Aliens: Colonial Marines Review
by Nero Radec
Banner Created by Qurb
Developer: Gearbox Software
North American Release Date: February 12, 2013
European Release Date: Not Yet Released
Trophies: Yes; 1 / 2 / 10 / 38
Trophy Guide: By Nero Radec & Hitmanchan - Aliens: Colonial Marines Trophy Guide
Aliens: Colonial Marines is the latest First-Person Shooter released by Sega and Gearbox Software based on the Alien series by Ridley Scott. Even though it has taken an extensively great deal of time to complete the project, fans of the series and gamers alike are finally capable of getting their hands on this work. The game is set between the films, Alien and Alien 3 and features several cameo appearances from characters portrayed during the movies. You will take the role of Corporal Winter, a marine during the story and fight against Weyland Yutani forces and the xenomorphs in an effort to survive and complete your mission to get back safely.
Aliens: Colonial Marines plays much like your typical First-Person Shooter game. You will obtain a variety of different firearms, each having a representation from the Alien series and visit many of the areas featured in the films. The creators took a great deal of time to recreate many of these experiences for the gamers, however, they tend to be overlooked by the other issues associated with the game.
The game and controls are not fluid at all, and you will experience a lot of jerking and stiff movements. You will notice this in the AI of your comrades, repeatedly getting stuck on objects and standing around while xenomorphs and other enemies are surrounding you. The enemy AI isn't that great either, but they will occasionally use some smart tactics to try and outmaneuver you.
"WHY WON'T YOU DIE YOU MOTHERF**KER!" Aliens can be hard to kill at times.
The general enemy you will face throughout Aliens: Colonial Marines are the xenomorphs, but Gearbox and Sega decided to include some human enemies too by having the Weyland Yutani mercenaries out to kill you. There isn't much variety in the uniqueness of the xenomorphs that you will face, as they all act mostly the same, some just being slightly quicker or may pounce at you when they get closer. The mercenaries are just humans with a variety of guns that will come at you during different points in the game. At times you will notice the mercenaries overwhelmed and battling with the xenomorphs and can use these opportunities to quickly take out the larger force.
The in-game menus are very poorly done and at times difficult to manage. Almost everything happens in real-time, so you will have to stay prepared with your weapon management to survive this story. You have to hold multiple buttons and then swipe in different categories to get to the weapon you want to equip and there is no quick swap to go through everything. You have to manually input your primary and secondary weapons. You can quick swap to a pistol and a grenade, but to switch grenades and the pistol equipped, you are forced to do this manually too. Your health bar, motion tracker, and ammo count readings are a greyed out blurred HUD that moves around on your screen and is generally quite ugly and obscene to stare at.
The story of Aliens is one of the better highlights you will experience as you play the game. You take the role of Corporal Winter, in the search and rescue mission of the distress call sent out from the Sulaco after the events of the second Aliens film. However, problems arise as you and your fellow marines are attacked by the xenomorphs and are forced to escape. Throughout the rest of the game, you will attempt to save other marines that have been abducted or otherwise missing and follow the mission given to you by your commander. Weyland Yutani, the organization that deals with these space missions, also seek to eliminate you and your team for discovering their mess here.
Aliens does have a great deal of cameo appearances and explains a great deal of the events that occur inbetween the films and is described as the sequel to Aliens by director James Cameron. You will meet many familiar faces such as the android Bishop and others from the film series that will play a significant part in the game. While this does create a few loopholes in the story, the game does its best to defend and explain how it works.
The singleplayer mode does portray many of the ships and areas mentioned during the movies in great detail as well. You will get to see the Sulaco ship, Hadley's Hope settlement, and many new additions that the films didn't show you which is really cool. The game is a bit short, consisting of 11 missions, each being able to be completeld in about 45 minutes. It does contain a bit of replay value though so this isn't so bad.
The aftermath of a face-hugger alien and it's offspring, a live baby xenomorph.
The multiplayer modes of Aliens: Colonial Marines will most likely be where you spend the majority of your time playing the game. You will have your typical deathmatch, team deathmatch, and a variety of other modes such as Escape, unique to Aliens. In this mode, you play as either the marines or the xenomorphs and the goal is for the marines to escape, while the xenomorphs are trying to kill them all. There is a great deal of fun to be had playing this game with your friends and online with other players.
Multiplayer Screenshot and basic gameplay selection
There is also an offline split screen coop mode available for the story, so players can game with a physical friend next to them. The online coop mode features up to four players being able to play through the story together and is a great deal of fun and makes the harder difficulties a tad-bit easier. The coop modes features drop in and out play so you can keep going even if your partners decide to quit which is nice and won't break your gameplay if you have this selected.
Technically speaking, Aliens: Colonial Marines is a massive train wreck. It represents a PS2 game to me and seems like they took the old canceled "Aliens: Colonial Marines" and freshened it up a tiny bit, and slapped it on the shelves. Graphically, the game is really unpolished and outdated and has numerous tearing and shading issues throughout the game. The character movements are very bland and your AI partners will seem very robotic in their actions. The in-game textures look nice at first, but up close, you will notice the lack of detail in the environments.
Hadley's Hope Area. You and your partner taking down some aliens. Noticeable are the lack of details in the environments.
Sound quality is just as bad, having useless and unmotivated dialogue scattered within. The gun sounds do represent those from the movies, as do the Xenomorphs own growls and sounds. The controls have their own share of issues too. You will notice they are not very fluid at all and feel constantly tight and unresponsive. In addition, it will seem that nothing seems to hit where you aim and the points of contact are very unfinished.
Aliens: Colonial Marines has a very straightforward trophy list attached to the game. You will have your basic story related trophies, as well as some bonus goals to complete the chapters in a specific manner such as don't set off any alarms or not letting any xenomorphs past a barricade. Also, you have your typical difficulty trophies which will all stack and please most gamers. There are a few multiplayer trophies, as well as coop based but many of these can be worked on offline too with friends. Aliens does feature a number of collectible trophies such as obtaining audio logs or special weapons during the game.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is really hard to write about as their isn't anything major to say about it, it's just a generic crap-fest thrown out to appease the gamers that have been waiting ages for it to be finished. It is worth playing through and experiencing if you are really bored and in a Aliens mood, but not a day one buy. I recommend waiting for a major price drop.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is the definition of mediocre. It looks and plays like a last-gen console game and doesn't bring anything to the table of gameplay to set it apart from any other FPS.
It contains a decent story, but nothing original as it's based on movies and everything has been done before. It is a very short game, with each mission being able to be completed in roughly 45 minutes or less.
The Multiplayer does add some fun to be had as you play. But it's very generic as well adding nothing new that Sega hasn't done with the Aliens series already as you choose to fight as Xenomorphs and Marines during a number of your typical FPS element modes.
Controls are very unresponsive at times and feel tight. The graphics in Aliens is one of the biggest complaints, looking very outdated and unpolished. Game effects are downright lame and sloppily created.