Aliens: Colonial Marines - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Genre:Shooter
  • Developer: Gearbox Software
  • Release Date:Feb 12, 2013
  • # of Players:1 player
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:In Aliens: Colonial Marines, players are part of a United States Colonial Marine squad and must prepare to face an Aliens assault more intense and horrific than ever before. Players must destroy the enemy with classic Aliens weaponry ranging from pulse rifles to flamethrowers as well as brand-new equipment. Aliens: Colonial Marines features a story driven single-player mode and a four player co-op mode allowing players to share the chilling experience with three friends. In co-op mode, each player assumes the persona of a United States Colonial Marine and have a distinct role to play in the completion of every mission.
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Aliens: Colonial Marines Gamescom 2011 Preview -- Don't Forget To Pack Your Pulse Rifle

Aliens: Colonial Marines Gamescom 2011 Preview -- Don't Forget To Pack Your Pulse Rifle

By Kevin Kelly - Posted Aug 26, 2011

Brian Burleson from Gearbox took us through the newest build of Aliens: Colonial Marines at gamescom, and started things off by explaining how many major sci-fi properties "borrow" from Aliens, including Halo. The video game team finds themselves in the interesting position of "borrowing" from, well... Aliens as well to create this game. They've been working closely with Fox and using their film archives, while also going directly to Syd Mead who designed the original look of much of the tech in the film, including the U.S.S. Sulaco.


While we were able to spend a brief amount of time with the title at E3, this demo in Germany was longer, and had the added bonus of additional teaser gameplay footage which you can watch above. While we didn't actually get to play the game, we watched the developers play, and it definitely recreates the atmosphere of the second film in the franchise. While it's actually set after the events of Aliens 3, everything about this screams Aliens, and you keep expecting Hicks to pop up around one of the corners. 

Ironically, this is achieved mostly through sound effects and not the graphics. The iconic sound of the motion tracker, as well as the well-known chattering of the M41a Pulse Rifle, really solidy this in the world of the movies. The graphics are suitably dull and gloomy as we explore LV-426, which wasn't as destoyed as Ripley would have liked to believe when they blew the atmospheric processors.

You'll notice many of the same locations from the Aliens film, such as the electronic map of the facility that they study, the former site of the processors, and some of the same hallways and doorways that the team from the movie went through. You'll also board the Sulaco at some point, as it's still in space, and you'll even explore the alien Derelict from the first film, the one that brought the xenomorphs to the planet in the first place.

Our crew played through via the drop-in, drop-out co-op, which has a nod to Shawn of the Dead as the screen reads "Player 2 Has Entered The Game" when someone joins you. There are many other tongue in cheek references throughout the game, but for the most part there's a lot of edge-of-your-seat horror moments as you're constantly under threat of attack, and you can lose squadmates at any second through floor grates and air ducts. 

Gameplay, of course, consists mostly of firing your pulse rifle, but there are many iconic Alien weapons throughout the game, as well as some new and updated pieces of tech from the series. For instance, you'll see different variations on the pulse rifle, as well as add-ons for it. You'll be driving things like the power loaders, APCs, and coming down on dropships throughout the game, and chief creative Brian Martel promises they'll be mixing it up as much as possible. Communication, as always, seems to be key, as you'll constantly need to call out to your partner to find out what area they're holding down, or where they need help.

You'll also see some of the things from the deleted scenes from the movie, like the automated sentry guns that get set up in one of the hallways. There's a level in the game directly related to that as you have to hold down a hallway through of charging aliens while protecting your sentry gun. You'll also have a full encounter in a loading bay along with weaponized power loaders, as well as in the junked remains of the atmospheric processor as you flee from an angry alien queen.  

You'll also encounter Bishop in one form or another, as Lance Henriksen reprises his role for the game. We haven't seen how they're using him yet, but we're looking very forward to it. While the gameplay doesn't look to be groundbreaking, it does look chock full of iconic references that will be you directly into the experience offered by the film. 

Now you secure that sh*t, Hudson. Aliens: Colonial Marines comes out in the Spring of 2012.

Comments are Closed

  • Silentghost4

    Just a few observations from all the recent media I have seen. Please bare in mind though that none of this is set in stone. The game does have an iterative design process, and its very possible that anything they have talked about recently could end up not making it into the game when it ships next year.

    Encounter Types
    - Survival Horror - These slower paced sections will be much closer to the original film, in that players will often find themselves separated from their squad, hunted and alone with limited armaments. They are allegedly tense affairs in which a single alien can be a threat.

    - Last Stand - These are scripted set-piece encounters which require players to setup sentry guns and weld shut entry points and then defend against a horde of xenomorphs as they swarm in from every conceivable direction.

    - Gauntlet Run - These are heavily scripted get from point A to B affairs that force the players to run for their lives through a gauntlet of xenos.

    - Close Encounters - The CE s are similar to Quick-Time Events, they are tightly scripted events that appear during the course of the game and play out from the players first person perspective.

    Gameplay Features / Mechanics
    - HUD can be switched off
    - Recharging health
    - Acid blood temporarily obscures view, rather than melting flesh
    - Dynamic alien A.I. (Random spawns, creates diversions, use vents to move around, self survivability)
    - Real-time dynamic lighting
    - Character customisation
    - Weapon customisation (Add sights, scopes, alt. ammo types, shotguns, GL's.)
    - Customisable loadouts (Equip different weapons and equipment.)
    - Earn experience points
    - Unlock perks
    - Hacking mini-game
    - Coop difficulty scaling dependent on # of players and difficulty setting
    - Partially destructible environments. (Doors buckling, Acid decals etc.)
    - Aim Down the Sights - The game will ship with sights if the weapon calls for it. - zafford20
    - Crouching - We did demonstrate crouching in the e3 demo. - zafford20
    - Sprinting - Sprinting was demonstrated in the e3 demo. - zafford20

    - Armat M41A Pulse Rifle & PN 30mm underslung grenade launcher
    - M56A2 Smart Gun & Self-aiming stabilised mount harness
    - M240A1 Flamethrower
    - H&K VP70 Pistol (Seen in old media)
    - M4A3 Pistol - From the ACMTM - Standard USCM sidearm (Seen in OPM screen)
    - Semi-auto Shotgun (Looks like a Benelli M4)
    - UA 571-C Remote Sentry Weapons System
    More variations on weapons not talked about yet, including pulse rifle variants. Also, more than likely, I am guessing a few from the Aliens Colonial Marines Technical manual.

    - M3 Armor & M10 Ballistic Helmet
    - Halogen Shoulder Lamp
    - Miniature Hand Welder
    - Motion Tracker (Can be used offhand with a pistol and can be heard beeping when off screen.)
    - Hacking Kit
    Brian Martel said ACM would introduce new gadgets into the Aliens universe.

    - M577 Armoured Personnel Carrier APC Possibility to drive and man weapons systems, including: rocket pod, hood mounted 20mm gatling cannons and rail mounted 20mW boyars PARS 150 phased plasma cannon.
    - UD-4L 'Cheyenne' Utility Dropship
    - Caterpillar P-5000 Power Loader (Possibly drivable)
    - Daihotai Tractor (Making an appearance, but unknown if its drivable)

    - U.S.S Sulaco (Conestoga class)
    - Remains of Hadley s Hope
    - Surface / Sub-terrain of LV-426 (Possibly colony mines?)
    - Derelict Alien Space Craft

    - Winter (Player Character - Silent protagonist)
    - Rook Synthetic (Lance Henriksen)
    - Cmdr. T. Shannon (William Hope)
    - Sgt. Cruz - Marine with the prosthetic leg
    - Sgt. O'Neal (Bryan Massey)
    - Bella (Farah White)
    - Reid
    - Monday
    - Weirzbowski (Josh Ridgway)
    - Gen. Pryz (Gene Pyrz)
    - Cpt. McLofflenn (Bill Huggins)
    - Private Rashaad

    Alien Types Confirmed
    - Queen
    - Face Hugger
    - Warrior (Ridged Cameron Design - Hive mentality)
    - Crusher (Mutated from radiation - Head is impervious to standard gunfire)

    Hinted at
    - Scout (Smooth domed head Giger design - Said to be the most sneaky alien that stalks alone) Originally talked about in 2008 Game Informer preview, but still hinted at in many of the recent E3 and Gamescon interviews.

    - Queen s Guard (Hinted at in VG247 article that interviews Brian Martel at Gamescon.)

    Then there s the idea of the hive. Who is guarding the queen, what else is inside the hive you ve gotta have that sort of thing in your game or else it ll be repetitive.

    - Dog like Alien (Hinted at by Brian Cozzens in the PSM magazine article.)

    - Drone - With special egg carrying carapace (Hinted at in the old 2008 Game Informer preview.) On the Aliens Quadrilogy, the Drone is described as a smaller Albino worker / hive builder caste that Cameron cut from his initial film script.

    Story (Possible Spoilers)

    The story actually picks up a few months before the game proper begins, right after the events of Alien 3, when W-Y discover the Sulaco drifting in orbit around Fiorina Fury 161, just after Ripley s sacrifice. They find eggs or evidence of eggs on-board, likely from the same batch as the ones that mysteriously appeared at the start of Alien 3.

    In search of the source, W-Y heads straight to LV-426 with the Sulaco in toe. What happens next isn t clear, but from what I gather, its that W-Y setup some kind of research operation down on LV-426 s surface (possibly to study the Derelict). It looks like that process somehow leads them to repopulating the diminished xenomorph ranks.

    Jumping forward 11 months, we play as the 17 day Colonial Marine rescue team eluded to in the second film, sent to investigate the whereabouts of U.S.S Sulaco. In the OPM interview, Randy mentions something about the rescue team being diverted or interrupted, implying some W-Y subterfuge as the cause. Due to this, our ship the U.S.S Sephora, arrives late on the scene at LV-426, and discovers that somebody blew up the Atmosphere Processor station and also find the seemingly abandoned Sulaco drifting in orbit. As we see in the Teaser trailer, they remotely access the ships logs and quickly determine that the ships crew is missing and that there are unregistered life forms on board.

    They receive new orders through to investigate and board the vessel. From the E3 Demo Previews we know that they are met with a xenomorph infestation. At some point during or after the Op, something goes horribly wrong and our marines end up crashing down onto the moons surface.

    Once down on the surface, they see the remains of the Hadley s Hope colony, which has only been partially destroyed due to the explosion being a sub-surface detonation that sent most of the blast energy up vertically like a funnel. It seems that Bishops calculations were off, or something occurred that he couldn t anticipate. (Due to Randy s post on throwing doubt onto Bishop's reliability as an android, I can only assume that this will be answered in more detail in the game.)

    Anyway, Winter <(player character) blacks-out during the crash and wakes-up on the surface of LV-426, near to the Colony. He and a bunch of fellow marines fight there way through the ruined colony and crashed Sulaco, fighting the newly reinforced xeno numbers until finally the Queen makes an appearance.

    And that s about as much as they have told us. Accept for the fact that we do go to the Derelict in Act 3.

    Additional Campaign Plot Points

    - The campaign will be split up into self contained missions with an overarching plot. The first three acts will take us, in order.. to 1. the Sulaco, then 2. the surface of LV-426 and remains of Hadley s Hope, and then 3. onto the Derelict. Where or IF we go anywhere else from there, GBX haven t talked about yet.

    - A whole battalion of marines is sent to LV-426 this time. Most of them will be cannon fodder, but we can keep some of them alive for extra firepower.

    - There will be recurring NPC characters that we will be able to form bonds with, similar to those in the movie.

    - Exploration of the Space Jockey mystery re-confirmed.

    - Many of the characters from the movie will be referenced in various ways. For example, the aftermath of Vasquez and Gorman s grenade, where Hudson got taken to, and the fate of Burke. They wont be magically resurrected from death though.

    - Gearbox have taken the opportunity to attempt to fix some of the plot holes in the movies, like where the eggs came from at the start of Alien 3.

    Posted: September 2, 2011 2:36 AM
  • confusedalot

    @qbano You do know that the majority of gamers are in their late 20s early 30s? This game is also by Gearbox a great developer. Not to mention what your saying is like saying young kids who play pokemon arent going to play pokemon because they werent born when the first ones came out.

    Posted: August 29, 2011 11:56 AM
  • confusedalot

    @qbano you do know that the majority of gamers are around the age of 30 right? just because you may be of that age you specified and you know a ton of people who play doesnt mean they're the only ones who play video games...Not to mention you think only people alive when that movie came out like Aliens.

    Posted: August 29, 2011 11:50 AM
  • Halfbreedninja

    GET AWAY FROM ME YOU BITCH!!!! I grew up on this movie absolutely love it, and now they're coming out with an Aliens game that doesn't require me to go to the arcade to play? where do i sign up?! this game looks frickin AMAZING! can't wait

    Posted: August 29, 2011 8:36 AM
  • qbano

    Nothing beats a lame attempt at a money grab than a developer creating a game based on a 25 year old science fiction sequel. Did they even bother doing their market research, most of the people who were alive in 1986 arent playing video games any longer and the ones that are most likely wont shell out $60 for this beat up redundant story line; most of the current x-box 360 owners/players are in the 15-21 year old age group and werent alive when this movie was out.

    Seriously, this Aliens concept type games are over done, there is a classic arcade game that uses tech from the 80's to play as a colonial marine, to which you hunted Aliens with a machine gun interface, pretty much the pre-cursor to the FPS genre. I fail to see why would people pay over $60 to play this game? I say rent it from Gamefly or a local video game rental shop first for about a week, return the item back to the store then re-rent it a week later to see if the replay value is worth it. What makes a great game is the replay value, how the story line or multiplayer features offer a variety of story lines to follow within the parameters of the game.

    It's not like the series is being digitally remastered, recaptured on 3D and being re-released as an anniversary pack? Or is it? I thought that regurgitating a title for a new platform and giving it a slight spin in a new direction was solely Nintendo's idea but apparently I'm wrong in that thought process. I'm just saddened to see that a great cult piece of science fiction is being revisited in order to milk more money out of a franchise.

    Posted: August 29, 2011 5:47 AM
  • SoldierSpider

    oh yea try ti kill some aliens

    Posted: August 29, 2011 5:06 AM