I agree with the sentiments about this game. Anyone who's a fan needs to try hardcore difficulty at least once. It adds an incredible amount of tension to the game and forces you to take a real strategic approach with each character. The Marine campaign is legitimately scary; the other two are interesting in their own way.
I recently played AVP 2010, having found it on sale for $10. I bought it mainly for the single player with almost no intention of ever going online. My expectations were rather low, and I was still incredibly disappointed.
Graphically, the game looks excellent. The Aliens, especially, move fluidly and look great up close. The game makes very good use of lighting, allowing you to intentionally destroy light sources to sneak around stealthily. This is a terrific addition to gameplay. Unfortunately, that's about all that I found good. The rest of the gameplay seemed like a giant step down.
First of all, marine weapons. You can only carry three at a time (and two if you have the smart gun, although this only happens twice in the game and you can't even keep it -- huge disappointment). This limitation works well for some games (e.g F.E.A.R., Far Cry) but it kills the gameplay in this one. Since you can't drop the pistols, you are pretty much limited to two weapons. The pulse rifle is pretty mandatory given its multi-purpose use, so that leaves one last slot. This usually ends up being the flame thrower, which is slightly overpowered in this game, and this cripples all remaining weapons. They also took out the minigun (not a huge loss) and the grenade launcher (really big loss) for no apparent reason.
Now, combat itself feels much more inflexible. You don't have the ability to crouch in this game, which is almost unheard of. I can't think of a single good reason for this. You also can't lean or move in any other way except the cardinal directions. Combat uses this bizarre melee system that I found to be atrocious. For example, when you are a marine and alien is nearby, you are prompted to punch it to temporarily stun it. You can also punch it (and predators too) when too close to allow you to get some distance. This just seemed utterly ridiculous to me. All three characters use this system and it's both finicky (doesn't work properly a lot of the time) and unenjoyable, IMO. A marine punching an alien with his fists is not something that should have ever made it into this game.
The single player campaign for this game is incredibly short. It's probably 1/3 the length of AVP2. You could easily beat each campaign in under 3 hours on a first playthrough, and I'm sure you could finish the entire game in under 5 hours on a second or third.
The levels themselves are too short, and the game seems to jump between them too quickly for you to appreciate and too arbitrarily to have any real flow. One stage you're in the jungle. Next, the temple. All three races visit the same stages in a slightly different order, with several levels repeated exactly for all three. While this worked well in AVP2, it just felt lazy in this game.
I found the level design itself to be quite horrid. Not only are they fairly unmemorable, but they're so poorly designed that you have an arrow constantly on the screen to point the way to go. What the hell is this? Contrast this to AVP2 -- the levels were laid out perfectly and you never needed hand-holding to find your way.
I won't post much anything about the story as to avoid spoilers, but I felt it lacked the depth of AVP2. The campaigns also don't seem to tie together nearly as well.
As soon as I finished AVP 2010, I reinstalled AVP2 and gave it a playthrough. Now that is how it's done. This game looks dated, but the gameplay is still excellent and holds up to this day.
- The Admiral
*JAW DROPS TO THE FLOOR*
When somebody has a name like that ("The Admiral"), it definitely caught my attention. For the first time in the almost-five years I've had this account, this is the official first time a moderator has ever posted in one of my topics. . .I'm stunned to say the least. . .shocked even, but not too surprised. Nice to meet you Admiral.
Anyways. . .(regains his composure after several DEEP breaths)
Those are quite some interesting points you came up with Mr. Admiral, interesting indeed.
I'm glad to hear a few good thoughts on AVP3. . .at least I know it ain't total garbage, maybe I'll try it out one day (on a console no-less).
Three measly weapons?! What kind of a game is THAT?! Somebody get me a respirator, I'm having trouble breathing right now, that or an oxygen mask/tank. Most FPS's I've played usually let you carry a whole ARSENAL of guns in your "pockets," complete with untold thousands of rounds of ammo. How the heck can someone carry all that lead around lol? No but seriously, three guns is pretty crappy. . . I mean SURE it's realistic, but in a video game I demand nothing less than 10 different guns in my backpack with 50,000 rounds of ammo. What weapons does the Marine come with in AVP3? I know it's the pistol(s), Pulse Rifle, Flame Thrower, Shotgun(?), Flamethrower, and of course the old Smarty Pants Smart Gun, but no 'Old Painless'?! That almost stopped my heart reading that line. The old sniper rifle from AVP2 was DEFINITELY way overpowered, talk about overkill X_X. One shot and you're dead. POW!!! Grenade launcher I could almost understand taking out, darn Spider 'nades were a litttle too cheap lol. Turn a corner too fast and see/hear 20,000,000 blinking dots on the screen and seeing your guy/alien/predator get blown to smithereens was priceless. . .cheap, but hilarious lol.
How the heck can ya not crouch in a first person shooter?! That sure makes 'ducking for cover' a little out of the question. I'm sure a mod could easily be made to accomadate this. The whole idea of literally punching a predator or an alien in the head/mandibles is a bit too far fetched. I mean REALLY?! Are you kidding me?
Thats just completely absurd and unrealistic.
Five hours huh? THAT IS pretty darn short. Heck probably even Primal Hunt is longer that it lol.
Now that you mention it, there were a couple levels in AVP2 where they did have the three main different characters (well ok, just Harrison and that Prince Predator guy, the Alien doesn't really count lol) meet up in the same spot. It also cheezes me off by the way you described it that they re-used several levels like that. . .talk about an unimaginative development team. Must have been a bad day at the office. Thank goodness Ultimate Mappack 2 (with its separate downloadable 4 updates) has plenty of maps in it to keep my occupied for a while.
You were right about the maps (AVP2 single player ones I mean), they were perfectly laid out. Nice and linear, just the way I like it. No 20 different directions to choose from., just all in one big straight line.
I had a rather nice chuckle when you mentioned the arrow pointing the way. I remember it quite well from Enter the Matrix and would definitely want it gone from AVP3. . .I mean, its not Candyland is it?! Still, it was a little funny to see lol.
Oh boy. . .too much text, almost 1 am right now for me. I'm off to bed.
Friendship is like peeing on yourself; everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings.
AVP2 is a fantastic game and remains the best gaming experience for any Alien/Predator fan. I have played some parts of AVP3, but didn't like it. As for the co-op, I would like something like Aliens:Colonial Marines concept, where you are part of a marine squad, each member has specific roles/skills/equipment and you explore abandoned buildings trying to find the bad guys. But, I don't want it to be straight action, shootings etc from the start. I want some tension building up at first, with noises and other stuff. This could work for the single player too. All 3 AVPs had you as a marine fighting on your own. Give us some NPCs to fight alongside FFS!!!