Review by SantaIsTheOne
"With more fine tuning and some more free roaming, this game could have been great"
Well, we finally get a Predator game and, while it could be much better it still isn't too bad. I've broken down the scores into parts to show what parts of the game were good and what parts were bad.
The graphics are okay but, especially for an Xbox game they could have done better. For the most part mission specific objects look okay and the Predator looks real good and was modeled well. But most of the NPCs don't look that great and a lot of the background objects don't look as good either. They look good in the cutscenes though which is a plus I guess. The high point in the graphics though is the Predator himself.
The game sounds pretty good. The only complaint I have is that sometimes the sound will kind of drown out and you won't hear anything. This happens especially if you position the camera certain ways. Overall, the sounds are great though, from the Predator's war cries to the people screaming and running for their lives. Weapon sounds are also accurate and the sounds of you changing different vision modes are just like the movie.
Overall presentation of the game was done well. The Predator is just what you would expect him to be...one of the most badass movie characters ever. While they could have done more to make him seem more badass, it still works out well. One thing that would have been nice is instead of dividing the map into sections, it should have been one big freeroaming city like Spiderman 2 or GTA where you can just mess around in between missions. Good idea for the next Predator game possibly?
I separate controls from gameplay because I think the issues need to be addressed. While for the most part, the Predator controls pretty fluidly, the reason I am giving this such a low score is because some of the flaws really hurt the game and can make it frustrating. One thing that really annoyed me was that when you jump, the camera points straight up so you can't possibly see where you're going to land. And this game is pretty much all platform based because you don't wanna be running around on the streets of the city if you dont wanna die. Most of the levels have you running on rooftops or narrow steel beams or something like that. And when you can't see where you are going to land you tend to miss ledges that you should have been able to get to. This is especially frustrating when you need to get away from a firefight or avoid failing a mission because too many people spotted you. While I have only died once, 99.9% of my mission failures were caused by a stupid platforming mistake that could have been avoided with a better camera and slightly more fluid controls. Don't get me wrong, the Predator controls pretty fluidly but they weren't set up to work with the camera (which should have been fixed). Another thing I noticed was that the Predator is very sensitive as far as movement goes. A slight tap on the control stick will cause him to literally take a few steps in the wrong direction which, again, can also suck when you are navigating narrow ledges. Complaints aside, the controls are pretty decent if you can get by the crap camera and the sensitive controls. If there is another Predator game, I hope that issue is fixed because that really becomes a pain.
The game is actually a very fun experience. It isn't exactly on the long side (for me it took a while because I had trouble with the camera and failed a few platform critical missions) so don't go into it expecting a lengthy game that will suck you in. The game is set up in missions so don't expect any free roaming either. You can run around and mess around on rooftops and stuff looking for upgrades, powerups, and weapons but many of the missions (and I mean quite a few) are timed so don't expect to be messing around too often. The maps are quite small which isn't a bad thing but could have been avoided had they gone freeroaming. You can do all the things you would expect to do as a Predator though. You have all of the weapons too and even upgrade them higher than before. Basically, you will see weapons from the first movie up to AVP. The Maul is a weapon that may not be exactly from AVP but is apparently where the design is from and is one of my personal favorites just because it looks so cool (it looks like it's supposed to resemble the big ass blades the Predators have in AVP). You also have your Combistick and Smart Disc which is the cool disc the Predator throws to cut people to shreds. You also get your different vision modes and your shoulder plasma cannon. Everything a good hunter needs. And of course don't forget the wrist blades. Most important of all, is your Stealth Camo which is pretty much the Predator's signature ability. It drains your energy which can be replenished from spots located around the maps and you can expect to use it 95% of the time. Overall, I think the gameplay could have been better but was still pretty good for a first attempt at a full on action-based Predator game.
Other than the ability to get costumes and upgrades, this is only a game you may come back to every once in a while just because its a fun game starring one of the most badass movie monsters....no wait....scratch that...one of the best movie characters in general ever made. The costumes are cool too. The majority are new to the game but you get your Predator 1 costume, your AVP costume, and your Predator 2 costume so you at least get the originals. Would I recommend the game? Yes, I would at least recommend a rental. I personally think that since there isn't much replay and the game has some frustrating flaws, a purchase over $20 would probably be a mistake.
Overall score: 7/10
Had the game been freeroaming, the camera better suited for platforming, and more fine-tuned controls, the score may have been a 9 or 10. Still, I recommend at least a rental since any game with Predator deserves a try.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 01/05/06
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