|Aliens: Colonial Marines|
|Release date(s)||February 12, 2013|
|Rating|| ESRB: M (Mature)|
|Platform(s)|| PlayStation 3|
Aliens: Colonial Marines is a 2013 first-person shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software and TimeGate Studios and published by SEGA for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A Wii U version was being produced for release but was eventually cancelled on April 5th 2013. The game takes place in 2179 and is a sequel to the 1986 film Aliens and takes place after the death of Ellen Ripley in Alien3. In it, a second group of Colonial Marines are dispatched to investigate the incident on LV-426, leading them to the abandoned USS Sulaco, the ruined human colony of Hadley's Hope and the derelict ship on the planet's surface.
Gearbox Software aimed to create a first-person shooter Aliens title which retained the atmospheric look and feel of the original Alien films while leveraging the next-generation technology to create an entirely new interactive Alien experience. The game's plot has been stated as canon by 20th Century Fox, but was criticized for its large plot-holes and lackluster writing, thus leaving most fans unsatisfied with the supposedly canonical events that took place in the game. A singleplayer expansion, Stasis Interrupted, was later released for the game July 23, 2013 in the form of downloadable content.
- In 2179, a USCM force was dispatched on board the USS Sulaco to the colony on LV-426 to destroy a Xenomorph infestation.
- All contact with the Sulaco and its crew was lost.
- The USCM dispatched the USS Sephora with a battalion sized force and a full compliment of surface bound nuclear warheads to secure the situation once and for all.
Described as a true sequel to James Cameron's film Aliens, the story of Aliens: Colonial Marines takes place after the events of the third film Alien3. Much of the main plot was written by re-imagined Battlestar Galactica writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle. The story is told through the eyes of Corporal Christopher Winter, a Colonial Marine that is part of a search and rescue team sent to investigate the disappearance of the USS Sulaco and the loss of its crew. The Sulaco, the colony of Hadley's Hope (both from Aliens) and the derelict (from Alien) all serve as environments in the game, as well as other locations created especially for the story, including the Weyland-Yutani Origin Facility. Another location rumoured as appearing in the game, at least in early drafts, was the prison colony on Fiorina "Fury" 161 from Alien3 , although this was ultimately dropped from the campaign before the final release. The prison later appeared in the Movie Map Pack DLC for the game's multiplayer, and also made an appearance (in several cutscenes) in the game's singleplayer expansion, Stasis Interrupted.
Gearbox has stated that they were invited to speak with Ridley Scott and view the script for his "Alien prequel" Prometheus, and several subtle references to Prometheus appear in Aliens: Colonial Marines.
17 weeks after the events of Aliens, a full battalion of Colonial Marines travels to LV-426 aboard the USS Sephora in response to a distress call sent by Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Upon arrival, the Sephora docks with the USS Sulaco, now somehow in orbit around LV-426 despite last being sighted above Fiorina "Fury" 161, and sends Marines aboard to investigate. A massive Xenomorph infestation is discovered inside the ship and several Marines are killed in the initial onslaught. While investigating the ship, Corporal Winter, Private O'Neal and Private Bella Clarison discover Weyland-Yutani PMCs are now in command of the Sulaco and have been breeding Xenomorphs on board for study.
The hostile corporate mercenaries attack the Sephora using the Sulaco's weaponry and both ships are destroyed after the Sephora retaliates. Winter, O'Neal, Bella, their commander Captain Cruz, Sephora android Bishop and pilot Lieutenant Reid escape aboard Reid's dropship and take shelter in the ruins of the Hadley's Hope colony complex on LV-426, which now lies almost completely destroyed after the detonation of its Atmosphere Processing Plant. Cruz orders all remaining Colonial Marine survivors to gather at the colony, in the hope of holding out until a rescue arrives. While investigating the ruins of the colony, Winter discovers Xenomorphs that only react to sound and movement and attack by suicidally exploding, as well as the corpse of Sulaco Marine Private Hudson.
With their position as secure as they can hope to make it, Cruz orders Winter to travel to a nearby Weyland-Yutani research facility set up near the derelict ship and recover a manifest that identifies an unknown prisoner the company has captured, apparently a survivor from the Sulaco. It transpires that Bella is impregnated with a Chestburster, and in an attempt at saving her, Winter and O'Neal accept the mission and escort Bella to the facility, where they intend to "convince" surviving personnel to remove the embryo. However, upon arrival, an interrogated Weyland-Yutani medical officer explains to them that Bella's life cannot be saved since, even if the embryo is successfully extracted, the creature's invasive placenta is cancerous and will kill her anyway. Bella dies when the Chestburster hatches while she is saying goodbye to Winter and O'Neal.
Winter and O'Neal recover the manifest they were sent to find and rescue the prisoner, revealed to be Corporal Hicks, who explains that Weyland-Yutani intercepted and boarded the Sulaco prior to its arrival at Fiorina 161. A fire in the hypersleep bay subsequently caused Ripley, Newt and Lance Bishop to be jettisoned from the ship in an EEV, along with the body of an unidentified man who was mistaken for the Corporal. Hicks himself was captured by Weyland-Yutani personnel and subjected to torture during interrogation, overseen by Michael Weyland in an attempt to learn more about the Xenomorphs' origins and to gain control of the Sulaco's weapon systems.
From Hicks, the Marines on LV-426 learn that an FTL-capable ship is docked at the research facility, representing the last chance for the survivors to escape the moon. After gathering the remaining Sephora personnel and fighting off a Xenomorph attack on the colony, Captain Cruz orders an all-out assault on the Weyland-Yutani complex in the hopes of capturing the FTL vessel. Winter and Hicks spearhead the advance, but the ship leaves minutes before they can reach it. In a last desperate attempt, Cruz pilots a dropship up to the escaping vessel and crashes into its hangar. Winter is confronted by the Xenomorph Queen in the hangar bay, and attempts to eject her using a cargo launching system, but fails when she climbs back aboard. Cruz sacrifices himself when he launches the crippled dropship directly into the Queen, propelling both out into the upper atmosphere of LV-426.
Winter, O'Neal, Reid, Bishop and Hicks find and confront Michael Weyland, but Hicks deduces he is merely an android double left behind as a decoy and summarily executes him. In search of useful intelligence, Bishop connects to the destroyed android's CPU and states that he has "everything", setting the stage for further confrontation between the Colonial Marines and the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.
- Hicks .... Michael Biehn
- Bishop .... Lance Henriksen
- Drake .... Mark Rolston
- Apone .... Al Matthews
- O'Neal .... Travis Willingham
- Winter .... Derek Phillips
- Bella .... Farah White
- Cruz .... Jason Douglas
- Keyes .... Matthew Mercer
- Reid ... Ashly Burch
- Hudson .... Andrew Bowen
- Redding .... Kimberly Brooks
- Short .... Markus Lloyd
- Quintaro .... Jason Liebrecht
- Xenomorphs ....
Colonial Marines is a sci-fi/action first-person shooter which puts the player in the role of a United States Colonial Marine like those seen in the film Aliens, and as such the player has access to iconic weapons from the movie such as the flamethrower, Pulse Rifle, Smartgun and robot sentry turrets. In addition to these, many new weapons are added, and many of the game's firearms can be customized through the addition of underbarrel attachments, optics, extended magazines, fire mode modifications, alternate ammunition types and paint jobs. Players are also able to use a welding torch to seal doors as in Aliens, and can also equip a motion tracker to detect unseen enemies, although doing either will leave the player unable to use their weapon simultaneously.
Initially it was announced that Aliens: Colonial Marines would employ squad-based gameplay, allowing the player to issues orders to AI controlled Marine allies using context-sensitive commands. However, Gearbox Software later revealed that this feature was dropped to make gameplay more accessible. It was also reported that the game would have no traditional HUD to provide onscreen information, leaving players dependant on the ammo counter on their Pulse Rifle and their motion tracker to keep track of situational factors. A HUD was ultimately present in the released version of the game, although it is removed on the hardest difficulty setting.
Players in the game earn experience points by killing enemies, accomplishing objectives and completing levels, and these points carry across both single- and multiplayer modes. As players accrue points and rank up they will unlock "commendations" that can be used to purchase upgrades for weapons in singleplayer, as well as unlock weapon upgrades and player customization options, both visual and gameplay-affecting, in multiplayer. The game also includes a raft of specific challenges that can be completed, both in singleplayer and multiplayer, for additional experience points and customization options. The experience point systems extends to the game's Xenomorph class, although this is only available in multiplayer.
The primary enemies of the game are the Xenomorphs from the first two films, which include the Facehugger, the Warrior and Queen from Aliens. It was also stated that the Runner Xenomorph from Alien3 would appear, but this ultimately turned out to be untrue; it is likely the Runner was cut during the game's troubled development cycle. The game also features never before seen Xenomorph types created by Gearbox Software. The specifics of these new alien types were kept a secret prior to release, with the exception of the Crusher, which was revealed in the E3 2011 walkthrough demo. Along with being able to traverse different surfaces from any angle, Gearbox and SEGA have also stated that the Aliens' AI will use the environment to set up sneak attacks and group tactics to overwhelm the player. Not all enemies will be aliens as players will find themselves also fighting human enemies in the form of Weyland-Yutani PMCs.
It had been stated that with the Wii U integration players would have been able to use the new controller to act as a motion tracker, but the Wii U version of the game was cancelled.
Aliens: Colonial Marines features dynamic drop-in/drop-out cooperative play in its main campaign, allowing up to 4 players online or 2 players locally to play the game's story together. There are also a number of competitive multiplayer modes that allow players to play as both Marines and Xenomorphs in a series of different modes. Each competitive match consists of two rounds, with teams switching species at half time and scores totalled across both rounds. Multiplayer modes include:
- Team Deathmatch: Traditional team deathmatch mode pitting two teams of up to six players against each other in a straight fight to the death.
- Extermination: A king-of-the-hill style game mode for two teams of up to five players. Extermination tasks Marines with destroying Xenomorph Egg clusters while the Aliens attempt to stop them. To destroy an Egg cluster, Marines must stand within the designated radius for fifteen seconds; if all of the Marines leave the circle or are killed, the countdown resets.
- Escape: An objective-based game mode for two teams of up to four players where the Marine team must complete tasks to facilitate their escape from the map. The Alien team simply has to kill them to prevent this happening. The Marines have massively increased health and endurance compared to the Aliens but have only one life; conversely, the Aliens have unlimited spawns and can continue the attack until the Marines are wiped out. The Marines must complete objectives to progress towards the escape point, such as unlocking doors or calling elevators. The game ends either when the Marines escape or they are all killed.
- Survivor: A horde-style game mode for two teams of up to four players. The Marines must survive for as long as possible against repeated attacks by Alien players. As with Survivor, the Marines are far stronger in this game mode than the Aliens but have only one life, whereas the weaker Aliens can continually respawn. The Marines can complete various objectives in the map to aid in their survival, such as locating ammunition supplies, placing sentry guns to defend weak points or welding doors to deny access. The game ends when the Marines are all killed.
Multiplayer characters can be customized in terms of both appearance and gameplay characteristics. Marines share weapon customization with their singleplayer counterparts, but can additionally have their physical appearance extensively modified. Options include armor artwork, tattoos, and skin and clothing color. Xenomorph characters can also be modified, albeit far less extensively, with different skin tones and carapace styles. Both species can also accept a number of gameplay-affecting perks or traits which need to be purchased using the commendations awarded for increasing in rank.
The multiplayer gameplay for the Xenomorph players is significantly different to that of the Marines. Xenomorphs will adopt a third-person perspective, as opposed to the first-person used throughout the rest of the game; this was implemented to help overcome the situational awareness problems inherent with the Xenomorph multiplayer faction in the previous Aliens vs. Predator video game. Like the 2010 game, Xenomorph players are able to see Marines through objects and walls to help balance the advantage afforded the marines by their motion trackers.
Aliens can cling to walls and ceilings, and can use vents to ambush Marines. Their main weakness is that they are primarily melee combatants and have to move in close to their target to attack, necessitating the use of stealth, surprise or simply swarm assaults to ensure a successful kill.
Unlike Marine players, Alien players can select one of three "breeds" of Xenomorph, each having different abilities. The Soldier class (based on the Warrior from the films) acts as the infantry of the Xenomorph faction, generally having well-balanced offensive and defensive capabilities. The Spitter class possesses a ranged attack in the form of acid that they can spit at enemies, but are not as physically robust as the Soldier. The Lurker class is likewise weaker than the Soldier but capable of attacking from long range with a pounce attack and can move undetected by motion trackers at low speeds. Players can also play as the Crusher, a massive quadrupedal Xenomorph with a bulletproof head crest that charges enemies, and the Boiler, which has a powerful short-ranged acid spit attack and can also use a kamikaze attack, tearing itself apart and showering its foes in acid. The Crusher and Boiler cannot be selected but must be found and activated in the map, and the number of times they can be used by the Alien team is limited.
Beyond the different classes, players are able to customise their multiplayer Xenomorph characters with a variety of skins and skills. Each class has its own unique primary attacks, secondary attacks, abilities, traits and fatalities.
Aliens: Colonial Marines had a long and troubled development cycle, much like that of Duke Nukem: Forever, another Gearbox release. A previous game under the Colonial Marines name was developed by Check Six Games and was to be published by Fox Interactive and Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 2 in 2001, but it was cancelled before it could hit shelves. A more traditional first-person shooter, it shared the same subject matter and setting as the Gearbox-developed game does. Its story was to be set between the events of Aliens and Alien3, concerning a rescue team of Colonial Marines searching for the Sulaco. Despite the similarities in gameplay and story, however, Gearbox has stated that their game is unrelated to the Check Six version.
On December 11, 2006, SEGA had announced that they had purchased the electronic rights to the Alien franchise from 20th Century Fox. On December 15 of the same year, Gearbox Software and SEGA announced that they were working on a completely new game based on the franchise. A little over a year later in February of 2008, the game's title was officially announced as Aliens: Colonial Marines and it was featured as the cover story of Game Informer magazine.
The development team took great pains to recreate the vehicles and settings of the films by using original set designs to recreate the exterior and interior of the Sulaco and LV-426. Concept artist Syd Mead, who had worked on Aliens, was hired to design areas of the Sulaco that did not appear in the film but would be used in the game.
A Shacknews article dated November 21, 2008, reported that the Aliens: Colonial Marines game had been delayed, supposedly because of layoffs at Gearbox Software. However, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford continued to insist that development on the game continued.
In a Kotaku article, SEGA had announced that their new Aliens vs. Predator game (now known as AVP 2010) was to be released in early 2010 would be the first of the Aliens games to be released since aquiring the property, meaning that Aliens: Colonial Marines would come sometime afterwards.
At the 2010 Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), Gearbox showed off five screenshots and stated that the game remained a priority for them.
In the beginning of June 2011, Gearbox unveiled a teaser trailer and officially announced that Colonial Marines would be presented at E3 2011 and that the game was expected to be released in spring of 2012.
On January 26, 2012, SEGA had announced that it had decided to delay the game yet again, pushing it to a fall 2012 release date. In addition, Gearbox Software also announced that they would be releasing a new trailer. On May 21, 2012, Gearbox Software had announced a February 12, 2013 launch for Aliens: Colonial Marines on PS3, 360 and PC with a Wii U release date announcement "at a later time".
Following the game's release and negative reception, the following was said by a developer on Reddit called throwawayacm: "First off, due to me breaking NDA, I can't provide any proof that I'm not just talking out of my ass. But I figure you'd be interested in hearing what I have to say regardless. I've been on the project for around a year and a half, so some of the following are things I've heard from more senior guys. Pecan (the internal codename for ACM) has a pretty long history. SEGA, GBX and 20th Century FOX came to an agreement to produce an Aliens game around 6 years ago, after which SEGA almost immediately announced it, long before Pecan had even started production. The game has been in active development in the past, only to be shelved in favor of another project (Borderlands, Duke [Nukem Forever], etc.), and each time it was resumed it would undergo a major content overhaul. SEGA, naturally, wasn't super pleased about the delays, but GBX got away with it for a long time and the contract between SEGA and GBX kept getting augmented to push the projected release further and further back. The last time it was resumed, GBX outsourced a good portion of the game to outside companies. Initially, the plan was for TimeGate to take the majority of campaign, GBX would take MP, Demiurge and Nerve would handle DLC and various other focused tasks. This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers dealt with Pecan.
"Somehow the schedules for Pecan and Borderlands 2 managed to line up and GBX realized that there was no way they could cert and ship two titles at the same time. Additionally, campaign (which was being developed by TimeGate) was extremely far behind, even as Pecan's Beta deadline got closer and closer. In April or May (can't remember which), Pecan was supposed to hit beta, but GBX instead came to an agreement with SEGA that they would push the release date back one more time, buying GBX around 9 mos extension.
"About 5 of those 9 months went to shipping BL2. In that time, TimeGate managed to scrap together 85% of the campaign, but once Borderlands 2 shipped and GBX turned its attention to Pecan, it became pretty apparent that what had been made was in a pretty horrid state. Campaign didn't make much sense, the boss fights weren't implemented, PS3 was way over memory, etcetcetc. GBX was pretty unhappy with TG's work, and some of Campaign maps were just completely redesigned from scratch. There were some last minute feature requests, most notably female marines, and the general consensus among GBX devs was that there was no way this game was going to be good by ship. There just wasn't enough time.
"Considering that SEGA was pretty close to taking legal action against GBX, asking for an extension wasn't an option, and so Pecan crash-landed through certification and shipping. Features that were planned were oversimplified, or shoved in (a good example of this are challenges, which are in an incredibly illogical order). Issues that didn't cause 100% blockers were generally ignored, with the exception of absolutely horrible problems. This isn't because GBX didn't care, mind you. At a certain point, they couldn't risk changing ANYTHING that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system. And so, the product you see is what you get.
"Beyond gameplay, the story has been raised as an issue several times. I can't really comment without feeling bad beyond saying that the script was approved by 20th Century FOX, and that the rush to throw a playable product together came at the cost of the story. Campaign does a pretty bad job of explaining a lot of the questions raised at the start of the game, and so hopefully there will be DLC to flesh that out a bit better".
On April 5, 2013, SEGA confirmed that the Wii U port of the game is no longer in development.
A season pass granting access to four packs of downloadable content (DLC) for the game, including additional campaign content, additional multiplayer maps, more character customization options, new character skins and new gameplay modes, was released on Steam, the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. The DLC packs became available between March 2013 and August of the same year.
The first DLC pack, Bug Hunt, became available for download in March 19, 2013. It features three new multiplayer maps called "Broadside", "Mercenary" and "Tribute" that are based on locations seen in the film Aliens, as well as a new cooperative multiplayer mode in which a squad of Colonial Marine players faces increasingly difficult waves of Xenomorph and Weyland-Yutani PMC enemies.
The second DLC pack, Reconnaissance, became available for download on May 7, 2013. It features 3 new Team Deathmatch/Extermination maps called "Grief", "Shipwreck" and "Autopsy", which are based on locations seen in the singleplayer campaign of the game, a new Survivor map called "Off the Grid", located around the iconic derelict ship outside the Weyland-Yutani Origin Facility, as well as new skins, fatalities and heads for each Xenomorph class for additional character customisation.
Movie Map Pack
The third DLC pack, the Movie Map Pack, became available for download on June 11, 2013. As its name suggests, it includes several new multiplayer maps based on locations from the Alien film franchise. These include a new Survivor map called "Nostromo", where Marines defend themselves against Xenomorphs inside the iconic USCSS Nostromo from Alien, a new Escape map called "Exodus" that is situated on the doomed USS Sulaco spacecraft from Aliens, and two new Team Deathmatch and Extermination maps that feature locations from Aliens and Alien3: "Fury 161" takes place in the run-down Fiorina 161 prison facility as seen in Alien3, while "Processor" is set in the heart of the Hive from the Atmosphere Processing Plant in Aliens.
- Main article: Stasis Interrupted
The fourth and final DLC pack was released in July 23, 2013. It features a brand new single-player campaign called Stasis Interrupted and tells the story of what exactly happened to Hicks during the 17 week gap between the film Aliens and the beginning of the main game. It was developed as a collaboration between Gearbox Software and Darkside Game Studios. The campaign add-on also adds several new trophies/achievements for players to unlock, which were initially revealed via the trophy list for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
Other downloadable content
Several pre-order bonuses included with certain editions of the game were later released as downloadable content for everyone to purchase.
Limited Edition Pack
Includes the bonus materials previously exclusive to the Limited Edition of the game. Adds Ripley's Flamethrower as a new weapon, multiplayer skins for Apone, Hicks, Hudson and Drake and more customization options for Marines in multiplayer.
Collector's Edition Pack
Includes the bonus materials previously exclusive to the Collector's Edition of the game. Adds two weapons — the XM99A Phased Plasma Pulse Rifle and the G2 Electroshock Grenade — as well as the US Colonial Marines Academy Firing Range level, where player can test their skills in shooting any of the weapons they have unlocked in singleplayer. Notably, the DLC does not include the items from the Limited Edition Pack, even though they were also included with the Collector's Edition of the game.
- "Download this pack now to unlock the SHARP Sticks weapon. As referenced by Hudson in Aliens™, the prototype sonic-harpoon artillery remote projectile (S.H.A.R.P.) rifle fires time-delayed, explosive-tipped darts that embed themselves into enemies or terrain."
- ―SHARP Sticks description (from Aliens: Colonial Marines - Downloadable Content)
Sawed-Off Double Barrel Shotgun
- "Download this pack now to unlock the Sawed-off Double Barrelled Shotgun. Use this shotgun to take down enemies with a blast from the past."
- ―Sawed-off Double Barrel Shotgun description (from Aliens: Colonial Marines - Downloadable Content)
Monster Energy Customization
- "Download this pack now to unlock the exclusive Monster customization pack."
- ―Monster Customization description (from Aliens: Colonial Marines - Downloadable Content)
Xbox 360 Avatar items
Alien Pet - Queen
- "The Xenomorphs are very protective of their Queen and very few marines are lucky enough to ever see one in their lifetime. What? There's one right behind me? Time to lock and load!"
- ―Alien Pet - Queen prop description (from Avatar Marketplace)
- "Facehuggers are nimble and dangerous marine. It's important to keep your distance.If[sic] you ever encounter one it's best to shoot first and ask questions later."
- ―Facehugger prop description (from Avatar Marketplace)
Alien Pet - Soldier
- "They say good things come in small packages. When that thing is one of the deadliest species known to man, you better watch your step marine. Approach with caution and don't let it out of your sight."
- ―Alien Pet - Soldier description (from Avatar Marketplace)
Aliens™ Head T-shirt (male and female)
- "At ease, soldier. Even out of uniform and in your skivvies you can still show off that you’re proud to be in the Corps. Even Colonial Marines deserve a bit of comfort back in the barracks."
- ―Aliens™ Head T-shirt (male and female) description (from Avatar Marketplace)
- "Cute and cuddly? Dream on. These guys are as vicious as they are ugly. Good luck ever catching one of these early-stage xenos, soldier, but if you do you better take a headcount on your squad. Chances are you’re now down a man."
- ―Chestburster prop description (from Avatar Marketplace)
"Game Over, Man" T-shirt (male and female)
The "Game Over, Man" T-shirt (male and female) is a blue T-shirt with Hudson's famous "Game over man" quote and the light-blue silhouette of an M41A Pulse Rifle in the background on the front. Originally 80 Microsoft Points, the item has since been removed from the Avatar Marketplace.
Xeno T-shirt (male and female)
The Xeno T-shirt (male and female) is a T-shirt with the cover art of Aliens: Colonial Marines (including the title) on the front. Originally 80 Microsoft Points, the item has since been removed from the Avatar Marketplace.
Colonial Marines Helmet
The Colonial Marines Helmet is an M10 Pattern Ballistic Helmet with goggles. Originally 160 Microsoft Points, the item has since been removed from the Avatar Marketplace.
Colonial Marine Combat Uniform (male and female)
The Colonial Marine Combat Uniform (male and female) is the full Colonial Marine armor and include the M10 Pattern Ballistic Helmet with goggles (essentially the same as the Colonial Marines Helmet item), the M3 Pattern Personal Armor and the M3 Combat Boots. Originally 240 Microsoft Points, the item has since been removed from the Avatar Marketplace.
Colonial Marines Motion Tracker
The Colonial Marines Motion Tracker prop is the M314 Motion Tracker. The prop's animation is the the Avatar moving towards movement detected by the tracker and ending up at a door which the Avatar opens only to find the movement was an insect.
Aliens: Colonial Marines received primarily negative reviews upon release. Critics praised the nostalgic feel, the authentic Alien design and the ability to visit recognizable locations from the movies, but criticized the story, voice acting, A.I., gameplay and outdated graphics. The game's multiplayer modes were received a lot more warmly, although many reviewers noted the imbalance between the Marine and Alien factions.
Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Xbox 360 version 55.26% and 50/100, the PlayStation 3 version 47.33% and 46/100 and the PC version 37.46% and 42/100. However, EGMNOW online rated the game with a score of 9/10 and Forbes Games Reviews gave the game a score of 8/10. GameTrailers gave Aliens: Colonial Marines a 5.9/10 score and the Official PlayStation Magazine (US) gave the game a 6/10.
Additionally, much controversy surrounding the disparity between the demo version of the game shown at E3 2011 and the final product has surfaced since Aliens: Colonial Marines' release, with the demo being unanimously considered superior, with better graphics, animation, writing and voice acting. Many comparisons between the two versions can be seen on review websites and on YouTube.
Unlike the actual game, the first DLC pack has received positive reviews, with critics praising the recent upgrades to the enemy AI from the original title, the new map designs (above all the massive map Tribute, which recreates accurately the entire Hadley's Hope colony before its destruction) and the new multiplayer modes.
Despite being panned by critics, Aliens: Colonial Marines was a profitable video game for publisher SEGA: As of May 2013, 1.31 million copies of the first-person shooter were shipped to stores after being initially sold-out in the different console and PC formats.
- The first trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines came out on October 10, 2011 for the Xbox 360. While the game was originally to come out in the spring of 2012 it was pushed back to the fall. It was later delayed again, and finally saw release on February 12, 2013.
- The plot of the game is notably very similar to the base story in the tabletop role-playing game Aliens Adventure Game, released in 1991, in which a second team of Marines is dispatched to LV-426 to investigate the disappearance of the Sulaco. The game even includes hostile "Weyland-Yutani military forces" that are present on the moon.
- The majority of the trophies/achievements in Aliens: Colonial Marines are named after lines of dialogue from Aliens and its extended Special Edition.
- Gearbox was invited to speak with Ridley Scott and view the script for Prometheus, leading many to speculate there would be connections or references to the film in the game.
- When you first come across the Engineer from Alien on board the derelict, Winter says, "My God!" to which O'Neal responds, "That isn't your God..." This is likely a reference to Prometheus, which begins with a member of the same race sacrificing himself to create the first life on Earth, a role typically associated with God.
- Another instance that relates both films is in the level "Derelict Reclaimed", where some W-Y flying devices identical to Fifield's "PUPS" can be found scanning inside the derelict.
- Finally, a hologram depicting a space battle between the saucer from the Prometheus prologue and the derelict from Alien can be activated if the player shoots at the Space Jockey's head in the level "Rampart".
- New Xenomorph types are introduced in the game, such as the Crusher, Spitter and Boiler, although several of these share characteristics with previously established Xenomorph types from the expanded universe. Their specific origins are not revealed in the game.
- If you stare at your shadow in the campaign long enough your player will begin doing idle animations such as checking the room. Strangely these actions are not actually preformed by the player in first-person view, creating a disconnect between what the player's shadow does and what the player is actually doing in first-person.
- Magazines (for firearms) are incorrectly referred to as clips in-game.
- Even after Microsoft replaced Microsoft Points with real money, the Downloadable Content store on the Xbox 360 version of Aliens: Colonial Marines still uses them for the price of the available DLC.
- It is possible to glitch the game so that when picking up a dog tag, the "Press (action/reload button) Retrieve Dog Tags" will stay on the screen, but should eventually disappear.
- The Xenomorph depicted on the cover is a Warrior (referred to as "Soldiers" in-game).
- The artwork on the covers of the books Alien: Out of the Shadows and Alien: River of Pain were derived from in-game captures from Aliens: Colonial Marines.
- Bug Hunt, the name of the first DLC released for the video game, was also used as the title of the anthology novel Aliens: Bug Hunt, which focuses on the Colonial Marines.
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (soundtrack) — The soundtrack to the game by Kevin Riepl
- Aliens: Colonial Marines trophies/achievements
- ↑ "Aliens: Colonial Marines Wii U Gets Cancelled". GamingUnion.net (2013-04-06). Retrieved on 2013-04-06.
- ↑ Thomas Whitehead (05 Apr 2013). "Aliens: Colonial Marines Cancelled on Wii U". Nintendo Life. Retrieved on 2013-04-7.
- ↑ Ivan, Tom (February 11, 2013). "Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC, Season Pass Detailed". Games Radar. Games Radar. Retrieved on February 27, 2013.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Faylor, Chris (February 08, 2013). "Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC and Season Pass Bundle". Gearbox Community News. Gearbox Software. Retrieved on March 06, 2013.
- ↑ Blackburn, Sarah (February 09, 2013). "Aliens: Colonial Marines Bug Hunt DLC set for March". Video Games Uncovered. Video Games Uncovered. Retrieved on February 27, 2013.
- ↑ http://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/index.php?topic=45373.0
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20130518072839/http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/AvatarMarketplace?Game=66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8025345080c
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20130518072839/http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/AvatarMarketplace?Game=66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8025345080c
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6uGlagF3EA
- ↑ Lara, James (March 22, 2013). "Aliens: Colonial Marines Bug Hunt DLC Review". MP1st. OPNetwork. Retrieved on March 29, 2013.