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Aliens: Colonial Marines says hello, my honey


All singing, all dancing!
Feb 12
// Jim Sterling
So yeah, Aliens: Colonial Marines is pretty glitchy, but considering the lack of entertainment value in every other facet of the game, I guess we have to take our laughs where we can get them. This, for the record, is worth a solid chuckle.  At least this game's proving itself fertile ground for video clips and .gif silliness!
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Reviews Elsewhere: Aliens: Colonial Marines


What other critics thought of Gearbox's (or is it TimeGate's) Xenomorph romp
Feb 12
// Jim Sterling
The verdict is in for Aliens: Colonial Marines, and it's not pretty. Even having beaten the campaign over a week ago, I'm still in a hazy shock over just how bad it was, even by licensed game standards. Of course, I've made i...
Aliens: Colonial Marines photo
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines innovates with self-heal glass!


A window into the FUTURE!
Feb 12
// Jim Sterling
Aliens: Colonial Marines is a stinker, this much is true. However, it's not all bad. As the super-duper really-real canonical sequel to Aliens, Gearbox's outsourced labor of love is rewriting the script on a beloved movie fr...

Review: Aliens: Colonial Marines

Feb 12 // Jim Sterling
Aliens: Colonial Marines (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3,  Wii U, Xbox 360)Developer: Gearbox Software, TimeGate StudiosPublisher: SEGAReleased: February 12, 2013 (PC, PS3, 360), March 2013 (Wii U)MSRP: $59.99Rig: Intel i7-2600k @3.40 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI) Aliens: Colonial Marines famously considers itself the canonical sequel to Aliens, but the quality of its campaign reduces such a claim to little more than arrogant posturing, as this bumbling fan fiction dares compare itself to one of the most respected science fiction horror films of the 20th century. It barely deserves a comparison with Battlefield Earth. Clocking in at just under five hours, and containing very little in the way of actual story, Colonial Marines quickly establishes itself as nowhere near notable enough to be the "true sequel" it claims to be. While it indeed takes place aboard the Sulaco and LV-426, the actual plot devolves roughly into the same tired "Marines meet Xenomorphs, get slaughtered, fight Weyland-Yutani for a bit, then kill a Queen" storyline seen in almost every other Aliens game. Characters are barely distinguishable from each other, containing no trace of the strong personalities and personal terror one would expect from a true Aliens story. Instead, we get archetypal soldiers who say "Hoorah" every few minutes to remind you they're totally soldiers, and a main villain introduced in the final cutscene of the game. Dialog is embarrassingly puerile, and couldn't be more full of gung-ho machismo tripe if it tried. While the original Aliens dissected its posturing "manly man" stereotypes, and showcased how utterly frail a cowboy mentality can be when everything falls apart, Colonial Marines revels in its own testosterone, submerged gleefully in a pool of dank ultramasculinity. This is a game that unequivocally misses the point of Aliens, which wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't already had the gall to insist it was a true followup. Only Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem could claim to be a worse mishandling of the series' lore.  [embed]244276:46850[/embed] Perhaps the most disgraceful element of Colonial Marines' story is a plot twist ham-fistedly forced into a late chapter that, for fear of upsetting readers with spoilers, I cannot adequately detail. Suffice it to say, the story undoes canon established in the movies, and does so with such casual disregard, it comes off as an insult to the audience's intelligence. When one character points out a fatal plot hole in this awkward twist, the revealing party actually says, "That's another story," and it's never addressed again. This is how much Colonial Marines respects its own ideas.  The unremarkable plot, and even its desperate retcon, could be forgiven if the game was good enough to back it up, but unfortunately Colonial Marines is a tepid experience that starts off promising, contents itself with unimpressive arcade action, then abruptly spits the player out with a rushed ending and an absolutely laughable final boss.  At first, the campaign does an excellent job of building up atmosphere. Environments are authentic and look gorgeous on a PC, with excellent attention to lighting and a beautiful presentation of an infested Sulaco. The mounting tension toward the first Xenomorph meeting is palpable, and the initial encounter is impressive, pitting the player against a quick-moving "Lurker" genus that keeps hiding in its resin-coated nest and attempts multiple sneak attacks. This first fight is intimidating and contains everything one would expect from a frightening Xeno battle. It is also the first and last time Colonial Marines ever successfully attempts such a thing.  After this first fight, the game settles into a formulaic and utterly brainless shooter that tosses out Xenomorphs haphazardly and encourages nothing more involving than the most basic of run-and-gun tactics. Battles are pitifully easy, and the motion tracker is never really needed, since the thin corridors and wide open spaces negate the need to ever locate attackers. The aliens themselves are content to run directly into your bullets, with the occasional random, silly looking jump maneuver to give you the impression they're conscious of danger. In some levels, they'll even stand frozen in place, completely static character models just waiting to be shot.  Moments that could have been excellent fall completely flat on their face due to an understated presentation and total failure of execution. One stealth segment, in a sewer full of blind and explosive Xenomorphs (that walk like they're holding in a lot of feces), promises to be tense stuff, but the enemies are so stupid they're basically harmless, and the "stealth" consists simply of walking slowly through a dreary corridor. A power-loader battle is hinted at from the very beginning of the game, but once you finally get into the unwieldy thing, you simply mash buttons in the vague direction of your enemy over and over again until it's dead. Then there's the final battle against the Alien Queen, which consists of pressing a few buttons on a machine -- and that's literally all you do.  Though environments and models are impressive at first glance, everything falls apart once they start to move. Animations are jerky, messy, and incomplete, with Xenomorphs awkwardly disappearing in globs of half-rendered acid blood when killed or getting snagged on scenery before launching into glitchy spasms. Some transition animations seem totally missing as character models instantly switch out for more battle-damaged versions in plain view of the player. Allied NPCs are left similarly wanting, guided by an A.I. that regularly makes them walk into walls or wander around a room, slightly lost. Ally characters disappear and reappear in front of you from a cloud of blue light if you so much as move a few meters ahead of them, so unwilling is this game to animate anything if it doesn't have to. Xenomorphs and Marines often fail to recognize each other, with enemies running straight past squad mates in a bid to attack the active player, giving off the feel of a poorly scripted pantomime rather than a believable battle scene. Once Weyland Yutani mercenaries are introduced, the action slows to an agonizing crawl, attempting to be a cover-based shooter despite lacking a cover system. Ranged gunfights feel like the very worst of mediocre 90s first-person shooting games, and the terminally unintelligent opposition would be almost amusing if it didn't make for such excruciating dreariness.  An overwhelming sense of disconnect is felt when playing the campaign. A player's movement, a weapon's gunfire, and the Aliens never feel like they belong in the same game. You're shooting a Xenomorph, but there's no sense of impact, the game lacking the visual and audio capability of making it feel like you actually killed your enemy. Nothing bears any gravitas, there's no sense of weight. It's the same feeling I've had when playing an alpha build of a game in preview sessions, before the developer managed to add the official sound files and animations to tie everything together. Colonial Marines is a jumble of audio-visual elements that dance around each other, but never connect. Then there are the little details, or the complete lack thereof, betraying just how unpolished the overall product is. In the first chapter, a Marine dropship crashes into a hangar, in what's supposed to be a dramatic and exciting visual setpiece. It's hard to stay engaged, however, when the pilot is sitting motionless in her cockpit, arms fixed rigidly to her sides like a Playmobil figure. Another time, a fellow Marine checks her motion tracker, but the tracker's screen is completely blank and mute. These totally overlooked aspects are small on their own, but combine to regularly derail any attempt at crafting a convincing experience.  So far, everything I've said applies to the PC version. On consoles, the experience is startlingly worse, lacking even the beautiful environments as a meager saving grace. The Xbox 360 version of the game is riddled with hideous screen tearing, flat textures, and blocky artifacts covering surfaces. Swinging lights and broken pipes don't so much sway from the ceiling as they do shift from left to right in segmented blocks, unable to give us a fluid swinging animation correctly. The consoles pack all the problems seen on PC, with the added "enhancement" of grotesque graphics. If you think co-op will help boost the entertainment value -- hold that thought. Cooperative play is an afterthought at best, tossing up to three generic marines into the mix, with their own jerky animation and glitches. Team members move around in stuttered jumps, and there are issues with multiple users trying to open doors at the same time and being unable to shoot for a limited amount of time. Outside of a revival option, there are no team interactions, adding to the numbing arcade feel of the entire package. Co-op, indicative as it is of this game's problems, has been roughly shoveled into the core game with little regard for cohesion or common sense.   If I'm to praise anything, I will say that the game has a nice leveling system. As the player accrues XP and ranks up, new attachments can be purchased for weapons. Experience is earned by killing enemies and completing challenges -- specific goals to be accomplished at any point in-game, such as shooting a certain amount of Xenomorphs crawling on walls. What really makes this system click is the fact it carries over into multiplayer and co-op, making for a unified experience across all modes. It's just a shame this is the only "unified" aspect of the game.  The campaign is a mockery of the franchise, but multiplayer makes for a far better experience. Not a good one, but noticeably superior. Pitting one human team against an alliance of Xenomorphs, online competition threatens to be a tense, thoroughly entertaining experience. It falls short in many basic areas, but at least it approaches levels of acceptability far beyond the means of the solo adventure. There are a number of fairly standard game types, from simple deathmatches to capture-and-hold and elimination based modes, and they all work as you'd expect. The real twist, of course, lies in players taking turns to be the enemy.  When playing as a Marine, you get to keep your experience and loadouts acquired during the campaign, and may thus be armed with pulse rifles, shotguns, and a range of pistols. When spotting an enemy at range, the Marine will dominate Xenomorph players, so Aliens must make good use of vents, ceilings, and shadows to break apart and ultimately destroy the opposition. In the hands of players who know what they're doing, both sides are surprisingly well matched, helped in part by the three playable Xeno classes that compliment each other nicely. As well as regular Xenomorph warriors, players may choose ranged Spitters and stealthy Lurkers, each one boasting customization options and new attacks to be unlocked as they rank up. Marine and Xenomorph ranks are logged individually, so you'll need to acquire kills and complete objectives successfully as an Alien before getting access to advanced execution moves, genetic mutations, and silly cosmetic alterations. During the game, one Xenomorph player may also earn the right to play as a Crusher -- an oversized monster capable of ramming its victims and dealing horrific amounts of damage. Whether on your side or chasing you down, Crushers are a rather amusing addition.  The downside is that, while playing as a Marine can sometimes be an enjoyable experience, the Xenomorphs generally aren't much fun to use. They move slowly, even when mutated for faster movement, environments are nowhere near intricate enough to find many good hiding places, and attacks are fairly unimpressive and bland. Sure, getting a Spitter in a good location and launching acid at prey will net you a great killstreak, but it doesn't alter the fact you're just sat there, repetitively hurling slow-moving globs of goo until someone eventually finds and kills you. As painful as it is to say ... I really dislike getting to play an Alien. As with the campaign, sloppy animation comes into play -- the camera can't handle it when Aliens run on walls, even with the third-person perspective, and some animations, like the Spitter's jump or a number of execution attacks, don't seem to be finished and instead look clumsy. Having a Xeno transition from walls to ceilings is a clunky, unpredictable affair, and sometimes the creatures will just fall off whatever surface they've clung to. The general disconnect between player actions and the world around them is negated somewhat by a more dynamic opponent, but it's still there in abundance.  The multiplayer sometimes approaches something resembling entertainment, but overall it's simply not worth paying for. It's about half as decent as the online mode found in Aliens vs. Predator, which is far cheaper and way more polished. Plus, the Aliens feel a lot more deadly in Rebellion's effort, and a lot more like Aliens, rather than the sluggish, convulsive creatures Gearbox tries to bring to life.  Aliens: Colonial Marines is more than a disappointment. It's downright depressing. I can't say if it's the result of a lacking budget, rushed development, or sheer carelessness, but having the nerve to present this as a full retail game is inexcusable. It's simply not finished, and it certainly isn't worthy of being considered a legitimate followup to Aliens. As a story, it's inconclusive, riddled with cliches, and underwhelming. As a game, it's incoherent, insubstantial, and blatantly unconsummated. It took over five years for me to finally play this game, and less than five hours to feel nothing but a shocked emptiness at the thing I'd first downloaded with feverish anticipation. Multiplayer raises the game's stock, but not by much. Certainly not enough to be worth the time of any Aliens fan, when there are cheaper, more professionally produced alternatives on offer. This feels like an amateur's dalliance, not a high profile mainstream release that's been in production since 2006 and heralds itself as an important addition to science fiction history. It works, just about, and it comes across as a game developed to attain that one lowly goal -- to simply work, to achieve the bare minimum quality required to escape being labeled unplayable. The result is something that is, indeed, playable, but nonetheless heartbreaking in its awfulness. At first, Colonial Marines surprised this lifelong Aliens fan with its ignoble crudity. Then it angered me. Now ... I'm just very, very sad. I don't even feel like ending this with an obligatory movie reference.
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Get away from this bitch
Aliens: Colonial Marines has been one of my most anticipated games every year for over half a decade. My love of anything distinctly related to Xenomorphs, as well as my general high regard for the majority of Aliens games re...

Five space horror games better than Dead Space 3

Feb 05 // Allistair Pinsof
In Dead Space, the sound design stirs the nerves as alien rattling, clawing, and screaming echoes down a hall. And when the necromorph comes within sight, the sensation of fear peaks, causing the player to nervously misfire a couple rounds before hitting. But, what if necromorphs couldn't be seen? Enemy Zero is such a game, wherein aliens are invisible and can only be eliminated up close. The first-person view, extremely limited ammo, and hush-quiet ship of Enemy Zero make it a space horror game that is yet to be matched in its pure, visceral scares. It's a bit too simple for its own good, and once the tricks of the AI are learned, the illusion of the aliens goes out the window with it. Yet, Enemy Zero is the first game I'd recommend to those who think Dead Space isn't scary enough. Pick a genre, pick a perspective -- hell, even pick a platform -- and there is likely a worthy Aliens game for you. From the overlooked run-and-gun action of Alien Resurrection to the eerie Metroid-inspired Infestation, the Aliens series is among the few franchises to successfully make a transition from theaters to consoles, time and time again. Let Jim Sterling, Aliens connoisseur, be your personal spirit guide. No "When I was 12" qualifiers here: I still find the Metroid series unsettling in its atmosphere and haunting sound design. Without relying on the jump scares, gore and narrative padding that Dead Space frequently indulges in, each Metroid game achieves a similar tone of menace and isolation. From landing on planet Zebes to evading bounty hunters, Metroid never offers the player a safe haven from predators. It may not be as shocking as Dead Space, but it's definitely as effective. There are few horror series appropriate for kids that still manage to scare the pants off adults. Every year, people install and play System Shock 2, despite having to navigate the swamps of fan patches, setup troubleshooting, and cryptic .nfo documents that point the way to running the revered title on current systems. It's true that System Shock 2 led the way to Ken Levine's work on BioShock, but it's not true that BioShock carried the same elements of horror that made SS2 a remarkable game full of unforgettable scares. I wrote about one I had here, and could write about many more if I only had the patience to reinstall it on my current computer -- Oh, what the hell ... I sure am cheating here. Cryostasis doesn't take place in space; it takes place in the North Pole, 1981. But, what makes a space horror game a space horror game? The tech and presence of the planets and stars, I'd argue. But, it's the confines of a ship, adrift and left nowhere, and the complete isolation that makes enemy encounters so scary. Cryostasis even offers the bonus of surreal dream sequences, especially near the end, that will speak to the sci-fi nut. I could have listed Doom 3 or Dino Crisis 3 (it's not bad, really!) here, but I chose Cryostasis instead because it really nails the elements of space horror even if it doesn't take place in space. [Image by modusprodukt, courtesy of deviantART]
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In space, no one can hear you be mediocre
By now, you may have heard the inarguable, absolute truth -- as is the case with Destructoid's reviews that are handed down from the maker to our holy reviewers -- that Dead Space 3 is not as great as the first two games. Bei...

Colonial Marines photo
Colonial Marines

Meet your new Alien buddies in Colonial Marines


Also, the Marine Smart Gun is pretty cool!
Feb 01
// Jason Cabral
The Aliens franchise has always had its hits and misses, but Gearbox is looking to expand upon the series fiction with Aliens: Colonial Marines and bring out some new Aliens to for us to play with. Don't worry though, they h...
Aliens season pass photo
Aliens season pass

Aliens: Colonial Marines will have a $30 Season Pass


Four content packs planned at $10 each
Jan 30
// Chris Carter
Fresh off the new "kick ass" trailer, we now have more info on Aliens: Colonial Marines -- it will have four pieces of downloadable content at $10 a pop, and a Season Pass for $30. According to the listing, all of the add-ons...
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Boob Wars: Colonial Marines, HD Wind Waker & RIP THQ


The Destructoid Show gets weird on Fridays
Jan 25
// Max Scoville
Hey gang, here's the recording of today's live Destructoid Show! Nintendo Direct happened, so we talked about all of that, and SimCity has new curved roads in it, I hope you're ready for that. That new Aliens: Colonial ...
Aliens: Colonial Marines photo
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines trailer prepares to kick ass


That is why the video is called 'Kick Ass'
Jan 24
// Jim Sterling
A new trailer has arrived for Aliens: Colonial Marines, the game that's finally, definitely out in February and nobody can take that away from me. It's a video all about kicking ass, and how the Marines are the ones who shal...
Aliens photo
Aliens

Aliens: Colonial Marines is finally finished


Gearbox announces gold status for long-awaited title
Jan 16
// Conrad Zimmerman
It seems like we've been waiting an eternity for Aliens: Colonial Marines to see release, with the game having been expected as early as 2010. Today, a post on the Gearbox website confirms that the wait will only be a mo...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines gets a story trailer


Watch a thing on the Internet please
Dec 27
// Jim Sterling
Here's a hot new trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines, which is finally arriving on February 12 AND THERE'S NOT A DAMN THING ANYBODY CAN DO TO STOP IT. Except, delay it. I guess they could delay it.  Anyway, check out t...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines screens have aliens in them


SCREEEEEE!
Dec 12
// Jim Sterling
SEGA has sent over a smattering of new screenshots for Aliens: Colonial Marines, focusing mostly on the multiplayer aspect and the various Xenomorph classes available. Check out the Warriors, Drones, and Spitters. They do thi...
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No Borderlands 2 for Wii U, wouldn't be 'OMG' enough


Gearbox unable to come up with cool ideas for it
Nov 26
// Jim Sterling
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has said that Borderlands 2 wouldn't be coming to Wii U, due to an inability to exploit the GamePad in some sort of Earth-shattering way. In contrast, the studio has plenty of ideas for Aliens: Col...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines gets Survival Mode trailer


OH MY GOD IT'S LIKE COD ZOMBIES WHAT A RIPOFF!
Nov 21
// Jim Sterling
I have to admit, you can throw a wave-based survival mode into almost any game, and I'll be happy. I've always got time for that particular game type, and the inclusion of Xenomorphs just makes it all the more perfect. ...
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Aliens vs. Predator: Evolution coming to mobile whaaaaat?


I didn't hear this one scream
Nov 20
// Jim Sterling
An Aliens vs. Predator game was announced, and I did not know it. Granted, it's a mobile game, and those things manages to tumble out of the woodwork at a rate too swift to monitor, but even so, my failure brings me incalcula...
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Sup Holmes is horrorified with WayForward's Adam Tierney


Director of Aliens and Silent Hill answers questions live
Nov 18
// Jonathan Holmes
[Destructoid's Director of Communications Hamza Aziz asked Jonathan Holmes to make a show called 'Sup, Holmes?' so that Destructoid could later sell a t-shirt that says 'Sup, Holmes?' on it. This is that show. Subscribe...
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Good idea: Aliens versus Predator in CryEngine 3


Remake of the Marine campaign
Nov 09
// Jordan Devore
Those of you with fond memories of Rebellion's Aliens versus Predator will want to give this video a look. It's a walkthrough of "Aliens vs. Marine," a remake of the beloved game's Marine campaign in CryEngine 3 that's being...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines gets TWO WHOLE SCREENSHOTS


Don't spend them all at once
Oct 17
// Jim Sterling
SEGA has seen fit to grace the Internet with two new screenshots for Aliens: Colonial Marines. One of them features some people, one of them features the Queen. You can look at them with your eyes and then think about them in...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines chestbursting action on Wii U


Sep 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
As I'm sure you're aware, Aliens: Colonial Marines will be coming to Wii U. Randy Pitchford and the gang at Gearbox have previously expressed excitement over the possibilities for the console, but we're not shown anythi...
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Yep, female marines are in Aliens: Colonial Marines


All we need now's a deck of cards ...
Sep 03
// Jim Sterling
At PAX this weekend, Gearbox revealed that female playable marines are now officially part of the multiplayer experience, answering calls for inclusion around the Internet. Randy Pitchford addressed the matter not long after ...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines 'Escape' mode IS Left 4 Dead


New four-against-four multiplayer revealed
Aug 30
// Jim Sterling
Gearbox Software has unveiled a new four-versus-four multiplayer mode in Colonial Marines, Escape. In Escape, the Marines are charged with fighting their way to a safe zone, while four distinct breeds of Xenomorphs have to s...
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New Aliens: Colonial Marines video filled with tension


Aug 14
// Conrad Zimmerman
Sega just dropped the third developer diary for Aliens: Colonial Marines, featuring members of the team at Gearbox Software. Purporting to be about the tension and fear found in the storied franchise, by the second half of t...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines video pits Xenos against Marines


Aug 07
// Jim Sterling
Time for another Aliens: Colonial Marines developer diary. Just look at the way Randy Pitchford puts those glasses on his face in slow motion with repeating video frames. Ooh, he is like the Prince Regent of Badasses or something! This time around, Gearbox talks about the differences in playing Xenomorphs and Marines in multiplayer while trying to look really cool. Oh, those cool dudes. 
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The DTOID Show: Aliens, Zynga, Ada Wong in RE6, & PAX


Aug 01
// Max Scoville
Today's episode of The Destructoid Show is brought to you by a flock of magical falcons who carried it here in a net woven out of gossamer spider-silk. Okay, not really. I just wanted to write something interesting. Sega rel...
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Aliens: Colonial Marines dev diary promises authenticity


Aug 01
// Jim Sterling
Developer diaries really make me cringe. They're really just a studio masturbating on camera for a few minutes. It's especially bad with this Aliens: Colonial Marines one, because really the underlying message is, "We met Ridley Scott and you didn't, f*ck you!"  Still, there's some cool Aliens stuff in there for fans. Watch it if you want.
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Jimquisition: Let's end the FPS sausage-fest


Jul 23
// Jim Sterling
According to some of the biggest first-person shooters on the market, women don't exist. Men give birth to men who become manly men and shoot stuff with man-guns. However, not only is that unrealistic, it's exclusionary, sil...
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Sega bringing back Sonic Boom for San Diego Comic-Con


Jul 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
E3 2011 was one of more memorable E3 for many of us at Destructoid thanks solely to Sega's Sonic Boom event. Seriously, just watch the above video to see the pure insanity of the entire night's events. Sonic Boom is taking p...

Aliens: Colonial Marines and upping the female ante

Jul 05 // Jim Sterling
While an all-male cast is not out of the ordinary for many FPS multiplayer games, it is entirely out of character for a game setting itself up as a canonical Aliens sequel. Female characters are an integral part of the franchise, with Aliens, Alien 3, and even Alien Resurrection all thematically linked with motherhood. From Ellen Ripley's lost daughter and relationship with Newt, to her unwanted "child" in Alien 3 and the "pregnant" Alien Queen from Resurrection, women and the unique sense of loss they can experience is a massive overarching theme of the series.  As far as Alien goes, it is the first movie to successfully pass the notoriously difficult Bechdel Test, a test designed to measure the female presence in a given story. It is one of the few science fiction films to do so since the test was conceived, which is impressive for a film both released in 1979 and regarded as such a huge part of what folks now call "nerd culture" -- a culture not exactly known for its even-handed portrayals of women in fiction.  The test seems simple -- having a story that includes at least two women who have a conversation about something other than men -- but you'd be surprised how hard it apparently is to meet that criteria. The point of the text, of course, is not to determine if a movie is good or bad (it's said even very misogynistic films can pass the test) but Alien, already known for having feminist undertones in its story, is held as a fine example of a movie that passes the test in an admirable fashion.  The movies and associated media have, of course, always had very diverse casts, stuck with strong female protagonists, and generally been great examples of sci-fi pop culture that eschew the macho manly-man stereotype -- Aliens, in fact, outright demolishes the stereotype by humiliating the space marines and reducing its most testosterone-fueled soldier archetype -- Hudson -- to a panicking and melodramatic child, dismissed and outmatched by both a small girl and a woman with no military training whatsoever. It's ironic that so many games inspired by Aliens focus almost entirely on hulking men being perfectly masculine, when Aliens set about undermining that ideal the second a Xenomorph dragged its first Marine into the rafters.  This doesn't even mention the badass female characters with military training. The colonial marines aren't shy about admitting women, and the likes of Vasquez, Ferro, and Dietrich are all shown as soldiers just as capable as their male counterparts -- indeed, Vas is one of the most badass characters in the entire franchise, and the fact she is not one of the four Aliens characters available as a pre-order bonus serves as a glaring omission.  Is this a dealbreaker? Is it some controversial sign of rampant prejudice? No. In fact, I'm sure there are asset or budget issues that come into play long before we reach any insidious reasoning for the omission of female characters. However, as a delirious Aliens fanboy who revels in the thematic impact of the movies, I would certainly hope Gearbox gives some strong consideration to upping the feminine presence in the multiplayer. For a game that aims to stay true to what made the franchise so wonderful in the first place, it would be creatively beneficial to Colonial Marines to do so.  There's no real story to the multiplayer mode and it is, ultimately, just a single mode in the game. However, it'd definitely be nice to have more playable female Marines because that is, after all, a huge part of the Alien legacy. If Gearbox is sincere about Colonial Marines being an homage to the movies it's been inspired by since it first made games, the studio would do well to do it full justice. 
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According to Gearbox Software, Aliens: Colonial Marines will not feature any playable female characters in the multiplayer, sticking instead to an all-male roster. So sayeth senior producer Brian Burleson in a live chat a sho...

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In this interview shot during the Electronic Entertainment Expo last week, Max Scoville chats up the producer of Aliens: Colonial Marines, Brian Burleson. Brian seems to be struggling a bit to not spill details about a game ...

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So here is my 3rd attempt at trying to see all of the stuff I missed at E3 right before the show closes (here are the 1st and 2nd years' videos if you want). For whatever reason, we got A LOT of requests to shoot another one...







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