Aliens: Colonial Marines Review
- Posted February 15th, 2013 at 23:57 EDT by Timothy Nunes
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The biggest achievement in this title is that it works as a shooter, but the gameplay, plot, visuals, and audio don't do it any justice. The multiplayer lessens the experience even further by providing a simplistic experience that only deters players from playing more than one round. It's really hard to believe that Gearbox was even involved with this title at all.
- Aiming is surprisingly authentic
- The way the Aliens look
- Glitches throughout
- Graphically/audibly flawed
- Cookie-cutter shooter that cut too much
(continued from previous page) ...front of the door, and the door opening actually kills him, which results in a reload to the last checkpoint.
That's right. In Aliens, you should stay away from opening doors.
The only aesthetically pleasing aspect to this game is the way that the Aliens, or Xenos (Xenomorphs), look. They retain proper texture dexterity with their elongated, gleaming heads, and their gruesome, franchise-staple details maintain their proper effect - visually, anyway. The first time a Xenomorph appears is rather startling and very memorable. However, that moment dies with the artificial AI that’s been generated for this game, leaving Xenos to crawl on walls and cave structures with linear paths and right angles being their only means of conveyance. The fault doesn’t stop here either, given that Xenos and enemy soldiers tread many fixed paths and, quite often, became “confused” as to what to do and simply stop in the middle of an open battlefield.
The HUD is peculiar, and deserves mention. Though it shifts with player movement, it’s very, very minimal and quite dull in its small, blue lettering and insignificant overlay. Still, it works, but interacting with environmental objects can be a pain. Ammunition and shield reserves have visual identification in the HUD, but collectibles and machinery buttons all require the aiming reticle to be placed exactly over them in order to interact. In other games, there's usually some leeway so players don’t have to meticulously put extra effort towards picking up ammo, collectibles, and interacting with plot devices. This game requires players to work too hard for what’s blatantly pointed out and what’s well-hidden in plain sight.
After running through the dull and nonchalant story, you won't find much solace in multiplayer. The core premise is to pit Xenomorphs against Marines, which, in theory, sounds perfect. Instead, maps are disorganized, and matches tend to favor the Marines, since the developers didn’t really allow any sort of balance between the melee abilities of the Xenomorphs and the Marine’s vast array of guns. Each game mode has teams taking turns using both Marines and Xenomorphs, and this seems to be the only balancing act; maps are a graphical mess and designed such that the Marine side can bottleneck the Aliens and win every time. It really takes bad Marine players or an act of god to win as Xenomorphs. Beyond this unique match-up, all of the expected modes are here, including Team Deathmatch and a mode called Escape, where Marines have to move across each map to reach a final objective.
The only point to booting up multiplayer is the actual use of weapons, which feature surprisingly realistic aiming mechanisms. I wouldn't be surprised if you told me that this was the only part of the game that Gearbox actually developed, leaving the bulk of duties with Nerve Software, TimeGate Studios, and Demiurge Studios. A cooperative online mode rounds out the experience, and two friends who both own the game can play together and experience that which is Aliens: Colonial Marines. Here's hoping that having a buddy along eases the pain.
On paper, Aliens: Colonial Marines has everything that a gamer could want: shooting, aliens, action sequences, multiplayer, and even replay value through collectibles and the three difficulty levels. However, considering all of the technical and development crimes that the team behind this game committed, it’s safe to say that Sigourney Weaver herself couldn’t have saved this game from failure. The biggest achievement of this title is that it works as a shooter, but the gameplay, plot, visuals, and audio don't do justice to anyone or anything. The multiplayer lessens the experience even further by providing a simplistic experience that only deters players from playing more than one round. It's really hard to believe that Gearbox was involved with this title at all.
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