61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Some Kind of Xenomorph May Be Involved,
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This review is from: Aliens: Colonial Marines: Limited Edition (PS3) (Video Game)I am a huge fan of the movie Aliens and like a lot of people I've been waiting for the Aliens Colonial Marines game to come out for several years. With this level of anticipation and that long in development I expected something pretty special. Unfortunately it is not.
The problem is the developers seem to have missed the point. At its heart the movie Aliens (and the whole Alien franchise) are horror movies. The sense of tension and dread as the marines explore Hadleys Hope, the panic that ensues and the last desperate struggle for survival are some of the best scenes cinema has to offer. Yes the marines have guns, grenades, sharp sticks etc, but as the movie shows they are all pretty much useless against the alien threat. In this game though the writers have focused on the idea of the aliens being so much cannon fodder. The result is that rather than being a survival horror game this is more of an arcade action game, that while enjoyable in places is no better than a dozen others already on the market.
On the positive side it is worth noting that this is the official Aliens game, licensed by Fox. While other games often imitate the style this is the only game you are going to find with the stories and characters from the movie. They have even roped in Michael Biehn and Lance Hendrickson to do voice acting. During the game you explore a lot of locations from the movies which are copied exactly from the original design, lending the game a certain authenticity fans of the series will love. One aspect which is particularly well done is the sound effects which are a perfect match to the movie.
The basic game play though is extremely average. In the single player game you play as a Colonial Marine (obviously) sent as part of a squad to investigate what happened to the USS Sulaco. As expected the mission all goes pear shaped very quickly and you are soon running around fighting hordes of aliens, trying to survive. This is part of the problem, within a few minutes you loose any sense of fear the aliens might instill as you gun them down in droves. When they attack they move pretty quickly towards you but don't seem to do much when they get there. If your health and armour are at full strength you can duke it out mana a mano (or mano a alien anyway) and do more damage than the alien. There is no grab effect like in the movie, and no acid splash if you shoot it close up (except that it stops you regenerating your health for a minute or two). As the game goes on there are different types of aliens introduced to try and give some variety and increased challenge but wouldn't it have made more sense to make the basic aliens tougher? Remember as Ripley warns the marines one single xenomorph "wiped out my entire crew".
The single player campaign can also be played co-op or split screen which is probably the best option. Exploring the game with a few mates (and a few drinks) is always going to be the most enjoyable way to play this. However it doesn't seem to increase the number of aliens so for a challenge you would probably need to select a higher difficulty setting if you wanted it to be interesting. Even playing solo however you always seem to have a few AI controlled characters with you, either getting in the way or ordering you about. There is some suitable marine banter between these guys but none of the dialogue is particularly well written.
What is also dissapointing is the quality of the graphics. The environments and the marines themselves all seem a bit cartoony to me. I was hoping for something a lot darker and more realistic looking but they are in fact very unremarkable and the layout is very linear, with few options for exploration (in fact on co-op it will magically teleport you back if you stray too far from your team mate). Also dissapointing is the game engine, as this is in no way a good FPS. The guns may sound great but they do not feel like real weapons if you are used to playing more advanced FPS games. I remember Hicks in Aliens warning that the pulse rifle "may kick some". Well it doesn't, its just woefully inaccurate. There are a selection of guns other than those in the movie, and additional options to modify those that do. These however do not look or feel authentic and makes it feel less like an official Aliens game and more like Kill Zone or something.
In addition to the single player game there is a multiplayer option. Despite keeping my fingers crossed that they wouldn't do this they have copied Aliens VS Predator and included both aliens and marines in the multiplayer. You have no control over whether you end up as one or the other, so if you logged in to play as marines there's a 50% chance you will have to wait until you start the next game before you get to play one. While I can admit that person controlled aliens makes it more challenging than AI controlled aliens I simply don't want to play as a xenomorph, ever. Running about as an alien you feel like you are only there to provide entertainment for the lucky players who got to play as marines. Although there are different aliens types to choose from you are still limited to charging towards the marines hoping to punch them out (I think this is what they do, as there seems to be no grab option and no extendable jaw in the face option).
Playing as the marines is obviously more fun as you get to run around shooting aliens. You can modify the appearance of your marine, select a specific weapons load out and away you go. Again, this is probably best done with a few friends playing together and co-operating in the use of the different weapons. Make the most of it as next time you are back to playing as the aliens.
Its probably useless reccomending or not reccomending this game to anyone. If you are a fan of the movie Aliens you are inevitably going to give this game a go, and will probably be dissapointed. If you are not a fan then you will probably find this to be a very average game and will wonder what the fuss was all about. Either way, considering how long it took to make this game it should have been a hell of a lot better than it is.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Feb 2013 08:49:27 GMT
I don't normally read long reviews as they're usually pretentious and self indulgent but this review is spot on and should be sent to the developers.
Posted on 14 Feb 2013 02:31:34 GMT
A. Burton says:
I second DBT's comments, great review. I'm very disappointed to read it however, I was so looking forward to this game......
Posted on 14 Feb 2013 20:11:38 GMT
When the price drops i will pick it up for the multiplayer...although i'm half expecting the servers to be a graveyard by then. Nice objective review.
Posted on 23 Feb 2013 08:55:13 GMT
Mr B says:
A well writen peice that is absolutly on the nail - dissapointing, slow, average graphic game. The sound effects are the only positie i could find. Dissapointed Alines fan.
Posted on 27 Feb 2013 04:02:43 GMT
Thank you for saving me £29.99 :D
I wish they'd stop making these marine games and make an Alien game where you play solely as the xenomorph (not like in Alien vs Predator where only a tiny segment of the game you get to play as a xenomorph)
Posted on 11 Mar 2013 11:39:59 GMT
k keen says:
Thanks for the heads up, great review. My brother has the game & says exactly the same "Its not all that", "could of been a lot better" he also told me to wait for the price drop which I think I will, must admit am slightly gutted as was looking forward to something that would take me away from Black ops zombies for a bit lol..
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