Aliens: Colonial Marines is a first-person shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software and published by Sega. The game is set in the Alien universe and takes place after the events of the third film in the franchise, Alien 3 (1992). The game is the third Alien title that SEGA has produced: the first being the arcade light gun game Alien 3: The Gun in 1993, and the second being Aliens: Infestation in 2011. The game was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles and for Microsoft Windows on February 12, 2013. A Wii U version was being produced for release but was eventually cancelled on April 5, 2013.
This game is infamous due to its numerous design flaws, poor graphics, glitches, broken AI, and poor gunplay, and it is considered one of the worst games of all time.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is a first-person shooter which puts the player in the role of a United States Colonial Marine named Cpl. Christopher Winter. The player has access to iconic weapons from the movie such as the flamethrower, pulse rifle, smartgun, shotgun, pistol, and robotic sentry turrets. Players are also able to use welding torches to seal doors and motion trackers to detect unseen enemies.
A previous game titled Aliens: Colonial Marines was developed by Check Six Games and was to be published by Fox Interactive and Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 2 in 2001, but was cancelled before its release. A more traditional first-person shooter, it shared the same subject matter and setting as the Gearbox-developed game. Its story was to be set between the events of Aliens and Alien 3, concerning a rescue team of Colonial Marines searching for the Sulaco. Despite the similarities in gameplay and story, however, Gearbox has claimed that their game is unrelated to this early version.
Why it Sucks
- This game suffered 12 years to develop a game, it’s less than Duke Nukem Forever’s 15 years of development and as a result, it ended up looking like an unfinished product at release riddled with bugs and glitches and terrible storyline. Coincidently enough, these two games were developed by Gearbox Software and they developed both games at the same time.
- Numerous bugs and glitches, such as missing textures, for example, the infamously untextured black vents which reflect absolutely no light and does not respond to fire. Fortunately, this was fixed in patches.
- Horrendously programmed AI. Xenomorphs will jump slowly towards you and then get stuck for a half second delay after landing, which causes them to be basically cannon fodder. The worst cases are that of O‘Neal who often blocks your path and the blind Xenomorphs, the latter of which has been mocked mercilessly.
- In game dialog informs that the blind Xenomorphs will detect you if you make a loud enough noise, however they do not react to sound at all, and in fact the AI for them is completely broken. Bumping them while crouched does not alert you to their presence. Bouncing on a metal object does not make them detect you, a conversation does not make them detect you, and not even someone cutting down a door with a cutting torch, which makes a very loud noise in game, will alert them to your presence. Remember, this was made by Gearbox who also made the Borderlands series of games.
- The game is too easy, no matter which difficulty settings you use, due to the broken enemy AI (as mentioned above) and the fact that you have tons of HP. This however is not the case if you're playing on the "Ultimate Bad Ass" (hardest) difficulty, which also removes the HUD.
- For weapons that use a laser reticule, when aiming down the sights the laser reticule is wrong and does not represent where your shots will actually fire. The weapons bullets will land a few inches away from the reticule and will not hit your target unless you are at point blank range.
- It is too difficult to tell if you are actually hitting the enemy you are targeting, due to the weapons being extremely inaccurate, no bullet tracers, the hit markers sometimes not showing up, and bugged or broken hit detection.
- Very poor level design.
- Looking at one of the scripted events they clearly wanted you to look at will cause you to be killed by a rocket due to bad enemy placement.
- As mentioned above, both the poor level design and the broken enemy AI means that it is possible to finish a level from start to finish in only 5 MINUTES!!!
- Awful graphics with inexcusably low-res textures and shadows and almost zero lighting detail which would be considered outdated and ugly if the game was released in 2010. Also fixed in patches.
- The cutscenes are very ugly to look at, and have very jarring voice action, lip-sync, lots of compression artifacts, and lack of facial animation which makes it seem like a budget game instead of a triple-A game release.
- Too much and too intense lens flare which blocks sight of enemies which can get you killed.
- Very crude and poorly implemented multiplayer cooperative mode.
- False advertisement. The developers put together a short demo that both looked and played much better than the finished game for E3 and promotional material to cover up how botched the game actually was before release. This led to a class action lawsuit being filed against SEGA and Gearbox.
- Unoriginal and uninspired characters despite Gearbox‘s claims.
- You can only use the M56 Smartgun once, for about 10 minutes before the end of the level it appears in, and if you're playing this level in the coop mode, only one player can use it at a time. What's worse, you can't bring it with you in the next level.
- The fact that there are enemy humans, in the form of Weyland-Yutani mercenaries. What makes this terrible is that they ended up stealing the spotlight from the Xenomorphs (who are front and center in the game's covers and wallpapers!) for a couple of levels. Apparently their addition was mandated by SEGA, who demanded that the game pander to Call of Duty players.
- The story is full of plot holes. The single-player DLC, Stasis Interrupted, addresses some of them, while making new ones at the same time.
- Terrible and formulaic enemy placements in certain levels. Of the game's 11 levels (including the tutorial), three are focused on the Xenomorphs, another three are focused on the human enemies, and yet another three missions that feature both enemies at the same time.
- The final boss fight against the Alien Queen is inexcusably anti-climactic. You just try to get away from her (no pun intended), then push a couple of buttons which will then trigger the ending cutscene.
- The game is a rip off of FEAR 2. Lots of scenes and mechanics in Aliens: Colonial Marines are similar or the same in FEAR 2. You defeat the final boss in FEAR 2 the same way you defeat the final boss in this game. By the way the lead design director for both games was John Mulkey.
As stated above, the game is considered one of the worst games ever made. DXFan619 absolutely abhors the game due to its slippery controls, awful graphics, and horrendous AI.
In DXFan619's review of the game, he states that after four to five hours of gameplay, he got a serious case of Déjà vu after he saw a Xenomorph launch on to him and had to fight him off, and that the feeling got worse as he continued to play the game. He states that he experience elements of the game he already played in FEAR 2. He then found that the lead designer for both games was John Mulkey which then caused them to realize both games have the same final boss fight and the two games were basically the same game.