Here’s a small confession, upon which you’re free to judge me harshly. I absolutely adore the Alien vs. Predator films. Admittedly I’ve only seen them once, back to back whilst half cut late one night that soon slipped into a hazy morning, but then surely that’s how they’re meant to be watched. Hokey in the extreme, invoking the patchy late night philosophy of Von Daniken and full of glorious gore – the first is a film bold enough to pitch the Predator as a love interest, while the sequel evokes 80s video nasties with its out-and-out grimness.
Rebellion’s own Alien vs Predator series predates the films, of course – the first came out way back in 1994 on Atari’s Jaguar, while the 2000 follow-up on PC remains for many a highlight – and on the whole these are much classier affairs than their cinematic counterparts. It’s the 2010 outing that really struck a chord with me, though, perhaps because it shares so many traits with a good b-movie – opportunistic, slightly shabby but full of heart, it’s therefore the ultimate double-A game.
Part of the reason I love it is the circumstances around it – stepping up to fill the void left by Gearbox’s at the time highly anticipated Aliens Colonial Marines, Aliens vs. Predator is Rebellion doing what it does best; delivering solid, no-frills entertainment with minimum fuss. There’d end up being a whole lot of fuss about Aliens Colonial Marines, I’m sure you’ll recall, but even after all the noise had died down it was abundantly clear that Rebellion had turned in the better game.