“Aliens: Colonial Marines” gets an “oorah” for a half hearted effort


Illo. taken from edge-online.com

Video Courtesy of IGN/Sega

Jared Thornburg and Jared Thornburg

When I first heard about this game I was excited. Like me, many of us as kids watched James Cameron’s 1986 Sci-Fi classic “Aliens.” So when news of this game’s creation first broke, the fan in me screamed with joy. That was seven years ago. Sega has delayed this game time and time again, even going as far back as making a proposed game in 2001 also titled “Aliens: Colonial Marines,” and canceling it. When I finished playing the final product, I was a bit let down.

The game takes place 17 weeks after Cameron’s film. A distress signal is sent out by Cpl. Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn reprised his role from the film), which is where you, as the player, come in. You are Cpl. Christopher Winter, part of a full battalion of Marines sent in to find out what exactly happened on the Planet LV-426. What ensues is pure chaos. You must fight your way through Xenomorphs and Weyland-Yutani mercenaries throughout the entire game and make it out alive.

If you aren’t familiar with Xenomorphs or the Weyland-Yutani company, I would suggest that you watch the film “Aliens” first. This is considered by 20th Century Fox as official cannon, thus making it a true sequel to James Cameron’s epic film. The game pays homage by leaving special “easter eggs” throughout the game and taking you back to the same colony that the first group was in that movie. It also has other actors from the movie coming back to voice characters in the game.

The game was very shaky, it had horrible controls, and the graphics felt like this game should have been released in 2006. For Sega delaying it so long, you would think that they would have polished these things up. The Xenomorphs running at you on two legs look like they’re trying to hug you (a hug I would not want). The AI for the mercenaries shooting at you has got to be the worst I have ever encountered. They can easily be flanked, and half the time when you do this, they don’t even know you are there. It doesn’t help that the campaign mode was only six hours, and it felt like it was over right after it began.

The game was full of glitches, getting you stuck in certain areas, bullets would fly through walls, and enemy guns would just appear out of thin air. The same thing happens when you are in multiplayer mode as well. It’s very frustrating.

When you do get shot, or scratched by a Xenomorph, it doesn’t take much for you to die. There are medical packs, few and far throughout the levels, but there is an abundance of armor and ammo to pick up. The game is very easy, and I played it on medium. I can only imagine how “difficult,” the highest difficulty setting, would be.

If you aren’t a fan of the Alien series, I would stay away from this game, as there are many weak gameplay aspects. However, if you’re a huge fan, I would pick this title up just for the sheer nostalgia. Just don’t play it with high expectations or you will be sorely disappointed. I wanted this game to be good so very bad, I really did. But I guess you can’t have everything you want.