The original Predator movie back in 1987 sparked a huge cult following and a subsequent movie and various crossovers with Aliens. Acclaimed producer Robert Rodriguez is set to rekindle that flame on the big-screen with a stand-alone movie, Predators, with Chillingo and Angry Mob Games stepping up for the mandatory small-screen game tie-in.

Like Guerilla Bob (Angry Mob's last project), Predators is a dual-stick shooter, though distinguishing itself with a unique focus on melee combat to satiate that staple Predator action. Where would Predator be without the wicked arsenal that we all know and love? Angry Mob Games has taken heed and supplemented the melee combat with his many useful longer-range attacks (such as the Plasma Cannon and Disc Weapon) and sensory abilities too.

These all come together in arena-like combat scenarios-- 24 of them to be exact-- where you are tasked with dispatching the supple human prey wandering into your predatory habitat. To begin with, your Predator has only the use of his claws, which are single target shredding machines, and only a single combo. The first few levels operate as an introduction sequence to familiarise yourself with the 6 melee combos at your disposal. Subsequent levels gradually unlock weapons and abilities that are all required to continue.

The Predator's arsenal provides both the objectives and context for the game's missions. Some missions require you to use your cloaking device to eliminate enemies undetected; others require you to use your thermal detection to take out sniping enemies. Others again require you to perform particular melee kills, or collect trophy scalps with the trophy kill combo after netting your prey. No matter the task at hand, the Predator swiss-army-knife has a tool to tackle it head-on and with deadly force; and it's great to see an effort has been made to make each weapon and ability useful.

Eventually, you are introduced to the overall targets of your bloody alien party; 8 warriors from Earth deemed worthy of being honorable Predator prey. These act as boss levels, which are unfortunately a low point in the game's missions-- requiring you to monotonously kill a large number of cannon fodder humans to flush them out-- and then killing them when they do. Each of these targets has a unique ability to make your job all the more difficult. In subsequent levels they reappear as standard enemies, the end result being that the final levels are replete with enemies sporting machine guns, samurai swords and sniper rifles are all trying to take you down first, adding considerably to the difficulty.

The on-screen controls are adequate to the task, with the dual-stick mechanics functioning as well as we've seen so far. Weapons are switched with on-screen buttons, and your limited energy bar (responsible for powering most of your weapons and armor abilities) is represented in the top left corner. Melee combat is where the controls really stand out however, with an A and B button activating a number of different combos and attacks. Pressing B while running for example, will cause your Predator to leap attack; a subsequent B will cause him to Impale your enemy, and another 3 A attacks will initiate the Trophy kill to brutally sever their head. It may sound difficult on paper, but combos and attacks are fluid and easily executed and look absolutely gut-wrenching-- pun intended!

On the flipside, the levels themselves in Predators attract our largest criticism. The jungle level at first appears lush and detailed, and though not overly large, suffices for the cloak and dagger gameplay required of the Predator. It is still a glorified square arena however, with clearly delineated boundaries containing what is essentially an open area somewhat reminescent of Minigore. And as in that game, the level does not change at all mission-to-mission. It's a real shame that one of the strengths of Guerilla Bob-- its varied level design-- couldn't be employed by the developers here as well.

The only other issue we had is that the game does suffer from a few minor bugs and graphical glitches that may hamper the occasional combo attack. Predators is also a little light on content, offering only a single difficulty level able to be played through in a couple of hours. Fortunately, the last level to be unlocked also doubles as an endless Survival Mode, in what will undoubtedly be the bread and butter for competitive types.

Throughout the levels, the more difficult kills are awarded with a greater honor bonus, a points system used to upgrade your unlocked weapons. In its current implementation though, honor points seem a little superfluous as we earned far more points than we could spend on a simple run through, and never had to work towards our upgrades. In any case, Chillingo's Crystal platform is used to record these scores online and to provide a set of achievements for completionists to tackle.

Predators is a faithful rendition of the source material, checking off all the gory boxes to satisfy even the headiest of cult followers. More importantly however, Predators successfully combines fun melee combat, light stealth gameplay and missions acutely based on the Predator arsenal to offer a different and engaging Predator gameplay experience on the iOS device. We only hope that future DLC can introduce more interesting level designs and additional missions to flesh out the existing content.

App Store Link: Predators, $2.99 (Universal App for iPhone & iPad).

TouchArcade Rating

  • Daniel

    Nice review and great to hear it's universal!

  • Daniel

    Nice review and great to hear it's universal!

  • Spongebob

    "Predators is also a little on light on the content side, able to be played through in a couple of hours."

    It's $2.99??? How much entertainment do you expect for $3?

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      Prices are something that can arbitrarily be raised by developers, so we choose not to factor them into any of our reviews. Granted, I personally think this is a steal, but it's up to the individual reader to weigh value (as we're all in different financial circumstances/degrees of iphone addiction).

      I do agree with you that it's something that could be elaborated on though, so I've made a few edits. As I'm comparing Predators with similar and existing offerings to draw that conclusion on content, I thought it was worthwhile to at least point out that there is only one difficulty level on offer, which is the usual way devs extend replayability.

      I would have loved to play it through again on a hardcore mode, or to have another arena to play on, for example.

      I guess it's a testament to how much I enjoyed it that I'm complaining about a couple of hours of gameplay -- I clearly want more!

  • Spongebob

    "Predators is also a little on light on the content side, able to be played through in a couple of hours."

    It's $2.99??? How much entertainment do you expect for $3?

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      Prices are something that can arbitrarily be raised by developers, so we choose not to factor them into any of our reviews. Granted, I personally think this is a steal, but it's up to the individual reader to weigh value (as we're all in different financial circumstances/degrees of iphone addiction).

      I do agree with you that it's something that could be elaborated on though, so I've made a few edits. As I'm comparing Predators with similar and existing offerings to draw that conclusion on content, I thought it was worthwhile to at least point out that there is only one difficulty level on offer, which is the usual way devs extend replayability.

      I would have loved to play it through again on a hardcore mode, or to have another arena to play on, for example.

      I guess it's a testament to how much I enjoyed it that I'm complaining about a couple of hours of gameplay -- I clearly want more!

  • KidKobun

    Didn't know that this was already on the app store. Purchased!

  • KidKobun

    Didn't know that this was already on the app store. Purchased!

  • James Bond

    I didn't get into Guerrilla Bob, I didn't find the virtual controls to be as responsive as I expect for a dual stick shooter. Consequently I'll pass on this one unless I hear many more good things about it.

    • dyscode

      Guerrilla Bob was shit! Got totally bored within 30 mins of gameplay.
      Same with Zombie Wonderland.

      But Predator is on totally different Level!
      IT`S AMAZING! YOu want ot go slashing over and over again!!!!!

      So it might be short but better a short good game than an everlasting well of boredom.

      And if people complain about the price, they should check back with reality once in a while and see what what fun they usually get for $3.

      Ok, I'd wish there were more variety of Enemis, more difficulty levels,
      but frag it - this game is already decent as it is.

  • http://micro James Bond

    I didn't get into Guerrilla Bob, I didn't find the virtual controls to be as responsive as I expect for a dual stick shooter. Consequently I'll pass on this one unless I hear many more good things about it.

    • dyscode

      Guerrilla Bob was shit! Got totally bored within 30 mins of gameplay.
      Same with Zombie Wonderland.

      But Predator is on totally different Level!
      IT`S AMAZING! YOu want ot go slashing over and over again!!!!!

      So it might be short but better a short good game than an everlasting well of boredom.

      And if people complain about the price, they should check back with reality once in a while and see what what fun they usually get for $3.

      Ok, I'd wish there were more variety of Enemis, more difficulty levels,
      but frag it - this game is already decent as it is.

  • Shirokami

    Wow. This has decapitation and is available in the Japan store. I wonder how long before it is removed. CERO (our rating system) does not allow for decapitation (or dismemberment of any kind, actually) in games - hence no Dead Space and a heavily modified God of War series.

    Demon space tentacles raping blue haired school girls… OK. Just no dismemberment. ^_____^

  • Shirokami

    Wow. This has decapitation and is available in the Japan store. I wonder how long before it is removed. CERO (our rating system) does not allow for decapitation (or dismemberment of any kind, actually) in games - hence no Dead Space and a heavily modified God of War series.

    Demon space tentacles raping blue haired school girls… OK. Just no dismemberment. ^_____^

  • Gamer.

    One map? Yikes, that alone may keep me away. It's not that I don't think it's worth the money, I just like some variation in my levels!

  • Gamer.

    One map? Yikes, that alone may keep me away. It's not that I don't think it's worth the money, I just like some variation in my levels!

  • Josh

    Dude? Have you even finished it? I counted 6 different maps!

  • Josh

    Dude? Have you even finished it? I counted 6 different maps!

  • Joey

    I had just bought it yesterday and played it through till the early hours of the morning, a fun and addictive game, yes its short and the level maps are lacking but i think the main focus was ment to be combat, the never ending prey seems to know where you are at all times giving not much to the stealth aspect, weapon upgrades and different helms to wear add a little customization to it.

    the survival level is mental i got up to 173 prey before I was finally mowed down by crazy katana weilding enemies!

    the game is based on a jungle inhabited planet how many jungle style maps do you want?

    all in all I love this game and will stay on my ever growing app list for a while

  • Joey

    I had just bought it yesterday and played it through till the early hours of the morning, a fun and addictive game, yes its short and the level maps are lacking but i think the main focus was ment to be combat, the never ending prey seems to know where you are at all times giving not much to the stealth aspect, weapon upgrades and different helms to wear add a little customization to it.

    the survival level is mental i got up to 173 prey before I was finally mowed down by crazy katana weilding enemies!

    the game is based on a jungle inhabited planet how many jungle style maps do you want?

    all in all I love this game and will stay on my ever growing app list for a while