Aliens Colonial Marines Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Aliens Colonial Marines
Reviewed by
Edwin Millheim
on
Aliens Colonial Marines Review. Hard core fans like meÖ will of course soldier along with the game and hope for the best and hope that tweaks to the game will make it better.
Rating:
3.3

Gameplay 5.5
Graphics 6.0
Sound 8.5
Value 6.5
Developer: Gearbox
Distributor:
SEGA
Review date:
Feb 2013
Rating:
MA15+
Reviewer:
Edwin Millheim

6.6


Aliens Colonial Marines

So here we are once again one of the most beloved franchises around getting another go at gaming. I want to love this game; I will have to settle for like it due to being a franchise fan. Though some of the roughness in the game is rather disappointing coming from Gearbox especially, itís just surprising.

Let me get a few things out of the way here, what I like about the game. I do like that the experience is squarely from a military style perspective. Not a disciplined kind of military mind you, but the testosterone ego manic bad ass of the film Aliens. Itís the Colonial Marines.

I can see that the game is trying to hit that action packed experience and the frantic moments we all feel while watching the film Aliens. Itís evident and it does have plenty of frantic action going on. Which is cool, it does make it more of a militaristic feel.

I also like the customization and the unlockables.. While there are not a large amount of them, there are some fun little add on and weapons attachments to upgrade your load out. I was even amused by the weapon paint scheme customizations. Other iconic equipment to make an appearance is the welding tool and of course the motion tracker.


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The sounds are awesome, and while the surrounding can be a little too bright, I did find that adjusting my TV settings to make the shadows deeper and darker made for a better experience. The awesome locations are all there, the set up for the story starts out like itís going to be one spectacular ride. Gearbox obviously shows allot of love towards the franchise and James Cameronís film Aliens.

Graphically it just does not seem like itís a game for the time, character models are just ok, and scenery and machines and computers and the environment in general tend to just look off somehow. More than once characters clipped half in and half out of scenery and wall panels. After firing off a grenade from my under slung grenade launcher, the Weyland-Yutani security soldier got blasted through a wall, top half on one side, bottom half sticking through to the other side.

While the graphics not too awful, they do not match up to the spectacular footage shown so long ago as demo game play footage. The lighting and effects are just off. In the original demo there had been more dynamic lighting, and effects. I donít know maybe the early demo was more of a concept demo and NOT game footage. All I know is the early video of the game was beautiful and more cinematic.

I like the sounds and some of the looks, the iconic pulse rifle is here. Sound is another department that gets it right, both music and sound effects. The pulse rifle alone is just so, so right.

Co-op play is more or less the single player game, though the fun is ramped up when youíre playing with others against the hordes of Aliens. Or at least that would be the concept here. Unfortunately, I just could not stay in a game long enough to test the multiplayer out. Lost connection with host error messages and drops back to the lobby had been frequent enough to give up the endeavor. Perhaps itís just first day issues, who knows? I do know that I am on deadline and have to get this to you, our fellow impulse gamer readers. After two days of no success getting into a game we had to stop trying.

 
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The multiplayer aspects of the game are the standard fare or at least thatís what the game offers.

Team Deathmatch
Team Deathmatch games are played in "packs" of two games. This essentially presents as two separate rounds, but the two games are scored independently (the first game has no bearing on the second game). Metagame rewards are awarded at the end of the pair of games. Itís all out battle as the teams try to off each opposing team. This earns points, and the team of course with the most points by time limit, is the winner.

Extermination
In this mode, points are scored when marines reach and occupy a target location for a set time limit. Xenomorphs donít score points here. They are just there to stop the Marines. After the first round teams are switched, with the new Marines trying to beat the score of the first round Marines.

Escape
As the name implies, itís simpleÖMarines try to escape a map. The map is linear, and the Xenomorph players of course try to take out the Marine players. Whatever team escapes, or is closest to escaping after the two rounds is the winner.

Survivor
Itís just out and out survival. With the Marines trying to survive the onslaught as long as they can, all the while the attacks are escalating from the Xenomorphs.
All of it sounds great; I just canít say much about it since we have yet to be able to get into a game to test it out, at this time we are checking connections and will continue to report on this at a later date.

Oh Aliens: Colonial MarinesÖ.

What went wrong here? Now first let me say it is not the worst game around, it has some roughness and is at least playable. Even with the wacked out AI. Both human and Alien AI is just plain stupid. When there are a few other Marines in single player campaign mode with you, and all the Aliens seem to want to only come after you, something is wrong here. Sure they make a run at the AI run grunts, but after an initial attack they turn and ignore them and come right after you.


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AI run Marines would constantly run in front of my fire and that was just bloody annoying. Of course it does not hurt them and you know How I feel about that?

Now letís talk about cause and effect and consequence for actions. Being a Colonial Marine you would hope that weapon barrel control was part of the training, you just donít step in front of a squad mate sending rounds down range. Now, hereís what else I did not like. It seems no matter what level of difficulty played at, there is no friendly fire.

You can shoot at your fellow AI run Marines and there is no damage, and also NO REACTION. I tested the game out in every difficulty level including Ultimate Badass difficulty and there is no damage to the AI Marines from your rounds, OR your grenades. I would have enjoyed it more if there was some danger of hurting your team. Having to watch out for your squad mates is what brings more of a feeling of adventure to a game. I just come away feeling I never have to worry about my squad, I only ever have to worry about me.

There is just no emotional investment here. To touch on this further in regards to emotion, drama, suspenseÖ.there is just no dramatic tension, no character build ups. You just get no emotional attachment to any of the characters, just another throw away character gets killed ho hum. Maybe itís how the script reads, or for whatever reason, maybe the director made some weak choices.

 
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The voice acting is great, especially with the likes of Lance Henriksen, and Michael Biehn back in for another romp (Voice wise) in the Alien universe.

The game delivers on frantic action, but without the solid frame work of characters, drama and tension it just comes off as a generic shooter. There are moments when a new environment shows the promise of some of the dramatics and tension that you so want from the game, but it never fully materialize.

Even with the iconic motion tracker ticking away and pinging on movement, the thrill is brief and watered down somehow by the rushed feeling of the game. Moments like the escape from a crippled ship and ahemÖsudden landing down on a planet where well done, I really felt some excitement in this sequence, and there are others sprinkled throughout the game.

 
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Hard core fans like meÖ will of course soldier along with the game and hope for the best and hope that tweaks to the game will make it better. It has some playing value, though you really have to push yourself to those points of the game. I like the gameÖitís just a hard sell really, a love hate kind of thing of a big fan of the franchiseÖ.Nagging in the back of my brain is the thought that in this game, no one can hear you scream, and there will be no rescue ship sent.

Edwin Millheim
Impulse Gamer






 
 



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