Aliens: Colonial Marines was released February 12th, 2012 and was developed by (Not Just; we’ll get to that later.) Gearbox Software and published by Sega. To get this out of the way, Colonial Marines has been pushed around to different studios since the early 2000's, as early as 2001. The game was going to be developed by Check Six Games and published by EA/ Fox Interactive and, for whatever reason; the game was canceled before the planned release. This project was revived in 2008, just after Sega bought the rights from 20th Century Fox. The game got delayed over and over again, was released just this week. It’s time to see if the game was worth the wait.
Aliens: Colonial Marines takes place just after the James Cameron classic, Aliens. Hicks sends out a distress video signal out and escapes in the cryo-pod with Ripley and Newt. Colonial Marines takes place 17 weeks after the events of Aliens and a team of new marines are sent into to check out what happened to the team from the original movie. This isn't a bad idea but the biggest issue is the characters, none of them are memorable. None of them have personality or character at all. They try to play with your emotions and feel for some marines we've never seen/heard before. O'Neil is the character that is with you most if not the entire way through the game and he isn't interesting and constantly get in the way but we'll get to that later. Aliens: Colonial Marines doesn't have a terrible story but it's the characters that ruin it.
Colonial Marines has, at best, decent graphics but great sound. The sounds seem as if they were taken straight out of the movie and it's great to hear them again. There is one problem with the sound and that is when you're firing the pulse rifle, the sound stops in the middle of shooting. That's the only sound that messes up but everything else sounds fine. The voice acting is also decent. You can tell most of the actors are trying but they aren't given much to work with to actually be able to show off their talent.
The graphics are also alright for the most part. Some textures are bad and/or none existent. There are these spawn point vents that are untextured which could have been easily fixed by just extending the model in the wall a bit more and giving texture to the models. The aliens look great but the marines look a little jagged, not horrible but not great. As far as the environments go, they're great. Aliens: Colonial Marines has a fantastic sense of atmosphere but what kills it is the gameplay.
Gameplay - Single Player
The biggest betrayal to any fan of Aliens is the fact that throughout most of the game, you ARE NOT fighting Xenos. You are fighting Weyland Yutani foot soldiers. That is the biggest betrayal I've ever seen. This actually could have worked; let me explain. You are running from a horde of Xenomorphs just after seeing your fellow marines die before your eyes. The door you get to is locked so you're forced to turn around and fire back. You get down to your last clip of pulse rifles rounds just as the biggest wave comes in. The door behind you opens with Yutani mercenaries grabbing you and pulling you behind them as they fire. The Xenomorphs retreat and something later goes wrong and they become a threat. See? That could have worked really well.
The A.I. is the worst I've seen in any game in a long time. The Xenos will walk completely past you just to stand in a door way. The aliens will also attack you instead of the person directly in front of them. That's not to say the marine A.I. is any better; in fact, it might be worse. Why is it worse? Because the marines are on your side, supposed to be helping but all they do is get in the way most of time... *cough* *cough* O'Neil.
The best part of the single player is a scene where you are being chased by a Xeno and you have no weapons or equipment. It's filled with tension and is actually the only part of the single player that is fun. Why is the rest of the game not fun? It's way to fucking easy! I played it on the highest difficulty and beat the game in less than eight hours. For the most part, you can kind of just run around the aliens which shouldn't happen. I want to know what the fuck happened to the swift alien movement in the 2011 E3 demo. The Xenos in the actual game are dumb, and move about as agile as peanut butter slipping down a wall.
Something that is kind of cool but also a little disappointing are the new aliens. From what I've seen, there are only two new aliens, the boiler and the crusher. The boiler is essentially a boomer from Left 4 Dead and the crusher is like a giant Xenomorph bull. It's, honestly, just nice to see some new aliens to come to life in this game.
Gameplay - Multiplayer
Now this is the only really fun part of the game. It has its issues such as the lack of modes and dedicated servers but it's really fun...well for the most part. The lack of dedicated servers is a big problem because there are many instances where I'll be in the middle of a game, having fun, then all of sudden lag comes in and ruins it. The only game modes are Team Deathmatch, Escape, Extermination and Survivor. All are fun but just too much standard stuff. One other problem is that it seems that Team Deathmatches seem to be extremely short.
The game also supports 4 player co-op and 2 player split-screen. I've never played the co-op but judging from how easy the story mode is alone, it must be even more of a cake walk than before.
As far as the single player goes, there isn't much to work for in a second play through expect the best collectibles ever, the legendary weapons such as Hudson's shotgun or Vasquez' smart gun. That was a great idea for the collectibles and are great weapons.
Multiplayer is fun but I don't see it keeping the game alive for too long.
Aliens: Colonial Marines was an extreme disappointment. This game could have been so much more than what it turned out to be. Here's a tip to everyone; Next time Randy Pitchford starts up a dead project, do not buy it when it releases. Duke Nukem: Forever was destined to be a failure but Aliens: Colonial Marines could have been so much more and sadly, it just wasn't the game everyone was hoping for. Stick to what you know best Pitchford, which seems to be only Borderlands.
Final Score - 3/10