If youíve been playing the AvP demo like I have, youíre in one of two groups of people. The first have played a maximum of 5 games and have come to the instant, logical conclusion that the game is crap, simply because it was slow to find a game and they arenít a pro with every race in a game theyíve only just started playing.
The second have come to love the game despite its few flaws and balancing issues. Youíve managed to look past the bare bones matchmaking system, around the conga-lines of trophy kills and in to the eyes of a marine as your tail suddenly juts out of his mouth; where it entered even I do not wish to know.
First off, something a lot of people donít know is that all characters have a block move and counter attack. The Xenomorph and Predator both block by holding down their STRONG and LIGHT attack buttons; the Marine simply holds down their MELEE button. Tapping your attack key directly after blocking will score you a counter attack that should knock back your enemy; the Marines counter attack button is their melee button.
What follows are a few tips and hints for each class to help you better understand how to use them. This is not a run and gun game! Timing is everything, and the one who rushes in head on will die a swift death. That said, please enjoy!
My favourite character, hands down, are our dear alien friends, the Xenomorphs; probably the hardest control scheme to pick up due to disorienting angles while moving and a weird jumping mechanic. Those who fail at the alien often forget what being a Xenomorph is all about Ė Sticking to the shadows, intimidating your prey and attacking when they least expect it. I know the 10 minute, DM time limit doesnít account for this, but you might as well start practicing!
- THEYíRE COMINí OUTTA THE WALLS
As an alien, you have enhanced vision for seeing in the dark, but this can sometimes cause you to ignore environmental helpers like shadowy areas and walls that feature the same texture as your skin, perfect for blending. Sticking to the ceiling will more often than not make you completely invisible, and you should almost never be walking on the floor. Use the "Transition" key to drop from ceilings/walls and on to the floor; this is handy when you want to simply get to the floor for a quick kill without having to line up where you are going to jump.
- Standing still takes you places
The motion tracker is your biggest threat against the Marine, which is why staying still is often a good cause of action. A fun tactic is guessing which corridor a marine will come down, sticking to the ceiling and waiting for them to pass; drop down and claim your kill. Beating the Predator, however, requires a little more line-of-sight stealth tactics, he doesnít have a motion tracker, and he canít see through walls like you can.
- Now, everyone can hear you scream
Disorientation is one of your biggest powers as a Xenomorph. Climbing on walls isnít just fun, you need to use it to confuse your enemy. Using your hiss and jumping to a different location, scratching walls and metal, as well as just running past your enemy, letting them glance at you, all play a key part in confusing and taking down your enemy.
Use the shadows, walls and ceiling, don't run in to battles head on and think before you attack.
Poor, poor colonial Marine, you just canít get a break can you? Being attacked from all angles by naturally engineered killing machines, and stalked by an invisible alien race, born from an ancestry of the universes greatest hunters, each equipped with more teeth, claws and strength than you could ever hope to match. What the fuck are you going to do? Die. Quite a bit. But goddamn it if that asshole Gorman can take some of those fuckers out in the process, then so can you!
- *tick* *tick* *tick* *tick* *(boop)*
The Colonial Marine Corps Tactical 8K Motion Tracker. Has a certain ring to it, doesnít it? This little baby is the difference between you living and dying, but it has limitations. It doesnít deal in height, it is slow to update and, obviously, it canít track anything if it isnít moving. Hearing that heart-stopping *boop* in contrast to the usual *click* is your cue to face that blip on your radar and look up, down, left and right; walls, ceilings, assholes and elbows! Donít rely solely on your motion tracker; looking at it too much gets you dead. Just get your initial bearings and then rely on your eyes and gun.
- Blocking and the One-Two Punch
As said before, you can block a Xenomorphs light attacks, and to some extent, heavy attacks; this can be extremely handy for lowering the damage of attacks you canít avoid. In addition, you can knock a Xenomorph on its ass with 2 melee hits, giving you enough time to spray a clip in to its face; melee, melee, shoot, that is your one-two punch. When it comes to the Predator, however, all bets are off. You stay away from that motherfucker or you are getting your head ripped off; your only upper hand is the Smartgun, which auto-tracks targets, even invisible ones.
- PILLS HERE!
You have healthkits/stim packs/meds/etc. You can use them by pressing the corresponding key in the options menu; more than likely H. Stab one of these in to you if you have 2 seconds to spare and regain some health! Don't walk around, bleeding all over the place like a damned fool. You can also restore your health at the recharge stations littered around the level; make sure you check your six, because it takes about 3 seconds to refill.
Don't rely completely on your motion tracker, always look above and behind you, and remember to melee.
Humans fucking up your holy ground, Xenomorph scum slithering around the place, spewing their secretive resin everywhere, getting blood all over the carpet; makes you fucking sick, doesnít it? Itís time to put these pathetic beasts out of their misery and show them a thing or two about Predator holy law.
- Go-Go-Gadget Wristblades!
You have a bunch of weapons at your disposal, both long and short range. Like the spinning razor discs that act like boomerangs, ricocheting off walls and other objects, your chargable Plasmacaster that decimates anything with one hit, and even your wristblades can kill in a couple of well placed swipes. Knowing what your equipment does, what equipment to use, and when to use is it, is key to winning as the Predator.
- Anytime... or all the time.
The Predator has lots of cool gadgets, but none cooler than his cloaking device. Seriously, just have it on all the time; ALL the time. You have infinite cloaking for a reason, but be warned, one attack and your wrist-terminal routes power to other utilities and your cloak is toggled off. Remember, Xenomorphs can sense you, and will still see your outline, and Marines can still detect your movement. Keep on the move, and try using Xenomorph movement to mask your own.
- You are a hunter, act like one
Sure you can take a bit of damage, go invisible and get a shoulder mounted, auto-targeting, plasma shooting alien ray, but that doesn't mean you just go flaunting it. You are staunch, but that extra second you take to swing your arm or bend your legs could be the difference between victory and death. Survey, choose your weapon, and don't be afraid of attacking Xenomorphs head on if necessary, you will more than likely win. Humans on the other hand, are surprisingly fatal from a distance.
Stay invisible all the time, collect as much equipment as you can and survey the area before proceeding.
I hope this has been helpful to those wanting to last a little longer in the world of Aliens vs Predator. Stay frosty!