Review: Aliens: Colonial Marines (PS3)

By Wayne Webb

Being a fan of the Aliens movie franchise, I really wanted to love this game. I really wanted to enjoy it even if it was just brain-dead shooting of Aliens in the vague style of the classic 1986 movie. However, it’s worse than even those low expectations allow.

By Wayne Webb

Being a fan of the Aliens movie franchise, I really wanted to love this game. I really wanted to enjoy it even if it was just brain-dead shooting of Aliens in the vague style of the classic 1986 movie. However, it’s worse than even those low expectations allow.

The good first. It is great to hear Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen’s voices in the new dialogue recordings. That lends authenticity, as does the guns, beeps and swooshes from the sound effects lifted from the James Cameron masterpiece. So you feel like you are a part of the Aliens universe, at least it sounds right.

Unfortunately the good bits stop there as so many things started going wrong it felt like this game was fundamentally only half done or broken. The graphics would not look out of place on the archaic PS One and occasionally flicker between bad and worse. The Aliens have little AI to make them dangerous, often just coming up to you and waving about before actually being a threat. Then with no warning they appear and you are dead in no time flat, fortunately they always spawn in the same spot and time. Then Weyland-Yutani operatives (mercenaries) turn up and shoot first at you, and you spend too much time killing humans instead of the obvious threat of acid-bleeding aliens. Large sections are progressing through corridors with no action before it starts up again. I understand the idea of building tension, but this build frustration in the game. What’s worse is when you miss a waypoint or a rogue alien out of place and you have to find it to progress the campaign, as the next step won’t always trigger in time.

When playing co-operatively, if you fall too far behind, the elasticity feature will bring you up to the right spot. However I fell behind once and it did not kick in. Then when only a few feet behind the players I can see right in front of me – it did and I reset. Add to this a far too long sequence that had easy aliens and then hard ones at the end (they looked the same to me) but no save points, had me repeating the same stretch way too many times.

Like I said, I love the subjects of this game and like being a playable part of the Aliens movie world, yet the annoyances are just too much for me to really let go and just blast Aliens. It is playable though and you can complete it, but I cannot figure out why you would want to unless like me you are a big fan and are hoping it gets better.

Pros: Great to play in the Aliens universe, good to hear the authentic cast, good sound effects.
Cons: Terrible graphics in places, nonsense AI from Aliens, too many human enemies, long periods of inaction, triggers don’t always work, frustrating elasticity in co-operative mode, difficulty swings and long save points.

1.5 Shacks Out of 5

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