Aliens: Colonial Marines

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Yes, it’s more or less common gamer knowledge that Colonial Marines was ass, but I felt it necessary to drag it through the mud again. This game is the pinnacle of bad game making. Or maybe one of them – interestingly enough another one of them was released by the same company. It’s okay though. Remember, 3DR ruined Duke Nukem – not Gearbox.

Colonial Marines largely ignores and retcons the plot developments of the movie Aliens, then relies upon fan popularity and familiarity with the settings and characters of Aliens to sell a game whose story makes absolutely no sense, and whose gameplay is simply abysmal. For example, how would the USCM know Ridley landed on Fury 161? The timeline is all fucked up. Aliens took place in 2180. Yet they place this game 17 weeks after Alien 3. There is no possible way that the shuttlecraft from the Sulaco at the beginning of Alien 3 could have drifted anywhere near a planet in the generic timeframe described – still 2180 – while the Sulaco was still orbiting LV-426. It is astronomically impossible, and bad writing. If they dispatched the Sephora to investigate Sulaco and it’s still at the original planet, then how the fuck could the Sulaco shuttle have crashed on any other planet? Fury 161 can’t be in the same solar system because no one had ever been to that system before – they explicitly say this in Alien. It even says so in the Alien wiki, that no one knows where Fury 161 is except Weyland-Yutani. Meaning it’s impossible. Which also begs the question how Michael Bishop Weyland could possibly have gotten to Fury 161 in Aliens 3 – considering they had to send him a message first. Sorry, but a shuttle craft even going at full speed is going to take years to get anywhere. Not weeks. As evidenced by the fact that Ripley was in that escape pod from the Nostromo for 67 years before she was picked up.

Significant amounts of the game take place on Hadleys Hope only a few months after it was destroyed by a thermonuclear bomb, yet the entire colony is fine – is not irradiated – and you can breath the atmosphere, despite the Atmosphere Processor being destroyed in the movie – which by the way is intact in the game, even if there are other atmosphere processors. The Sulaco is visibly destroyed while you escape from it, which again is somehow after Ripley’s pod was ejected, again. Ignoring that the Sulaco was basically fine and no where near a planet at the beginning of Alien 3 and the escape pod was ejected for reasons – no explanation why (because the alien facehugger started a fire, on the escape pod not the Sulaco), James Cameron says its a true sequel. That’s great, except the sequel to Aliens was Alien 3. You can’t retcon in a sequel.

Ignoring the story, the gameplay is simply bad. QTEs, rigid and boring combat; enemies that take multiple headshots to kill; aliens that can crawl on ceilings and walls but will walk up to you or literally stand there and do nothing. Floors you can get stuck in and die. There is almost never any indication of what you’re supposed to do other than a generic marker on your motion tracker.

It’s s shame too because they did a great job of reproducing the atmosphere, appearance, and sound effects of the movies. The graphics, though an obvious letdown compared to hype footage shown before release, are still rather gorgeous.

They did a great job of reproducing the atmosphere

They did a great job of reproducing the atmosphere

Even the technology, down to the props used in Aliens, and the sounds such as the ripping paper of the plasma rifle or the clanking of the turrets, was reproduced with excellent clarity and authenticity. It’s just a shame that I have to lump this title in with Operation Raccoon City. Great reproduction of an established environment, but terrible story and gameplay, to the point of being  broken.

Seriously – don’t buy this game. Even if it’s 5 dollars, it’s 4.99 too much.