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Ripley - the civilian - is the goddamn hero, not the fucking marines.
February 12, 2013 3:52 PM   Subscribe

Is It That Hard to Make A Decent 'Aliens' Game? It is if the abysmal reviews for the new game Aliens: Colonial Marines are accurate. Rock Paper Shotgun's John Walker lists the worst moments, while Destructoid's Jim Sterling tears it apart and recommends better Alien games.

Forbes provides the highlights of the worst reviews:

Gamespot:

“The awkward storytelling is hardly energized by character models and facial animations so stiff that humans look every bit as synthetic as famed series androids Ash and Bishop. Aliens: Colonial Marines is not a looker. Graphics glitches abound, fire and goo effects are unconvincing, and clumsy visual details–jittery transitions in and out of canned animations, abrupt game-over screens upon death–give the game an air of carelessness.”

GameSpy:

“Much of the horror atmosphere is sucked out of the room when a fearsome Xeno is comedically superglued to a wall or held in the vice-like grip of an APC bumper.”

IGN:

The problem lies with the aliens themselves; they’re not smart enough to hunt in packs or take you by surprise, they just willfully hurl themselves in front of your short, controlled bursts. There’s never a feeling of being outwitted or outmanoeuvred, just outraged that you’ve sat down to take on some deadly xenos in one of sci-fi’s most iconic settings and somehow ended up in the equivalent of a clunky, coin-operated shooting gallery.

PA Report:

“There are animations missing in the game and the cutscenes are ugly to the point of distraction. The characters don’t seem to have any physical boundaries, or are unaware of each other. When you have two characters in an action scene, they tend to stand inside each other for some reason. “I’m going to be okay,” a woman tells a man in one scene, and then reassuringly places her hand inside his chest.”

PC Gamer:

“Gearbox evidently have a tremendous love for the films, but it’s the kind of love that suffocates. Over the course of the ten hour campaign you are dragged through meticulous recreations of every significant location you can think of – the Sulaco, Hadley’s Hope, the surface of LV-426, the ancient spaceship. Colonial Marines’ greatest desire is to show you things you’ve seen before, regardless of their narrative status or significance. Hadley’s Hope may have vanished in a forty megaton nuclear fireball at the end ofAliens, but, well, it’s fine, thanks for asking.”
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (114 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
So, what you're saying is, it's better than Prometheus?
posted by The River Ivel at 3:56 PM on February 12, 2013 [34 favorites]


I'm pretty amazed they screwed this up, since Aliens is the blueprint for pretty much every FPS. You just need some decent guns, a shitload of tension, and panicked shooting when the shit hits the fan. There were probably 15 year olds making Doom WADs who could do it better.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:57 PM on February 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


In fact, there were: Aliens: Total Conversion was one of the early "total conversion" Doom WADs, and managed to bring an excellent balance of creepy atmosphere and "kill 'em all" shooting. Notably, the first level doesn't have any enemies, which - not knowing that - made for an incredibly tense first playthrough.
posted by lantius at 4:01 PM on February 12, 2013 [25 favorites]


It can't be that hard, since the original Aliens vs. Predator FPS on the PC (where you could mostly forget about the Predator part if you wanted) was excellent.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:04 PM on February 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


AvP 2000 4-EVAH.
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


What is utterly hilarious is EGM's review. I mean I haven't played the thing so there's always the off chance that he's the lone voice of reason, but if the near unanimity on the other end means anything, their reviewer is delusional.
posted by juv3nal at 4:07 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


The super creepy 8-bit Alien
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nothing will beat the Capcom beat em up, staring Arnold Schwarzenegger's character from Predator and two Predators, plus a plot that makes sense, kinda.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:08 PM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


What is utterly hilarious is EGM's review. I mean I haven't played the thing so there's always the off chance that he's the lone voice of reason, but if the near unanimity on the other end means anything, their reviewer is delusional.

It's possible this is like the case around God Hand, where a truly genius game is pilloried by critics that just don't get it. But both the source material and genre are familiar enough that I doubt that's the case here.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:11 PM on February 12, 2013


No love for Xenomorph?

On the Amiga?

It was GREAT!

Whatever.

Get off my lawn.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:13 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dude, no.

Alien Breed
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


What's sad is Gearbox also recently made Borderlands 2, which for my money is one of the best games in the last year or so. They took everything about the first game that was good and made it better. Different teams within Gearbox I guess? Then again Gearbox also were the ones to finally release the execrable Duke Nukem Forever, although in that case it was more a matter of finishing a mostly complete game for a modest profit.
posted by Nelson at 4:21 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


This actually seems to be a less compelling game than Aliens: Sex Offender Monastery.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:28 PM on February 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh ho! Another team entirely: Rock Paper Shotgun and Eurogamer are reporting rumors that TimeGate Studios actually did most of the single player work. Who knows what's really true though, no one wants to be the creator of a failure.
posted by Nelson at 4:31 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


This actually seems to be a less compelling game than Aliens: Sex Offender Monastery.

I'd probably play a game based on Aliens: The Firefly Prequel
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:32 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Artw: "AvP 2000 4-EVAH"

Didn't that actually come out in '99?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:34 PM on February 12, 2013


And that's before the action starts. With guns blazing, the visuals take a sharp downward turn. Defeated Aliens disappear and are replaced with crude geometric body parts that either float in the air or fly away at supersonic speed. They skitter and slide, jerk and twitch as they try to navigate walls and ceilings. Up close, encounters collapse into a swirl of incoherent polygons as the models and camera battle to the death. Both Aliens and humans run past each other, or stand next to each other, frozen. You can shoot Aliens through the apparently intangible bodies of your AI teammates and the Aliens can jump through them to get to you.

This sounds fun, in a surreal way.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:35 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of the reviews I read earlier linked to this when discussing the general glitches, which was probably the hilight of my morning.
posted by figurant at 4:46 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I proffer Natural Selection 2 as an alternative for those that seek to get their Alien killing on in a multiplayer environment. Tasty tasty complexity with a learning cliff to climb. Includes moments of jump out of your chair when you walk into the right ambush for free. Bonus indie developer and rabid fanbase.

It's predecessor, previously on metafilter.
posted by minedev at 4:46 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Artw: "AvP 2000 4-EVAH"

Didn't that actually come out in '99?


It did indeed - I think 2000 was the gold edition, perhaps? That seems to have become the widespread name for it, at any rate.

I'm thinking maybe the guy from The Matrix was right about 1999 being the height of our culture, for games at least.
posted by Artw at 4:52 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd probably play a game based on Aliens: The Firefly Prequel

I think I played it on Playstation and it was okay, better than the movie.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually, I kind of feel that a proper Aliens: Colonial Marines game shouldn't be about things like winning or surviving. It should be about killing off your characters as brutally as possible.

It should be "Nintendo hard," and the point of advancing to new levels should be just to see your character die in even more horrible and awesome ways. Actually finishing the game should basically come down to some sort of fluke. Every death should be accompanied by Hudson's voice proclaiming "Game over, man!" The big payoff would be those oo-rah moments like what Hudson and Vasquez had in the movie. "Get some!"

Sure, it would only be purchased by hardcore Aliens fans and masochists, but it's a small price to pay for art.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:56 PM on February 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


I support this Aliens Roguelike.
posted by Artw at 4:59 PM on February 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


The analogy between zombie movies and Aliens is interesting. AThe structure of Aliens is basically: the team arrives in a scary place, which gets more and more dangerous. They can't go back the way they came, so they go further into the dangerous place to call for help. Rescue is coming, if they can only survive until it arrives. In the meantime they need to go further into the scary, dangerous place, at which point there is a "boss battle", and the survivors escape.

OK, that is exactly the plot of most Left 4 Dead levels! Left 4 Dead is a zombie video game, and each level starts with the party in a somewhat-safe zone, but faced with the need to get somewhere to call for help - e.g., a radio in a highway maintenance booth. They call for help, but the rescuers can't reach them! The party needs to cross through zombie occupied territory to reach (e.g.) the helicopter landing field. They grab guns and ammo and run for it, and find their way blocked by a whole horde of zombies. After a pitched battle they manage to break through and reach the rescue vehicle, and depart the level. Substitute aliens for zombies, set it in space, and you have your game.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:03 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Actually, I kind of feel that a proper Aliens: Colonial Marines game shouldn't be about things like winning or surviving. It should be about killing off your characters as brutally as possible.

You typed this before I could get there. This is exactly how I feel. The thrill of the Alien franchise is that "oh, shit am I fucked now" feeling. The rules should change mid-game; the environment itself should be working against you; the Aliens should be able to get behind you in totally unfair ways; and you should be invested in the fate of your squad in a way that makes it just so unfair that they are being snuffed out, one by one, with no hope of reinforcements on the horizon; and you have maybe fifteen bullets left.

And then, you turn the corner and are face to face with the alien queen.
posted by gauche at 5:07 PM on February 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm thinking maybe the guy from The Matrix was right about 1999 being the height of our culture, for games at least.

He was off by two years. The high water mark of human civilization was the release of GoldenEye in 1997.
posted by The World Famous at 5:10 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just re-watched Prometheus again last night, and threw up all over again. I mean, it makes AvP look like La Strada.
posted by phaedon at 5:10 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


"We're in some pretty shit now!"

GAME OVER, MAN

Marine 3557 killed by: Red Super Xeno Queen
posted by Artw at 5:11 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nothing will beat the Capcom beat em up, staring Arnold Schwarzenegger's character from Predator and two Predators, plus a plot that makes sense, kinda.

Funnily enough, the plot to that game (which is possibly the best of the Capcom arcade beat 'em ups, depending on how you feel about the D&D games- I think the inventory/spell system from D&D is a bit too fiddly) is the plot to an AvP movie that never got made. Capcom made the game and, when it became apparent that the movie wasn't coming, released it anyway.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:12 PM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Everyone go play Rebelstar II (1988, ZX Spectrum) by Julian Gollop instead
posted by Bwithh at 5:14 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just re-watched Prometheus again last night, and threw up all over again. I mean, it makes AvP look like La Strada.

Just you wait until the La Strada first-person-shooter comes out. It will blow your mind.
posted by The World Famous at 5:14 PM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


I support this Aliens Roguelike.
posted by Artw at 4:59 PM on February 12 [2 favorites +] [!]


Try this one
posted by Bwithh at 5:17 PM on February 12, 2013


It should be "Nintendo hard," and the point of advancing to new levels should be just to see your character die in even more horrible and awesome ways. Actually finishing the game should basically come down to some sort of fluke.

Left 4 Dead 2's "Realism Versus" mode (which still enjoys a loyal following on MeFightClub, myself included) is pretty much exactly this. It's so ridiculously hard that even seasoned players have difficulty getting through a level without dying horribly. The trick is to not get frustrated by this, and then have a blast utterly destroying the opposing team when it's your turn to play as the Infected. It's both apprehension and schadenfreude, in game form.

(L4D's "Versus" mode is where two teams of four players take turns playing through each of a campaign's levels as the human "Survivors", and are scored on how far they get on each level before dying. The opposing team plays as the zombie "Infected", each of whom have special abilities that are deadly in combination. It's kind of like (American) football, except the football is your life. The "Realism" variant removes most of the health items and gameplay assists for the Survivor team.)

Applying this same idea to Aliens, you say? (furiously downloads L4D modding tools)
posted by neckro23 at 5:17 PM on February 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


It really looks like the EGM review images are all bullshots.
posted by thecjm at 5:24 PM on February 12, 2013


There is so much I love about this GIF from the game.
posted by sparkletone at 5:27 PM on February 12, 2013 [20 favorites]


Players have added shout outs to other films.
posted by squinty at 5:27 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is so much I love about this GIF from the game.

"Doot doot doot— oh, hey, Ted. Workin' hard or hardly working? Ha, right? Hey, watch the light, I'm walkin' here. Going for a soda, you want one?"
posted by cortex at 5:30 PM on February 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


There is so much I love about this GIF from the game.

First of all, aliens like Thai food just as much as the next guy.

He's probably saying to himself, "Why.. did I park.. ungh!.. all the way.. at the end of the lot..."

The smoke pouring out of his pipes really sells it.
posted by phaedon at 5:31 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ugh, this comment on the positive EGM review is everything I hate about gamers: @Thomas Smith: No. A review is *not* just opinion. That is simply wrong. A review is expected to take into account objective factors and put those in the correct perspective. Anyone can have an opinion - a review is expected to be more than that.

The idea that there's some 'objective truth' to reviews is bullshit.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:34 PM on February 12, 2013


This actually seems to be a less compelling game than Aliens: Sex Offender Monastery.

or the prequel, Alien: Sex Fiend.
posted by ennui.bz at 5:35 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


He was off by two years. The high water mark of human civilization was the release of GoldenEye in 1997.

98. Xenogears. Even if disc 2 was mostly shit.
posted by bfranklin at 5:36 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nelson: "Oh ho! Another team entirely: Rock Paper Shotgun and Eurogamer are reporting rumors that TimeGate Studios actually did most of the single player work. Who knows what's really true though, no one wants to be the creator of a failure"

Nope!

"As [SEGA’s senior producer, Matthew J. Powers] told Playnews during the Italian Aliens: Colonial Marines’ launch event: “Absolutely not, the game has been developed by Gearbox Software. Other studios [like Timegate] helped Gearbox on the production of single and multiplayer.”

Powers debunked the rumor spread by a forum post made by an alleged former Gearbox member on Texags back in May, stating that the game’s primary development was apparently outsourced to Section 8′s team TimeGate Studios."
posted by graventy at 5:36 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


98. Xenogears.

86. Bubble Bobble. The high water mark of both multiplayer gaming and dinosaur simulation.
posted by No-sword at 5:41 PM on February 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


After all the controversy around the rape themes in Duke Nukem Forever I'd be interested to hear what they did with a game that has those themes built in to the setting.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:41 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


[That EGM reviewer] spent the last 17 years in the game industry wearing hats as an annoying retail weasel, an overly opinionated journalist, and game-development ninja

Oh man! I didn't know my years of retail experience also counted as years in the games industry! I've been living the dream all along!
posted by graventy at 5:42 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, nuke it from orbit?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:43 PM on February 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also in 98 - Perfect Dark, which is basically Future Goldeneye with aliens.
posted by Artw at 5:43 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


God, I can't get over that gif. Clearly that is the Alien that bursts out of Weyland's ass in the next Prometheus installment.
posted by phaedon at 5:52 PM on February 12, 2013


So, nuke it from orbit?

Man, you guys and your games... back in the day it was all about Netrek and it ruled! You can still play it, if you're a diehard fan.
posted by vonstadler at 5:53 PM on February 12, 2013


I always wanted an Alien RPG thing where you can choose to play as a human, xenomorph, predator or maybe something made up for the game (since I'm fantasizing, I imagine the developers hiring Giger as designer to dip back into the well of weirdness the universe was born from) and the game is radically different depending on what your character is. I really like the idea of a sci-fi universe populated with all kinds of alien life but all of it is strange and predatory and non-compatible. It'd be fun to be able to fully explore that.

Starcraft is kind of this thing but not quite. The Jaguar game is what planted this seed in my mind, and since I've never known anyone with a Jaguar and never played it, it's kind of grown into its own daydream. Maybe someday it will come to fruition and burst forth from my chest to devour my future roommates. Maybe someday.
posted by byanyothername at 6:07 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


98. Xenogears.

We're MetaFilter married now btw, bfranklin. And Disc 2 was only meh because the weight of its ambition broke its spine.
posted by byanyothername at 6:09 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm having trouble finding it, but around about 1995 I remember playing what I think was "Aliens vs. Predator" on (I think) a Sega Saturn. It was really tense and scary, a really really well made game. Can't recall the exact title though.
posted by zardoz at 6:16 PM on February 12, 2013


sparkletone: "There is so much I love about this GIF from the game."

oh no, oh no no no.
posted by boo_radley at 6:16 PM on February 12, 2013 [25 favorites]


I strongly urge everyone to check out the Aliens mod for Killing Floor. It is fun!
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 6:24 PM on February 12, 2013


Zardoz: No, you are not making that up. I know for SURE it was on the Atari Jaguar because I wanted that system SO bad just for the game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEhFFU_vRZE

It had serial play between two Jaguars if you knew someone lucky/silly enough to own one too.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 6:26 PM on February 12, 2013


I always wanted an Alien RPG thing where you can choose to play as a human, xenomorph, predator or maybe something made up for the game (since I'm fantasizing, I imagine the developers hiring Giger as designer to dip back into the well of weirdness the universe was born from) and the game is radically different depending on what your character is.

At least two FPSes like that came out: the one in 1999 that everyone seems to love and a more recent, decent one that's mostly ignored.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:30 PM on February 12, 2013


This clip from the Rock Paper Shotgun review is something. Three or four xenos all in a line walking through each other towards the camera and mincing off with their I'm-holding-in-my-poo style of walking.

Still, some of the most fun I've had gaming was running around the sandbox-world of Destroy All Humans and attempting to break the ragdoll physics. You could attract something like 40 or 50 of the agents in their cars, and then just spend your time telekinetically lifting the cars and dropping them on top of dudes. Once you got enough guys on screen the gameplay would slow down like molasses as dudes went through their death animations half-inside/under cars, cars floating in midair on their roofs, dudes lying prone in midair like they were planking, etc. It was great. This, OTOH, looks depressing.
posted by Existential Dread at 6:31 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


And Disc 2 was only meh because the weight of its ambition broke its spine.

I concur. That said, it sure as hell pulled itself together for the endgame sequence.
posted by bfranklin at 6:32 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really like the idea of a sci-fi universe populated with all kinds of alien life but all of it is strange and predatory and non-compatible.

Arcturian Poontang.
posted by Artw at 6:34 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Total Biscuit talks A:MC and the sensibility of pre-ordering games.
posted by boo_radley at 6:54 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm a habitual Steam-saler, but an Aliens is actually the sort of thing I *would* buy at launch, assuming it didn't get plastered over the interwebs as the Worst Thing Ever. So that's my cash they're done themselves out of at least.

Though to be honest when the first previews were all about how awesome the QTEs would be that kind of warned me off.
posted by Artw at 7:04 PM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm a habitual Steam-saler, but an Aliens is actually the sort of thing I *would* buy at launch, assuming it didn't get plastered over the interwebs as the Worst Thing Ever. So that's my cash they're done themselves out of at least.

No joke, one of my thoughts when making this was 'I hope Artw sees it in time'.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:06 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


or the prequel, Alien: Sex Fiend

Don't you mean Alien vs Child Predator?

Another fantastic Aliens crib is Valve's free 4 person co-op Alien Swarm
posted by Sebmojo at 7:11 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I prefer the old school version.
posted by mecran01 at 7:12 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh no, oh no no no.

I fucking love the internet.
posted by sparkletone at 7:18 PM on February 12, 2013


oh no, oh no no no.

This is slowly turning into the most hilarious thread ever. Carry on!
posted by phaedon at 7:41 PM on February 12, 2013


Actually, does this thing have the QTEs they were threatening? Or did the work suddenly come to its senses and realize that those things are a plague upon humanity and not bother?
posted by Artw at 7:43 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Alien: The Poking Turtle
posted by phaedon at 7:47 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whoever did the animation on that alien needs a hug.
posted by the_artificer at 7:47 PM on February 12, 2013


I can't wait to hear the behind the scenes on this one. What a fustercluck.

The difference between Aliens and a zombie story is in the siege. Zombies you can make a safe zone from, xenomorphs you can't. That kind of makes the xenomorphs worse for thinking up plots, as there's just no way they won't overwhelm you quickly. It's the facehuggers, they can't be kept out.
posted by BeeDo at 7:56 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Zombie stories would be boring if the characters could successfully barricade themselves inside. You need to have a reason why the barricade fails (or it is betrayed!) or why the characters need to go outside. So the aliens' ability to break through most barricades isn't a deal-breaker: you just assume that they can't/don't break through the bits you want to be "safe": they're made of some special metal, they're covered in hive material, there's raw plasma inside and aliens are too smart to dig into it. I just thought of another good parallel: in some zombie stories people can be infected and live as humans for a while before turning into a zombie. You get the same thing with facehuggers, which allows for the always-effective attack from inside the house.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:05 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been playing Rage, the mostly forgotten Id shooter from last year, and I like their take on Aliens. The mutants are individually weak, mostly only use melee attacks, and are easy to kill. But there's always dozens of them swarming at you at once, and they move in odd ways - climbing up walls, appearing out of vents and empty closets, and otherwise breaking the 'rules' of the human enemies. So when you've taken out a few the rest suddenly appear behind you and kill you... and then they throw in one that fucks with you vision, so you're briefly blind. It's really fun, though obviously it more fits Aliens than Alien.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:08 PM on February 12, 2013


I want an Aliens game where I can play as Burke. Imagine The Walking Dead game, only you're trying to manipulate everyone into taking an Xenomorph back home to the guys in the Bio-Weapons division.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:11 PM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Our Ship Of The Imagination!: "Zardoz: No, you are not making that up. I know for SURE it was on the Atari Jaguar because I wanted that system SO bad just for the game.

That's it! Not the Sega, the Jaguar! Looking at the video, the graphics are certainly dated (after about 20 years that would necessarily be the case), but I wonder if the gameplay stands up. I remember once at my friends' place, a small party on the weekend, twenty people--most of them definitely not gamers--watching my friend play and screaming and shouting like it was the most suspenseful movie ever.

I imagine AvP was made only for the doomed Jaguar. Too bad, that.
posted by zardoz at 8:13 PM on February 12, 2013


Adding a Burke would be awesome! If it was a Left4Dead style Aliens game, there would be a chance that one of the players would be randomly assigned as the Burke, and would not only have to survive to win, but would also have to infect one of the other players without their knowledge! So you have to work together with the other players, but one of them is secretly trying to murder you. I'd play that game.
posted by BeeDo at 10:02 PM on February 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh god that GIF- the alien is WADDLING! ALIENS SHOULDN'T WADDLE!
posted by happyroach at 10:04 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Saturn had Alien Trilogy, which was really similar and pretty well made if my vague memory of playing it one time for about fifteen minutes is worth anything.
posted by byanyothername at 10:20 PM on February 12, 2013


I remember Alien Trilogy on Playstation(?) as being pretty good.
posted by Artw at 11:01 PM on February 12, 2013


Midway's Xenophobe is the greatest Aliens game ever.
posted by furtive at 11:03 PM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's interesting how the Aliens movie and all films derived from it have the same pattern of weaponry:

* Pistol - generally useless last ditch weapon, though can come on handy for taking out favehuggers
* Shotgun - for close encounters
* Flamer - go to weapon for favehuggers, less good on aliens as they'll keep coming at you but on fire.
* Pulse rifle - default weapon, grenade launcher to be used sparingly when there is the possibility of taking out a group of aliens.
* Smart gun - powerfull, self targeting, runs out of ammo in no time and lacks the grenade launcher.

Which is almost but not quite the default FPS lineup.
posted by Artw at 11:09 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


AvP 2000 4-EVAH.

Oh man, a the computer club at my first job we had huge deathmatches in that in our lunch breaks. Lots of fun playing as the predator and hiding in shadows and just letting your prey see that triangular targeting thingy just before you shot them. Or dropping from ceilings as an alien on top of some colonial marines and scaring the crap out of them.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:32 PM on February 12, 2013


Remember: long uncontrolled bursts fired in a state of hysterical panic.
posted by Artw at 11:36 PM on February 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


Surely it is all about Alien 3 on the SNES? Not first person, but suspenseful, difficult, and every so often you could walk through a door and have no choice but to run! Also, "Game over, man".

Finally, Favehugger!
posted by fizban at 12:23 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm massively disappointed that this has turned out to be a turkey. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. The franchise has continually let me down ever since the Jaguar version which is, along with Cannon Fodder on the Amiga and Bomberman on the Saturn, one of the titles I still dig out and play with mates at least once a year.

I suppose at least they're being consistent these days across both the film and gaming franchises, and just fucking everything up.

Also, for those debating the series timings/platforms etc:

Xenomorphology: A Gaming History of the Alien Franchise

(Disclaimer: I didn't write that, but I do occasionally contribute to ID2)
posted by garius at 2:04 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ha ha ha.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:26 AM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was so looking forward to this, having loved Borderlands. Gearbox, fast-track Borderlands 3 and all is forgiven. (I'm kidding. I could never be mad at you, Gearbox.)
posted by Legomancer at 5:36 AM on February 13, 2013


The idea that there's some 'objective truth' to reviews is bullshit.

The idea that a review could be simply the objective truth is indeed bullshit. But that doesn't meant they are entirely subjective either and that comment is right that a review is not just an opinion. The missing word here is evidence (which is what they are getting at with "account objective factors and put those in the correct perspective"). So EGM says "the core mechanics are largely spot-on" whereas RPS devastatingly provides evidence of all the ways in which the mechanics are fucked.
posted by ninebelow at 6:25 AM on February 13, 2013


This makes me sad. I am currently still enjoying the crap out of Borderlands 2 and hoped for better from Gearbox.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:06 AM on February 13, 2013


Artw: "Remember: long uncontrolled bursts fired in a state of hysterical panic."

On the Colonial Marines firing range: "That's it, just jerk the trigger and weep like a baby. You're doing fine. A little too much trigger discipline, but it's good."
posted by boo_radley at 8:31 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This makes me sad, since my 14-year-old son has been anticipating it for months.
posted by doctornemo at 9:11 AM on February 13, 2013


The Jaguar game is what planted this seed in my mind, and since I've never known anyone with a Jaguar and never played it, it's kind of grown into its own daydream. Maybe someday it will come to fruition and burst forth from my chest to devour my future roommates. Maybe someday.

Hicks: I like to keep this handy... for close encounters.
Frost: I heard *that.*
posted by ersatz at 9:27 AM on February 13, 2013


On the Colonial Marines firing range: "That's it, just jerk the trigger and weep like a baby. You're doing fine. A little too much trigger discipline, but it's good."

Have you seen those things? You do not want then on you - in AvP particularly there's something just ick about them that induces a state of panic. Doesn't help that you can blow bits off of them and they just keep coming only spouting acid.
posted by Artw at 9:32 AM on February 13, 2013


the weapons feel like they’re made of clingfilm,

I don't understand what this means.
posted by RobotHero at 10:28 AM on February 13, 2013


As someone who's put in $TOOMANY hours into BL1 and BL2, it's sad to see Gearbox stumble like this.

Especially when HOW TO MAKE A GOOD A:CM GAME is not rocket science, even apart from basics like AI that doesn't suck or graphics that aren't all glitchy. You don't start on LV-426 fighting xenomorphs. Oh, hell no. LV-426 (or whatever the xenomorph scenario is) is the capstone of the campaign.

What you do is assemble a whole singleplayer campaign of other stuff that Colonial Marines might do. For example, other (simpler) bug hunts. This is where you get the callbacks to Hadley's Hope -- by hunting some other kind of beastie in the same sort of generic Weyland-Yutani atmosphere processor. At least one should be portrayed as animals even though they're clearly low-tech sentients. Probably at least one mission that boils down to political assassination; infiltrate location and kill someone either the government or W-Y doesn't like, or just wiping out some sort of band of separatists/insurgents. Throughout, missions where there's evidence that Something Is Wrong on LV-426 or with W-Y or similar. Finally, at the end, you're ordered to go to LV-426 and recover information from the wreckage of Sulaco and the real fun starts.

And you set it up with your character as a corporal and squad/fireteam leader, so you both have to follow radioed orders from the Lt or Sgt and give orders to your three-or-so privates. First you get really good orders, then partway through the game your Lt gets unavoidably wasted and her replacement is a dumbass, so part of the levels after this is figuring out when to start ignoring the orders to save yourself and your team.

Game ends with you fighting your way back to a drop ship, getting back to your own assault ship to actually nuke the site from orbit as over-the-top fanservice. And then fighting your own ship's inevitable infestation, probably because your own W-Y weasel brought facehuggers or infected onboard when you were away. The last act is you scuttling your own ship while your embryo is getting ready to hatch. DLC is structured as flashbacks to your own career and NPCs' careers before joining your outfit; the equivalent to Apone-as-a-private or Drake-and-Vasquez-meet-on-Planet-X.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:18 AM on February 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'm kind of against Wasting any time on generic man shoot nonsense, TBH.
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on February 13, 2013


Don't harsh my buzz, man. I'm totally playing this game in my head because that's a lot better than redoing a whole bunch of simple analyses but this time without fucking up the pweights.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:09 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Artw: "I'm kind of against Wasting any time on generic man shoot nonsense, TBH."

What if there were hats?
posted by boo_radley at 1:12 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I keep retreading this review of Aliens, which talks about how it deconstructs the macho cliches of action movies. ROU Xenophobe's idea is great, but why not take it farther? Have the first few missions be a typical manshoot where you play the bastard lovechild of Master Chief and Marcus Fenix. Then the aliens attack, your macho stereotypes die cowardly but still heroic deaths, and you control the comic relief/civilian in what's basically survival horror.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:35 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


You could start the game with a series of tutorials on how to use high tech mega-weaponry and then just have it break down on you soectacularly in the field...
posted by Artw at 2:35 PM on February 13, 2013


I got a big pile of old Dark Horse Aliens comics on the weekend, and what I am going to do is tear out all the pages, nailgun them to the hallway wall at home, set my pubes on fire, and, by pausing every now and then for four to six minutes in order to "load", I will have created the Ultimate Gearbox Experience.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 2:37 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


No way man, those are the good shit!
posted by Artw at 2:47 PM on February 13, 2013


What I’ve read, one of the (many) glaring problems with this game is that for the first half you’re basically shooting at other humans for some reason. If you’re just going to be fighting with a bunch of humans and the alien pops in later like a sort of “hey, what was the name of this game again?” water-cooler afterthought, why not do everybody a fucking favour and try something different, like setting the game in the Alien 3 prison?
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 2:49 PM on February 13, 2013


There is so much I love about this GIF from the game.

That must be the part of the Alien Hive where they put all the aliens that came out a bit...special.

"I'm an excellent driver. Gotta go to K Mart. Yeah. Yeah. Definitely K Mart. Tapioca's on Thursdays."
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 2:55 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like we should be talking about Metroid, but it mixes up all the symbolism. Samus is Ripley, but she's better armed than most of the aliens she encounters.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:57 PM on February 13, 2013


No way man, those are the good shit!

You're right. I'll do everything except tear out the pages and nail them to the wall and just tell myself that the textures haven't popped in yet.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 2:57 PM on February 13, 2013


Actually, I kind of feel that a proper Aliens: Colonial Marines game shouldn't be about things like winning or surviving. It should be about killing off your characters as brutally as possible.

I'm hearing "Alien Souls," and I'd be down for this.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:02 PM on February 13, 2013


That must be the part of the Alien Hive where they put all the aliens that came out a bit...special.

They are aparently "blind aliens", which is weird because as some twitter wag pointed out ALIENS HAVE NO EYES.
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on February 13, 2013


I feel like we should be talking about Metroid, but it mixes up all the symbolism. Samus is Ripley, but she's better armed than most of the aliens she encounters.

Oh yeah. The main thing Metroid borrows from the Alien series is the sense of being alone* in an alien, hostile environment**. Samus is well-armed, but she doesn't start that way and she's usually set against a whole planet, so the stakes remain high. I so want to see Alien again now.

*Ripley prowling through Nostromo
**Aliens
posted by ersatz at 4:11 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you want to dismiss with all subtly and just play a guy who looks like a Predator killing hundreds of Aliens with high powered weaponry in 2D, pick up Abuse.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:35 PM on February 13, 2013


RPS isn't backing down from the possibility that Gearbox didn't really make this game. This rumor roundup focusses on Gearbox being too busy with Borderlands 2 and outsourcing the other game. (Reading between the lines, I think someone at Gearbox really wants to duck the blame here.)
posted by Nelson at 4:41 PM on February 13, 2013


They are aparently "blind aliens"

Oh god. Aliens are telepathic and they have radar like Daredevil. TRUE FACT. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS.

Though if we go along with what this terrible piece of shit game is insisting we believe, perhaps this level could have been a lot better if instead of avoiding the aliens, your objective is to move all the facehugger eggs around slightly so the autaliens trip over and look silly. Imagine the atmospheric James Horner score segueing into the Benny Hill theme!
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 4:46 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


RPS and Destructoid are very much of a piece w/r/t their 'house style'

it is not GWJ levels of unendurable but still they are coming from a specific place and i take their proclamations with salt
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:05 AM on February 16, 2013


Here's some footage of the Obsidian Aliens RPG that was never made.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:38 PM on February 18, 2013


From Dream To Disaster: The Story Of Aliens: Colonial Marines

I've just started playing Borderlands 2, and I wonder why they couldn't just reskin assets from that game. Maybe randomly generate guns until they resembled Aliens guns and recast some of the Borderlands rednecks as Space Marines.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


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