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Gearbox insists Aliens: Colonial Marine still on track

Those naughty boys at Shacknews have been spreading rumour and strife about Sega and Gearbox's upcoming FPS, Aliens: Colonial Marines. Randy Pitchford, President of the latter outfit, has stepped in to reassure anxious fans that the game is still in production, despite an unconfirmed number of layoffs and slow sales of Gearbox's last release, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway.

"Aliens isn't canned," Pitchford insisted. "We've made some transformative changes and yes, that's meant some talent changes, but that's not the real story."

"The true relevance of the story will actually be irrelevant until we release our next game," he went on cryptically. "At which time I hope there will be a lot of interest in what we've done that can produce such results."

Pitchford subsequently described reports that the game had been cancelled as "inaccurate characterizations".

We're thankful for that, as last time we checked Colonial Marines was looking rather tasty. A tactical first-person shooter, it puts you in charge of four of those titular marines and sends you scuttling around the innards of various Alien-infested installations. Players can order their allies around with context sensitive commands, or switch characters to do the dirty work themselves.

All going to plan, the game will support four-player online cooperative modes and two-player split-screen. On the Xenomorph bench, you can expect Alien Queens, Warriors and Facehuggers, all of them responding intelligently (and terrifyingly) to your actions. The story is being penned by Battlestar Galactica writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle.

Aliens: Colonial Marines is slated for release on PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360 in 2009.