‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’ First Impressions and Gameplay Video

Feb 12, 2013 by  

We’re back with another gameplay video and first impressions post, this time for Gearbox Software‘s new game, Aliens: Colonial Marines. It’s a first person shooter set within the Aliens universe that takes place after the events of the second movie.  Sounds awesome right?

Well, as you can see from the video above, Aliens: Colonial Marines is a little rough around the edges…all edges. Even at the start screen, textures and basic text looks extremely dated, and once the first cut scene kicks in that feeling pervades the early stages of the game.

Moreover, once movement and general gameplay (shooting, melee, context-sensitive actions) come into play, the problems get compounded further. This is a game released during the last months of our current console cycle, yet it looks like a game from the previous one. Obvious loading sections, which leave the player awkwardly standing around, even reared their ugly heads, and that’s only within the first 20 minutes of the game.

However, even if developer Gearbox Software had faulted in its gameplay execution, there is still that wonderful Aliens source material to work with. Unfortunately, at least early on, that isn’t handled all that well either.

The game could have established a tone that fits right in with the film franchise — capturing the essence of what makes Aliens work — but that is not the case. Even the big xenomorph reveal is hampered by poor animation and awkward level design.

Aliens Colonial Marines Gameplay Video

At the same time the basic shooting mechanics of the game come across as rudimentary at best, and lacking in basic refinement. There’s no weight to movement — let alone any appreciable sense of damage to the player or the enemy — to provide any noticeable player feedback. For a game that uses 4-player co-op as a major selling point, it’s hard to see four friends wanting to get together for such a base level experience.

To be fair, we were playing the Xbox 360 version for this gameplay video, so it’s entirely possible that the PC or Wii U versions will fare much better, at least visually. Animations, tone, and general gameplay, however, are a different story.

Nevertheless, this is only a first impression of Aliens: Colonial Marines, based solely on the first 20 minutes of the game. Look for a full review in the near future.

Does Aliens: Colonial Marines seem like a game you might check out? What do you think it based on this early gameplay video?

Aliens: Colonial Marines is available now for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. A Wii U release is slated for March 2013. Game Rant was provided a copy of the Xbox 360 version.

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35 Comments

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  1. Been playing it in Australia for 24 hours. What a piece of crap. Save your money. It’s worse than the Alien human hybrid from Resurrection.

  2. The majority of fan reviews from its (sneaky pre-launch date) release basically agree that gearbox dropped the ball hard on this one.

    I mean, I thought the story was already utter crap and totally ignored the actual events at the end of Aliens, but to hear of the rubbish gameplay and lacking visuals…and the silly “mutations”, just for the sake of variety… I mean, why the f*ck were they given the property to begin with? Go to hell, Gearbox.

  3. if next gen games continue the tradition of pumping out half-assed games while expecting top dollar in return AND if rumours are true about no second hand games,i’ll genuinely have no problem giving up console gaming.

    i’m not a big ALIEN fan but this enviroment is made for FPS,how do you fcuk it up? was no one working on this project an ALIEN fan ? did no one realize, at any point in production, “wait,this is not right” ?

    theres too many money grabbing amateurs in this industry, a cull is needed.

  4. Damn it
    All This Talk Makes Me Regret Preordering.

  5. Oh No This Doesnt well. Why Oh Why Did I Preorder

  6. Despite people saying it sucks, I’d happily buy it if Anthony was available for a full-game voice over…

    • I’ve been writing for this site for 3 years, and this is my favorite comment. Ever.

      • Oh dear.

  7. Was really hoping this might turn out to be a decent game. Sadly, I just got done reading IGNs review. They gave it a 4.5 out of 10. Ugh. How disappointing.

  8. Lol im asuming the people commenting above are all the same person. Been playin acm for 6 hours now and im having a blast. Then again i actually have friends to sit down with and to enjoy videogames with. I love the no hud. Makes the game almost feel real. And it defs picks up where the films left off. Its pretty obvious that the people dissing this game are those 10 and 12 year old kids who cant see anythjng good about a game but graphics. If you dont like the game, then dont play it. Better yet stay the f*** out of these articles if you have nothing good to say at all.

    • Well, you know what they say about assuming, but apparently you spell “ass” with only one “s.”

    • post your email so we can all run our opinions past you first.

      • Lol im not saying they did excellent on it. But it sure as hell isnt half assed. The only thing i dislike about the game is the 4v4 survival mode. I was led to believe that gametype was 4v a crap ton of aliens.

    • Damn, how can all of these people forget that they’re not allowed to have an opinion different than yours… *shakes head*

      Shame on you people, SHAME!!!!

    • There is a HUD…

      • Anthony your playing on a difficulty lower then ultimate badass, on ultimate badass there is no hud.

  9. I’ve heard Gearbox only did the multiplayer, and farmed out the singleplayer to two or three different development studios that have no major work on their resumes. So, this is the result.

    • more like outsourced to 6 dev teams :P i joke in saying that they probably only did the lighting (which is awesome) and the narrative (which is garbage apparently) but that probably isn’t a lie :P

  10. Wow this does look rough… I would venture to say that it is visually worse than 2010′s AvP if Anthony’s video post is any indication. It could be my video playback, but it looked like there were noticeable frame rate issues as well.
    I know it’s not all about how it looks, but it seems like the devs really took a step back with this one. Very disappointing.

    • I captured full HD video so what I saw on my TV is what is in the video. I’ve seen the PC version, though, and that seems to look much better. How it plays or works mechanically is another thing.

  11. well i think its great so far. worth the 100 i spent on the CE. haters just gonna hate

    • Did it make you feel better to say that?

      Ok, good, now I’d like to add – SUCKER.

      • so im a sucker bc im a fan of Aliens no matter what? go f**k yourself.
        said it once ill say it again..haters just gonna hate.

        and nope it doesnt make me feel better saying that…its just fact.

        • You’re a sucker because you’re a fan of Aliens “no matter what” indeed.

          If you people enjoy the game despite of the majority-noticed faults then good for you. But the fact you’re lashing out at people for not liking it too shows how defensive and sad you actually are.

        • What does a “fan of Aliens no matter what” mean?

          Does that mean you also have poor taste? Because A LOT of products involving the Alien are awful.

          (Realizing that doesn’t make you less of a fan you know.)

          Also – try and keep it civil – though perhaps the sucker comment hit a little too close to home – eh “gaygamer”?

  12. I wanted Halo 4 with Aliens. It’s not pretty, it doesn’t play well, it’s just so g***** disappointing. Returned it.

  13. I know the game is reaaally rough and not the triple A game we wanted but I’m still kind of enjoying it, strangely.

  14. It’s not all that bad, at least it’s playable :P I know the QA team was probably ignored on this one. What’s more amusing is how people bitch about how s***** this game is, yet they will buy another Gearbox game in the future. If you really want to make an impact boycott Sega and GBX games! I myself enjoyed shooting the aliens but was really annoyed at how useless the AI on the team is. Their gunfire sounds cool but does nothing in damage! Eh. I’m done buying overpriced video games, time to enjoy life by going outside. Hello world!

  15. i was scared when i saw the reviews and hate on the internet… but i didnt cancel my preorder. when i got home and put it in, i wasnt sure what to expect. in all honestly im actually enjoying the game. i play all types of games and watch all types of movies. ive seen some of the aliens films maybe all but im not a huge fanboy. i got one of my roommates and we played the campaign for a god solid 3 hours. we like the game. ive learned to not care what sites like ign and gameinformer and such give games. they are easily biased towards som much. i have yet to run into any bugs or texture issues in the game. Maybe its because im going into the industry and making my on games that i can see past all the idiots and hate across the internet. there are so many worse games out there.

  16. at least the multiplayer looks playable

  17. I enjoyed this game way more than that last AVP game that came out. I know graphics are important, and this game’s graphics are sort of rough, but if you let graphics dominate your gaming, I don’t see why you don’t just watch CG movies.

    And yes, the game also has a fair amount of technical faults. But these can be patched later. They shouldn’t be their at release to begin with, but still, as long as they get patched, I won’t complain.

    As for the controls, yes again. They are clunky (at least for the Aliens) and sort of difficult to get used to. But I have had a ton of fun playing this game for the past few days. I really have.

    I’m not trying to change anyone’s opinion or anything, but I’d just like to point out that it’s not a garbage title like so many assume. I read a lot of the reviews too, and for a while, I thought my dad made a bad decision pre-ordering it. I played it for myself, and I have had more awesome “Oh WOW” moments and more screams of panic than I expected to have even before the reviews.

    A lot of people say it’s crap. It’s just not their cup of tea. I think it’s a legitimate Aliens experience. I don’t give too much thought about ‘hit-boxes’ or any of that, because as long as the game provides me with fun, I feel it is a success.

    Gaming is for fun, after all.

  18. 1. Graphics are not spectacular, but are authentic to the look and feel of James Cameron’s film, “Aliens”.

    2. AI is very threatening on harder difficulties, and if you do not handle the threat, it handles you very quickly. The xenos come at you by surprise at times and attack from multiple angles. Sometimes you have to shoot down a ceiling and wall crawling xeno or a xeno that lunges at you when not expecting it. For example, you might wipe out a nice group of xenos and think the area is secured thereafter, but after a minute or two another one jumps out unexpectedly on you.

    3. The GIF people are laughing about is at a moment in the game where stealth is required. In that area, you must remain undetected by the xenomorphs & if you get spotted the disoriented xeno charges you and then explodes, which can be very difficult to evade & proceed. The stealth area of disoriented explosive xenos is actually very difficult to get past.

    4. Suspense, similar to what happens in “Aliens” the movie, occurs when xenos are near and you pick them up on your tracker, but don’t know when they will strike or from where exactly. The darkness and need to use a flashlight also adds to the suspense of the game experience.

    5. Leveling up gives users the ability to upgrade weapons and be able to use any weapon in their Campaign loadout, similar to a ‘Far Cry 3′. The ability to re-arrange your pack of 3 weapons at any time with all available weapons is very useful when running dry on ammo in critical situations.

    I absolutely love this game regardless of it not being a graphics marvel. It has the feel of being in “Aliens” the movie, and the level of action you face in each mission is plenty challenging & satisfying.

  19. It needs improvement. I wish it was more LIVE/Multiplayer happy. Aliens will always be sick though.

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