Aliens: Colonial Marines Review


I fired up Aliens: Colonial Marines expecting it to be a solid little title. The Collector’s Edition box I picked up at my local video game store looked really cool! It had Aliens all over it and a little loader figurine. Needless to say, I was pretty pumped. I didn’t really think it’d be able to match the likes of Half Life or Far Cry in terms of narrative direction or best Call of Duty and Halo on mechanics. But I thought that, with Gearbox at the helm and a development cycle lasting damn near close to ten years, Aliens: Colonial Marines would deliver a little something special for Alien franchise buffs like myself.

Welp! Prepare your Jimmies, because it took me precisely five seconds of play time in ACM before I let out a deep and depressing sigh. That subtle gesture quickly turned into a growl and, by the game’s end, my brow was furrowed so deep you’d need a pressurised submersible to measure it. I was so frustrated with the title that I subconsciously started to breathe heavily during my play session. So much so, that a passerby took the time to ask me if everything was okay.

How the hell was I going to explain to my 76-year-old grandma that a video game sucked so bad that it was legitimately making me upset? And how the hell am I going to review something that blows so much that it makes Superman 64 look like a work of magnificent art? Well, here it goes.

High 5 buddy!

High 5 buddy!

Aliens: Colonial Marines is the gaming equivalent of what you’d get if you took the cadaver of James Cameron, gave it to Uwe Boll, showed that German prick the back of an Aliens DVD cover and then asked him to direct a made for TV after school special with a budget of three apples and a mule for the trade of goods and services.

I honestly don’t think any more needs to be said. The game is straight up horrible and you shouldn’t waste your money on it. Hell, you shouldn’t even waste your bandwidth on downloading it. Or precious seconds reading about it. Matter of fact, stop reading this review (we’re kidding, keep reading). Load up your pockets with trail mix and go on a hike or something. Get as far away from this game as possible and start a new life free of ACM persecution in the woods with rugged, thick-thighed Amazonian women and live like a king.

Just for kicks though and because some people will be all like “Meh, meh, meh … Where’s your journalistic integrity?! Starving kids in Africa have no games to play, Martin Luther King once dreamed a dream and the plight of women in this male dominated oppressive society is stamping out innocence like Nazi boots on delicate flowers. MEHHHHH!” I’ll break it down for you.

Aliens: Colonial Marines picks up where the film, Aliens, left off. Hadley’s Hope is in ruins, the planet LV-426 is swarming with Aliens, the U.S.S. Sulaco is a derelict floating in space and Ellen Ripley is off shaving her head somewhere with an Alien inside her.

The story, if it can be called that, is told through the eyes of Corporal Christopher Winter, a Colonial Marine who is part of a search and rescue team sent pick up the acid charred pieces. You board the Sulaco, (brace yourself) discover it to be infested with Aliens, escape to LV-426 (horrible move right there) and spend the next five or so hours flailing around killing Xenomorphs in clunky, utterly horrid first-person style.

Esentially, ACM is a run and gun or gauntlet shooter. And I don’t just mean from level to level. The ENTIRE game consists of moving from point A to point B, killing Aliens that pop out at you like whack-a-moles. Every so often you’ll have to hold a choke point while team mates weld a door or jump in a loader and clank about uselessly like an albatross on stilts.

But there is zero tension. Zero immersion. Mild spatterings of nostalgia at best. Abysmal writing, formulaic gameplay and nothing remotely unique on offer here. The iconic Aliens from which the franchise basically draws all of its fame are utterly useless as enemies and serve as little more than fodder. They don’t hunt in packs or take you by surprise (as Gearbox claim they do). They basically run at you, flagpoling their presence or waddle straight past you walking the dinosaur.


Come on and kiss me!

Graphics are serviceable, but incredibly stiff and sound is adequate. Basically, this looks a bit like Aliens, sounds a bit like Aliens, contains something akin to Alien like creatures, but feels like someone taking a prolonged crap on your face for around five hours while they proudly and continuously state ‘Game over man! Game over!’

The most interesting point to the game, by far, is the snippet of info you get about what happened to Hadley’s Hope after the events of Aliens. But even then, all I did was shrug.

If you place no value on your government’s system of currency, I’d still recommend straight up destroying it over buying this game. It’s bad. Real bad.

  • PC

The Verdict

This is basically Doom with a coat of Alien-ish paint. Except where Doom was innovating and exciting for its time and this is strained bile.
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