Hands On: Aliens Colonial Marines and interview with ACM Senior Producer Matt Powers

I was incredibly worried when another Aliens game was announced years ago, and even more so when I learned that the game was going to follow closely along with the original Aliens trilogy, which has set so many standards for horror and sci-fi film. However, after getting a chance to play Aliens Colonial Marines, I can say that all my worries have been put to rest. The game is just as creepy as the first movie, but also just as action-packed as the second movie. Hit the jump to find out how LV-426 has been doing since Ripley left.

The single player portion that was shown at PAX East 2012 depicted a single soldier arriving on LV-426 with the clean-up crew. The game takes place 14 weeks after the events of Aliens. Your job as a soldier is to find out what’s happening on the surface, and what exactly Wayland-Yutani have been up to with the terraformed planet.

What I find most interesting about Aliens Colonial Marines is that there is no Heads-Up-Display. Your gun’s readout tells you how much ammunition you have. You know when an enemy is nearby with the help of your motion scanner, of which you can observe only when not firing your weapon. These senses of helplessness are exactly what an Aliens-inspired game has needed for years.

The single-player demo only went as far as the first xenomorph attack, which left me thirsting for more. I’m most curious how the 4-player co-op is going to work, because there was only one other person helping you for a good bit of the demo. With different classes of soldiers, a small part of me is hoping that there is a separate co-op mode aside from the single player because I always found single-player games to have a creepier atmosphere than those shared with friends.

The multiplayer is composed of Aliens vs. Marines. When playing as a Xenomorph, the view is in third-person, which I applaud GearBox for deciding upon. While leaping from floor to ceiling and back again, your Xeno’s crosshair stays in the center while your actual Xeno nimbly and murderously leaps about the terrain. Being in third-person view, no nausea was felt while watching the developers destroy their enemies from all angles. From what I could see, the Xeno can actually see their teammates through walls, and has a sense for finding the Marines as well. The most exciting aspect of playing as the Xeno’s was the ability to pick different breeds when approaching the hive. There were three different breeds available with 2 soldier types, and a bull-type reminiscent of Alien 3, but about the size of a car, which was the last thing you want to see charging at you.

The Marine portion of multiplayer is in the first-person view like the campaign, and felt even more frightening with dimly lit corridors and nothing but your gun and motion scanner at your disposal. With the limited HUD, you are forced to watch every inch of your screen for the slightest movement caused from your shadowy nemesis. Upgradable guns are earned through experience and I did get a glimpse at an auto-targeting rifle that seemed to follow the movement of its target while firing. With the scary atmosphere and lack of constant radar, teamwork is a vital asset, which fits perfect into this game and the Aliens universe.

After playing the game, I had a chance to talk with Matt Powers, the Senior Producer on Aliens Colonial Marines, who was able to elaborate on the creepy atmosphere and different types of Xenomorph classes. Check it out below:

So it sounds like they have the right idea with the franchise. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the final product. What about you? Are you excited for this game? Let us know in the comments below!

Readers Comments (2)

  1. I really cannot wait for this. I enjoyed the PC AvP games, and was looking forward to the return of Colonial Marines vs aliens

  2. Yeah. It’s going to be amazing. It is definitely one of the games I am most excited for this year, if not the one I am most excited about.

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