Everybody loves Predators, they’ve survived 2 attempts to completely kill any interest in them (thanks AvP and AvP2) and they’re butt ugly too, but they’re still somehow brilliant.
Robert Rodriguez Presents Predators takes place in a big jungle, as per the film, and you get to play as the ugly guys themselves, taking down a bunch of convicts and miscreants who are unlucky enough to find themselves in your neck of the woods.
This amounts to using various weapons and tactics to satisfyingly tear them limb from limb, often leaving a big red stain on the floor that no amount of fabreeze will ever disguise (this is why you should never invite a Predator to your house party). Weapons range from the standard issue metal claws to staffs, long range lasers and even nets.
Weapons are unlocked as you play through the missions, all of which are either tutorials which explain how you use a weapon/tactic or simple ‘hunt this main boss guy’ missions. In fact, the biggest disappointment here is that playing through all 24 levels feels like one long tutorial and you’re left wondering what might have been if the developers had let you lose in a more open-world game with just a headcount and achievements to aim for.
Long range weapons are a pain to use due to the small map and lack of space on screen, most players will find that sticking with claws and staff will do the job well enough. Added to this, the melee kills are a great deal of fun and you can perform a Body Slice or Trophy Kill (where you rip the enemy’s head off).
While the gameplay is slightly lacking, the graphics are pleasingly rich and provide some lovely detail as the rain lashes down and you slice off yet another human head, holding it aloft to gain a Trophy Kill. Add the authentic battle-cries and sound effects and it all feels very movie-like. It’s a pity, then, that the levels are so small and cramped. If they’d been bigger and more varied the game would have been so much more exciting. Predators are supposed to be hunters, but you just don’t get that feeling as you wonder around bumping into a human at every turn.
It may not be quite the game I was hoping for, but somehow Predators manages to rise above its own shortcomings. While it’s by no means a long game, you can go back and replay any mission, earning more points to improve your weapons and gaining stats which can be viewed in the trophy room. Adding Crystal was a smart move too, allowing you to aim for Xbox-like achievements through replaying levels. If a free-play mode and bigger maps were included this would be a must-have game.
For less than a couple of pounds you can indulge in your own Predator fantasies for a few hours. This, the satisfying kills and the detailed graphics save the game from being forgettable and make it worth downloading if you’re a fan of the franchise.