Quantcast
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



Aliens: Colonial Marines  



Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online


8:00 AM on 04.04.2012
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo



Aliens: Colonial Marines is quite an ambitious project for Gearbox, especially from a narrative perspective. It is, after all, a canonical sequel to Aliens, considered by many to be among the greatest science fiction movies ever created. Much has been made of the game's story campaign, to the point where you'd be forgiven for not realizing there's a competitive multiplayer element. 

Not only that, but competitive multiplayer pits teams of marines against teams of Xenomorphs. 

Yes, I felt damp in my panties.

Aliens: Colonial Marines(PC, Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, Wii U)
Developer: Gearbox Software

Publisher: SEGA
Release: Fall 2012

Aliens: Colonial Marines' multiplayer will feature many modes, ranging from simple deathmatches to a host of objective-led contests. Freely admitting inspiration from Left 4 Dead, Gearbox has worked hard to create two very distinct forces to battle out across these modes. Unfortunately, we were only allowed to play as the marines, but that didn't do much to stop me from having a good time. 

From the Marine perspective, you have a very traditional first-person shooter experience. Pulse rifles and shotguns provide the kind of gameplay you've likely played often. It's solid, it does the job, but it's not exactly breaking any new ground. There's an experience system with unlockable equipment, as one expects from modern multiplayer games, and Gearbox has confirmed that actions in both the narrative campaign and the online modes will influence each other. Equipment unlocked during solo play will also be used in multiplayer, and vice versa. 

In many ways, it would not be unfair to liken Colonial Marines to Call of Duty, with its range of player challenges, upgrade system, and conventional shooting action. Of course, there's one major difference that sets it worlds apart -- the other players don't have guns. They have little mouths in their big mouths that bite your mouth off of your face.  

Played from a third-person perspective, the Xenomorphs are -- literally and figuratively -- worlds apart from the Marines. As human players use ranged fire to keep the bugs at bay, the Xenos must exploit the environment and work together to close in on their prey. There's a very nice balance at play; at range, the Xenomorphs are defenseless, but if they get close enough, a Marine will need pure luck to survive. Xenomorphs can leap huge distances, and cling to any surface at the press of a button (their movement was likened to "Assassin's Creed"), allowing them to sneak up on unsuspecting opponents and take them out in a range of wonderfully vicious ways. 

As a Marine, this changes the game from a humdrum shooter to something infinitely more frantic and panic-inducing. With the opposition skittering along ceilings, jumping entire stories, and crawling out through vents, you'll constantly have to stick with your team and keep running. Unlike 2010's Aliens vs. Predator, the Marines aren't ridiculously powerful. An isolated player is a dead player. Only by fighting smart and keeping on the move will a human team succeed. That, and making use of the motion tracker. There's no HUD in Colonial Marines, and you'll need to tap a shoulder button to bring up the tracker and get a rough idea where the bugs are coming from. 

There are multiple Xenomorph species for players to use, most of which can be selected on a whim with each respawn. The Crusher, however, is a supremely powerful creature that can be controlled with a pickup found in the environment. This brand of Xeno is an oversized, bull-like alien with a large head designed for doing exactly what its name implies. Those playing as Marines are alerted to the Crusher's presence by a sinister roar that echoes throughout the map. Once you hear it, you know things are going to get very bad. 

The Crusher is very reminiscent of the Tank in Left 4 Dead, including its foreboding aural cue. Incredibly powerful, tough to take down, and able to bowl through a team in a single charge, the Crusher provides a highly intense combat experience. At one point, I was stuck in a corridor with one rushing toward me. I was able to sidestep at the last minute, and turned to find it had already altered its course and knocked me to the ground. Their speed and their strength make them very scary prospects, and it's a huge relief to finally take it out. 

Although it's too early to get a full idea of what Colonial Marines can do, the game already looks beautiful and feels impressively solid. Marines are heavy and their weapons are meaty. There's a lot of fun to be had in mowing down five Xenomorphs in a row, only to get your head cut off by the one you didn't see. My one worry at the moment is that there won't quite be enough creatures on the Xeno side to keep the feeling of panic high for the human team, but we've only seen the most bog-standard of multiplayer modes so far. Hopefully there are some other gametypes that really exploit the "Left 4 Dead with Xenomorphs" vibe that Gearbox is going for. It's the type of game I've wanted for years, after all. 

With a commitment to authenticity, utterly beautiful representations of the Xenomorphs' fluid movements, and some panic-inducing thrills, I very much like where Aliens: Colonial Marines' multiplayer is going, and if Gearbox builds upon what is here, I see this easily becoming my online game of choice for 2012. 

You can count this Aliens obsessive very excited. 

Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo
Preview: Hunting bugs in Aliens: Colonial Marines online photo







Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Aliens: Colonial Marines



3:30 PM on 07.31.2013
Now Bloody Playing: Aliens: Stasis Interrupted Part 4

In the thrilling conclusion to a rubbish playthrough of a boring campaign, the noble Jim Sterling fights his way through Stasis Interrupted, fighting more Weyland Yutani mercs, having a close encounter with an alien Queen, and giving up on the last bit because it's dumb. It was going on far too long anyway.more



9:30 AM on 07.29.2013
Now Bloody Playing: Aliens: Stasis Interrupted Part 3

Lisbeth is dead, and we continue our boring journey through space with ... some other person! Witness the terror of aliens that stand around waiting to die. Be amazed by Hicks' magic pants! Feel shock at the comprehension of Weyland-Yutani's Danger Ammo!more



10:15 AM on 07.26.2013
Now Bloody Playing: Aliens: Stasis Interrupted Part 2

Hell yeah, I finally gets a gun! After the crawling and dawdling of the first part of Stasis Interrupted, the next slice of Aliens: Colonial Marines action actually gets some action! Thanks for all the watching and feedback on part one! People are really digging this, which is great. Expect more!more



9:00 AM on 07.25.2013
Now Bloody Playing: Aliens: Stasis Interrupted

I woke up slightly before 5am this morning and thought to myself, "You know what the world needs? Another man with an annoying voice talking to himself while playing videogames on the Internet." So it is that I sold out and ...more



6:00 AM on 07.24.2013
Aliens: Colonial Marines 'Stasis Interrupted' out now

One of the dumbest elements of Aliens: Colonial Marines was the sudden appearance of Corporal Hicks, a move that undid the canon of the movies for no real reason other than the desperate need for a recognizable character. Hic...more



8:00 AM on 07.08.2013
Aliens: Colonial Marines campaign DLC uncovered

Aliens: Colonial Marines is getting downloadable campaign content in the near future, with leaked PS3 trophies revealing all. Stasis Interrupted is the name of the DLC, and it'll be part of the Season Pass some people actuall...more



12:15 PM on 07.01.2013
Pitchford encourages Aliens: Colonial Marines PR tactics

Randy Pitchford is far from ashamed that Aliens: Colonial Marines looked nowhere near as good in real life as it did in highly scripted showcase demos, going so far as to encourage the industry to do it more. According to the...more



8:00 AM on 05.03.2013
Aliens: Gearbox defends its right to mislead customers

Both Gearbox and SEGA have responded to a class action suit that alleges customers were lied to during the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines. Both companies are happy to defend themselves and seem unswayed by the threat...more



8:00 AM on 05.01.2013
Aliens: Colonial Marines gets class action suit for lies

SEGA and Gearbox have been slapped with a class action suit for Aliens: Colonial Marines, accused of lying about the game to get it sold. It was only a matter of time.  Edelson LLC has taken the case, which alleges that ...more



12:45 PM on 04.05.2013
Aliens: Colonial Marines Wii U canceled

Those of you left caring may have noticed Aliens: Colonial Marines missed its Wii U release launch window. There's a very good reason for that -- SEGA finally decided to shoot the lame dog in the head, and has quietly cancele...more




First-person shooter

4:18 PM on 04.12.2014
Titanfall's first DLC is Expedition, comes out in May

During Respawn's PAX East panel on the development of Titanfall the team announced its first new DLC, Expedition, which takes place after the story (it had one) of Titanfall. Shown off in the above screen is Swampland, where ...more



1:40 PM on 04.12.2014
Evolve has changed to allow for more customization

The very core of Turtle Rock's Evolve revolves around the four versus one premise, and even though it's only been two months since we last saw it, the "one" side of things has since undergone some changes. The developers...more



2:00 PM on 04.11.2014
EA working to move BF2, Bad Company 2, and 2142 away from GameSpy

GameSpy Technology is shutting down on May 31, 2014 and that's real bad news for the many games that rely on the service for online functionality such as multiplayer matchmaking and leaderboards. It's largely unclear what wil...more



View all First-person shooter






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more