on 12 February 2013
Aliens CM is a game that I'd been long anticipating, taking over 5 years to make. Obviously, the longer a company takes to make a game, the bigger the hype they build, the higher the standards they set, and the more disappointment that is bound to occur. Aliens CM is by no means an amazing game, it's riddled with flaws. However, in spite of itself, its still a fun shooter with an addictive multiplayer.
Starting with the story (something Sony and Gearbox have both been bigging up for the past year and a half) , claimed to be a true sequel of the Aliens, you join a group of marines aboard the U.S.S Sulaco sent in to investigate LV-426 after the rescue call from the victims of the film. What transpires is an attack by the aliens, and all in all a short and dull campaign.
I really tried to like the campaign, and at times I did. But for the most part, it is an uninspired, dull and lifeless story, with one dimensional characters you feel absolutely nothing for. The story fails to build up tension, bombarding players with enemies until there is no atmosphere left. There are a few pluses though, collecting Dog tags and movie memorabilia is fun, and ranking up whilst playing the campaign is useful for multi-player.
The graphics are, well, pretty bad for a game of 2013. The textures are at times awful, and it often feels like dim lighting is used to hide the fact the game looks like it was released four years ago. However saying that, the lighting is extremely effective in building atmosphere at the start of the game. Unlike the graphics, the sound/audio is good (except for the voice acting), the aliens sound brilliant, as do the pulse rifle sounds, which are just like that of the alien franchise.
The gameplay is average, its pretty much the same as every other FPS out there, but there's nothing wrong with that. Its effective. There are a range of weapons that you unlock as you rank up, and there always in your inventory, all of which are easy to use. I must say the tracker was a nice addition, even though you never need to use it because the xeno AI are TERRIBLE.
Playing the Xenos is, fantastic, I love it. Yes, the controls are pretty standard, but its so much fun. Collecting different heads and skins for 3 interesting types of creatures to control is the most fun I've had in ages. You unlock nice moves to help the xenos kill the marines, as well as other additions that make the xenos more effective.
This bring me on to the games highlight, multi-player. I know the game has been getting awful reviews left right and centre, but I cannot stress enough how fun multi-player is once you get into it. The first few matches will be the most frustrating of your life, but once you get the hang of it, its actually rather brilliant. Team Death Match and Eggstermination are both great modes, with tons of repeatability. Survival is nice, but nothing special, and Escape is just, we wont talk about Escape mode...
All in all, Aliens CM falls flat campaign wise, but redeems itself with a suprisingly excellent (for the most part) multiplayer.
UPDATE (17/02/13): After just over a week of gameplay I am disappointed to be preparing to pass the game to someone else. The interesting multiplayer can only entertain you for so long, and the campaign is no better on any other difficulties. This game is a massive disappointment, but will provide you with afew hours of fun with the multiplayer (which I've noticed is now lagging and bugging more.) What started as 6/10 experience has descended to below 5/10 due the non-existent re playability. I've paid £30+ to play a 6 hour campaign and about 8 hours of multiplayer. Rent it or buy it used, certainly do not pay above £20 for it under any circumstances, your not missing anything special. I have updated my final verdict accordingly.
OVERALL: 4.5/10 (2.5 stars)