Aliens: Colonial Marines Xbox 360 User Review
Super Gamer Dude
After years of development hell, Gearbox has finally delivered the much-anticipated return of the Aliens franchise back into the realm of video gaming. With the amount of hype surrounding Aliens Colonial Marines, we hope it meets the expectations. Simultaneously released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, fans of the film series are expecting a decent representation of the Aliens universe. Unfortunately, this game has quite a few flaws in it.
Aliens Colonial Marines has had a fairly open development cycle, with the developers showing off the incredible textures, lighting and atmosphere. However, what we received as a final product was, in actuality, nowhere near what was promised. Being in development for over 5 years has really taken its toll on the environments. The small corridors that you'll have to fight through all look exactly the same, with little deviation between different areas. This is something that was acceptable in the early 2000s, but today it is a major eye sore.
The atmosphere also strays from what one would expect from a game based on the Aliens franchise. Instead of slowly sneaking around dimly lit rooms, awaiting a tough fight with a xenomorph, you are forced to run down narrow corridors where hordes of enemies come charging at you. The xenomorphs have become unintelligent, weak enemies that take only a few shots to kill. Gearbox took what was expected to be a creepy yet challenging game, and turned it into another corridor shooter.
Some good things that Gearbox included in the game are plenty of Easter eggs from the film's history. You will enter familiar rooms, meet famous characters and see things that will peak your interest. While this is a welcome addition to the Aliens universe, there is still a lot to be desired.
Multiplayer suffers from many of the same issues that are found in the single player campaign. There are only four different modes to play, plus co-op. The small corridors and the swarms of enemies hamper co-op play. It doesn't seem like there is an increased number of bad guys to compensate for the additional players, making the game incredibly easy to beat with a friend.
The adversarial matches are inadequate and fairly uninteresting. With the paltry weapon upgrades you'll be relying on interesting gameplay to convince yourself to play, of which there isn't any. When playing the xenomorphs themselves you will feel underpowered against the marines, while also experiencing a number of issues with the controls. These balancing problems could be fixed in a patch, and there is a number of paid DLC that will be arriving to expand your online experience. That is if you decide to stay for that long.
Aliens Colonial Marines just isn't a good representation of the Aliens franchise. The game feels more like one of the hundreds of generic shooters of the last decade rather than a scary horror game. The graphics are unacceptable for a game with such a large budget and development cycle. While there are some interesting throwbacks, even die hard fans of the series should pass this game up.
Super Gamer Dude
Aliens was an iconic movie that remains an industry classic, and Aliens Colonial Marines was designed and intended as a direct sequel to the film. For how long the game was in development, fans expected a pretty good game to come from the classic James Cameron film. In retrospect, maybe they should have worked on it a bit longer. Instead of giving a feeling of terror, of being hunted, the game feels like every other shooter you've ever played, except that you're way overpowered, turning combat into a shooting gallery. The only possible saving grace are the multiplayer modes; unfortunately, these won't be fleshed out until a DLC package is released with more maps. The graphics are pretty bad as well, and the game is marred by a number of technical issues.
The story mode in a game that is supposed to come as a sequel to the horror/action film Aliens should impart some kind of sense of fear or anxiety while playing. At the very least, you should feel rushed and harried. Aliens Colonial Marines completely fails on this point. Instead, you get a game that simply feels like most other shooters, with some notable, and negative, exceptions to the rule. First of all, the AI is absolutely terrible. Both your teammates and the enemies are unintelligent and predictable. Also, you can carry as many guns as you want, and the weapons you have are overpowered, making the game feel much too easy. The campaign playthrough lasts around six hours, and you probably won't ever play it again. You'll feel a sense of elation and nostalgia at first (if you're a fan of the movies), but that's about it, and that feeling quickly wears off when faced with the frustrating gameplay.
Multiplayer isn't so bad. The best mode that the game has is called escape, which is eerily reminiscent of a Left 4 Dead mission. You run along with a team of marines, rushing to weld doors shut behind you as you fight off Aliens and try to escape. If that's all the game has to offer, you're better off spending your money elsewhere.
Some of the biggest complaints about the game come from its graphical quality. Problems run rampant, with everything from aliasing and low resolution to world objects (like your gun) simply disappearing from view for a while. Critical reviews of the game were mostly negative. IGN rated the game a rarely-seen 4.5/10, and aggregate scorer Metacritic scored it at 49/100. User reviews on Metacritic rated it even lower, with an average score of 4/10. Players mostly complain about the poor graphical quality and stunningly horrid AI, with hordes of Aliens simply charging you from the front with no intelligence whatsoever.
It's very difficult to put a positive spin on this game at all. If you're a diehard fan and want the game for that reason, wait a month and get it on sale. Until then, don't waste your money.