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Aliens vs. Predator 2: Primal Hunt

Score: 80%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Sierra/Fox Interactive
Developer: Third Law
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 16
Genre: First Person Shooter/ Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Those of you who already have Aliens vs. Predator 2 well know that the graphics didn't need much enhancement. Previous producer Monolith did a killer job on it and that's that...so thankfully in this respect Third Law (who took the torch for the Primal Hunt expansion) made no changes. It would have been extra cool to see a few tweaks in the projectile animations or something, I guess, but then again if it ain't broke, don't fix it...

The same old scores and orchestrated punchlines that caught your attention like a splash of ice water were packaged and reshipped with the expansion as well.


So what were we to expect with the Primal Hunt expansion? Well, Third law promised a few things before the release; namely, we've got a couple of new weapons and tools, new creatures, and 3 new short campaigns to play through. Unfortunately amidst the new trim, Third Law also took some integral features from the single-player campaigns.

Before that, though, understand that one thing I benefited from greatly in Alien vs. Predator 2 was enhanced somewhat by these new features. Multiplayer gaming can only get better in my opinion with updated weaponry and new races, and this is no exception. Yet the small tweaks such as allowing the host to disable certain weapons for balance reasons and so on do not constitute an expansion pack, but a release patch.

I've got to say that the suicide detonation attack (only allowed on multiplayer) for the predator is way cool. And the new 360 degree motion detector for the marine, while minor, is another welcome addition. Marines also get dual pistols and turrets, and finally the cool new Predalien hybrids get to bite heads off.

These additions did little to help the single player campaigns, however, which brings me to my real beef with this expansion...

Alien vs. Predator 2: Primal Hunt basically deserted almost all of the horror tricks that made AvP2 so great. You might have noticed on the original - when a tune shifts themes for no apparent reason, it might be a good idea to LOOK BEHIND YOU! Sadly, Third Law ultimately made this unique effect absolutely useless much of the time since the majority of attacks were unavoidable; if enemies weren't crashing on to your head, they were busting out at your feet or leaping out behind you. This becomes so utterly frustrating because the real challenge is to remember to save every few seconds so you won't be surprised by a fatal ambush.

Poor level design is apparent in all three campaigns, actually. But when your own teammate vows to escort you underground, and then blasts you with his flamethrower because an alien is behind you, this steps into the next really disappointing area: AI. And the aggravating surprise ambushes that plague this game are only seconded by the enemies that just seem to patrol the map in aimless directions, bringing the value of that save/load button to new heights.


The single levels are very difficult and/or impossible to finish without dying several times. The regular routine is save, save, save, and remember what you did to screw up when you get killed. Such basic factors that make games fun as being able to use your wits to stay alive are absent in the expansion, which is all too unfortunate in my opinion.

Game Mechanics:

AvP2: Primal Hunt is no different then any other first-person shooter in this respect. Keyboard directions control the horizontal movement of the character, while mouse movement directs the viewport.

So we come to the moral of this story...

The multiplaying audience will love the new weapons and characters, as they do make some considerable differences. However I would only recommend purchasing this game for its single player campaigns to the most enthusiastic of Aliens vs. Predator fans; others should lift their heads to the approaching release of Aliens vs. Predator 3.

-Goat, GameVortex Communications
AKA Brandon Arnold

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/2000/Me/XP, Pentium 3 or Athlon 450 or higher, 128 MB RAM, 600 MB disk space, 4x CD-ROM, 16 MB DirectX8 compatible D3D video card, 16-bit DirectX8 compatible sound card, English Windows compatible mouse and keyboard, 56K Direct Play compatible TCP-IP internet connection required for internet play, Network Interface card required for LAN play.

Test System:

Intel Pentium3 1.0 GHz proc, Windows XP, 512 MB RAM, 32 MB Geforce2 (Go), ESS Maestro III sound card, 32x CD/DVD-ROM

Windows X-Com: Enforcer Windows Celtic Kings: Rage of War

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated