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AVP: Evolution Review

By , on March 5, 2013


AVP: Evolution
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Draws inspiration from the broader AVP universe; developer has a clear love for the franchises its handling.
  • iCloud support makes it easy to switch between iPad and iPhone; play in comfort or on the go without fuss.

CONS

  • Combat animations feel stiff and lifeless; leaves you open to constant counter-attack.
  • Uninspired brawler kill-rooms. Swipe registration poor on the iPad; would often watch nothing happen despite multiple swipes to complete an execution.
  • Performance drops when activating different vision modes.

VERDICT

If you're willing to forgive the combat for being completely stiff and graceless, there's still a bit of meat left on AVP: Evolution's bones, but not much.


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With the Alien franchise in a bit of a slump thanks to the dramatic failure of the recently released 'Colonial Marines' it was a warm comfort to know that the new Alien vs. Predator title 'Evolution' was in the safe hands of Angry Mob Games, the boffins behind the brutally fun Predators for the App Store.

However, instead of a violent love letter to the sci-fi universe's deadliest hunters, players are handed a basic revenge plot where they'll have to fight to survive and defeat the Super Predators who seek to control the Xenomorphs and Jungle Predators. And in case I was being ambiguous, by fight to survive, I mean you'll be fighting against the game itself.

The basic gameplay takes on the guise of a third-person brawler, pitting you against locked room after locked room full of enemies of varying strength. Unfortunately the combat has no weight or flow, with both the Predator and Alien frantically swiping at the air, locked in to their animations when they fail to connect with an enemy. Worse still, even when they do hit, the enemies can block your strikes, leaving you wide open to constant counter-attack (and don't even think about an 'execution' move if you're surrounded).

There's a genuine problem when the combat - the one thing in AVP: Evolution you have to engage in constantly - isn't fun at all. Upgrades and new weapons/gadgets do a good job of bringing the most recognizable features of the Predators and Xenomorphs to the game (everything from spitting acid to using deadly whips and nets), but it's little comfort when you're struggling to aim them at your foes.

As such it hardly warrants mentioning that the player will also have to contend with a camera that jumps around at a moment's notice, often refusing to stay in the place the player chooses for it, and the Xenomorphs feel less like stealthy assassins and more like brutish thugs thanks to the lack of an always-available wall-climb system to avoid patrolling enemies.

While it's great to see the back-and-forth dynamic of the Predator and Xenomorph ultimately working towards the same goal, it only reminds us of the far more engaging AVP2 for the PC and the vast gap in story and execution between such titles.

Until the combat feels dynamic and the blows get more weight behind them, AVP: Evolution will never invoke the satisfying thrill of being a deadly hunter.

Screenshots

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