Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

There’s a little bit of history behind this PSP exclusive. You see, Rebellion were the first studio to have a go at pitting cinema’s illustrious baddies together way back on the Atari Jaguar, but after doing four Aliens vs. Predator titles in a row the license holders decided to let another studio (Monolith) have a go. After some six years, Rebellion have finally been given back their baby, but in some cruel twist of fate Vivendi only gave them six months to knock up something palatable. Trust Rebellion to be up for the challenge – their first PSP title (Namco’s Dead to Rights) was done and dusted in just three months.

AVPRThe fact that it’s been put together in such a short period of time isn’t as evident as you may expect – some iffy animation aside it looks neat and tidy with some smart lighting effects and explosions, plus there are three paths through the game which you can switch between as you please. Unlike their previous efforts though you can only play as a Predator and the action is viewed from a third-person perspective. This isn’t exactly a bad thing – the PSP isn’t ideal for first person affairs anyway.

You still get to take part in the occasional three way battle between Aliens and humans too, and this also means that the developers have been able to focus on Predator’s extensive skill set and arsenal, from heat seeking abilities to shuriken throwing.

Despite a range of new weapons to unlock by amassing honour points, combat is decidedly flaky. Sometimes the Aliens launch themselves at you and if you’re quick on the draw you can throw them to the ground and get the first attack in, but firing the shoulder cannon is useless unless you lock on first and melee combat is tedious. By pressing the triangle button a static first person view appears which you can use to ‘tag’ enemies and receive more points for killing; we can’t fathom why this wasn’t incorporated with the lock-on system.

Like the movie on which it’s based, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem seems to have been made with the mass market in mind – prompts and clues are plentiful as you venture through Colorado looking for and destroying evidence of a downed Alien craft. Jumping is done automatically and by bringing up the map screen you can give yourself a spontaneous health boost. You’re even told when to activate Predator’s stealth suit to avoid being shot to bits by the army. If you can put up with the hand-holding though, it’s a fairly sturdy romp for your handheld.