Aliens: Colonial Marines places you in the badass marine boots of Corporal Christopher T. Winter. You and the rest of your pulse rifle wielding crew are sent to rescue your fellow marines. Since this game’s plot takes place right after the first film, the game places players in familiar locales such as the U.S.S. Sulaco.
Your initial mission (find Ellen Ripley, Corporal Hicks and their team of marines) doesn’t go as planned, plus LV-426 houses plenty of slimy aliens for you to encounter. Your journey into space’s darkest corridors will be marked by surprise attacks, a bunch of explosions and several screams of terror.
This first person shooter equips you with a common array of guns (plasma rifles, shotguns, handguns, flamethrowers etc.) Players can upgrade their weapons as they see fit, though. Alternate fire modes and gun skins are available to attach to any firearm. The game’s main campaign pits you against different types of aliens, plus you’ll contend with opposing human forces. The gunplay has some weight to it, so you’ll certainly feel every shot made and every bullet taken. The controls should be familiar to hardcore FPS players, but it may take some time to get used to the way sidearms and grenades are selected.
Familiar items, such as the motion tracker, the M56 Smart Gun and the Caterpillar P-500O Work Loader, should be recognizable to series diehards. Those icky Chestbursters make a welcome appearance, too. The game’s sense of dread hearkens back to the mood present in those awesome Aliens films. Gearbox Software nailed the game’s fear factor nicely with a tense atmosphere and a fitting musical score. Once the action picks up, the frantic pace is complimented nicely by the game’s tight shooting and vicious alien mobs.
The game’s multiplayer offers your usual team deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Horde mode variations. But the one that provides the most fun is Escape. The marines must work together as they try to escape from a flock of pissed off aliens. There’s a lot of fun to be had from controlling those alien terrors as they lay waste to the gun toting humans. Escape Mode captures the Aliens mood perfectly. The drop-in, drop-out co-op play for the main campaign is also a fun diversion.
The only things that hold this game back from being perfect are its average graphics, character/environmental clipping issues, janky animations for the aliens and not so bright human A.I. Another knock on this game is its maddening use of checkpoints. Once you die in the middle of an important mission with multiple side tasks, you’ll get sent back to the start of it. This can be infuriating and frustrating for those playing on harder difficulty levels.
Even though this shooter is rough around the edges, it still provides plenty of non-stop action and memorable moments.
Aliens: Colonial Marines hits stores on February 12 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. No release date has been announced for the Wii U version yet.
Console owners finally have a good Aliens video game. FPS fans and Aliens fans should give this one a go.