The story behind this one is, well, not much of a story at all actually. No really, you’d be lucky to remember anything besides the bare basics behind each faction’s backgrounds. For example the predator campaign has your clan claiming hunting rights on a planet, going down there and hunting. You end up with fights against another clan infringing upon your hunting rights, hunting down very dangerous creatures, but that’s about it.
The levels themselves will feel familiar if you’re someone who grew up reading the AvP comics due to the overall look of the environments and some background elements. For example, the three key types of locations seem to be desert areas, places overrun by xenomorphs with that classic LV-462 look, and jungle environments. The first of these is especially evocative of the first planet from the comics, Ryushi, with the same vehicles flora and fauna present all over the place. Aside from the nostalgia though the levels are actually well designed and seem to have been made to make the best of each faction’s unique abilities. Large areas are left wide open to allow for killzones to be made with the ranged specialised marines, varied levels of terrain for the xenomorphs to take advantage of with their greater manoeuvrability. Also stuff for the predators to actually stand a remote chance of winning. Yeah, they got shafted in this but it wasn’t due to favouritism, simply trying something which didn’t work.
You see to try and make the game unique they gave each faction a very different play style relating to how they gain cash. The predator economy is based upon killing things. No, quite literally the more skulls from heads the more moolah you get. On paper this sounds great, it fits in with the hit and fade tactics the designers were going for and forces players to balance out casualties with potential kills. Why doesn’t this work? Someone had the bright idea of making predators completely reliant upon an un-cloakable, slow moving shrine for purchasing new units. Meaning that you can easily get dragged into full scale battles which will just screw you over.
Humans meanwhile, despite usually being the ones to die the most, have a huge advantage over the other two. They have units which can see through predator cloaking, have a high population cap, the largest number of long range weapons, and upgrades which buff starting units up to obscene levels. To give an obvious example – you can instantly upgrade basic infantry to have grenade launchers and com. officers to deliver orbital strikes. To make this more obscene they can easily get more cash in a few minutes than others can gain in an entire mission due to their ability to repair atmospheric processors. Perhaps their only weakness is that you need a mixed variety of units to work rather than just bringing down swarms of infantry, but that’s not much of a hindrance.
If you’re looking for a good combat focused game with RTS elements and no base building try Confrontation. It’s not perfect but it is a hell of a lot more enjoyable than this one. Otherwise just stick to the classic AvP FPS titles.
Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction and all related characters and media are owned by Electronic Arts.