I know I tried to convince you all the other day that Steam is my nemesis, but then they went and put the original PC Aliens vs Predator game on there. For £2.99. God I love you, Steam. You’re amazing. Please don’t ever change.
For those who don’t know and don’t care what that is or what it means, you may stop reading now and go do something else. Leave the house, buy some food, go for a jog, iron things – whatever it is you normies do. Those who don’t know but do care what it is or what it means can read on.
Also, those who do know but don’t care or do know and do care can… oh, I’ve gone cross-eyed. Do what you want, you chumps. I’m going to wax lyrical about a fantastic game from ten years ago. But not much, as I have real, paying work to be getting on with.
AvP came out not too long after I got my first PC, and I was still getting used to the world of FPS’s’s’s’ssss’ that actually worked (seeing as they didn’t on console, apart from Doom on PSOne, which is still better than the PC version). So it was with great joy that I picked up a copy of the game of the comic* of two of my favourite monsters ever made: the Alien and the Predator (and one of my favourite characters in the space marine, before the likes of Halo made them shit and eponymous). Actually, writing their names down I’ve just realised how shit those names really are. Though, on the other hand, calling Arnie’s foe ‘Clive’ probably wouldn’t have had the same effect.
Anyway – installed, loaded up, played. Video clip of bloke telling you to get the fudge out of dodge as it’s all gone a bit FUBAR. So you do. And you immediately start shitting yourself, as you’re alone, it’s very dark and every fucking inanimate object in a five-mile radius decides to start moving. God damn you, things. It takes most of the first level before you even see an Alien, and when you do – bam, two hits and you’re dead.
Yeah – forgot to mention – Rebellion made the original AvP with everything turned up to ‘cunt’ on the difficulty device.
But that just helped. You didn’t want to get into a fight because if you did you would, without a lot of luck and skill, end up dead. But that never felt cheap; it never felt like the computer was cheating you out of fun by being a massive prick. It just fit the story – these species were made to fuck your shit up, as the kids do indeed say.
I could go on, but I’m pushing 500 words and I haven’t even got to why AvP is such a special game to me. One day I was sat in the living room at my Mum’s house, playing along. I had headphones on so as not to disturb my brother and mother, who were both watching TV. So there I was, drawn in to this stunningly atmospheric little world, and I was hunting facehuggers with the motion detector. It bleeped, I flinched, before I could react I had a facehugger on my face (fitting its job description well, I have to admit). The initial bleep of the motion detector, the noise of the facehugger grabbing me and the jolt of movement on screen combined to make me royally shit myself, jerk backwards and fall off my chair in absolute, all-out terror.
Nothing – nothing – no game, book, movie, TV show, person, late-night walk alone of any kind has ever scared me more than that game managed. Granted, being beaten up by two ruffians when I was younger was scarier, but of all the things where I was in no actual danger it was a videogame that has scared me the most.
So well done AvP. You’ve earned my £2.99. I just hope you haven’t aged too badly.
*And not the game of the film, as the films, Mr Paul WS Anderson, made me want to claw my eyes out with a rusty Spam tin. Well, not so much the second one, but for fuck’s sake man – learn to write an ending. You will likely be the subject of one of these blogs this year, young man.