Aliens vs Predator 2 is the third game of the Alien vs. Predator franchise. As with the previous game, it features three playable campaigns, one each for the Aliens, the Predators and the Colonial Marines. Unlike the previous title, however, the campaigns are all related and take place at the same time and in the same location, and while they never actually engage with each other, characters from different campaigns occasionally cross paths. Sierra released an expansion to the game titled Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt in 2002. A further unrelated sequel, Aliens vs. Predator, followed in 2010.
Almost half a century after the events of Aliens and Alien3, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation followed the flight telemetry of the Derelict Ship found on LV-426 and discovered a world full of life and dotted with the ruins of an extraterrestrial civilization—and infested with Xenomorphs. This planet would become known as LV-1201. The Company establishes a long-term research facility under Dr. Eisenberg to study the planet, the ruins, and the Aliens. The facility consists of a Primary Operations Complex and a network of five massive Forward Observation Pods suspended over a canyon.
- Main article: Aliens versus Predator 2 characters
- An unnamed Warrior is the playable Xenomorph character in the game. A both intelligent and aggressive Xenomorph, it caused the incident on LV-1201 in attempting to escape from the Primary Operations Complex back to the Hive.
- Corporal Andrew "Frosty" Harrison is the playable human character in the game. A Colonial Marine, he is characterized by a refusal to abandon his fellow Marines. Other than combat, Harrison specializes in electronics and is also qualified to pilot an Exosuit.
- Prince is the playable Yautja character in the game. 19 years before, he and his clan attacked a Weyland-Yutani outpost, where he chased and downed a Colonial Marine known as Rykov. Now, knowing Rykov is still alive, the Predator has come to LV-1201 to finish the job.
- Dr. Eisenberg is the head researcher in charge of the LV-1201 facility. He was the only survivor of a disastrous first expedition; when a massive storm cut off his outpost's security systems and communications, he was forced to kill and eat his colleagues.
- General Vassili Rykov is the head of the Iron Bears or "Corporates", a group of private military contractors employed by Weyland-Yutani. He is the main antagonist of the Predator campaign.
- The Empress is the primary Xenomorph Queen on LV-1201. Eisenberg's efforts are focussed on capturing and controlling her. She is larger than the younger Queens. She is the main antagonist of the Marine campaign.
- Major McCain is the commanding officer of the Colonial Marines dispatched to LV-1201 at Weyland-Yutani's request. He is a fine leader, but is oblivious to what Rykov and Eisenberg have in store for him and his Marines.
Cutting back to the timeframe of the game itself, Dr. Eisenberg is discussing some of the facility's problems with a Company auditor. Those problems include the loss of Pod 5, missing artefacts and unauthorized research, and the oversight committee is getting worried. Eisenberg will have none of it.
Meanwhile, Major Dunya delivers a large container to Captain Richter, operator of the cargo vessel Aurora. He has apparently been smuggling artefacts stolen by the Iron Bears, but this crate is larger than normal. He attempts to scan it, but the container is shielded against scanning. Richter is called away to a meeting with Rykov by a security guard, Lloyd, shortly before liftoff. The crate is knocked over and opened when the ship is bumped during the refueling process, revealing the Egg within. The Egg opens and the player-controlled Facehugger emerges. The Facehugger leaves the ship through umbilical ductwork and begins to track an irritable guard, Cisco, through the POC. When Cisco retires to his quarters for a nap, the Facehugger springs on him and infects him.
In due time, a player-controlled Chestburster hatches, killing Cisco. It flees through an open window and proceeds through the POC until it finds nourishment — cats apparently kept for research purposes. It molts, and when it is next seen, it is a full-grown Warrior.
The Warrior fights its way through the POC, releasing other Xenomorphs being kept as test subjects along the way. It reaches the lower levels, finally encountering a Predator that has been stalking it, probably believing it would make a suitable challenge. It fatally wounds the Predator, which activates its Self-Destruct Device, thus blasting a hole into the POC's drainage system and allowing the Warrior to escape. Incidentally, the hole also allows thousands of Xenomorphs into the POC, thus causing the incident to which the Colonial Marines respond.
Six weeks later, the Warrior infiltrates the Pods during a brief security failure caused by Corporal Harrison. As the Xenomorphs attack the Pods, they kill Dimitri. The Warrior takes the opportunity to wreak havoc, killing dozens of guards and scientists, releasing a Predalien, and finally liberating an entire artificial Hive within the Pod. Along the way, it kills scientists who are about to impregnate another Predator with a Chestburster.
Eisenberg has taken advantage of the Marines' arrival to initiate the Large Mass Specimen Extraction, a project to capture the Xenomorph Empress. As part of the plan, combat synthetics have wired explosive charges throughout the tunnels of the Hive. After leaving the Pods and armed with this information, the Warrior must disable these explosives as it tracks the Empress.
The Empress is successfully captured, but the Warrior pursues her captors, including Eisenberg himself. It tracks them through an archaeological site, killing guards, civilians and Iron Bears mercenaries, to a dropship landing pad. It kills two Predators and sabotages the pad's support machinery, causing the dropship to crash. Furious, Eisenberg attacks the Warrior directly. When the alien incapacitates him, the game ends. A cutscene reveals that Eisenberg (in his current incarnation) is an android, and he has been cocooned within the Empress' chamber. His limbs have been removed and his screams echo through the Hive, as a Queen and the Warrior gloat.
The human story begins aboard the Conestoga-class USS Verloc, carrying a small contingent of Colonial Marines to planet LV-1201. The Weyland-Yutani facility there has not been heard from in six weeks, and the Marines are to rescue survivors and secure the facility until the 6th Battalion arrives.
Two dropships are deployed to the Primary Operations Complex (POC), but they are separated by hurricane winds and one is damaged. It falls to Harrison to restore power and activate the landing beacon. When he tries to restore the local security grid, he awakens the Xenomorphs that had lain dormant following their conquest of the POC. Most of the Marines are able to evacuate, but Sergeant Hall is captured by the Aliens. Harrison tracks her to a part of the POC which has been converted to a Hive, but he finds that Hall has been impregnated with a Chestburster. She dies as Harrison finds her.
The Marines then attempt to reach the Pods via the tunnel network connecting them to the POC. Harrison is sent ahead to deactivate tunnel security so the Marines' APCs can proceed through. In the process, he cuts the security to the Pods themselves.
When the Marines reach the Pods, Eisenberg and Rykov inform them of the security breach and claim that three archaeological teams have been stranded within a massive nearby Hive. The Marines volunteer to rescue the teams—but the "rescue mission" is actually part of an elaborate plot by Rykov and Eisenberg to kill the Marines themselves.
As Harrison tries to establish a communication link with the POC and the Verloc, Major Dunya knocks him out and throws him in a prison cell within the Pods, used to hold convict laborers. The Marines are told that Harrison was killed in a confrontation with an escaped convict. Harrison escapes, and during his flight he kills an escaped Predalien and unknowingly releases a captive Predator (who is none other than the main Predator character). Later, Harrison is contacted by a mysterious person using a voice scrambler. This person instructs him to pick up a data disk hidden in one of the labs in exchange for help returning to his team. He reluctantly complies.
As Harrison reaches the Pod's lowest levels, he sees the Predator he'd freed escape rather dramatically. Harrison picks up new gear and kills Rykov's right hand man Ivan and two Iron Bears before taking out another mercenary in an "Exosuit", a bipedal armored combat vehicle. He finally escapes the Pods.
As Harrison returns to the POC to find White Team, who had been stationed behind, he learns that the mysterious person who contacted him is Tomiko, an assemblyman's daughter who signed up for an internship on LV-1201 to find out what had happened to her brother, who she suspects was murdered. The data disk contains records of all the illegal activities taking place on the planet, which Tomiko wants to present to her father in an attempt to hold Weyland-Yutani accountable for its crimes.
Harrison finds several members of White Team, but they are all killed by Xenomorphs and Predators before Harrison can activate the landing beacon for an incoming dropship. Harrison manages to kill a Predator himself before reaching the dropship. Tomiko transmits the coordinates of an old entry site to the Hive, and Harrison, now in his own Exosuit, proceeds after his fellow Marines whom Rykov has stranded. Along the way, he must clear an infestation from some ancient extraterrestrial technology. His Exosuit is damaged during a fall, and he must proceed the rest of the way on foot. He locates his team in a massive chamber where the fossilized remains of a Space Jockey reside. A Xenomorph Queen attacks the squad, but Harrison is able to repel the Queen so that he and the rest of the Marines can escape via dropship. The Queen tries to stop them, but the dropship bombards her with missiles, killing her.
As the dropship puts distance between itself and the Hive, Tomiko overloads the fusion reactors in the Pods, destroying them and (apparently) killing herself. When the Marines return to the Verloc, Major McCain recommends abandoning any further rescue or salvage attempts on LV-1201.
The Predator arrives on LV-1201 with two clan members for a 'hunt'. It is gradually revealed that your Predator is a high ranking clan member, possibly an Elite, with better armor, Bio-Mask and weapons than your clan mates. After a quick human slaughter and a meeting with some of your other clan mates, who provide you with new weaponry, the Predator discovers his two clan mates have been captured by the Iron Bears. Pursuing the mercenaries into the facility, the Predator eventually succumbs to experimental elctro-magnetic pulse grenades which render his equipment useless and result in his capture.
Rykov, with his hatred for the Predators, places the Predator in a lab where it remains in stasis for over six weeks. It is revealed that this Predator is responsible for Rykov's injuries and his burning desire for revenge. Saved from being impregnated with a Xenomorph and inadvertently released by Corporal Harrison, the Predator, despite being infected with several diseases, powers through a horde of humans, reclaims his equipment and sets off in pursuit of General Rykov.
After a dramatic escape aboard a dropship, the Predator fights through the Alien infested caves and tunnels beneath the pods and eventually manages to signal his clan using human technology. The Predator clan promptly arrive and re-arm the Predator, who then sets off to finish Rykov, the man who escaped his Wrist Blades twenty years ago.
Following Rykov, now encased in an Exosuit, deep into the Xenomorph Hive, the Predator fights his way into the heart of the Hive for a climatic battle with General Rykov. Overcoming his enemy, the Predator claims Rykov's spine as his trophy after twenty years of chase.
In a final cut scene, the USS Verloc is seen departing LV-1201 with the surviving Colonial Marines. As it heads into deep space, the Predators can be seen stalking the ship in their own sleek battleship, chasing their next 'hunt'.
Similarly to the previous game, it is a first person shooter (FPS) that uniquely gives the player a choice of three characters/species, each with their own distinct set of weapons and abilities. These factions include the Alien, the Predator or the Colonial Marines. The storyline features a fourth non-playable side called the Iron Bears or "Corporates", human mercenaries with Marine weaponry who provide security for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation; the Corporates are the playable fourth choice in multiplayer.
The gameplay remains similar to the prequel however there have been a few changes made to each species: The Predator now has the ability to recharge his own energy. The Alien can now destroy things. The Marine has gained a few new weapons, along with the ability to don an Exosuit for one level.
- The Alien Drones resemble Warriors.
- First appearance of the Runner in the AVP video game series.
- During the Marine Campaign, Harrison comes across the Prince in a stasis pod (within the 'Implantation Lab'), and subsequently releases him to continue, and is able to see the Prince jump onto the dropship when he reaches the cargo hold. However, Harrison seems to leave that pod before reaching the hold, and enter into another, even though the Prince never does so.
- The Alien3 character Michael Weyland is mentioned in some of the messages found in the Pods.