We all remember the awesome film it was a film people were happy to call a sequel, it added to the original Alien gave it a bit more oomph. Ridley Scott may have been all claustrophobic and dark where as Mr Cameron was all guns and violence not exactly two peas in a pod.
They were two very different styles but they worked as two films together.
When I heard about Colonial Marines I almost passed out, a game that was dedicated to becoming a sequel to Aliens, sign me up. They had the movie licence so could use any of the 20th Century Fox’s clips, characters and sounds, how could it go wrong?
All they would need is a great storyline, a good developer and a studio who could handle it.
Then Borderlands came out and proved that Gearbox was a great studio, I knew that my precious Aliens would be in good hands.
That was 2008, fast forward to 2013. We had great trailers and gameplay footage coming out, it may have been some 4 ½ years later but it was here, the time had come. The advertising campaign was thick and fast, very soon I saw the game everywhere. There were special editions galore and even a great looking limited edition with a statue.
My thoughts going into this review were full of hope and good things, it was like rainbows and puppy dogs.
Well the clouds came back, the rainbow disappeared and the puppies ran away. I should have known from the glitchy start screen that I was in for a horror of a time but my hopefulness overrode my gut feeling, more on that in a bit.
The game takes place a few months after the events of Aliens. You are Winter, one of several hundred marines sent to find out what happened to the team on board the Sulaco and on the planet LV-426. When you board the Sulaco there are Aliens and Weyland-Yutani soldiers waiting for you. After some firefights the Sulaco destroys your ship and you and your rag tag crew board a dropship for the planet.
There you find a destroyed Hadley’s Hope (name of the colony on LV-426) and go about finding a Weyland-Yutani lab all the while coming across waves of idiotic aliens and commandos.
My issues as I said began with the start screen and its glitchiness. This continued onto the game where frame rate and aliasing issues were prevalent. Sometimes the gun I was holding would just disappear, I was still shooting but the gun was no longer there.
Then there were the pillars and boxes that would appear at a whim, the dead bodies my marine somehow couldn’t step over and the disappearing/reappearing Aliens. Not to mention the PlayStation 2 graphics and OTT voice acting.
This could all be overlooked if the storyline was top class, unfortunately it was not. It had me interested at the start, lost me in the middle then pulled me back in for a bit towards the end but then gave me no definite conclusion. So in fact the storyline wasn’t that good either.
The only saving grace are the geek nods, references and the awesome soundtrack.
There is a point early in the game where you board the Sulaco from the cargo bay, there you find a pair of legs with artificial white blood surrounding it. Whose legs could they be? Is it possibly poor Bishop’s legs left behind by Ripley as she put everyone onto an escape pod?
There is even a point down on the planet where you listen to an audio log where Newt’s mother talks about Newt’s brother being facehuggered (check out special edition of Aliens to see this cool scene), I even picked up Hick’s much loved shotgun and used it to my heart’s content.
The music and FX were great too, when I used a pulse rifle it was the exact sound of a pulse rifle, the music set some decent scenes and the Aliens sounded like themselves. The cameo from Lance Henricksen as your teams Bishop is just the icing on the fanboy cake, but unfortunately this is the only good part of the game.
Even the point where I got to mess around in a power loader was unexciting and that has been a childlike dream of mine for years.
I feel like this game was shipped ahead of its time, if it had been given a few more months to prune and preen it then maybe it wouldn’t be the unwashed miscreant that it is. Apparently there are a few big patches coming to make the game better, but are you telling me everyone at that studio sat there playing it on PS3 and Xbox 360 quite happily thinking ‘this looks good and people will love it’.
For a game so long in development I expected more, there was a bunch of potential there that has disappeared and my hope for a great Alien game has been diminished once more.
Don’t forget to check out my video review below to see the woeful game in action.