Review: Aliens Colonial Marines
Buckle up, soldier! Welcome to Aliens: Colonial Marines. Created by Gearbox, the critically acclaimed and fan-favourite developers of Borderlands and Brothers In Arms, this first-person shooter is steeped in the eerie, claustrophobic and terrifying atmosphere that made the Aliens films successful worldwide. You and your friends will become the most badass military outfit in the galaxy – the US Colonial Marines. It’s down to you to not just survive but wipe out the Xeno infestation.
- Graphics are passable, some nice detail work in some levels, whilst one level has a good lighting and atmosphere full in effect.
- Level up through the single player and multiplayer to unlock new weapon attachments and customization options for multiplayer. Your rank carries over from both which also gives you the ability to unlock new playable Aliens online.
- Call Of Duty style challenges give bonus xp and further unlocks upon completion. They can cover both single player and multiplayer, with goals like kill x amount of aliens with this gun, up to goals like head shot 10 enemies with a service pistol.
- You can find and permenantley unlock legendary weapons, they are weapons used in the films by the characters, flamethrower being an example.
- Three sets of collectibles await you in the game. Audio logs which provide extra story, Dog tags which belong to the fallen marines, finally the legendary weapons.
- The music is one of the best features, staying true to the films and providing some excellent sound effects. it sounds like an Aliens game.
- Four player online co-op which is a great way to experience the game, play with friends or randoms.
- Split screen co-op holds up rather well and again is a great addition and well worth trying. No slow down or lag is present.
- Online is fun and can provide the true Aliens experience. With different modes such as extermination to survival, it keeps straight up team death match for the regulars and gives a nice array of options. Players will play one round as Marines and the second round as Aliens.
- Graphics in the distance are very low quality, looking faded and blocky, almost like a flat 2D badly done pixel art.
- AI animations are bad, Aliens especially, moving around more like a drugged up break dancer cum zombie causing you to laugh rather than jump. Your AI buddy will walk through crates, teleport in front of you, or just stay out of any fire fight despite what he might be saying!
- Hit box on enemys is sporadic at best and really in precise.
- AI buddies can never die, instead if they do managed to get hit enough, they will just fall to their knees then after time will heal themselves.
- Ammo and health are picked up by pressing a button, this gets really annoying later on as its not that responsive to the button presses and in the heat of battle is not cool. You can also get it where pick ups will be at such an angle you cant collect them easily.
- Killing an enemy causes them to explode into a shower of pick ups occasionally Any atmosphere is gone once you realise an Alien is just a big dribbling pinata, waiting to be whacked.
- AI buddies will always call out Aliens before you see them or before your radar goes off, this kills any atmosphere.
- The radar itself has a mind of its own. In early levels it will beep on its own accord even if its not right, Later on it kind of redeems itself by just displaying a radar icon when you need to use it. But even then it ruins the mood and again this is a fluke scenario and most of the time it will just go off willy nilly.
- Had a few instances of the sound dropping out of FMV’s completely. Aliens as a silent movie is not a good idea.
- FMV’s look bad. The animations are blocky and ugly with hardly any mouth movement. Going all Thunderbirds style would have been better! It can lag and slowdown on FMV’s aswell, regardless of online or offline play.
- The story is cheesy and predictable. Marines know after one encounter what the Aliens are and even give names to the other types of Aliens, all without any explanation.
- Pop up can happen and is most noticeable with pick ups, seeing nothing from a distance means nothing, walk close and all of a sudden an armoury drops in front of you.
- Campaign is short and never really gets going. Look to spend around 5 hours running through the levels. Each level feels almost like it was created by different people with different ideas, with poorly done FMV’s smashed in between to try hide that fact.
In summary, the game is average at best. Its not amazing and at the same time its not amazing. In short burst and preferably with friends, it does have a few good qualities and for the most part you are just running and gunning Aliens. But there is no hiding that this is not the Aliens game we all wanted. It is just one of those games you want to love but it wont let you. I must admit I did have fun in some levels and one level in particular nailed a lot of what we want from aliens game, but one level cannot save the game. Online multi player can be fun with a group of friends and will give you more of an aliens game. Even then though be warned that it will get repetitive and the bad animations will have you laughing more than screaming. For under a tenner you cant complain too much but at full price you may as well grease up bend over and take it. Maybe you will be able to find happiness in the game, and more power to you I respect that, but for me too much crap went down and it just didn’t do it for me at full price. A tenner or less and I will dip into it every so often just because of the name.