First, the graphics are horrible. Beyond, horrible, really. More reminiscent of the graphics featured in the 2001 Alien vs Predator 2 than the high-definition, next generation experience promised by AvP. However, according to a message shown during a loading screen, the demo only supports DirectX 9.0c.
For clarification, Direct X9.0c was introduced in 2004. Most games use Direct X10 and AvP says it will use Direct X11 when the game launches later this month.
To read more about how AvP will benefit from Direct X11, check out this informative article on Tom's Hardware.
Next is the completely inexplicable inclusion of matchmaking in the PC demo. Console gamers are more than used to matchmaking, but it comes as a bit of a surprise to PC gamers who are used to the convenience of dedicated servers.
Fortunately, according to Eurogamer, matchmaking is only a temporary in the PC version. The retail build will support dedicated servers. This, of course, is good news since matchmaking in the PC demo reportedly takes up to ten to fifteen minutes to find a group of seven other gamers to play with.
All of this is incredibly odd considering that many assumed the PC was Rebellion's lead platform for developing AvP. They were, after all, the ones who truly kick started the franchise on PC with their 1999 hit Alien versus Predator.
We've contacted Sega to see what they have to say on the matter.
The demo as a whole is a pretty big disappointment and it's somewhat confusing as to why Sega and Rebellion would feel compelled to rush it out the door. Granted, the demo is early code, but why showcase something that's (hopefully) drastically inferior to the final product?
Do they really think customers are just going to play the demo and then just hope that all the problems have been fixed by the time the game actually hits store shelves?
There are some aspects of the game that the developers nailed (namely the creepy, tense atmosphere when playing as a Marine) but the controls still feel awkward and there's definitely balance issues that need to be ironed out.
For instance, it's not unusual at all to get the drop on an Alien as a Marine, shoot it in the back several times and then get mauled to death a few seconds later.
Some may call this being consistent with the Alien versus Predator canon, but ts also incredibly frustrating.
Hopefully some pretty big improvements will be made to the PC demo before the game launches on February 16th for PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360.