Under The Hunter's Moon - AvP2 Custom Map Campaign (Complete Playthrough) - Part 2
Aliens vs Predator 2 singleplayer custom map titled "Under the Hunter's Moon".
Map author: Phil 'Windebieste' Wlodarczyk.
Under the Hunter's Moon (UHM) is a massive campaign loosely based on the 2004 Aliens vs Predator film. In UHM, the player controls a predator and is accompanied by two predator npcs who can be issued basic commands of holding position or following the player. The beginning of the campaign starts off at the snowy, whaling station. Here the player will face a few human npcs. Once the player enters the tunnel, the player will encounter the underground pyramid. Upon entry, the rest of the campaign will occur in the pyramid among its various rooms and chambers.
The best part of the map has to be the pyramid itself. While the entire campaign is textured to look very much like the movie, the pyramid contains many moving parts and traps. Many of the traps have an Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider feel to them. However, some traps can be a bit too harsh, such as solid floors that suddenly break dropping the player into a pit of spikes. There are also many traps that are triggered via pressing the wrong switch or walking in the wrong path. Some traps will trigger environmental hazards, while others will spawn aliens to attack the player. The enemies in the temple are nearly all aliens, minus a few human npcs that are carrying plasmacasters. Like in the AvP movie, the predators are attempting to retrieve their weapons and continue their hunt. So the player will face similar mission objectives in UHM.
Even though UHM is a campaign, it is also a mod in that it brings some new weaponry and models. The coolest addition in my opinion is the shuriken replacing the smart disc. In fact, my AvP movie electrovision skins (the green aliens in the vision mode) are included in this campaign too and they look great with the redone vision mode. However, much of the predator's weaponry is missing from the whole campaign. This may be a design choice to limiting the weaponry to the predator weapons as seen in the AvP film.
While I love a lot of this campaign, I have some major gripes with it as well. UHM is by FAR the most difficult campaign/map (minus the first level) ever made for AvP2. I appreciate difficult maps, but the challenge here is excessively difficult at times to the point at which it becomes totally unfair to the player. My playthrough took a little over two and a half hours. I probably cut about 15 minutes of wandering around trying to figure out what to do. Many times in the campaign there is no indication or hint as to where to go. Some walls that must be broken, look like normal dirt and one wouldn't know that these walls have to be destroyed to pass if not randomly attacking everything.
Although my biggest frustration lies in the alien npc ai. The aliens are VERY headbite-happy in UHM. They will even headbite while pouncing in mid-air. This can actually be quite a fun challenge, but the player's weaponry is limited. To deal with multiple instant-killing aliens the player should use long range weaponry such as the plasmacaster. However, the energy sift (tool for replacing energy to use said plasmacaster) is omitted from the campaign. Thus, ammo is extremely scarce and the player is forced to use a lot of melee. Predator melee is a LOT weaker against insta-kill, headbiting aliens. Predator healing is also omitted. So the player must quick save often hoping to have enough health to finish the map. After each map the players health and ammo is restored to maximum. The only way the player can heal is finding the rare secret pool to take a dip in. I found only one in my playthrough.
There are parts in the campaign where aliens will infinitely spawn. Even if the player kills a dozen aliens in a row, they keep spawning until eventually overwhelming the player. The parts that have infinite spawns are sometimes traps, whereas other times they aren't and are forcing the player to run to safety. If the player encounters the queen, this type of event will occur, except the aliens that spawn are 100% invincible. This is an intended trap (it is subtlety mentioned in the readme file) but I forgot and quick-saved after triggering the trap. Thus, I was entirely screwed. I realized there was a way around the trap by leading the invincible aliens into lava, but they never died and just kept screaming while stuck.
I should also mention that early in the campaign the ally predator npcs would collapse to the ground after getting injured/attacked by aliens. Later on towards the end of the campaign, one of the same predators would instantly die every time he was attacked. This was extremely frustrating, bordering on 007 protecting Natalya frustration.
UHM as a whole is pretty great. It has great presentation and a lot of content. I really think it needed some balancing with the ai, or at least a boost of the player's weaponry. If one can look past the frustrating moments, there is a lot
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