Predators in Review – A movie tie-in the doesn’t suck

Anyone that’s been gaming for a reasonable amount of time knows that this is just about fact – developers can’t make good video game tie-ins for movies.  The trend began with E.T. for the Atari 2600 (if not sooner), and still continues today.  From time to time a gem emerges, however, and Robert Rodriguez presents PREDATORS™ is one such gem.  While it doesn’t quite have the “wow” factor that James Cameron’s Avatar did for me, it’s still an engaging and fun game, and Predators are just about the coolest aliens around when it comes to intense combat games.  The main down side is that you loose one of the biggest Predator qualities in the way the game is laid out.

From the first mission the game screams Predator goodness.  You’ll slice, shred and shoot your way through 24 hunter filled missions, taking trophies but not prisoners.  Use your wrist-blades and spear to decimate the foe at close range, or a number of long reaching weapons to hit the enemy before they hit you.  If you’re feeling sneaky, throw on the cloaking device and attack the enemy from behind.  Just remember that they can sense you when you’re really close, and water and cloaking devices don’t get along.  You’ve even got Thermal Vision so you can pick out the ones who think they’re being tricky by hiding in the foliage.

You move the Predator using a virtual joystick, which works fairly well (I’ve used some better and many that were worse).  When using short range weapons you have A and B buttons that can execute a variety of moves when used in combination.  Long range weapons just have an A button for firing and will automatically target the enemy.  Weapons and items like cloaking and thermal vision can be toggled on and off using buttons conveniently displayed along the borders of the screen.

The one thing this game lacks is the feeling of the hunt.  Sure you feel like you’re being hunted, but you basically brute-force kill everyone in sight.  The coolest part of the Predator is the fact that by nature they are a species that loves to hunt, and you don’t get to experience that with the provided scenarios.  I would love to see a Predators game where you have a limited number of foes and you actually earn style points based on how you kill them, but I digress…

The graphics in Predators are top notch.  Backgrounds are finely detailed, and the characters are well drawn and nicely animated.  I’m not a big proponent of blood and guts in games, but there’s a bit of satisfaction to be had watching the predator slice someone in half or rip their head of with it mounted on the wrist-blades.  It’s also cool watching it rear its shoulders back and growl with glee when a mission has been accomplished.  Of course the cloaking and thermal effects are pretty awesome as well.

The sound effects are good overall, the highlight being the Predator itself.  I once again refer to the “growl of glee”.  I think some screams from the weaker adversaries upon death would be appropriate, though.  I know these are tough hunters, but getting ripped apart would affect the manliest of men.  The music is definitely movie quality, but it’s very subtle during game play.  You don’t really get to appreciate it until you’re sitting at a menu not doing anything.

Overall I’m quite pleased with Predators.  Not having seen the movie I don’t know how many hunters are involved in the story, but the fact that there are so many in the game seems a bit less dramatic than a few highly skilled ones, but then that gets back to my “stealth vs. beat-em-up game play” comments earlier.  Still, Angry Mob has done a nice job with this game, and it’s good to see that developers can create a movie tie-in that doesn’t deserve a quick exit to the bargain bin.

App Summary
Title: Robert Rodriguez presents PREDATORS™Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:
Price:$2.99App Size:123 MB
  • Predators are just cool
  • Slice & dice mechanics are neat
  • Graphics and sound create a great atmosphere
  • Predators should be more “stealthy hunting” than “visceral shredding”

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