We've been waiting for what seems like an age for this to arrive, constant delays and rescheduled releases, after playing it for 4-5 hours I think its time to write a review....
The quality of this pack for £70 is on par with other 'Special Editions'. Inside the pack you get a limited Xenomorph box, the game, an Alien and Powerloader model with base, USCM Dossier, Mission Brief, USS Sephora Schematic, Recruitment Card, LV-426 Recon Photos, Iron on USCM badges and a Graduation Certificate from the US Marine Training Academy. You get the DLC codes as well but these are digital products not physical.
The quality and detail on the Powerloader model is good, if sold separately I'd put a £20 price on it. I collect Aliens merchandise and the Powerloader is something that has surprisingly not been miniaturised that much. There is the Halcyon self assemble, Konami series, Kubrick and the Kenner toy, unless you have a pro painted custom Halcyon this is by far the best quality and it's in a really good pose with the alien. The model is very sturdy and it wont break easily I believe its a die-cast resin. I would say that the quality is better than the Neca series and on par if not better than McFarlane's Movie Maniacs.
I've read reviews that the single player can be completed in less than 2 hours... I've started on the Hardened difficulty and am on the 2nd mission after 1.5 hours so I think 2 hours is a bit optimistic. I like the gunplay, the movement and shooting feels a lot like Halo but you still have to LT aim to get accurate shots. Levels are so far claustrophobic which coupled with a reworked version of James Horner's classic soundtrack add to the atmosphere, but not by much. They are gracelessly designed.
Graphic wise all the released screen shots and footage have come from a PC version as the XBOX 360 version looks dated. There's a few frame rate problems, regular clipping, occasional screen tear and no real graphical detail on objects upon closer inspection. a real let down considering this has been in development for years and the 360 is at the end of it's cycle so devs should be able to put beautiful games out on it. don't get me wrong, the graphics aren't terrible they just could have been far better.
The game is very scripted and nothing so far feels spontaneous or unique to my play through. AI is borderline absurd, Aliens will run straight past you to attack an ally AI character, get stuck behind boxes or will just stand there and take punishment until they explode in a shower of yellow acid. The Aliens are easy to kill and there's too many of them to make the game scary. Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn add their voice talents but it doesn't really add any authenticity to the experience as the story is very awkwardly shoehorned into canon. To be honest the whole single player experience feels like a fan mod for Halo 4 and not a full price release game. Campaign - 2/5
I've played each of the multiplayer types and there good but the real issue is the monumental lag. I have a fibre optic internet connection so I know my internet isn't the problem, Sega/Gearbox sort the servers out!
Team Death Match is played over 2 rounds with each team playing as either the Aliens or the Marines, from what I've played of this the Marine round generally wins as people are just running head on into gun fire and not playing to the Aliens strengths, lurking. Escape was the online experience I was really looking forward to but so far the Marines are just too powerful and I've yet to play a game where the marines fail to escape.
The Multiplayer has some real balancing issues that will hopefully get iron out with a patch, it feels like a beta release at moment and is buggy online, I'd say about 10% of matches I've been in have just crashed for no apparent reason. Multiplayer - 3/5
This game should have been delayed again for a few months for a proper ironing out of bugs and multiplayer rebalancing as the game really has potential, but its here with us now and we have to accept it... I'd wait a month or so for Amazon to reduce it to £25.
Overall - 3/5