Alien vs Predator, Atari Jaguar

Created by Rebellion Developments and published exclusively for the Atari Jaguar in 1994, Alien vs Predator is a first-person action game where you can play as either a marine, the predator, or an alien, and must fight your way through various levels on a marine training base that has been overrun by aliens. As well as the alien problem, a predator has also arrived to hunt xenomorphs, which means a three-way fight among adversaries.

At the beginning of the game you have a straight choice between the three sides, and each has their own objective to complete. For the marine the aim is to escape the military base that you’re trapped in; for the predator you must kill the alien queen and take her skull; for the alien you’ve got to rescue the alien queen who is being held captive on the predator’s spaceship.

Each faction has their own set of weapons and HUD style, and each has various abilities and disadvantages. The alien, for example, can attack with its tail, claws, and mouth; the predator can use a wrist blade, a smart disc, a pole, and also a shoulder cannon; the marine starts off with no weapons and you have to find them as you explore (and he can find a shotgun, pulse rifle, flamethrower and smart gun). The alien can’t use elevators, which the marine and predator can, but instead must use the air ducts to travel between levels. Other rules include: the marine can get hurt by stepping on the acid blood of defeated aliens (the predator and alien can’t); facehuggers will attack both the marine and predator if they’re nearby; the marine can use computer terminals to replenish health, and the alien must cocoon humans (ie. enemy marines) to continue its life cycle.

To create a realistic-looking, atmospheric game the devs decided to use photographs of tiles and models for the environments and characters. While this did look pretty good back in 1994, it hasn’t aged well at all and visually I think the game looks very messy. When you compare it to something like Doom (which used a similar technique of using photographs of models for the in-game characters), I think AvP looks distinctly second best.

Overall, while this is an interesting game (sometimes described as “the best game on the Jaguar“) it hasn’t stood the test of time very well and playing it now is a mixed experience. Fans of the Alien series might get something out of it, but as a first-person shooter in its own right it’s pretty clunky.

Note: this game is called ALIEN vs Predator, NOT “Aliens” vs Predator, and many websites/YouTubers can’t seem to get this fact right.

More: Alien vs Predator on Wikipedia

4 thoughts on “Alien vs Predator, Atari Jaguar”

  1. I didn’t realise the Jaguar game was done by Rebellion too! No wonder they were well prepped for the 1999 release, this laid the foundation nicely. I take your point about graphics though, the bases still look alright to me, but those organic textures are like a bad trip, there’s just so much going on visually.

    The ALIEN vs Predator appears to be a purely video gaming thing, as all the comics I’m aware of that predated this used the Aliens title to my knowledge. Not sure if it was intentional or just a case of once one game had done it, the rest followed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I actually visited Rebellion when they were developing this game and Jason Kingsley gave me a tour of the office. For a lot of the textures they actually took photos of real objects and applied them in-game. Although it was an ambitious project I think it’s dated somewhat in terms of the look of it. The gameplay does have some interesting elements but I found it pretty clunky to play now.

      Like

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