeletons like invertebrates? Just me? Ok) became a string of Dark Horse comics (well worth a read if you can get your hands on them) then finally, the first game in the early nineties, which is still well regarded now.
The game and it’s subsequent sequels are often remember fondly by those of us who got to play them as kids. There were three campaigns, and I only remember really playing the Predator one, even though I preferred the Aliens, but I still enjoyed it. So can you imagine our joy at hearing that there was going to be a MOVIE based on this?? Directed by Paul WS Anderson?? Wait, didn’t he do those Resident Evil fil-Oh, no.
After successfully repressing the memory of that film (“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”-c’mon man, really?) and it’s questionably worse sequel, there was still a void for a long time for some good ol’ fashioned, alien-predatory goodness. And Rebellion heard our cries.
The 2010 edition, acts as more of a HD reboot to the nineties classic FPS series. Once again, there are three campaigns: Predator, Alien and the Marines. And they’re not without their faults, but they’re good!
The Alien story-line follows No.6, a specimen held by the Weyland-Yutani corporation, for uh, reasons, I guess. It then escapes and nobody is surprised. It’s fun scurrying about and executing dumb AI humans, but it’s so disorientating. It’s confusing and weird, bouncing from walls to ceilings.
The Predator campaign works as more of an exercise in stealth and gadgetry as you would expect. You hunt marines, infiltrate bases and execute aliens and get angry over the finicky goddamn control scheme and how you got gunned down because the execution animation lasts for ages.
The Marines campaign is probably my favourite. It’s the closest to a traditional FPS, but with aliens. It’s cramped, isolated and usually terrifying. The iconic tracker system for the most part is your only friend, and you’ll dread the telltale ping.
The visuals still hold up well, it’s dark and atmospheric, and the story is intriguing and links up with each other. But as said, the controls prevent particular comfort. You’ll be frustrated by the movement of the Xenomorph and the Predator, and you’ll be killed as a marine when you get stuck in the terrain.
If you’re a fan of the franchise, or just sci-fi games with a hint of horror, give it a try. The multiplayer servers are obviously empty, but if you’ve got a couple of friends you might be able to try it out. I mean it’ll never be as painful as AVP: Requiem, surely.