Aliens: Colonial Marines - (Sega) PC/PS3/Xbox 360
Cack-handed effort aims for homage over gameplay, plot or polish
Billed as a direct sequel to James Cameron’s seminal 1986 film Aliens, Gearbox’s much anticipated project finally bursts from the chest of development hell after a turbulent gestation period (originally scheduled for release in 2008). You’re one of a squad of marines sent to investigate what went wrong aboard the USS Sulaco, 17 weeks after events in the movie.
Much has been made of the game’s attention to detail, replicating locations from the original film. But this slavish adherence to the source material is scant compensation for the appalling last-generation environment and character work. 2010’s Aliens vs Predator was a crushing disappointment but at least it ran smoothly on a competent game engine. This bug-ridden effort is somehow worse on every level. The endless corridors are repetitive and bland, and – crucially – the aliens aren’t scary at all. Far from the ‘perfect organism’, they don’t even possess the wherewithal to navigate chairs.
The multiplayer is more fun but this is a seriously cack-handed effort with too much focus on homage and not enough effort on gameplay, plot or polish.