A day in the corp is like a day on a farm, tedious, long and exhausting.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is, for all intents and purposes, a virtual action experience. That’s about all it accomplishes. If only it functioned with some purpose, stability, direction or maybe a dose of fun. The AI enemies are unintelligent, and the level design exhibited very little creativity that did almost no justice to the Aliens franchise. While each mechanic and system on their own aren’t inherently broken or terrible, once it’s all together and mixed with the equally uninteresting story, what you get is a game that functions but lacks in almost every aspect.
We start this Aliens journey off with Christopher Winter and his merry gang of ultimate bad-asses going onto the Sulaco, finding some Aliens, then going on a tour of Aliens locations, fighting both Aliens and Weyland-Yutani soldiers. There’s misguided attempts at an emotional arc with a character that felt underdeveloped and as the story feels slapped together with no real goal or direction, it left me wanting much more than Colonial Marines was willing, or seemingly able to deliver.
With such a glaring loss of a compelling story, one would at least hope the gameplay will turn out as the saving grace, and unfortunately, this is where Colonial Marines really falls apart at the seams. The shooting is inaccurate and there’s little to no feedback for anything you do. I was never fully sure if I was hitting an enemy, or if they were dying, and to make matters worse, the soldiers’ stun animation looks nearly identical to their dying animation. So I ended up shooting a soldier for a bit, see him stumble down, then start shooting a different enemy when the first soldier popped up and started shooting again. It feels sloppy and rushed instead of exciting or even interesting.
These issues are less prevalent with the Xenomorphs, but worry not, because the Xenos have issues of their very own. Instead of playing to the strength of the species by having them sneak around, pounce on you from behind or demonstrate instinctive behaviors that Xenomorphs are expected to do, the end result turns out to be nothing but mindless monsters that run directly at you after screeching and jumping across the screen. They pose little to no threat and die with a few shots. Unlike most action thrillers, the atmosphere doesn’t create a realistic sense of dread or anxiety unlike its motion-picture counterparts. Facing Xenomorphs simply never felt scary and the Xenomorphs felt awfully easy to take out. To give an idea of how easily the Xenos die in Colonial Marines, I killed over 50 of them in the first chapter. To me, the source material should have been utilized to do a better job of creating a more challenging atmosphere and it comes as a surprise seeing how Gearbox has been open about their love for the franchise.
After about 5 hours, the campaign wraps up with as much flair and fun as is present in the campaign leading up to it. Then you’re left with the unbalanced multiplayer that doesn’t really add anything to an already lacking experience. I could go on and on about the litany of issues I had with Aliens: Colonial Marines, but at the end of the day my answer will stay the same. Don’t buy Aliens: Colonial Marines. It’s simply not an enjoyable experience, and despite being only 5 hours long, drags for what feels like eternity.