Playing Aliens Colonial Marines is a challenge because of the long list of potential glitches that directly effect gameplay ranging from slightly annoying to making the game unplayable. Your gun won’t fire or will even sometimes disappear. Characters can get stuck in walls which prevent you from moving forward. The xenomorphs can warp through walls and floors allowing them to kill you but stopping you from damaging them. Your AI which is necessary at almost every step of the game will randomly disappear, and occasionally enemies simply won’t take damage. It’s frustrating to say the least, and points out the glaring fact that even if this game were perfect in every other way these bugs simply destroy the experience. It’s easy enough to make the argument that with patches the game is already getting better, but I find that to be a fundamental flaw with designing games these days. It’s great that games can get patched, but that really isn’t an excuse for putting out such a flawed game in the first place.
Once you get around all these glitches though, what is left is still a lackluster game. You’ll find yourself backtracking through the same areas over and over. This is a way for designers to pad the length of a game and it’s extremely boring. The game includes challenges to complete for bonus experience. These are interesting because it drives you to vary what weapons you use, and how you do different things in the game. However the player can only have 3 active challenges at a time and can’t control which 3 are active. This is very annoying and rather confusing because I simply can’t think of a good reason why they would choose to do that. The only thing that seems to do is make people ignore the challenges and instead just focus on the rest of the game. Everything else just makes it a fairly average FPS and really that’s a problem. Your only enemies are the xenomorphs and Weyland-Yutani soliders. Fighting a lot of aliens is expected, what’s not expected is for it to get so boring so quickly. With so many problems and nothing that really stands out there is just no draw to this game over any other.
Aliens Colonial Marines also comes with muliplayer, but the feeling with it is much the same as the gameplay for single player, there is just nothing special. Playing as the aliens is complicated and difficult so there is no fun to be had with what should be one of the most appealing things with this game. The rest of the muliplayer experience feels a bit stale, the maps are very small and there isn’t much variety in the types. It really feels like an older generation multiplayer experience and the not the epics that gamers have gotten used to with modern systems. The only part of the multiplayer experience that I would say actually works is not muliplayer but in fact the co-op. The co-op is pretty seamless and has the added benefit of making the game go by faster.
As with the gameplay the way Aliens Colonial Marines looks is another area that really disappoints. All the Weyland-Yutani you fight look exactly the same, there is no variation in detail in any way shape or form. Bishop looks like a blocky early playstation 2 character and the rest of the marines don’t fair much better. Some of the cut scenes are rather impressive, but we are in the days when you shouldn’t have a beautiful cut scene followed by terrible looking in-game graphics. The xenomorphs leave a lot to be desired with their looks and they move in the most ridiculous ways ever. Their normal “walk” simply is laugh worthy and then at other times they bounce and bob around once again looking like something from a much older generation of games. Top that off with the fact that most locations are repetitive and boring and you just aren’t left with much visually to be impressed with.
The sound is very boring. The guns pretty much sound the same and it’s not a realistic sound, and down right bad at time. The aliens seem like they just took two sound effects from the movies and just repeated them over and over. As far as actual music goes, the first few times you hear songs it will transport you to the Alien movie franchise. However, there are very few songs, and they are repeated over and over. It won’t take long before players start to feel bored with the soundtrack. The voice acting is far from the worst, but it is also not captivating.
Aliens Colonial Marines is a lackluster first person shooter brought to you by Gearbox, and many other studios. It suffers from bug issues and offers nothing compelling to make the game stand out. It could be the number of studios that worked on it, or that the idea was never flushed out, but either way this game leaves a lot to be desired.