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E3 2011: Aliens: Colonial Marines Impressions
Posted on June 18, 2011 by OG


Aliens is getting a true sequel in video game form, and it’s shaping up to be a first class shooter.

Fans of the Aliens series are in for a real treat this time around. Colonial Marines picks up a few months after Aliens 3 and is being billed as a true sequel in the series. At the E3 demo, the developers thought it was an honor to be able to work on a title based on a movie series that has influenced sci-fi and gaming for so many years. Ridley Scott personally sat down with the team in order to teach them about his movies’ universe, and if Transformers: War for Cybertron is any indication; it’s a good thing when the developers are big fans of the license they are working on.

The demo shows a group of space marines investigating the Sulaco, which soon crash lands in Hadley’s Hope. From there on, it’s a fight for survival. There’s some great writing in these early sequences, with the soldiers joking around with each other. When there’s an explosion that knocks the team on their asses, one of the marines asks your character, “How many fingers?” The question is promptly responded to by flipping him the bird. Clearly this game doesn’t want to pull any punches, including the comedic ones.

Not long after the crash landing, Xenomorphs are swarming the team from literally every angle. They’re climbing out of vents, breaking through doors, and popping out of the floor. Being completely overwhelmed, the team makes a break for it, and your character slides under a door in real time, barely escaping.

Moving outside for a bit, we encounter a new type of alien, called the crusher. It’s very large and bull like, and can break through walls and easily mow down Marines. Unable to defeat it with mere machine guns, the team takes refuge inside an armory.

Knowing it’s time to make a stand, the marines start making preparations for the impending alien assault. Here we get told about the drop in and drop out co-op that supports up to four players. There’s a great focus on teamplay, because the number of enemies that can fill the screen becomes staggering at times. While it’s not on the scale of Left 4 Dead, it doesn't matter, because the aliens are far more menacing and dangerous foes.

There’s a great amount of attention to detail. Where other games create facsimiles for guns and ammo, the armory is richly detailed with bullet clips and rifles everywhere. Among the fancy toys you can use to defend the building are automated sentry guns that provide excellent cover fire, and exo suits like the one that Ripley used in Aliens 3.

Aliens once again swarm the place. True to the movies, they’re crawling around the ceilings and attacking with their tails, among other things. It’s interesting to note that they are animated extremely well. It feels like they are really alive, because each alien is using different animations. Nothing feels canned here, and that makes their assault that much more terrifying. As if things couldn’t get worse, an alien queen bursts in, and picks our character up off the ground, with her mouth filled with sharp teeth ready to bite our head off.

Gearbox made it no secret they love the Aliens franchise, and admits to borrowing many elements of the series into the games they have worked on in the past. Everything about the game’s design shows an excellent use of the source material, and will be sure to please fans of the series.

OG - Editor-in-Chief / Original Gamer | all author's articles

Are you getting Skyward Sword?

Absolutely! I'm getting it today.
Sure, once I remove all the dust from this Wii of mine.
Nah, sold my Wii because there weren't any games for some time.
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