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Quick Hits: Aliens: Colonial Marines

“It’s a bughunt”, if only that was a more specific definition of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and not a broader description describing the games coding as well.  Playing through Gearbox and TimeGate’s game over the weekend is not time that I will get back in my life.

“What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?”   Hell yes we do. Gearbox, why have you forsaken me?  First you put your name to the final piece of trash that was Duke Nukem Forever, now this?  

Granted, both DNF and Aliens: CM had partner developers, but still Gearbox, you made the excellent Brothers In Arms and Borderlands games, just because there was pressure to get this product out the door, doesn’t mean it was a good idea to do so.

Essentially what we have here with Aliens: Colonial Marines is a poorly executed foray into the much loved geek franchise, but then again, the powers at be have been trying to botch that up since the last Aliens film and Prometheus, so Gearbox are not the only ones.

Poor visuals, with constant texture detail pop-in, and only passable character models, you will be checking the machine you had popped the game disc into, ensuring it is not from last generation.

The story is a confusing jumble - perhaps taking a cue from Prometheus, though given this game has been in development for a number of years before the movie, perhaps not.  Spaceships reappear over LV-426, and characters come back to life, not a first for the series granted, but it is the ham-fisted delivery that grates.

The enemy AI is purely animalistic here, running straight at the player, getting stuck in pathfinding loops or simply standing still waiting to be filled with lead.  And that are the humans that you battle!  The titular Aliens are even – for the most part- stupider, moving faster yes, and hugging the ceilings and walls, but generally providing lots of target practice for your Pulse Rifle, and easily battered away with a melee strike at the correct time.
The challenge is increased when enemies warp to new positions as if we were playing a laggy online game and not a modern single player title.  Then the challenge is reduced again when you realise that friendly fire on your squad mates is not a factor.

Audio is great, with the distinctive weapons and motion detector sounds prominently provoking the movie environments.  But other than this, and the relatively interesting weapon RPG system, the game is a train-wreck.

One of the funniest moments is attempting to wrap my head around trying to escape from an orbiting spaceship under attack, and trying to reconcile it lurching from right to left in a zero gravity environment ah-la special affects straight from the 1960’s Lost In Space. Ohhh the pain.

Speaking of train-wrecks, it perhaps was this kind of captivating phenomenon that kept me playing this title with an unfinished Dead Space 3 and Crysis 3 sitting on the shelf.  Finally I shook off the face-hugger affect this game was having, and said enough is enough.  Eject!


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Mike Bantick

joomla visitor

Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.