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Aliens: Colonial Marines was released today, and so far the reviews are not favorable towards the newest installment in the Aliens series. The following is a collection of critical reviews of the game.
Overall, the critics were negative about the game. The game scored a Metacritic score of 49 ("Generally unfavorable").
Like most successful license-based games, Aliens: Colonial Marines is much more than a loving homage; it serves as one of the most robust story-driven co-op experiences to date. The concept definitely has room to grow, but as maiden voyages go, Colonial Marines is a clear winner.
Thought it was Okay
It’s a shame that a title seven years in the making could result in something so lackluster. Aliens: Colonial Marines had the foundations of a solid game, involving writers (David Weddle and Bradley Thompson from Battlestar Galactica fame) and a talented artist (Syd Mead from Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron). It even had the right voice talent bringing back Lance Henriksen as a Bishop-model clone...But it appears that the elongated, ‘stop-start’ development ultimately resulted in an inconsistent and disappointing final result.
Once you best the 6-8 hour campaign - and suffer through an absolute butchering of some long-held Aliens narrative themes - it's time to try out the surprisingly solid multiplayer modes. While the head-to-head options will likely be an afterthought for many franchise faithful, the online throwdowns actually manage to capture the Aliens feel better than the campaign itself.
Official XBOX Magazine
This is really a review of two games: a derivative story campaign (that you can play solo or with up to three friends in co-op) and a riveting, far superior multiplayer mode that allows you to compete as marines or alien xenomorphs in online matches. Considering Colonial Marines’ relatively long gestation period — roughly six years — it seems more attention was paid to fine-tuning multiplayer than to the campaign.
The representation of the xenomorphs is the game’s most damaging failure. They’re just not dangerous enough, reduced by a first mission deluge into a swarm of targets bearing the shape of a familiar, once-horrific symbol of death. But they have none of that pop icon’s grace or deadliness.
I haven’t been this disappointed in a game in a long, long time. Not only does the campaign welch on its opportunity to create interesting and additive content in the Aliens universe, but the multiplayer is languid, broken, and laughably frustrating. Colonial Marines plays it as safe as possible and still can’t manage to copy successfully proven ideas.
Like a trip to a natural history museum. It's empty and nostalgic, meticulous and dated. More importantly, it's hands-off. Like a museum, Colonial Marines is at its best when you're admiring the view. The moment you attempt to reach out to interact you're met with a barrier, reminding you that you're there to look, not to touch.
There are some feelings of nostalgia to be enjoyed, but it soon wears off and all that is left is some bog standard run ‘n’ gun action that brings little of note to the FPS table - and it suffers from a severe lack of optimisation on PS3 and 360.
And that's Colonial Marines' biggest problem: enemies come, and you shoot them down easily, again and again. The game is remarkably light on variety. A couple of battles masquerade as boss fights, but they require no strategy and are just as easy and thrill-less as the rest. The four- to five-hour campaign has no thrust to it; it feels the same from beginning to end, and the finale just drops with a thud. And by being so easy and predictable, the game lets down the license.
Take away the Aliens license, and you’ve got a shooter that has no reason to exist.
Even if it were polished to an acceptable, 2013-standard AAA shine, Colonial Marines would still only be a generic effort coasting on borrowed iconography. Weighed down by so many grindingly obvious mechanical issues, it never even gets off the ground. For a game all about exterminating bugs, it's a fatal irony.