Coming from a large male orientated family, computer games were a large part of our leisure time. My parents had bought us an Amstrad CPC 464 as our first computer, it included games like Rambo, Green Beret, Harrier Attack and Howard The Duck, typical action games.
As technology evolved we upgraded to an Amiga 500 which exposed us to yet another list of classic games and a system which introduced us to multiplayer gaming.
As our systems evolved so did our experiences. But it's here that I would like to thank my tech savvy friends for introducing me to LAN gaming and teaching me to build my own PC.
Gone were the days where you had to share a screen with your brother or friend, and a fear that they may be cheating by looking at your portion of the screen (My brothers and I resulted to sellotaping cardboard as a divider down the screen to stop this). Now personal computers could be interlinked from different rooms, with text chat as a means of communicating. This concept had changed the way we game forever.
My initial purchases for my first PC were Max Payne and Quake 3, but I want to talk about another one of my purchases, as it seems a very apt time to do so, as on the 3rd of October we will be seeing a release by the name Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor, and the developer, Monolith Productions, were responsible for a PC gem of mine. Aliens Versus Predator 2.
Yes, ok, so the game looks a bit blocky now. But at the time of its release in 2001, the graphics were of a higher standard in the gaming world and were by all means not the only attribute that this game had.
For a franchise which is pretty much dead in the water at the moment, Aliens versus Predator 2 still holds the mantle as being the best addition into the franchise (In my opinion). The game features three story modes which consists of a Human, Predator and Alien story line. Some will argue that the Marine (Human) storyline is more fleshed out, I would argue that its because we can relate more to the Human character and understand the motivations that take place. The Predator storyline is very much a rites of passage (nothing complicated there) and the Alien story line is very much about primal instinct, and just trying to get back to the hive (again nothing complicated). But I do not see these three different story lines as a negative. If anything they are very good at separating the species and their characteristics, and for a gamer this is important as it keeps the player entertained in the sense that the game doesn't become too repetitive.
The multiplayer side of the game is also really exciting. My excitement for this game had motivated me so much, that I would spend hours trying to help brothers get up and running on their PCs / Mac, with all the latest game updates and customizable skins (Yes we wanted to look like the Aliens crew Hicks, Hudson etc).
Once I knew all the computers were talking, it was a case of setting up a game of two Marines versus one Predator (occasionally one Marine, one Predator and one Alien) and it was usually on a level called Compound (a jungle level) or Quarantine (a level design reminiscent of the film Alien) . For the Marine players the game was very much about survival,collecting a huge arsenal of weapons to defend yourself against the incoming................... too late my head has just been impaled on the wall behind me.
For the Predator players, it became a game of hiding in the shadows while picking off the Marine players while taunting them (I used to like collecting the net gun and watching Marine players squirm and panic to get out). Alien players usually ran and crawled around the maps which did take a level of skill, because scaling walls and hanging upside down was no easy task. It also wasn't helped by the fact that you were against two species with weapons.
Beware of Bad Language
This game was a huge amount of fun, and for fans of the movies this is the closest a player gets to experiencing the level of tension and atmosphere that the films created, while playing with some cool tech (the famous Pulse rifle is always a winner amongst the fans)
So this is where my plea comes in. With awful movies and the very poor releases of the last two game entries into the Alien and Predator universe, please can the fans just have a remastered Aliens Versus Predator 2?
This one's for the fans.