“I’ve been stealing from Aliens my whole career” has been Gearbox’s President Randy Pitchfords favoured phrase since the Aliens: Colonial Marines was announced back in February 2008. Development of the project has obviously been slow, maybe even a little on/off but who really knows. All the fan’s care about is that the Aliens franchise is back and this time it means business.
You play as the Colonial Marines specifically Corporal Christopher Winter, who is part of the rescue party sent in seventeen weeks after the distress beacon was sent by Corporal Dwayne Hicks on the planet LV-426. So in essence this is a true sequel to the 1986 classic Aliens. This is by far the coolest thing to happen to the Aliens franchise in a long time, a video game that is canonical to the Aliens story. Major props to Sega and Gearbox for making this happen! If you haven’t seen any of the Aliens films before after reading this preview right this wrong and make your world a better place.
The story continues with how the U.S.S Sulaco has been found abandoned in orbit of LV-426. As the recovery squad you are sent into investigate what happened to the crew of the U.S.S Sulaco on the planet below. Somehow you end up on LV-426, The Derelict, and more specifically inside a trashed Hadley’s Hope after the thermonuclear explosion occurred at the end of Aliens (the film). The detonation subsequently changed the planet and its inhabitants, obviously being the Xenomorphs that survived the nuclear explosion and fallout. What we do know is that you will be challenged by more than just your standard Xeno in Colonial Marines. It’s a fair assumption to make that this has something to do with nuclear explosion that occured at the end of the film. We expect to see a lot of easter eggs along the way, with Michael Beine even reprising his role as Hicks at the start of the game.
If your wary of what to expect, Gearbox have added drop in/drop out coop to the campaign. This is implemented the same way it was in Borderlands 2, allowing you drop in/out of the game seamlessly without having to wait for a checkpoint. We also know that there is a ranking system in the game which at launch is capped at level 60. It appears that Gearbox have looked at the success of Borderlands 2 and have taken some of the best and unique features out of that game and added them to Colonial Marines. It is worth noting not all enemies will be Aliens as players will find themselves also fighting human enemies in the form of Weyland-Yutani commandos and mercenaries.
The game also comes packing multi-player with Team Death Match, Survivor and Escape confirmed. The later being an objective based 4 vs 4 game mode where the Xeno players are hunting the Marines who are desperately trying to escape the clutches of their enemies. It looks an entertaining game type and is sure to add lots of replay-ability. Survivor is another 4 vs 4 mode very similar to Escape where as the Marines are trying to escape the Xeno’s but if you die as the Marines you do not respawn.
Multiplayer skins based on four colonial marine characters from the movie Aliens will be included in pre-order editions of the game according to Sega’s official page. These include Corporal Dwayne Hicks, smartgun specialist Mark Drake, Sergeant Al Apone and private William Hudson. Steam, however have listed the S.H.A.R.P (sonic-harpoon artillery remote projectile) referenced by Hudson as their pre-order bonus. The rifle fires time-delayed, explosive-tipped darts that embed themselves into enemies or terrain. It is also worth referencing that a Season Pass has also appeared on Steam for the game, so we can expect DLC in the future.
Aliens: Colonial Marines launches February 12th on PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The Wii U version of the game is still in development and a date is yet to be confirmed.