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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




Sega outs Gearbox for lying in Aliens: Colonial Marines case photo


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Aliens: Colonial Marines Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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timeline following:
Aliens: Colonial Marines



2:45 PM on 09.04.2014
Sega outs Gearbox for lying in Aliens: Colonial Marines case

Sega has released a statement placing the majority of the blame for the misrepresentation of Aliens: Colonial Marines to customers firmly on Gearbox, especially Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford. Sega has alleged that Gearbox did i...more



1:00 PM on 08.13.2014
Sega agrees to settle in Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit

Sega of America has tentatively agreed to pay out $1.25 million to settle a class-action suit brought against it and Gearbox Software that claimed the two companies falsely advertised Aliens: Colonial Marines by using fake ga...more



11:30 AM on 08.01.2014
Gearbox thinks it should be dropped from the Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit

Last year a class action lawsuit was filed against Sega and Gearbox accusing the companies that the press demo shown at E3 of Aliens: Colonial Marines was not indicative of the final product and was misleading. Gearbox has re...more



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

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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

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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




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