In Aliens: Colonial Marines you take on the role of Corporal Christopher Winter who as luck would have it is a Colonial Marine and part of the search and rescue team sent to investigate the U.S.S. Sulaco looking for Ellen Ripley.
I will openly admit to being excited about this game since it was announced and to finally be able to play it, for me is a massive deal. I love the Alien films and actually was one of the few people I know to actually enjoy Prometheus! The game features some settings that fans of the films will be familiar with, for example LV-426 is revisited you also get to go on board the U.S.S Sulaco, as well as taking a walk around the derelict alien spacecraft from the original Alien film.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is at heart a first person shooter, that is based in the fictional universe of the Aliens series. Colonial Marines is based after the events of the second film and features a few returning faces.
The areas that are shown in the game will, as I said earlier be familiar to those who have watched the film. The game does well to build tension by allowing you to use the motion tracker, however while using the tracker you cannot use your weapon. This has been done deliberately to mean you have to actually decide when to put the tracker away and get out your gun meaning you may have a rough idea where the Xenomorphs are coming from but not an exact position. This for me was a touch of genius as so far I’ve often found myself getting caught out by putting the tracker away and nothing happening or keeping the tracker open for too long and not giving myself enough time to take out the oncoming Xenomorphs.
The game is not without it’s flaws, the AI system in what I have seen so far isn’t brilliant and although they can take out enemies the other marines that walk round with you sometimes get stuck in areas, meaning you have to move on and hope they catch up.
Despite the occasionally poor AI, the campaign is well thought out and allows you to pick up some truly legendary weapons. There are half-a-dozen scattered throughout the game for you to sink your teeth into. The gameplay video below actually shows you the location of one of them…
So lets take a look at the gameplay footage from the first mission;
Hopefully the video has given you a better idea what I mean about the AI system, it is the only time I’ve encountered it so far but still potential for a fix.
In terms of multiplayer Aliens: Colonial Marines has several different game types; 6-a-side Team Deathmatches, a mode called Extermination where the Marines are trying to destroy egg clusters dotted around the map with Xenos aiming to defend and an objective mode called Escape, where the Marines must reach an evac point while the Xeno team must hunt and stop them. Currently Extermination is my favourite mode and the games seem to go at a decent pace so more often than not they last under 5 minutes. Which if you’re a Xeno getting abused by a Marine with a flame thrower is long enough, TRUST ME!
The variety of game types offers a fun and exciting online experience.
An interesting online feature is the levelling system. You’ll be working on levelling both your Xeno and your Marine as two separate characters. With each level you increase you’ll be able to unlock different abilities and perks for the relevant character. As we’ve said in reviews before, multiplayer levelling can really hook a gamer’s attention and make coming back to a game extremely easy.
There is a lot to come back to in here and with the leaked news about an upcoming DLC in March it looks like Gearbox Software are not going to let the multiplayer aspect of the game simply dissolve in a pool of acid.
Overall Aliens: Colonial Marines is a refreshing title, dodging the seemingly ever-growing list of average-poor movie themed video games.