Bred for Disaster
“Colonial Marines is set directly after the ever so popular 1986 film Aliens…” this instantly should make all fans of the Aliens series tremble in excitement, I know I did back when it was announced a mere decade ago. For us fans, Colonial Marines is a big deal, it’s an extension of the story, it’s more of Aliens. Backed by 20th Century Fox and the team at Gearbox, we all hope Colonial Marines would feed our need for more Xeno action. Well all hope is lost.
Aliens Colonial Marines sets itself between Aliens and Aliens 3 serving as a gap filler of the two movies. You play a hard-ass Colonial Marine named Winters alongside a platoon of other Marines who pride themselves in extreme badassery who must investigate a distress beacon sent out by USS Sulaco on a rescue voyage to Hadley’s Hope. When all things go south, as expected – you’ll find yourself visiting LV-426 again fighting for your survival against hordes of Xenos and against Weyland-Yutani Mercenaries.
The initial plot line may confuse anyone who is not familiar with the series as it doesn’t really try to recap the events prior to the game but honestly, you wouldn’t care less.
With a plot that looks so simple to consume yet the overall package is hard to chew – Colonial Marines is a title that fails to launch from the get go and remains in that state over it’s appalling six hour campaign. There’s no shine of light in the end of the tunnel, it’s basically a dead drop to hell. The campaign is a complete drone, shoving enemies effortlessly onto the train until you reach the next stop. It’s as linear as you can possibly get with a shooter.
“a plot that looks so simple to consume yet the overall package is hard to chew”
It’s hard to appreciate what Colonial Marines has to offer as most things it excels at are overshadowed by the copious amounts of distinctive faults. The feel and sound of the pulse rifle was spot on, the motion sensor was properly used and executed, plus the atmosphere was replicated accordingly from the films making the fans feel at home, but when an array of ugliness appears – it’s easy to ignore the good points of Colonial Marines.
Within the first 10 minutes of Colonial Marines, I felt that I wasn’t playing a current gen title at all. It’s safe to say mobile games look better than Colonial Marines did. The flat textures and environments made levels on par or worse than Nintendo 64 games which are a few generations ago – scary really. The audio was a disastrous mono sound and the voice acting didn’t even replicate the given situation which makes it unbearable to even play this with any sound.
Overall, the campaign was weightless and uninspiring. There was no sense of connection with what’s happening and every department of the game falls a long way from the bar every other shooter has set. We all hope the multiplayer side can bring Colonial Marines up to a better level and with my pre-release hands-on with the Multiplayer, I certainly thought the online side is where the game will make it’s mark but it was certainly false hope.
Competitive multiplayer was an atrocious mix of Aliens versus Marines. Rather than improve on what previous games in the franchise had done, the Multiplayer yet again failed to reach the mark because of the issues present with the mechanics of the game. Controlling the Xenos, it was a chore to navigate through the claustrophobic maps, which are awkwardly designed. Environmental objects, ledges etc. will be your ultimate enemy as your Xeno will find itself getting stuck in almost all nooks and crannies on the map. This doesn’t help when you’re trying to avoid a barrage of Pulse rifle rounds coming straight at you.
Aliens Colonial Marines is a disaster. The extremely linear campaign, hideous visual/sound plus shoddy mechanics ultimately destroyed this game into what was expected to be the best Aliens game since Rebellion’s classic Aliens vs. Predator. Not even the continuation of the story could serve as a fan service to the franchise. I was literally spat with acid into my eyes.
Aliens Colonial Marines was reviewed on Xbox 360 and PC