Gamescom 2011 was full of little (and big) surprises: price cuts on the PlayStation 3, Battlefield 3 multiplayer shenanigans, some unfortunate news on the Wii, and loads of other information. Though what’s better about Gamescom is after, when all of the good bits of information start coming out of the air ducks. Specifically, insider information on one of the more talked about titles: Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Gearbox Software’s Chief Creative Officer Brian Martel spoke a little more about Aliens: Colonial Marines, expanding much on what he’s said earlier this week, about working with IP-owner Fox, the differences in developing for a game rather than film, and what the future holds while trying to take on deadly Xenomorphs.
Right off the bat, Martel was quick to praise Fox and SEGA on their ability to build friendships and bridges during the initial stages of development. Not wanting to step on toes, Gearbox has a standing IP to work with, and has to stick with what’s already been placed in order to keep it Colonial Marines canon. Luckily, they were able to make everyone happy:
“We’re able to introduce our own elements that we feel are right for the interactive space, whether that’s weapons or new types of aliens, and we’re aware that in doing so we’re adding to the existing canon.”
Though creating their own elements meant balancing aspects of action and fear. With any good FPS, it’s all about the combat, yet with the Alien franchise, it’s about that experience of discovery and then survival in a horrifying situation as the Marines quickly learn that for their enemy, it’s not just about hunting down humans and trying to kill them.
“The aliens aren’t just looking to kill you, they’re trying to propagate the species and take you elsewhere so they can get you face-hugged. That’s the threat and it forms the scary aspect of the world, and then you also need to have the high action aspect.”
It’s why with Colonial Marines Gearbox had to balance the gameplay with a little bit of audio misdirection, a little bit of visual lighting, and a good helping of co-op leaning. Players will feel more like they are stuck in the middle of a “fight for your life” grudge match, rather than other similar titles.
“It’s not like Dead Space, which has a fright around every corner, or something like Condemned, which was pure tension throughout.”
Diehard Aliens fans shouldn’t fear from these words; Martel assures that what they have created will not only build on canon, but show the developer’s own growth in terms of co-op gameplay and in creating a complete story. Adding in little cabbages like what happened to Hudson or Burke, there will be something for everyone.
“If you take a look at our track record on working with IPs, whether it’s Half Life or James Bond, we’ve been true and honest with what it needs to be. We’re one of the best at that, looking at what gamers want and expect from the license and giving it to them.”
Aliens: Colonial Marines is set to release sometime Spring 2012 for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U.
Follow Will on his Facebook and Twitter@ Ayreesfoxx.