Aliens: Colonial Marines
Gearbox, the creator of Borderlands, wants you to experience the terror of being a space marine facing off against a horde of xenomorphs. I got my hands on Aliens: Colonial Marines’ multiplayer this week at E3 2012, strapping on the blood-soaked and unlucky boots of a doomed soldier. Gearbox isn’t ready to let players play as the terrifying aliens, but I did get to play some 6 vs. 6 death match on a new map based on the colony from Aliens. My time playing multiplayer was harrowing in the best way, and I’ve jotted down some of my thoughts.
- Marines need to stick together, stragglers get picked off quickly.
- The pulse rifle is a reliable weapon. Firing from the hip is recommended for tagging the fast-moving xenomorphs.
- The new map, tentatively named Origin, is set on LV-426, the home of the derelict ship and the birthplace of the xenomorph outbreak.
- A single alien is no match for a firing squad of prepared marines.
- The derelict ship, home to the xeno eggs and Space Jockey from Alien, looms over the dark, atmospheric multiplayer map. Tattered tarps blow in the wind, casting ominous shadows on stacks of supply crates that toy with your mind.
- Xenomorphs are fast and mobile. When one scuttles over a tall structure or comes charging, it’s best to run back to your crew.
- Avoid alien corpses, their acidic blood will harm you.
- The semi-automatic shotgun can quickly dispatch an alien, as long as you’re quick with the trigger. Be careful, poorly timed reloads will leave you a mangled corpse.
- Using the pulse tracker (radar) to locate enemies and weapons is useful, but leaves you temporarily vulnerable – use it sparingly.
- Running, gunning, jumping, and general gameplay feels tight and reliable. No surprise from the development studio that brought us Borderlands.
- The aliens’ movements, sounds, and lethality perfectly match the legendary films. Being rushed by a pack of aliens is appropriately creepy.
I may have been murdered over and over by the xenomorphs' tearing claws, but I enjoyed every minute with the game. And while I didn’t get to play the campaign, it supports four-player co-op and a story that picks up after Alien 3. We can’t wait to see more of Aliens: Colonial Marines leading up to the game’s February 12 release for PS3, 360, and PC.