Submitted by gamebynight 774d ago | opinion piece

Is Gearbox Really a Great Studio — and What Happened to Aliens? Let’s Look at the History.

Vagary.TV examines the history of Gearbox Software through its review scores and looks at the troubled development of Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Is Gearbox Software a great studio? With a remarkable 46 point spread between their highest and lowest scores, there's certainly a question. Out of 10 games and 9 pieces of DLC, Aliens ranks as the worst software they've ever released, followed by Duke Nukem. Their other games review middling to much better. So what went wrong and, in a time of rampant studio closures and thousands of lost jobs, can we really consider Gearbox a hit-maker? (Aliens: Colonial Marines, Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Dev, Gearbox Software, Industry, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

kaiten408  +   775d ago
Link is no good
Wagz22  +   775d ago
Yea It displays an image instead.
Abash  +   774d ago
I think the lack of money from SEGA was also what made that Aliens game crappy. You need quite a lot of cash from publishers while you're developing a game and SEGA doesnt seem like they have a lot to give. So I wouldnt Gearbox is completely at fault
Sketchy_Galore  +   774d ago | Funny
Come on guys, can we please have a discussion without going off topic and attacking beloved Nintendo characters?

....sorry, couldn't resist.
juandren  +   774d ago
Lol when I read "Link is no good" I thought "wtf does this have to do woth Zelda?"
Blank  +   774d ago
You gave me my laugh of the day here +1 bubble!
gamebynight  +   774d ago
Whoops, sorry guys! Should be fixed now.
Megaton  +   774d ago
Borderlands is their only good series, IMO.
OhReginald  +   774d ago
And thats sad, IMO
camel_toad  +   774d ago
Yeh I honestly think they got lucky with Borderlands - primarily because they hit that formula before anyone else really did.

It may have just been one person's great idea and the rest of the studio just rode the wave.
cyguration  +   774d ago
Brothers in Arms is good.
Megaton  +   774d ago
I only played one of them. Hell's Highway I think. Didn't care for it.
ElementX  +   774d ago
I read that Gearbox outsourced the single player campaign to another company.
RXL  +   774d ago
read that too..

they basically didn't have anything to do with it..
SuperShyGuy  +   774d ago
Apparently is got outsourced to TimeGate and they threw out everything Gearbox did, but then Gearbox came back after finishing Boarderlands and threw out what TimeGate did

antz1104  +   774d ago
Thats not true, they stated they did around 80% of it, and outsourced the rest to TimeStamp who they directly oversaw. Crappy I know, but it could have been worse.
SilentNegotiator  +   773d ago
STOP spreading that rumor!!

Gearbox DID have the majority to do with it.
AngelicIceDiamond  +   774d ago
Gear Box is good when they create new Ip's (Borderlands). Working on existing franchises is where they don't shine. They need to leave any existing franchise alone in the future.
#5 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
FarCryLover182  +   774d ago
They turned into garbage if they actually did develop this game.

If not, they need to stop outsourcing their stuff
Blank  +   774d ago
Seriously! They have been outsourcing too much and its making them look bad a good example aside aliens SP portion another good example is the borderlands 2 DLC they outsourced those too! Im not knocking on it and saying its crappy what my problem is, is that it wasnt on par as the borderlands 1 DLC I got the season pass hoping for similar quality DLC But nonetheless I enjoyed BL2 and praying the last DLC is internally developed
FarCryLover182  +   774d ago
I;ve got the season pass too, but I haven't downloaded any of the DLC yet. Sad to hear it's not that good.
DOMination-  +   774d ago
I've only played the pirate one so far but i thought it was pretty decent.
ApolloTheBoss  +   774d ago
Gearbox needs to get it together. They are ruining their reputation.
JohnRecon  +   774d ago
They should have canceled this crap game, a long time ago, insted they made false advertising (see demo footage).
#8 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
1nsomniac  +   774d ago
Yippee Ki-Yay Motherfuckers!!

At last people realise!

Gearbox is the most overrated company in the business. FACT!
kma2k  +   774d ago
Since you said company & not developer i would throw activision & EA into that mix & they easily trump gearbox!
Servbot41  +   774d ago
EA and Activision aren't overrated, nearly no one actually likes them.
kma2k  +   774d ago
@servbot the fact that they are still in business to me says they are overrated :)
Calm Down Sunshine  +   774d ago
EA get a lot of flack, despite them being the backbone of the gaming industry.

No matter how uncomfortable it is to admit it, the gaming industry needs EA.
Rainstorm81  +   774d ago
People hate EA so much yet they consistently come out with quality games.....unlike Activision....people just tend to use worst case scenarios to constantly put EA in a bad light

At one point I agree EA was lacking but they have come back very strong.....I don't see anyone complaining about Dead Space 3..... Lately EA has been actually improving on their games , one of my biggest issues from EA in the past shoveling out games with little to no improvements.

While EA isn't perfect, they are a much better company than Capcom or Activision and as Calm said the gaming industry would be very hurt without EA's presence
#9.1.4 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report
kma2k  +   774d ago
Ill admit before Borderlands gearbox for the most part didnt mean a whole hell of a lot to me. But even if they release quite a few duds they are still the borderlands people & ill try out majority of stuff they do.

Claptrap beat box time!
Blacklash93  +   774d ago
Going purely of the metacritic scores, they don't look bad overall. Average or maybe slightly above. DNF and A:CM are the only real flops. Borderlands 2, as expected, is head and shoulders above the rest as their one brilliant gem.
#11 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
InTheLab  +   774d ago
A few things...

Even if they did outsource part of the game, it's still their game, which they probably didn't bother playing or doing any QA.

Borderlands is amazing and Borderlands 2 is just ok. The only thing that stops B2 from being a complete disappointment is Anthony Burch and his humor.
#12 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
MysticStrummer  +   774d ago
Borderlands 2 is better in pretty much every way.
InTheLab  +   774d ago
The maps are garbage.

Classes are pointless now that everyone can wield any weapon.

There's two for you...shall I continue?
DOMination-  +   774d ago
Couldn't everyone wield every weapon in BL1? I thought they could? Just started off with specialization in specific areas?

You could still level up sniper rifles with Lilleth and eventually make her as good as Mordecai. It just maybe wasn't practical because she didn't get bonuses from her skill tree.

Some of the areas in BL2 were confusing though. And the way the maps were drawn made it hard to work out where to go.
scotchmouth  +   774d ago
Backpack space disagrees
antz1104  +   774d ago
Lol at your comment about classes being pointless.....Zer0 plays completely different from Axton, and classes have perks designed toward certain weapon types. Maps are maps, if you were expecting something different maybe you should play something else.
Zha1tan  +   774d ago
What a garbage developer they are, releasing such broken products then have the gall to charge for a season pass....

WHo are they trying to fool here? I was stupid enough to pre purchase the game on steam purely because it has xenomorphs but that is where my stupidity ends.
#13 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
vickers500  +   774d ago
Borderlands may be their only great franchise, but it's one hell of an amazing franchise. Borderlands 1 and 2 are in my top 5 favorite games this generation.

Two amazingly fun games (some of the best I've played) with awesome DLC done right, that's enough for me to consider Gearbox a great developer. I wont say they're the greatest, but they definitely are great in my opinion.
wenaldy  +   774d ago
Gearbox is overrated, Deal with it
ufo8mycat  +   774d ago
Okay so with my expectations lowered to the absolute minimum due to all the reviews of Aliens: Colonial Marines, I finally ended up playing a bit.

I did the first couple of missions.

The game is no way near as bad as the reviews said.

There were moments when I was in a dark area with all the Alien gunk on the walls with steam blasting at some points, with my motion tracker out then all of a sudden it goes OFF! I start getting chills, as I see this solid white mark on my tracker coming towards me and then I just see this Alien running towards me on the ceiling and I fire with my Pulse rifle.

The tense situation, the sound of the environment during these moments, the tracker going off, the sound of the pulse rifle, made me feel like I was watching Aliens, but PLAYING it. AWESOME.

But then I started fighting soldiers more then Aliens which sucked.

Like I said - Not as bad as the reviews make it out to be. Some of the moments I had like above were amazing and just wondering through the dark areas just waiting for it to go off, not knowing what to expect.

Not sure what it's like after Mission 2, fighting soldiers is a bummer, though still enjoying it.

So far 7/10 - If I continue fighting more soldiers and great moments like above start to diminish during the game, that will lower to perhaps 6/10
#16 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
MysticStrummer  +   774d ago
"The game is no way near as bad as the reviews said."

Absolutely right.

"The tense situation, the sound of the environment during these moments, the tracker going off, the sound of the pulse rifle, made me feel like I was watching Aliens, but PLAYING it. AWESOME."

Yeah I think they mostly nailed the atmosphere and it really saves the game in my opinion.

"But then I started fighting soldiers more then Aliens which sucked."

True, and there are other sections where you fight soldiers, but overall you'll kill far more aliens than people.

"So far 7/10"

My score as well. A patch or two might bump it up to as high as 8. People expected too much I guess, but the really low scores are truly ridiculous. Want to see a game that deserves these kinds of scores? Play Blacklight: Area 51
#16.1 (Edited 774d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
cyguration  +   774d ago
The reviews are basing their opinions off the finished product. You've only played a mission.

You can only say the game isn't as bad as the reviews until you've finished the game.

Some games start well and end bad, others have a few decent moments but are brought down with poor gameplay that permeates the experience.
gamebynight  +   774d ago
I've been playing the game actively for a little bit and I totally disagree. The alien AI is sporadic and poor. They also kill any tension the game might have had the first time they throw three dozen of them at you at once. Xenomorphs are supposed to be scary, and they could have been, but they turn out dull and used to the worst effect.

Play the game some more. You can beat it in five hours. After the first mission, things go downhill quick. Very front loaded game.
Captain Qwark 9  +   774d ago
the funniest thing is everyone keeps talking about "oh they outsourced it to another dev so its not their fault....." well i say they are just trying to blame someone else. if your name is on the box you had a part in the production and it is still your responsibility to make a quality product. simple as that.

if i was going to put my name on some work of mine that a fellow co-worker did for example, you better believe im double checking his work since we both become responsible at that point. this is no different. in fact this is even more important because gearbox had a reputation as a quality dev to uphold, you lose that and you lose a lot
-MD-  +   773d ago

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