Aliens: Colonial Marines E3 2011 First Look Preview -- Game...Opposite of Over, Man!By Eric Eckstein - Posted Jul 07, 2011
For our Aliens: Colonial Marines preview, it's clear that Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford could quote any part from the movie for our entire demo. In fact, throughout he's throwing out one liners like, "How can they cut the power? They're animals," so no matter what anyone says about the game at the finish line, Colonial Marines is certainly a project fueled with passion. Thankfully, the game looks, at least so far, pretty sharp to boot, even if it's not coming until 2012.
Colonial Marines serves as a direct sequel to the film, and the demo opens with our dropship crash landing on LV-426, more specifically, in the vicinity of Hadley's Hope, the terraforming colony featured from the movie. The detonation of the atmospheric processor has leveled the area, but some structures still stand, and somehow, those pesky xenomorphs are still lurking about. Our mission is to locate the marines that were previous sent, and yep, it turns into another bug hunt.
At first glance, Aliens: CM is an Aliens fan wet dream, full of foggy corridors, motion tracker pings, and aliens that move naturally smooth versus the herky jerky implementations in other Alien titles. Marines chitchat amongst themselves between moments where aliens climb out of the goddamn walls; as an Aliens nerd, it was everything I have wanted the perfect Aliens game to be. What was shown in our short demo was a fairly linear, corridor crawl, but still very tense and with some exciting gun battles.
In one sequence, the player can set up sentry guns to hold off an oncoming horde, lovingly lifted from a deleted scene in the film, and of course, there are Power Loaders, the giant exoskeletons used to transport heavy cargo and swat away at alien Queens. Even better, these Power Loaders are armed to the teeth with guns and flamethrowers. Most interesting though was the four-player drop-in/drop-out that allows you to take on the xenos with three of your buddies instead of only AI jarheads.
Yet, it's not all homage. New alien enemies exist like the Crusher, a much larger xenomorph that charges players and forces a different play dynamic. In the attack we witnessed, the marines ran for safety, sealing a door behind them to avoid the beast. Yeah. Expect to use your welder as much as your weapon, if you want to survive.
Other versions of aliens are expected to be revealed in the months to come, but it won't just be the same types of aliens we've seen before and nothing too crazy to ruin the mythology. Speaking of mythology, players will be getting a deeper look inside the Aliens world as they'll explore the colony, the Derelict Ship that houses all the alien eggs, and even the Sulaco, the spaceship that transported Ripley and the marines in the original film.
Our brief glimpse into the world already has us salivating for more, and even after so many false starts, I'm more optimistic about Aliens: Colonial Marines being a quality shooter than ever before. Gearbox, and Pitchford especially, know this subject matter backwards and forwards, and they're no strangers to shooters. Combine the two and things are finally looking up for the Aliens franchise. But we won't know for certain until the game arrives on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in the Spring of 2012.