Aliens: Colonial Marines

I am just going to come right out and say that this game is plain awful!  I am a huge fan of the Alien movies, and words cannot express the joy that I felt when I found out that they were making this game.  I have played many games based on the Aliens/Predator Franchise, and have enjoyed many of them.   The best I feel is the old Aliens Vs Predator computer game.  I used to play that game all of the time, and when I first heard about Aliens: Colonial Marines I envisioned the game would be similar.  Boy was I wrong.  I reserved this game back in September at a local Gamestop, and pre-ordered the collectors edition that included special weapons, characters, and a cool statue.  When the game released back in February I was at the Gamestop when it opened to pick it up.  I went home and immediately began to play it, and after thirty minutes I debated on taking the game back.  The game is riddled with issues and just poorly done.  As a matter of fact, I only played the game for about a week and stopped playing it all together.  To me it was that bad.  I can’t say that I have ever done that with any game before.

Many of the problems come from the gameplay itself.  The AI in this is just horrid.  Many times I would be confront with Aliens who would just stand there and do nothing or would run.  The next thing I noticed was that the alien would suddenly appear in front of me and kill me.  Talk about a WTH moment.  The aliens were no fun to shoot and kill, because there is no challenge in them.  Another problem with the alien AI is when they attacked, they got so close to me they are barely on the screen, and I would have pan around to find and shoot it.  During gameplay you are followed around by other marines who are useless.  They shoot at aliens and seem to never hit them.  They were always in my way, and at times would magically teleport across the screen to another area.  Another big problem I had was the lack of Aliens in the game.   I only played until the fourth level, but in that time I only fought a handful of aliens.  Most of the time I was fighting soldiers from a Weyland army sent to prevent me from killing the aliens.  The soldiers are mindless AI’s and are predictable or boring to kill.  The game is entitled Aliens, but I spend most of the time fighting a fictional army of humans.  Where is the fun in that?  The seeming endless waves of human bad guys makes the gameplay boring and repetitive.

This game also contains a multiplayer which I was very excited about.  A player has the option as playing either a Marine or an Alien.  As you level up, you can start unlocking more powerful weapons for the marines, and more powerful attributes for the aliens.  I decided to take a break from the crappy campaign mode to play multiplayer.  After playing two matches, I was completely disappointed.  The game lagged horribly, and I had a very good connection. Matchmaking also took forever, maybe because everyone else playing felt that same why I did about this game and stopped playing.  I was getting slaughtered in every match.  I seemed to shoot at Marines or Aliens endlessly, and they would not die.  In the end, it would be me who was dying.  Multiplayer was frustrating me, because I could not level up to upgrade my characters.  I did not feel bad though, because many of the other players were low level and seemed to have the same problems as I did.  As like the campaign, multiplayer was a big let down for me.

Some of the things I did like about the game, was the ability to use weapons from the movie such as the pulse rifle and flamethrower. The pulse rifle is made available to you from the get go.  The player also had the option of customizing the gun as they gain experience and add different types of ammo, sights, and attachments.  Sega and Gearbox ( The makers of this game ) have made up several other weapons for you to use.  Personally, I would prefer just to use the plain old pulse rifle, shotgun, smart gun, and pistol.  During the course of gameplay I tried this weapons, but I felt like I was cheating the hardcore Aliens enthusiast in me and fell back on the weapons from the movies.  During my game play, I did not see the smart gun available as an option which disappointed me.  Now I did not play through the entire game, so I am not sure if you were able to use it later on.  I did get to use the smart gun in multiplayer though, and I gun was everything I thought it would be.

The story is set seventeen weeks after the movie Aliens takes place.  The player plays as a marine aboard the USS Sephora sent on a search and rescue mission for the USS Sulaco.  The Sulaco has somehow managed to travel back to LV 426 from Fury 161 (The planted from Alien 3).  When the marines board the Sulaco, they find the ship to be overrun with aliens who attacked.  The marines also discover the ship is being control by Weyland Private Military, and they attack the Sephora.  In the conflict both the Sulaco and Sephora are destroyed, and the player is evacuated to LV 426.

The story line has been recognized as a true sequel to the Aliens movie.  I found the story line to be not that bad, but that acting in this game is bad, and there is just no character depth which causes me to loose interest.

GRAPHICS

What are we in, 1992?  The graphics in this game are horrible.  They literally look like sometime out of DOOM for SNES.  There is a lack of texturing and environment, and there seems to be some type of filter in the graphics that makes the overall visuals seem grey.  The graphics are a huge departure from what was seen in screen shots and demos before the game was released.  I do not understand why Gearbox took a step back on this one and dumbed down the graphics.  Their customers took notice, and the web is ablaze with complaints about it.

SOUND

The sound is actually decent.  The problem I was having is, if I moved away from one of my AI teammates and they were talking, I could not hear them.  However, I do not focus on the sound as much so I really cannot make an accurate review of this category.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I think I have already ranted about this game enough.  If I rant anymore this review is going to lose it’s G rating.  This game became Sega’s top selling game this year, and it sold over 1 million copies.  If you search the internet though, you will find that many of the people who bought the game feel the same way I do. Many other sites have this game as two stars or less with most of the reviews unfavorable.  It is so disliked that there is now a class action lawsuit against Sega and Gearbox for false advertisement of this game.  One company involved in the development is rumored to have closed after this games release.  As I mentioned earlier in the article, many players are upset that the demo had better graphics than the final product.  Gearbox responded at the beginning of May with a 5 GB patch to fix graphics and gameplay.  This is a little too late thought, and the improvement in the graphics and gameplay from what I have seen on youtube is not much.  In the end this game was a huge let down after months of waiting for it, and sadly I will probably only get a few dollars of credit if I traded it in.

Pros:

  • Selection of weapons from the Aliens Franchise
  • The player gets to play as a Marine and go back to the Suloco and explore a new twist to the story
  • The player gets to blow up aliens

Cons:

  • Terrible Graphics
  • Boring gameplay and AI is awful
  • Lack of Xenomorphs

Style – 1 Player / Multiplayer FPS

Publisher – Sega

Developer – Gearbox

Release – February 2013


 

JUNKIE SCORES
  • 1.5 – Gameplay
  • 1.0 – Graphics
  • 3.5 – Sound
  • 2.0 – Entertainment
  • 1.0 – Replay Value

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