2012 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years for Alien fans in recent memory, and many are hoping it's consolation for a previous decade of far more downs than ups. The film front saw a realization of the Aliens vs. Predator franchise in the 2000's that many fans thought tarnished the series.
Meanwhile, the gaming front has teased us with Aliens: Colonial Marines ever since Gearbox and Sega picked up the project in 2006. And Sega's 2010 offering, Aliens vs. Predator, while crafting a solid send-up to the franchise, never managed to capture fans in a warm, embracing facehug.
Humans can repress memories for a reason though, and Aliens looks primed to ingratiate itself with fans once again. Ridley Scott's upcoming film Prometheus alludes to events before the Alien storyline and is shaping up to be one of this year's go-to summer flicks. And even though it was recently delayed until the fall of 2012, Gearbox Software's Aliens: Colonial Marines looks to throw gamers right in the action-packed mix of the events following James Cameron's legendary 1986 film.
What can we expect from a game that's been in development since 2006 and delayed more times than its fans care to count? Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford recently participated in an insightful Q&A session with the official PlayStation Blog that only further justifies ACM's existence as one of our most anticipated games of 2012.
A huge focus with any title, gameplay has been a primary concern for Alien fans heading into Colonial Marines and Pitchford wasn't afraid to address it. Where last year's xenomorph slaying gameplay demo created the perception of an adrenaline spiking romp, the new trailer shown below seemed to slow things down a little bit. Pitchford indicated that Colonial Marines might be aiming at a target between the two:
"I would say that the player’s experience for Aliens: Colonial Marines will tend closer to the gritty realism side. I say that because sometimes the gameplay footage we use for marketing will tend to focus more on the action – which is definitely in there – but you can’t really feel difficulty and challenge as well when you’re trying to promote and market the game using promotional footage."
During combat in Colonial Marines, players are in control of a four-man squad, and each man is outfitted with various weapons like flamethrowers and pulse rifles. Pitchford said that Gearbox is still playing with different loadout designs in terms of the number of weapons each man can carry. But rest assured, whatever gun you're wielding, you'll be able to aim down the sights and line up a shot like a proper Marine.
"Looking down the sights properly is a big deal. Gearbox is really proud of its heritage in the evolution of down-the-sights views having really pushed that feature forward in the first Brothers in Arms game. Since then, every shooter we’ve created has featured direct down the sights views with ballistic weapons."
Pitchford also discussed the possibilities of Ridley Scott's Prometheus being tied into ACM. The Gearbox team was invited by 20th Century Fox to read over the script and have a gander at the film's production, and we already know that the game is taking us to The Derelict on LV-426. Like the master of suspense he's taking a nod from, however, Pitchford wouldn't divulge anything else.
Despite the delays, the mysteries, and the recent less-than-spectacular outings from the Aliens universe, Gearbox appears to be using their time wisely to build the next exciting adventure dedicated to the canon - one that might serve as the rare example of a great game building off of a great movie. We know that James Cameron's epic is a strong influence on the game, but Pitchford also re-iterated that ACM will spring a few new xenomorph variants on us - falling in line with earlier screenshots that showed off the deadly creatures alongside some new weapons gamers will use to exterminate them.
It's high time Aliens reclaims its place back atop the sci-fi horror genre (Let's face it, Predators stopped being scary after Arnold mini-nuked the first one.) If a video game is the one to bring it there, the Brothers in Arms and Borderlands developer is sure to win over one of the bigger fanbases in the genre today.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is scheduled to release in the fall of 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC
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Source: PlayStation Blog