The lights are on
If there is one life lesson I have learned in recent years, it is "buyer beware when Randy Pitchford says he is excited about an upcoming title that Gearbox is producing". But in this case, Gearbox outsourced to TimeGate, and the result is not quite as stellar as I'd hoped for. (Thanks for focusing solely on Borderlands series, Gearbox. Way to spread the love. /sarcasm) That said, for all the bad reviews this game is getting, I'm not finding it too bad. The graphics, whilst certainly scaled down from the demo videos we'd seen in the past, are not too bad..
Sounds are excellent so far. I've always liked the high pitched bleat of the pulse rifle and smart gun, and the Motion Tracker is spot on. The music, while original, certainly calls up memories of music from both Aliens and Alien Resurrection.
Gameplay thus far is not too bad.
I find the Motion Tracker well suited for its intended purpose. Good for getting a general idea where the bad critters are (which I think was the intent of the MT's even in the film), so it does sort of live up to its film origin. When it starts whistling away, put it away and prep for action. I think some reviewers from other mags or sites have it a little wrong if they think that the motion tracker is supposed to precisely pinpoint a location on a xeno or friendly. The MT just gives you an idea, just like in the films. (Remember the tension in operations when the xenos were closing on Ripley and company? The readings said the xenos were right inside the room, and they were, but the MT's could not tell the Marines that the xenos were right above them in the ceiling.) I think back on moments like that to help me with the immersion factor in the Aliens universe for this game.
In some ways, this game plays a lot like the Marine campaign in Rebellion Software's ALIENS VS PREDATOR. One of my favorite strategies in AvP was to hit a xeno with a melee attack, and then blast it with my pulse rifle. The sound of the pulse rifle firing in both games is exhilarating, and sort of helps immerse me in the Aliens universe.
My biggest hope was that if I could enjoy this as much as I enjoyed AvP, I'd feel like I got my money's worth.....so far, in that regard, I haven't been too disappointed.
Take this review with a grain of salt, I've only played a little ways into the game. I got the Collector's Edition, so I am enjoying using Ripley's Combo Pulse Rifle/Flamethrower, and am trying to get used to the Phased Plasma Rifle (which, if I am not mistaken, is taken from Alien Resurrection...although I was hoping for it to be more of a salute to one of James Cameron's other great works, Terminator 2.)
This game doesn't quite stack up to other FPS standards today, but it sure as hell plays much better than Duke Nukem Forever.