Predator 2 (Muilti-Platforms)

The first game based on Predator 2 was a rail-shooter released in 1990 for various platforms including Amiga and Commodore 64. The second game, a third-person shooter, based on the film was released in 1992 for the Genesis/Mega Drive and then a side-scroller shooter was later released for the Master System and Game Gear.

Predator 2 (Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum)

 Predator 2 (Muilti-Platforms)

Predator 2

Platform: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum
Release Date: 1990
Genre: Rail Shooter
Publisher: Image Works
Developer: Oxford Mobius (DOS), 221B (C64), Arc Developments

Description

Los Angeles Lieutenant Mike Harrigan is used to dealing with a drug war between Spanish and Jamaican drug gangs, but how he’s caught up in the city’s worst nightmare! The fearsome Predator species of alien has arrived, out to wreak serious destruction. It is your job to stop it.

The game is a rails shooter with the the viewpoint is from behind Harrigan, while the game scrolls on as you clear each section. Mouse control is offered on 16-bit versions. Your armour must be kept functional by collecting top-ups, and there are weapon power-ups such as machine guns and rocket launchers to be had. You can’t go in all-guns-blazing however, as killing a single innocent causes Harrigan to lose his job.

Development

Mirrorsoft took on Predator 2 when 20th Century Fox hadn’t completely given up on getting Arnold Schwarzenegger to reprise his role in the sequel. It was decided early on the game would be a straightforward arcade shoot ’em up as many scenes from the film involved gun battles. There were possible designs for the game. The first was going to be similar to the Operation Wolf arcade game where the player is positioned at the centre of the screen the locations scroll across the screen. The second idea was to involve a split-screen two player game in which the player could choose whether to play as Harrigan or the Predator. Each window would show an environment where each player has to reach a specific location to retrieve an object before the other player gets there first. If their paths crossed, the battle would begin but they would also have to battle their way through other things along the way.

In the end, the Operation Wolf style game was chosen as it was easier to develop and to port across 8 and 16-bit systems. The console games were managed by a different producer and ended up with different game designs, similar to the Smash TV games. Arc Developments was chosen as the developer as they had a good track record at making arcade games in a short space of time. At the time, their PC and Commodore 64 coders weren’t available so those formats were developed by Oxford Moebius and 221B.

The Predator 2 game took place over four different locations from the film. The first level was in the streets of L.A. with a battle with the Colombians. The Predator remained cloaked but you could see his laser occasionally. You could collect weapon upgrades, ammo and armour along the way. Civilians could find themselves in the way and if you shot too many of them, it would be game over. If Harrigan ran out of health, he would be taken away in an ambulance. As Harrigan didn’t die in the film, he wasn’t allowed to die in the game. The second level takes place in the penthouse with skinned bodies hanging from the ceiling. The third level was in the subway and the final level took place in the Predator ship where you finally saw the Predator uncloaked.

A deliberate design choice was that you only ever saw Harrigan from behind and it was only an outline of his character so you could still see the background behind him. It also meant Mirrorsoft didn’t need to worry about paying fees to use Danny Glover’s likeness. Early on in the game’s development, it was decided not use Alan Silvestri’s score from the film. Instead, Arc Developments hired Justin Scharvona to compose a theme for the ST and Amiga versions. Producer Richard Hewison felt it was the wrong type of music for the game but by the point, it was too late to change it. Graphics and videos were regularly sent to 20th Century Fox for approval but near the end of development, the producers of Predator 2 told 20th Century Fox they weren’t happy with the game. This came as a surprise to Mirrorsoft as 20th Century Fox had approved everything they’d done so far. It turned out the producers hadn’t seen anything from the game until the very end and the studio’s licensing department didn’t even have a PC to view the disks that Mirrorsoft were sending them.

A few changes were made to the PC version of the game. There was a new static comic book-style introduction and conclusion that was added to the US release, which was published by Konami. The frequency of the ammo, armour and weapons were also changed.

The ST and Amiga versions had an animated graphic introduction as most players expected 16-bit titles to have an introduction on bootup. The intro was storyboarded and based on the film’s trailer. Graphic artist Herman Serrano was hired to draw the screens which included a little bit of animation. Sound effects were taken from the original movie. Arc Developments then compressed the intro sequence to fit on  a floppy disk.

The C64 version was developed at the same time as the ST and Amiga versions. The PC version was developed by Oxford Moebius at the same time too. The Spectrum and CPC versions were handled in-house by Arc Developments and they were the last formats to be finished. Some minor changes were made to the 8-bit versions due to hardware restrictions. Even though the Spectrum version was monochrome, it was the best-looking 8-bit version.

Covers

DOS (UK Cover)
DOS (US Cover)
Amiga (UK Cover)
Amiga (US Cover)

Screenshots

Magazine Articles

Commodore Format (May 1991)
Amiga Power (June 1991)
Retro Gamer #14 (Richard Hewison Interview)

Gameplay Footage

Reception

Commodore Format gave Predator 2 80% saying the sound effects and various levels were good. Amiga Power was more critical with 53% saying “Quite simply a very average blaster in the Operation Wolf tradition. Predator 2 lacks suitable emotional hooks to make you want to play and is insufficiently varied to keep you going.”

Legacy

Producer Richard Hewison spoke about the game’s development in Issue 14 of Retro Gamer. He said the style of the game was already chosen before he got the project but he would have preferred to do his second idea which was a split-screen chase. He said with the gameplay, there was no rush of adrenaline or addictive qualities. He felt the game needed a ‘against the clock’ element that wasn’t there. The only incentive for the player was find the Predator and get a high score along the way.

Predator 2 (Sega Genesis)

 Predator 2 (Muilti-Platforms)

Predator 2

Platform: Sega Genesis
Release Date: 1992
Genre: Action
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Developer: Teeny Weeny Games

The first game based on Predator 2 was a rail-shooter released in 1990 for various platforms including Amiga and Commodore 64. The second game, a third-person shooter, based on the film was released in 1992 for the Genesis/Mega Drive and then a side-scroller shooter was later released for the Master System and Game Gear. Teeny Weeny Games developed both games for the Genesis and Master System but they were very different games.

Description

Players play as Lt. Mike Harrigan as he tracks the Predator through seven levels based on the film. Harrigan’s primary concerns are the hostages held around the levels, and the many gang members out for blood. He also has to contend with the Predator, both as a boss at the end of each level, and as a time limit – if the player takes too long to rescue a hostage, the Predator will blast the hostage with his laser.

The game is played in a third-person isometric view, with great swarms of easily-killed bad guys, who appear through one-way doors scattered throughout the level. Weapons not only include machine guns and shotguns, but also a few highly-advanced Predator weapons the player can pick up and use. Each defeated gang member drops drugs that can be picked up and automatically sent off to the “drug squad” for points. No sounds or music from the film get used, but stills scenes from the film do introduce the levels.

In the final level, Harrigan arrives at the Predator’s ship where he battles the Predator’s clanmates and finally both the Predator and the Elder. The game ends in a similar way as the movie: Harrigan is presented an old flintlock pistol by the Predator’s clanmates, then leaves the ship as it departs from Earth.

Covers

Genesis (US Cover)
Mega Drive (UK Cover)

Screenshots

Magazine Articles

Sega Power (October 1992)
Sega Power (December 1992)
Sega Pro (November 1992)

Gameplay Footage

Reception

Sega Power was quite negative in their review scoring Predator 2 36% criticising the gameplay, animation and graphics. Summing up, they said “Flying Edge have failed to fully exploit the enormous potential of the Predator and his anti-social habits. Plenty of good ideas, but a botched job all round. Awful!”

Predator 2 (Master System, GameGear)

 Predator 2 (Muilti-Platforms)

Predator 2

Platform: Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear
Release Date: 1992
Genre: Side-Scrolling Shooter
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Developer: Teeny Weeny Games

The first game based on Predator 2 was a rail-shooter released in 1990 for various platforms including Amiga and Commodore 64. The second game, a third-person shooter, based on the film was released in 1992 for the Genesis/Mega Drive and then a side-scroller shooter was later released for the Master System and Game Gear. Teeny Weeny Games developed both games for the Genesis and Master System but they were very different games.

Description

The player controls Lt. Mike Harrigan in a side scrolling view (instead of an isometric one) through 7 levels.

Harrigan has to fight drug dealers and must rescue a certain number of hostages at each level. The Predator’s three-dotted laser aim can be troublesome to avoid, which can kill either the hostages or Mike himself. Gang members killed drop drugs which can be picked up for points (and sent to the drugs squad). At the end of each level a boss must be defeated.

Mike can move and shoot in all 8 directions, but can only stop and shoot up, down, left and right. Besides his pistol, Mike can also collect new weapons such as grenades, shotguns, machine-guns and rifles. Body armor can be collected for health and med kits for extra lives.

Covers

SMS (UK Cover)
Game Gear (UK Cover)
Game Gear (US Cover)

Screenshots

Magazine Articles

Unknown Magazine (Game Gear Review)
Sega Zone (January 1993)
Sega Pro (February 1993)
Sega Power (May 1993)
Game Zone (June 1993)
Sega Zone (Game Gear Review)

Gameplay Footage

Reception

After scoring the Genesis version 36%, Sega Power reviewed the Master System version the following year and gave it 58%. They liked the difficulty and password system as well as the soundtrack. They said “A regular child of Averagesville, Predator 2 is so unspectacular it hurts. Fun for a short while – it’s definitely no disgrace – but not really anything to fax home about.”

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Comments: 2
  1. The Operation Wolf style approach on the 8/16 bit home micros was chosen as it was the easiest to implement across all the formats and the isometric /Smash TV approach deemed more suitable for the console market.

    Home micro version’s Producer in hindsight wishes he had instead gone with his preferred approach..a split screen chase and maze affair,as he openly admits arcadey shoot-em-games really weren’t his thing.


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