- "What the hell is that?"
- ―Pvt. Bella regarding the Raven
The Raven resembles an ordinary bipedal Xenomorph, but larger, almost entirely encased in a bullet-proof, chitin carapace, and only walks with its large hind legs - like a Queen. Its tail has a distinct ridge of spines at the base of its harpoon-like blade. Its head possesses a ridged carapace, much like a Warrior, with a line of spikes along the top of its cranium. The Raven's face is scarred, exposing evidence of human features beneath the skin, including eye sockets, a nasal cavity and jaws and teeth that are significantly more human in appearance than on most other Xenomorphs; the teeth themselves are not silver and metallic as on most Xenomorph variants. This strain of Xenomorph also lacks the large canine teeth of Praetorians and Queens , making its teeth blunt and noticably more human-like - with two small tusk-like protrusions either side of its lower jaw. The Raven is very large, even for a Xenomorph, with a height comparable to that of a Praetorian or even a Queen.
Unlike most Xenomorph castes, which produce screeching and hissing vocalizations, the Raven can produce an extremely loud, deep roar which can be heard across long distances. The Raven can also be heard making a "snarl" noise characteristic to Lurkers at times, further hinting that Lurkers may be a leadership caste.
The Raven is a massive Xenomorph that is immune to bullets and other forms of damage. There is no possible way it can be harmed or killed before its scripted fight and so until the player confronts it in a Power Loader, they can only outrun it and avoid it at all costs.
- The human features of the Raven's "face" were likely inspired by the design of the original Alien in Alien, which included a human skull at the front of its head as part of its design (although this was not easily visible in the final film).
- Considering the large size of the Raven compared to other Xenomorphs, and its distinct appearance, some have theorized that this is the creature that emerged from the chest of the Pilot aboard the derelict. However, the length of time between the derelict crashing and the events of Aliens: Colonial Marines makes this unlikely, as the creature would have to be over 2,000 years old; while Eggs have been known to survive that long, it is unknown if adult Xenomorphs can do the same.
- A further theory is that the Raven and the other new Xenomorphs in the game are the result of the radiation from the explosion of the Atmosphere Processing Plant in Aliens. However, the novelization of the film explains that the detonation of an Atmosphere Processor does not create any radioactive fallout, and in Stasis Interrupted Michael Weyland reveals that all of the Xenomorph specimens at the colony were destroyed when the Atmosphere Processing Plant exploded.
- The Raven is seen attacking other Xenomorph's after escaping the Hive, indicating it may be a mutated and/or mutilated pre-Praetorian, or also possibly a rogue Xenomorph. The behavior is similar to the male Xenomorph or King Alien known as "The Rogue". However, it appears to work with the other Xenomorphs in attempting to kill you and the other Marines during the Power Loader battle, although it may simply be ignoring the other Aliens in its attempts to kill the player.
- Ultimately, it is possible that the Raven is simply a Xenomorph that has been alive long enough to evolve further, similar to a Praetorian, or is some other form of naturally-occurring mutation. The game has yet to provide a definitive background.
- It is possible to kill the Raven at the sewer entrance right before the battle in the Power Loader using a flamethrower or explosives (the S.H.A.R.P. Rifle is recommended). While it is possible to kill the creature this way, it takes an inordinate amount of ammunition. Doing so will trigger the cutscene you see after killing it with the Power Loader. However, repeatedly luring the Raven back to the sewer entrance can result in the creature glitching into the tunnel and subsequently killing the player in short order.
- A multiplayer skin for the Lurker, known as Cataphractus, bears some resemblance to the Raven, including a human skull at the front of the head and spines jutting out of the back of the carapace.
- In the Origin Facility, a room full of Xenomorph Warriors in containment cells can be found. Two of the pods in the room have been broken open, and there is a dismembered Xenomorph near one of the pods. It is theorized by some that the Raven could be an escapee that was being experimented on in the facility before it broke out, which may be why it is hostile towards other Xenomorphs - it's also worth noting that there is a Lurker penned in the facility with the original exposed human-skull design.
- M10 Pattern Ballistic Helmets with acid holes in them can be found in the area where Winter awakens in Mission 5: The Raven, likely from victims of the Raven.
- The trophy/achievement for killing the Raven, "Quoth the Raven", is a reference to Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven".