Aliens: Colonial Marines is a sci-fi horror-themed first-person shooter. It is developed by Gearbox Software and published by Sega. With the help of 20th Century Fox, Gearbox Software are hoping this will be the true spiritual successor to Aliens that the fans have been asking for.
The game will feature a lengthy single-player, two-player split screen co-operative or online four-player co-operative original story by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle of Battlestar Galactica fame. You'll play as the humans in the story mode but can play as the xenomorph species in the online competitive multiplayer modes.
After the disappearance of the Sulaco and it is crew, a search and rescue team is sent out to Acheron (LV-426) to investigate and learn the whereabouts of Ellen Ripley, Carter Burke and the rest of the crew. What they find is the same deadly creature the original crew found in Aliens.
The story will be told through the eyes of Corporal Christopher Winter and a four-man search and rescue team exploring and uncovering the natural satellite LV-426. We'll be visiting some famous locations like the wreckage from the Sulaco, the derelict spaceship containing the Space Jockey and Fiorina 'Fury' 161, a foundry facility and penal colony.
Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software was given pretty free reins with the story and even got to add in his own tidbits to the Alien universe such as the crusher, named after the way it kills its opponents and an unnamed alien that's smarter than the average drone that will retreat behind cover if it knows it will be defeated. Gearbox Software are hailing Aliens: Colonial Marines as the true spiritual sequel to James Cameron's sci-fi film Aliens and has said it should tie up some plot-holes and loose ends in Alien 3, improving the overall integrity of the lore.
The game offers single-player, two player split screen co-op, and online four player co-op. The online co-op will feature seamless jump-in/jump-out play for up to four players.
Every marine will be equipped with a motion tracker for it will be essential in finding the xenomorph before they find you. To use the tracker you'll need to raise your gun, but knowing that a xenomorph is close is such a huge advantage it's a risk worth taking.
As the Corporal, you'll have to choose your own squad of four to accompany you on your investigation. You'll have to select four of twelve marines that will have different skills, personalities and firepower unique for each of them. All marines will also be able to carry additional weapons, including:
Xenomorphs have relatively low health, so the ratio of deaths for a xenomorph to a colonial marine should be about 3:1. It shouldn't be about kills and deaths though, as a xenomorph it should be about chipping away at the colonial marines health until the unit is destroyed. The xenomorph equivalent to the motion tracker is a pheromone sonar system that will be portrayed as a green haze. You'll play in third-person so you'll get a wider sense of the battlefield and be able to take down colonial marines from all angles. You'll also be able to crawl on walls, through vents and other locations to take down the enemy.
Multiplayer is a Humans Vs Aliens setup, taking place on various maps based in locations set throughout the campaign. Humans are controlled in FPS much like the campaign (identical, in fact) with Aliens controlling in a 3rd person perspective. The matches all take place over 2 rounds. One where you control the Marines, and one where you control the Aliens, with the winner being a total tally of the 2 rounds. The games modes featured are similar to those scene in other multiplayer FPS games, with one exception. They are;
- Team Deathmatch - Standard multiplayer affair. 2 teams, most kills wins.
- Extermination - A King of the hill style game mode, where marines capture points to destory egg sacs, and the aliens have to prevent them frrom doing so.
- Survival - A mix of arena and Left 4 dead style mode, where the marines have to survive the match. There are "survival opportunities" spread throughout the map, which can include closing blast doors, welding doors shut, setting up Automated sentries, closing lifts, etc. All of which are usually timer bars which leave you vunerable to attack.
- Escape - Most directly comparable to Left 4 dead, the Marines have to make their way through a map, completing certain objectives as they go. Unblocking a door, awaiting a lift, etc. The purpose of the aliens is to stop the marines at any cost.
During the Survival and Escape modes, the marines toughness is ramped up, and they can take a lot more hits before going down or being killed, as well as being incapacitated, rather than killed. In the down but not out state, they can still be attacked, have a pistol to defend themselves, and have a limited amount of time to be revived by other marines before death.
Class wise the marines have loadouts, but they are all just blank marines that you can customize the look and loadouts for. The Aliens however are more class based. The Soldier - a relatively direct Xenomorph transfer from Aliens the movie, is the tougher melee based alien. The Lurker, supposedly the Xenomorph from Alien has a pounce ability which is inescapable by the Marines (but can be melee stopped, (Like the hunter fron L4D) They can be shot off, but reactions need to be very quick to stop too much damage. The third readily available class is the Spitter, the Xenomorphs long range attacker, who spits acid at people. (yet has BRIGHT GREEN pods on his head, making him easily visible).
There are also 2 more "hidden" classes which can be found in maps. The Boiler - almost a direct take of the boomer, but does an instakill to any close marines. and the Crusher, essentially the Xenomorph Tank. Giant in size, with a bulletproof head, and an instakill charge ability.
Progression through multiplayer is done with an XP/Perks ability, which so far seems to make a big difference in classes, the better weapon unlocks, the better addons, and the much improved Xenomorph exoskeletons and "traits" such as the spitter exploding in acid.
Production of the game started in 2006. Sega and Gearbox announced the new game on December 15, 2006. On 21st November 2008, Kotaku reported that the title had been dropped after cutbacks at Gearbox and Sega feared the game would go too far over budget and there would be time constraints. However, soon after, Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Studios released a statement saying the game was still in production but a shipping date was still unconfirmed.
As of June 1st 2011 a release time was given. Gearbox gave a tweet saying the ship date was Spring of 2012
On January 26th, 2012 the game was delayed to general time of "Fall 2012". On May 21, 2012, the game was delayed again, this time until February 2013.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP/Vista
- CPU: 2.4 Ghz or equivalent processor
- RAM: 1 GB (2 GB for Vista)
- HDD: 8 GB free disk space
- Graphics: 256 MB Graphics Memory
- Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
- DirectX: Version 9.0c