Predators Hands-On Preview, with Video

We’ve just added a hands-on video and a new developer trailer to our Predators preview. Check them both out after the jump!

From the first announcement of Predators, we’ve been interested in this idea of playing as a lethal, other-worldly creature (the word “alien” doesn’t seem appropriate here). Now that we understand it a bit more, Predators seems a little less intimidating to us.

Based on the movie coming out in the U.S. on July 9, Predators lets you play as the deadly menace as you wipe out humans unfortunate enough to share the jungle with you. Unlike previous movies starring Predators since the first one, the action stays centered in the jungle. No mechanical pyramids under the ice caps here.

The game is designed by Angry Mob, who previously made the game Guerrilla Bob, and its influence is felt in the twin-stick controls, if not the visual style. When you start the game, your Predator will have access to all the bells and whistles: Infra-red, invisibility, plasma gun, two melee weapons, and more. This only lasts for a few minutes, though, as you’re soon stripped of everything except the ability to run and slash.

As you gain back new moves, you’ll fight human foes from different backgrounds with different fighting styles. There’s a Russian Spetsnaz soldier with a chain gun, a Yakuza gang member with a katana, and a Mexican drug enforcer with dual uzis. Some of these are simply fodder for your blades, while others are tougher boss fights. There are eight main types of characters, and you’ll kill most of them many times over.

We thought the graphics were pretty good, with realistic-looking figures and a nice, if self-contained, jungle setting. The gore level is intact, with plenty of dismemberment. We wish the levels allowed for a bit more stealth, especially early on, because early on you end up running right at bad guys and taking them out with a few swipes, while it takes you much longer to die from their bullets. There are 23 levels, so it’s likely the game gets a lot more challenging and strategic in the later levels.

As far as movie tie-ins go, Predators looks pretty good. But until we spend more time with it, it’s hard to tell if it will do this classic movie monster justice, since the first few levels are so stripped-down.

Predators will cost $2.99 and should launch on the App Store on July 1, if all goes according to plan. There will be an iPad version as well, with some extra features that are still to be determined.

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