The return to LV-426 is confirmed for Aliens: Colonial Marines, along with a few more ripe details for Gearbox Software‘s latest shooter offering. Two things we know for certain: There are xenomorphs and they will try to kill you. Sure, a few more points have been confirmed, but what else do fans of the film series need to know to get excited for Colonial Marines?
Gearbox has been hard pressed to keep their enthusiasm low for Aliens: Colonial Marines, and who can blame them? Anyone who has seen Aliens knew it was an incredible film for a number of reasons: suspense, monsters, guns, an epic climax, and Bill Paxton.
While the game is still a ways off from it’s scheduled 2012 release, Official UK PlayStation Magazine had the chance to sit down and play an alpha build of the game. Fortune smiles for all of us this day, for you will know what Colonial Marines has in store for you.
First off, the story for Colonial Marines will be directly tied into the Aliens canon. Remember when the first marine deployment called for help and had to wait for 2 weeks before they would receive any help? Yes, you will be witnessing the story of the marines who have been dispatched as ill-timed backup. Starting on the USS Sulaco and then making their way down to the moon LV-426, the marines will quickly discover the deadly threat of xenomorphs. Needless to say, a fight for survival and getting back off LV-426 will become a main priority throughout the game.
Colonial Marines will be featuring linear paths to create and build tension. Set in an abandoned colony, not being able to escape the horde of vicious aliens will play a big part in the kind of suspense and horror the player will experience. The example OPM witnessed followed the player walking down a corridor, coming across a not-quite-dead Facehugger that then attempts to plant an embryo in its unsuspecting victim.
Players might bemoan the fact that Aliens will feature corridor action, but in the context of the game, it could be an effective way to ramp up the suspense. Then again, nobody likes being trapped in the same place with creatures that just want to kill you in horrible and destructive ways. Colonial Marines is still a long way away from release, so there’s a chance that the game could feature some more open environments for players to explore and/or escape.
One mechanic that may frustrate gamers is the inability to wield the motion tracker at the same time as a weapon, most memorably used in Doom 3. The obvious anachronism of future technology not having convenient solutions to an obvious problem rears its ugly head again, since games like Modern Warfare 2 featured a motion tracker attached to a rifle. Again, this decision could just be viewed as an attempt to maintain maximum tension in the game and force the player to make a difficult choice.
Hopefully, the colonial marines will take a page out of Ellen Ripley’s book and discover the wonders of duct tape and flashlights. Darkness could end up being a significant feature in the game, as the aliens will exude more of their uncanny intelligence, destroying the electrical systems and rendering areas dark and utterly more spooky.
As for the actual gameplay, little was touched upon. So far the short amounts of action witnessed at E3 are just about all the gameplay we have to go on. The same criticisms from several outlets are once again given, citing the fact that with a launch still very far off, the developers will hopefully use their time to streamline the experience. QTE’s, weak weapons, and a few other technical hiccups have been fixed in other games, so there’s no reason to think that Gearbox can’t right the ship.
Fans can also expect cameos from sleazeball Burke and Hudson, albeit they will most likely be dead, but could give up vital information or achievements. Lance Henriksen will be reprising his role as the android, Bishop. And yes, 4-player co-op is confirmed, so friends can battle alien hordes together. You can already imagine the arguments over who has to hold the motion tracker.
This cursory look of Aliens: Colonial Marines can leave fans feeling elated or worried, since from the initial report the game sounds like a corridor shooter- something fans may have had their fill of. However, with Gearbox dealing with a property like Aliens, doing a great job on preparing atmosphere, building tension, and ramping up paranoia can be key its success.
As more news for Colonial Marines emerges, Game Rant will bring it to you.
Aliens: Colonial Marines will be releasing Spring 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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