Alien’s: Colonial Marines Review

15Feb

By Larry Ragland

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I was really hoping that Aliens: Colonial Marines would be special. Instead what a got was an alright game that gives new meaning to the phrase lack of polish.

If anything A:CM is a lot like Homefront. Another title that had some pretty good ideas but lacked the polish needed to make it a home run. A:CM takes place several years after the Aliens movie. For the most part the story is forgettable and trying to make it a direct tie in doesn’t exactly work out but what’s there is functional in shuffling you along from check point to check point. There are some guest appearances from the film and the game is filled with fan service but there are several things lacking that keep it from being a great.

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Audio wise they nail the sound effects and at least artistically speaking, they nail the overall feel of the universe. This is were things get dicey because the graphics range from alright to unacceptable. Muddy textures, pop-in, screen tearing, screen flicker and a host of bugs are just a start. The games AI is non existent.  Aliens are hardly cunning and ruthless as they are supposed to be and the human AI is just as bad. Your squad mates are good at finishing targets on their own but they often get stuck in doorways and exhibit other odd behavior. For a game that’s been in development for as long as it has I would have at least expected for major, glaring issues (which they all are) to be fixed. The campaign lasts a few hours so after that you’ll probably want to jump online and play around with the multiplayer offerings and I’m happy to report that all isn’t lost.

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Online play consists of Marines vs. Aliens and it can be a blast to play. Crawling around on the ceiling waiting for your chance to impale some hapless marine who strayed away from the group never gets old. Neither does hosing down a swarm of aliens trying to overrun your position. There is a give and take in the MP that balances out nicely once you get the hang of each faction.

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A:CM stumbles a large amount of the time but I’d be telling a tale if I didn’t admit that it is fun. There is something about it that keeps me from putting it down. In many ways it’s a throwback to the early years of first person shooter mechanics and it that way I think it succeeds. It’s alright being a B or C tier game. Unless you’re a fan of the series and don’t mind mindless shooting then I have a hard time recommending this at full price. It has a lot of problems but they can be overlooked if you know what you’re getting into before you jump in. A little more time in the oven and this would’ve been great. Here’s hoping for next time.

5/10