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Aliens: Colonial Marines

When that first confrontation does arrive it’s not the guns-blazing, space marine frag-fest you may expect. Instead the alien bursts out of the shadows and drags you kicking into an air duct where it prepares to cocoon you in slime. You guessed it - this is a Quick Time Event where button presses have to be hit as the event unfolds. It works well, as the directions mimic the action perfectly. For example, pressing right smashes open a vent casing to the right, or pressing up raises your gun and blasts your captor, forcing it to retreat.

The influence of the movie is all over this shooter, with Quick Time Events ensuring you never know what’s around the next corner. The famous white-knuckle tension you got from the movie is central to Aliens: CM. You won’t know what’s coming next. Scripted events blend into corridor shootouts, with your goal being to stay alive.

Keeping each team-member safe is at the heart of the game. Each member of the squad has a unique skill needed to get through a mission. One marine will be able to hack security doors and another will be able to set up portable gun turrets. If you’ve seen the extended version of Aliens, you’ll recognize how these skills fit into a scenario. Also, each marine you play will have a different weapons loadout. The officer carries a pistol, while other squad members have flamethrowers, grenades or even an RPG.

Tactically, the Brothers in Arms influence is all over the gameplay. Not just in relaying orders to the squad, but in adding realism to the combat. The question is, how do you flank an alien that can attack from above and below, as well as airducts and service pipes? The answer, for now, is partly by using familiar tactics. One mission emulates the alien attack on Hadley’s Hope, with you setting up portable gun turrets. It’s in this mission that the game’s tactical clout hits home.

You can not only set up turrets but use technicians to hack and lock or weld doors, order your team to push tables and cabinets against windows, and set up strike teams to cover weak areas of a room. You can even set booby traps to cover air vents if your explosives guy is still alive. The pulse rifles feature a ticking ammo level, Hicks’ Remington shotgun is here for close quarter escapes and the Smart Guns, as carried by Vasquez and Drake, make a welcome appearance.

The action resembles Call of Duty in style, with down-the-scope targeting and a rechargeable health system. The big difference is the AI being implemented. Aliens will crawl out of every nook and cranny, scramble up walls and scurry across the ceiling. Aliens Colonial Marines could be 2009’s biggest challenge.

Jan 6, 2009

15 comments

  • jeffrey778 - July 22, 2010 6:51 a.m.

    i just like to add that if gear box has seen any of the zero puntuation reviews on alot of games, not many people like (Quick Time Events) i would think about that b4 putting the game out, maby vote on it or something.
  • astnwllmsn - January 16, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    looks good and i enjoy the movies so i hope its worth the money
  • ReaperOfDarkness - January 12, 2009 6:24 a.m.

    Im a big fan of the Aliens backstory (except the last movie). I cant wait to see how this turns out I hope they do pay a lot of attention to the story. If its at all as good as the AvP games I be quite happy.
  • Zombiekiller666 - January 12, 2009 12:58 a.m.

    total fan of the movies, hoping this will be really good. even though I'll probably play it even if it's mediocre
  • GoldenMe - January 7, 2009 5:09 a.m.

    Sadly, I still think it will turn out as a generic FPS, like Killzone 2. @Jbo- Have you played the demo for Conquest yet? It makes me want to play the first Battlefront.
  • Jbo87 - January 7, 2009 12:08 a.m.

    This looks fantastic and the fact that gearbox are at the reigns only increases my anticipation. Recently finished Brothers in Arms and its absolutely brilliant. Playing through on authentic for a real challenge. I don't know why people are bitching about this years games line-up? As far as I can see there are loads of good games coming up. There's just far fewer with big numbers after them which imo can only be a good thing. Quite looking forward to LOTR Conquest. If it's half as much fun as Battlefront it should still be a barrel of laughs.
  • Kerfluffle - January 6, 2009 11:56 p.m.

    Well, as a licensed game, I have to take this with a grain of salt. There's a simple way to make the, "Order your squad to fortify your base" mechanic work: implement it well and often. Also, giving us the Quicktime events kind of take the fun out of being tense and scared of the game, but i guess it would be unfair to be impaled by an alien without any warning. I like how the devs ARE paying attention to the story but not only focusing on everything making sense. This game has potential. Hopefully, Sega and Gearbox will not waste it.
  • killemall - April 27, 2009 7:33 p.m.

    but, but, butt i want to play as an alien... :) reCaptcha: Nichols remits
  • IslanderSwagg - January 17, 2009 4:33 a.m.

    now this looks like a good game!
  • NelosAngelos - January 11, 2009 4:52 a.m.

    Interesting, I'll keep my eyes peered. I really enjoyed the movies, and hopefully it will be one of the few (if only) successful movie based games, even though they said that the story based on certain actions may alter the canon of the storyline. Only thing I can really say is Sweet!
  • Synster - January 10, 2009 1:32 a.m.

    "Generic". A word that plagues this gaming industries vocabularly these days. Besides the point. I'm still quite skeptical about this game. Yes, I know it's being produced by Gearbox, which is a great Company for their BiA series, but this? I'm not so sure of. The concept seems nice, but I'm still waiting for actual gameplay to decide.
  • Jbo87 - January 7, 2009 6:16 p.m.

    @Goldenme. Haven't played it yet no. Need to get my gold membership up and running. Didn't understand if your statement meant it reminded you of Battlefront or it was bad and you'd rather play Battlefront?
  • The_Author - January 7, 2009 9 a.m.

    Looks freakin' awsome. Can't wait for its release!
  • jar-head - January 6, 2009 11:48 p.m.

    I've been waiting for GR to do this preview, but Gr wrote that it will span form aliens to aliens 3? well we have alien, aliens, alien 3( the prison) then aliens 4, which is like 4 generations from the start of alien. soooo we might see some cryogenic freezing....
  • ultimag17 - January 6, 2009 11:22 p.m.

    First! Looks like an awsome game. Can't wait!

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