AvP 2010: Alien



Playing the Alien means you're playing a sneaking game where you're trying to hunt down and kill people one at a time without being spotted. Ideal play would never touch any of your proper attack buttons outside of the boss rush at the end and the handful of occasions the game wants you to break an object, only using the contextual interaction button to perform Stealth Kills or Harvesting actions... well, and the first mission, which is designed to ease you into the Alien with basic brawling and you overwhelming lightly-armed foes with your superior strength, durability, and occasionally the help of your fellow Aliens.

In a lot of ways, the Alien can be thought of as a stripped-down version of the Predator's own stealth sequences. Unlike the Predator, you don't get weaponry that lets you bypass the stealth mechanics and just kill someone at an energy cost, and you have to rely on darkness, crawling around in vents, and clambering across the ceiling to hide you instead of having a cloaking field that lets you hide in plain sight. You also have a lot less health, meaning it's a lot more dangerous for you to get into an actual fist-fight instead of performing a Stealth Kill. In exchange, the Alien's mobility is noticeably superior, but unfortunately the campaign falls down on the job a bit here and tends to make this mobility advantage irrelevant in actual play, compounded by the fact that you're stuck with melee combat: when the Predator goes leaping atop high ground, this gets space between it and oncoming Aliens that it then uses to Plasmacaster them to death before they get close enough to attack. When the Alien goes crawling around on the ceiling, this is primarily a form of hiding that maybe makes it easier to get behind someone, but more likely the Predator would be able to do just as well through a combination of Focus Mode jumps and its cloaking field.

The Alien's campaign is also by far the shortest of the three. The actual mission count doesn't really vary in the campaigns -the Marine and Predator have 6 missions vs the Alien's 5, but one of the missions for the Predator is an extremely short tutorial where the Marine and Alien just directly incorporate the tutorial sequence into their respective first missions, so it just that the Marine has extra content- but the Alien's maps tend to be smaller and have less content in them. Among other examples, the Alien never finds itself looping back to a room it's already been through to discover that the room has a new population of victims, which is a semi-regular occurrence in both the Marine and Predator campaigns, thus getting more game-space out of the same amount of map-space. There's one sequence in the Alien campaign that's sort of like this, but what actually happens is you're forced to deal with Marines three at a time, when a big part of what makes a stealth sequence challenging is having to keep track of and correctly account for all the enemies so you don't get gunned down while trapped in a Stealth Kill animation. That is, three groups of three enemies with no overlap in the timing of their existence is generally less difficult than a single group of six enemies patrolling all at the same time.

I still enjoyed the Alien campaign overall, but the lack of length is a bit of a damper and the realization that it's basically just cribbing from half of the Predator's play experience feels like something in the design process went wrong. It's particularly striking since I never experienced this in the 1999 AvP game: in fact, AvP 1999 has long been my gold standard of what a game can accomplish if it actually tries to make its different options distinct.

Put another way, if you're considering grabbing AvP 2010 because you're hoping to have a lot of fun with the Alien's single-player, you're probably better off going back to AvP 1999, or maybe AvP 2. It's really unfortunate how few games there are that take a stab at an Alien-centric play experience, since there's so much potential there...

Anyway.

Health

Unlike the Predator and Marine, the Alien has a single health meter segment which fully regenerates over time. This regeneration is actually a lot slower than the Marine and Predator's regeneration, but so long as you don't actually die you'll always eventually get it all back. There's nothing you can do to speed it up, though. If you take damage, you just need to find somewhere to hide and wait it out.

Stealth

Where the Predator has its cloak, the Alien is nearly invisible in the darkness, with AI enemies behaving appropriately. You can't just turn it on, but you can make a point of smashing lights to lay the groundwork for future stealth, though keep in mind enemies can hear you smashing lights and will investigate if they're nearby... well, usually.

The game does a somewhat poor job of explaining the darkness mechanic, but the icon in the center of your view has two states. If it's primarily black, you're in darkness. If it's all yellow, you're in light. If the icon is currently black, you can treat this as being basically exactly the same as the Predator's cloak: enemies can't see you unless they're very close to you, and in fact enemies will instantly lose track of you if you duck into a shadowed environment, even if it seems like they really ought to be able to track you into it. They may even walk up to you, shine their flashlight on you, and say 'it was here a second ago', still oblivious.

Also note that the ceiling is generally fairly safe for you. Enemies will not look up on their own, and even Sentry Turrets can usually be bypassed simply by crawling on the ceiling, though some will manage to get some shots in if you don't time your passage well... but your regenerating health means taking a hit or two isn't a big deal.

The main thing you need to do with stealth is stay aware of lines of sight and avoid people getting a chance to see you. Which leads naturally into...

Pheromones

Enemies within a certain distance of you will be highlighted with a colored aura/outline. In single-player, the colors are: green for civilians, red for Marines and Predators, and blue for Combat Androids and fellow Aliens. (Oddly, the game is inconsistent about whether a given friendly Alien gets an aura or not, with in fact only one case that I ever noticed actually using the aura) The aura effect actually lets you see enemies through walls, which is critical to good play, as it lets you know exactly when an enemy is turning around so you can Stealth Kill them, whether another enemy is approaching them, etc.

Android and civilian seen right through a wall.

Same android and civilian seen partially through glass.

An armed human, though technically not a Marine. The weird displacement you're seeing is caused by the angle of view on the glass, which doesn't crop up often and has nothing to do with the pheremone mechanic.

The further away an enemy is, the more faded the aura will become. Once you're used to this, you can generally eyeball how far away an enemy is just on the intensity of the aura alone, right through walls. Do note, however, that the range on pheromones really is quite short, and so in more open environments and longer tunnels if you're focusing solely on the aura effect you can easily find yourself being shot at before you even realize an enemy is ahead of you. This can be particularly jarring if you're used to the pheromone mechanics of the 1999 game, where an enemy's aura becomes harder to see with distance but never goes away entirely.

Note that unlike the 1999 game, the only hostiles that don't show up on pheromones are Sentry Turrets. There's a handful of cases where a human lacks pheromones, but these are all unarmed humans who just plain don't matter. They're not even Harvestable. You don't have to worry about turning a corner and failing to see an android in the darkness before they've killed you with their shotgun like in the 1999 game, as Sentry Turrets that are online always display a blue line effect that marks the direction they're looking. (Though keep in mind Sentry Turrets see noticeably further out than the line depicts)

Speaking of Harvesting...

Harvesting

Civilians are, with two exceptions, absolutely no danger to the player. Most of them panic and run if they see you, but contrary to what you might expect other enemies won't respond to panicking civilians at all, so civilians can basically be completely ignored. Their gameplay reason for existing is that you can Harvest them, which itself serves no purpose except that there's an Achievement for Harvesting all the civilians. (An Achievement the game provides absolutely no feedback on, at that: do you need to Harvest everyone in one run? If not, are civilians individually tracked, or does each mission simply keep track of how many civilians you Harvested in a given attempt as a 'high score'?) Harvesting is a fairly lengthy animation that you're completely vulnerable for the duration of, so you should only bother if you're interested in getting that Achievement or want to see the animations.

Said animations are pretty disappointing: you push the target to the ground and force their head into a particular position, and then a Facehugger comes in from the edge of your vision and jumps on them. Where did it come from? Off-camera! I wouldn't mind so much if there was some actual gameplay consequence to the whole thing, but alas it's just a bit of a limp-wristed effort to fit the whole 'Aliens harvesting people to generate more Aliens' thing into the game at all. This is one case where I think Aliens vs Predator 2 did a clearly superior job: in AvP2 the Alien campaign has you start as a Facehugger, sneak off to implant on someone, then switch over to playing as the Chestburster first forcing its way out of the man and then sneaking off to eat enough food to reach your adult form, letting you personally experience the whole Alien lifecycle and get a bit of variety to your gameplay while you're at it.

What Harvesting calls to mind as a meaningful mechanic would be shifting the Alien's campaign over from a pure stealth puzzler game and over to a squad stealth puzzler game, with Harvesting being used to give you more Alien subordinates in the following mission. That would've touched on the basic idea of what Harvesting is meant to represent, given a gameplay reward for successfully Harvesting civilians, made the Alien more distinct from the Predator, and meaningfully touched on the whole 'Aliens work together as a hive' thing.

Alas, we get a Steam Achievement thing that isn't that interesting. I appreciate the attempt, but the execution is lackluster.

Something worth pointing out is that the first mission doesn't have any civilians you can Harvest. There's a woman who shows up as a civilian, but the game is half lying to you half calling your attention to her sending the distress signal that brings the player Marine to the planet. Her room is not accessible and she doesn't count for the Harvesting Achievement. Same basic dealy with the first two civilians in the blatant tutorial sequence: you're forced to kill them, the Harvesting mechanic disabled.

Hissing

This is basically the Alien's version of the Predator's Distraction mechanic, and it's actually even sillier. You press a button, the Alien hisses, and a nearby Marine or Combat Android will hear it and probably decide to follow it to its source. (ie your current location) Or maybe they'll just turn around in place and stare in your general location. In spite of what you might intuitively expect people to do when they hear an Alien hissing nearby, it's the case that one Marine or Combat Android will react to the noise and for no sensible reason decide to investigate it. Multiple might turn to face you, but only one will check out the noise. This isn't too unrealistic when it's just the one soldier left alone and you can imagine they're trying to hunt the Alien down before it kills them too, but if it's one soldier Hissing is probably irrelevant. Just circle around them and Stealth Kill them. So it's a wonky mechanic on a believability level.

Also note that like Distraction, Hissing won't work on enemies that are considered to be on alert. This doesn't really matter in practice, because in the Alien campaign 'on alert' mostly just means 'in the middle of shooting or chasing you'. Occasionally Marines will be scripted to do something and will ignore you Hissing until they've completed that task: for example, there's one room that starts with several Marines where once you've whittled them down to just two Marines, the both of them will abandon their normal positions/patrol routes to go stand in fixed area, covering each other, and they'll blow off a Hiss until they've arrived at the fixed area. But this is very much the exception, and as far as I noticed such scripting is always fairly limited in duration.

Sprinting

Like the Predator, the Alien can Sprint. Unlike the Predator, Sprinting is really good on the Alien. It lasts several seconds, drastically increases your speed (You go something like twice as fast), and then you only have to wait the one second to use it again. Notably, Sprinting is not some kind of un-stealthy action that gives away your position, making it useful for closing in on an enemy to Stealth kill them before they turn around or whatever. On higher difficulties, it's also an important tool for getting away from enemies if you botch an attempted Stealth Kill.

Note that you can't perform attacks while in the middle of a Sprint, including that you can't initiate Stealth and Trophy Kills until you drop out of the Sprint. This just requires getting decent at timing when you briefly let go of the forward button, though, and generally isn't a real limitation.

Jumping

The Alien doesn't have Focus Mode jumps like the Predator does, but this is because Focus Mode jumps are effectively its default. The targeting cursor in the center of your view has two sizes, with the larger one also being spikier: if it's small, pressing the jump button will cause you to hop directly up relative to your current surface, pretty much exactly like jumping on the Marine and Predator. If it's large and spiky, however, that means that whatever surface you're currently looking at is what you'll attempt to jump directly at if you press the jump button: pretty much exactly like the Predator's Focus Mode jumps, except you can target walls and ceilings too.

Occasionally you won't actually land on the thing you targeted and will fall a bit short. I've not pinned down a hard rule for this behavior, and I'm not sure it's even entirely consistent anyway, so just keep in mind that you're potentially risking falling into a firezone if you're trying to eg jump right over a Sentry Turret's targeting area.

Melee combat

Melee combat works almost exactly like with the Predator: Light Attack, Heavy Attack, Blocking, leap attacking.

The first main difference is that the Alien defaults to crawling on all fours. If you use a Light Attack or Heavy Attack while nearby an enemy, or use a Block at all, you will stand up as part of this process, which means entering into melee combat increases your profile size and thus makes it easier for enemies to shoot you. As such, where the Predator may be better off turning a botched Stealth Kill attempt into beating the target up and then ducking out of sight of other enemies, for the Alien it's far safer to just run.

The second point is that the Heavy Attack button actually has two different behaviors on the Alien. When you're close to an enemy combatant, it works as with the Predator: you prepare to make a big swing, and then slap the enemy with the back of your hand. (Okay, that part is different and weird: the Predator is stabbing people with blades. What is the Alien supposed to be accomplishing here?) If there are no enemies within that range, though, you instead whip your tail out nearly instantly to where your cursor is pointed at. The game's primary intended use for this functionality is smashing lights to make it easier to stealth about, but there's a small band in which you're close enough to hit an enemy with a tail whip but not so close that pressing the button triggers the slap attack. This is particularly significant in the boss rush at the end of the Alien's campaign, as the tail strike hits just as hard as a 'proper' Heavy Attack and can stun or knock over the target too, yet it comes out instantly, you're hitting the enemy from too far away for them to properly retaliate, and it can be 'fired' more frequently than a 'proper' Heavy Attack to boot, which goes a long way to speed up that sequence.

The tail strike is also notable for being able to strike enemies through Vent entries while you're inside the Vent. If you've ended up cornered in a Vent and aren't sure how to arrange some Stealth Kills, you've got the option of stabbing someone, though keep in mind you'll be getting shot at in short order if you don't either get out of the way or kill everyone who now knows where you're at. The tail strike is also your best option for activating exploding canisters: while these canisters don't detonate instantly when the Alien attacks them, every bit of distance between you and them to start with is helpful regardless, as if you are in their radius when they go off you instantly die, even if eg there's a solid object between you and the canister.

One final note about Heavy Attack weirdness: while the player Alien's close-in Heavy Attack is a glorified slap, AI Aliens perform an inner-mouth attack that is telegraphed by an incredibly awkward-looking animation whereby the Alien performs a short hop forward on its rear limbs, leaning back with its arms held in a strange pose, before lunging forward head-first. I presume this is to make it easier to tell when an Alien is performing a Heavy Attack than would be the case if it was just a swipe with the hand. Conversely, AI Aliens never use their tail for any purpose, and in fact it's effectively a disadvantage for them as it makes it easier to track them when they're doing things like making an attack in passing and then trying to circle around you: usually their tail will linger in your vision long enough for you to know which direction to turn.

Vents

The Alien can crawl around inside small spaces inaccessible to the Marine and Predator. Unlike the 1999 game, vents in this game are special developer-designated holes you have to press the jump key while looking at, at which point you enter/exit the space in question. Such Vent entries are indicated by a weird rippling circle effect that is really easy to overlook, and I don't really get why the developers didn't go with something a bit more obvious. If you activate Focus Mode, Vents will additionally be indicated by a visual effect of smoke pouring out of them, which is so non-obvious I actually didn't catch it until my third run through the Alien's campaign. When you're inside a Vent space, enemies usually can't see you unless you do something to call attention to yourself, such as hurting them with a tail whip, even if it seems like they should be able to see you just fine.
You can just barely see the rippling effect in this shot. It's slightly more obvious in motion, but not by much.

Smoke pouring out the vent because of Focus Mode. You can also barely see how Focus Mode induces a rippling distortion at the edge of your vision. It's not any more obvious in motion.

Vents can also have a wavy grass effect that is honestly more obvious than the other two effects, which is unfortunate because it's only used in floor/ceiling Vents, making it really easy to overlook wall-Vents.

Note that when you jump out of a Vent, you'll always attach to a nearby surface in a developer-designated way. You might expect climbing down out of a ceiling Vent to lead to you dropping to the ground below, but in actuality you'll be latched onto the ceiling nearby the Vent. This is often counterintuitive and confusing, especially as the game will generally force you to cling to the ceiling if a wall Vent is near the ceiling yet going in through the same Vent will lead to you being on the 'floor' of the Vent system.

Vents come in two forms: actual crawlspaces you can clamber around inside of, and little holes you will jump into and face out of. The latter type are meant to let you ambush enemies by hiding inside them, but their presence is fairly erratic in the campaign and the only sequence that actually tries to force you to use any does so for a gimmick travel 'puzzle', not for ambush purposes. (Well, there's another sequence I suspect is meant to force you to use such a hidey-hole, but I actually didn't even discover the hidey-hole until my second run)

On a somewhat different note, it's worth mentioning that a good rule of thumb is that if the campaign wants you to pass through an area that the Marine would be unable to walk through, the answer is Vents. Even if you'd logically expect to be able to crawl over a wall, or go around through a different route, you're wrong, the answer is Vents. If you keep this in mind, you'll probably spend less time frustrated than I did on my original run of the Alien campaign. There's one particular case where the game directs you to disable an electrified fence where the intuitive expectation is that you can now crawl over the electrical fencing -you can't. You just opened up a nearby vent that happened to be blocked by arcing electricity.

Yeah.

Focus Mode

Like the Predator, the Alien has a Focus Mode. Unlike the Predator, it's not very useful. The Alien's Focus Mode does two things: it lets you see and target Vents to jump into from further away, and it lets you target enemies to perform a leap attack on. The former is a minor convenience, while the latter has the same problems as it does on the Predator, only worse because the Alien really shouldn't be getting into proper fist-fights if it can avoid it, period. You might expect Focus Mode to reveal goodies, but while the Alien has Royal Jelly canisters to smash as an equivalent to the Trophy Belts the Predator wants to collect, the Alien's Focus Mode doesn't make Royal Jelly canisters visible through walls or anything of the sort, and that and civilians are the closest thing to collectible goodies the Alien has.

I'm genuinely unsure why the Alien's Focus Mode is in the game at all, honestly.

Difficulty notes

For the Alien, moving up from Normal to Hard basically just forces you to play the game 'correctly'. On Normal, you can often run up to an isolated Marine and flail at them with your melee attacks and kill them just fine. On Hard, this is a lot more dangerous, with shotgun-wielding Marines in particular being almost guaranteed to kill you in one shot. (Which, mind, could already happen on Normal, it's just they'll usually reduce to to a sliver of health and then probably die during your flailing) As such, on Hard you really need to put in the effort to arrange safe Stealth Kills on enemies, and as much as possible avoid being spotted. (Outside of boss fights, of course) Nightmare is essentially indistinguishable from Hard, especially as the Alien's missions are all so short that having to do a mission in one sitting isn't much of a burden. I'm not even sure you actually take more damage on Nightmare.

It's really too bad the game doesn't do anything to make the stealth puzzles more complicated on higher difficulties, as playing the Alien on higher difficulties barely matters as-is. My own Nightmare run had one death prior to the final mission, and all my deaths in the final mission occurred before the first checkpoint anyway, so... yeah, not even Nightmare difficulty really impacted my experience much.

General tips

The Alien is basically the middle species for overall difficulty, particularly if you went out of your way to master Stealth Kills in the Predator campaign first. You're a lot more fragile than the Predator, can't hide in plain sight wherever you like by relying purely on distance and a cloaking device to hide you, and can't opt out of the stealth game with a Plasmacaster etc, but broadly speaking the principles are similar enough.

Stealth Kills are completely silent in mechanical terms, and enemies have a surprisingly narrow cone of vision. As such, it's actually possible to Stealth Kill someone who is directly behind another person without alerting the second individual, same as when playing the Predator. In general, if you're not performing a melee attack (Light Attack, Heavy Attack, or tail whip) you're probably not generating noise. Even melee attacks only generate noise if they hit something.

Just like with playing the Predator, enemies are surprisingly blind. You don't even necessarily need to be in darkness for them to fail to spot you when you really ought to be in their peripheral vision, and sometimes even an enemy looking directly at you will fail to see you from a modest distance away even though the game insists you've currently got light shining on you. Not only that, but enemies don't react the way you'd expect to bodies: if you Stealth Kill an enemy and the animation shoves their ravaged corpse right in front of another Marine, the Marine will either ignore it entirely or stop and stare at it while announcing that the fellow is dead. They will not freak out and look for you, and 'stop and stare at the corpse' is actually one of the most vulnerable states a Marine can be in, as they won't look around unless you make a noise until the state is actually over with.

Combat Androids are obnoxiously more aware, and I suspect they're outright buggy. Marines that hear you will engage in the lazily-programmed behavior of looking directly at you, sometimes with the light from their flashlights actually clipping right through walls. This can be a bit alarming, but the only consequence it has is to ensure that making noise temporarily makes sneaking up on enemies extra-dangerous. Combat Androids will frequently turn to face you through walls for no reason at all, continue tracking your position as you move about, and only lose track of you if you outright back off. The net result is that Combat Androids are infuriatingly difficult to sneak up on and Stealth Kill, and I've never discovered a way to consistently sneak up on them. (Keeping in mind I've beaten the Alien campaign on Normal, Hard, and Nightmare, and so have had plenty of opportunity to try to figure this out) They're also notably more durable than Marines, making it difficult even on Normal to simply melee one to death without dying. The only good news is that the game never actually requires you to kill Combat Androids, and Combat Androids are a lot more rigid about their behavior than Marines: if a Combat Android is standing around, doing nothing, and you lure it away with a Hiss, once it loses track of you it will stop moving until such time as you catch its attention again. As such, you can somewhat gloss over the overly-aware behavior in actual play, but it's still fairly frustrating and I can't help but suspect it's buggy coding rather than a deliberate design decision.

If you hit an enemy with a Heavy Attack (Including the tail whip), this will frequently knock them off balance, potentially even knocking them down. An off-balance or downed enemy can be Trophy Killed, which is basically a Stealth Kill with a different animation set. I think it's also mechanically considered to not be silent, but it's sort of irrelevant because the process of setting up a Trophy Kill is, itself, not silent. In any event, this is safer then trying to just beat an enemy to death with pure melee attacks, and if you're not confident in your ability to successfully sneak up behind an enemy it's potentially a safer way to achieve an instant kill than a Stealth Kill. Just remember the target needs to be isolated so you don't get shot up while killing them.

Shotgun soldiers are unequivocally the most dangerous enemy type: a good way of reducing your frustration in stealth puzzles is to prioritize killing Shotgun soldiers first if you can. That way a slip-up that gets you killed by a Shotgun soldier occurs in the first couple of minutes of skulking about, and not when you've already spent ten minutes carefully taking apart the group and then die on the last soldier.

Just like the Predator, in open environments rooftops are your friend, and the Alien's lower profile makes it even more effective at hiding atop them.

There's an option for 'auto-transition' that negates the need to push a button to shift to climbing on a wall/ceiling/whatever, but even if you leave that option off you'll still automatically perform transitions in several circumstances. The most consistent and obvious one is that you'll crawl downward when going over edges that for the Marine and Predator would lead to them falling down, but there's also cases where eg a ramp up against a wall leads into you climbing up the wall automatically. This is easily confusing for a first-time player, as the game provides no warning for it and it's inconsistent with the other two species, but once you know it's a thing it's fairly useful.

Royal Jelly canisters are by far the collectible that's easiest to overlook. They tend to be better-hidden than the other collectibles, you lack the Predator's highlight-at-a-distance-and-through-solid-objects effect, and they just plain don't stand out against the environment. This is exacerbated by your 3-dimensional movement: scouring the fullness of the Alien's levels is surprisingly involved, even though they're not very large.

Where the Predator basically doesn't have fall damage but technically does, the Alien just plain doesn't have fall damage that I can tell. It's possible it actually does and I just haven't noticed because the Alien's levels have fairly limited verticality, but as far as I know it's not possible to take fall damage in the Alien campaign.

While I'm mostly loathe to provide level-specific tips in these posts, an unpleasant surprise worth mentioning is that the Jungle level has Mines scattered across various Marine-inaccessible platforms. These Mines will instantly kill you if you're caught in their blast radius (Which is a bit frustrating when you consider that the player Alien is far tougher than AI Aliens, and yet AI Aliens can tank multiple Mine blasts), and the odd thing is that all they really do is punish a player for trying to find Royal Jelly canisters. If you go through the Jungle without bothering to explore, or do explore and just overlook some of the relatively innocuous high ground locations, you'll never seen see the Mines. It's a really bizarre design decision, and I'm pretty mystified by it.

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As an aside, I feel a bit of a missed opportunity with the Alien is that the player Alien doesn't get any mechanics for dragging people into Vents to be killed, or grabbing someone with the tail when hanging out above them to get them away from other people, even though these are not only classic Alien series tropes but the game itself likes to display this happening to humans and even Combat Androids in all three campaigns. Giving the Alien additional tools of this sort to work with would also have given the game more ability to escalate the challenge of its stealth puzzles: as-is, the Alien campaign ends up leaning more on gimmicky scripted sequences than on presenting you a room full of enemies and demanding you tease the puzzle apart carefully, because it's very difficult for the current design to actually increase the complexity and difficulty without turning a sequence impossible or tediously repetitive.

This would also have incidentally allowed Hiss to be gotten rid of or reworked into a more interesting an believable mechanic, where currently it's fairly silly and on a gameplay level it's a bit unsatisfying being able to peel enemies away one by one with a single mechanic. The Alien campaign really needs some more variety in its core mechanics, and while staying true to the series makes it trickier to do so than with the Predator and Marine it's genuinely puzzling to me that the developers have some interesting possibilities presented in scripting and tantalizingly close to being realized in the actual mechanics (eg Vent entries being explicitly defined means it shouldn't be too hard to define when you can drag someone into a Vent vs when you can't, compared to the 1999 game not having explicitly defined venting systems) and yet didn't follow through. Did they genuinely overlook the possibility, or did it turn out to be harder to program than I'm intuiting it would be?

Overall, my biggest complaint with the Alien campaign is actually the best kind of complaint: it's too short. I want more!

I mean, I do want it to be a bit more distinct from the Predator's campaign and feel it's got some other flaws, but these genuinely are relatively minor compared to the length issue. I played through the game three times all the way up to Nightmare, and where doing so with the Predator left me feeling like I'd gotten Enough, doing this with the Alien left me double-checking if the DLC added any Alien missions. (Answer: no)

Next time, we wrap up the campaign species stuff with the Marine.

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