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RPS Got Their Hands On A:CM

December 19, 2012

Rock, Paper, Shotgun‘s Adam Smith got some time in with Aliens: Colonial Marines and just recently posted his detailed impressions.  It is an interesting read with no really discouraging surprises.

Multiplayer should be fine, with more modes yet to be shown and a happy mix of AvP and Left 4 Dead working well already. The campaign is more problematic. The voicework and characterisation is actually impressive but the aliens themselves, which should be far more important than the marines, could be replaced by grizzly bears with suction pads on their paws. I haven’t seen enough yet to know if the locations have been captured all that well, although I felt as if I was being told I was on the set of Aliens rather than being convinced of it. I was never fully convinced by the xenomorphs though and surely they’re a bigger draw than the Sulaco? 

Perhaps not. Colonial Marines may be fighting on too many fronts. Shooting down a stream of aliens I was struck by the fact that I’d done it a hundred times before and most of the time the games I was exercising my trigger finger in hadn’t had any license, let alone sanction to make a canonical entry in the franchise. The distinctive biological horror that the xenomorphs engendered is sapped when they become just another enemy and, as they flail between the reticules, their meaning and power swiftly dissipates. At the moment, I feel like this is a game about the marines. They have neat guns and sound anxious but hard as nails at the same time. I quite like them. Maybe it should be called ‘Colonial Marines (also aliens)’.

The reminder that this is a “canonical entry in the franchise” is exciting.  I look forward to seeing how Gearbox ties the movies together by offering explanations for seeming inconsistencies.  As for the gameplay, we have known for a while that this game would be more Cameron and less Ridley.  Not having played it (nor attempted to create it) I can say that I do wish the game was more survival and horror, and less action. However, the focus on action will most certainly serve the MP modes better, and those are the ones I will undoubtedly spend the most time playing.  Overall, my expectations for this are quite low.  This makes it easier to be pleasantly surprised, and impossible to be heart-breakingly disappointed.

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4 Comments
  1. Blankman permalink*
    December 19, 2012 10:48 am

    Here’s the main issue that people previewing the game can’t get past: some want the horror & suspense of Scott’s Alien while some want the intensity & sense of being overwhelmed of Cameron’s Aliens. The Alien franchise has been around for close to three decades now & that makes fans & people remotely familiar with it to formulate what they expect Alien/Aliens canon should be. In addition, balancing canon into an actual game is a challenge. In the end, it’s still a video game. If it’s not fun or engaging, gamers won’t play it. Look, Gearbox hasn’t let gamers down & I’m sure they’re not going to start now, not since they’re diehard Aliens fans themselves.
    I’ve read impressions where those previewing A:CM weren’t entirely impressed with the MP, but impressed with the campaign; and vice-versa. Go figure. All I know is that it’s my most anticipated game for 2013. As Pvt. Vasquez shouted, “Let’s rock!!!”

    • December 19, 2012 3:39 pm

      Allright, sweethearts, you heard the man and you know the drill! Assholes and elbows!

  2. December 19, 2012 4:06 pm

    Came across some cool Aliens related content.

    Great editing!

    And then check out this article as to why Alien3 is awesome.

    • December 19, 2012 5:42 pm

      Very well-edited.

      I’m still on the fence about this one. I’ll probably buy it at launch and regret it. All I can say is that even if this fails, Natural Selection 2 is Aliens: The Game. I hope for that reason alone Steambox comes to fruition. Because you guys need to experience it.

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