Developer on Aliens: Colonial Marines Sheds Some Light on Why It Sucks
It’s almost common knowledge by now that Aliens: Colonial Marines is an absolutely horrible game. Today, a thread on an Aliens subreddit surfaced, and one of the developers on Aliens: Colonial Marines explained why exactly the game sucked so hard. Anonymously, of course.
He explained:

Pecan (the internal codename for ACM) has a pretty long history. SEGA, GBX and 20th Century FOX came to an agreement to produce an Aliens game around 6 years ago, after which SEGA almost immediately announced it, long before Pecan had even started production. The game has been in active development in the past, only to be shelved in favor of another project (Borderlands, Duke, etc), and each time it was resumed it would undergo a major content overhaul.
SEGA, naturally, wasn’t super pleased about the delays, but GBX got away with it for a long time and the contract between SEGA and GBX kept getting augmented to push the projected release further and further back. The last time it was resumed, GBX outsourced a good portion of the game to outside companies. Initially, the plan was for TimeGate to take the majority of campaign, GBX would take MP, Demiurge and Nerve would handle DLC and various other focused tasks. This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers dealt with Pecan.
Somehow the schedules for Pecan and Borderlands 2 managed to line up and GBX realized that there was no fucking way they could cert and ship two titles at the same time. Additionally, campaign (which was being developed by TimeGate) was extremely far behind, even as Pecan’s Beta deadline got closer and closer. In April or May (can’t remember which), Pecan was supposed to hit beta, but GBX instead came to an agreement with SEGA that they would push the release date back one more time, buying GBX around 9 mos extension.
About 5 of those 9 months went to shipping BL2. In that time, TimeGate managed to scrap together 85% of the campaign, but once Borderlands 2 shipped and GBX turned its attention to Pecan, it became pretty apparent that what had been made was in a pretty horrid state. Campaign didn’t make much sense, the boss fights weren’t implemented, PS3 was way over memory, etcetcetc. GBX was pretty unhappy with TG’s work, and some of Campaign maps were just completely redesigned from scratch. There were some last minute feature requests, most notably female marines, and the general consensus among GBX devs was that there was no way this game was going to be good by ship. There just wasn’t enough time.
Considering that SEGA was pretty close to taking legal action against GBX, asking for an extension wasn’t an option, and so Pecan crash-landed through certification and shipping. Features that were planned were oversimplified, or shoved in (a good example of this are challenges, which are in an incredibly illogical order). Issues that didn’t cause 100% blockers were generally ignored, with the exception of absolutely horrible problems. This isn’t because GBX didn’t care, mind you. At a certain point, they couldn’t risk changing ANYTHING that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system. And so, the product you see is what you get.
Beyond gameplay, the story has been raised as an issue several times. I can’t really comment without feeling bad beyond saying that the script was approved by 20th Century FOX, and that the rush to throw a playable product together came at the cost of the story. Campaign does a pretty bad job of explaining a lot of the questions raised at the start of the game, and so hopefully there will be DLC to flesh that out a bit better.

The full thread can be read here. The thread features some pretty great responses from some Redditors, so I recommend checking the full post.
Follow Albotas on Twitter | Like Albotas on Facebook

Developer on Aliens: Colonial Marines Sheds Some Light on Why It Sucks

It’s almost common knowledge by now that Aliens: Colonial Marines is an absolutely horrible game. Today, a thread on an Aliens subreddit surfaced, and one of the developers on Aliens: Colonial Marines explained why exactly the game sucked so hard. Anonymously, of course.

He explained:

Pecan (the internal codename for ACM) has a pretty long history. SEGA, GBX and 20th Century FOX came to an agreement to produce an Aliens game around 6 years ago, after which SEGA almost immediately announced it, long before Pecan had even started production. The game has been in active development in the past, only to be shelved in favor of another project (Borderlands, Duke, etc), and each time it was resumed it would undergo a major content overhaul.

SEGA, naturally, wasn’t super pleased about the delays, but GBX got away with it for a long time and the contract between SEGA and GBX kept getting augmented to push the projected release further and further back. The last time it was resumed, GBX outsourced a good portion of the game to outside companies. Initially, the plan was for TimeGate to take the majority of campaign, GBX would take MP, Demiurge and Nerve would handle DLC and various other focused tasks. This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers dealt with Pecan.

Somehow the schedules for Pecan and Borderlands 2 managed to line up and GBX realized that there was no fucking way they could cert and ship two titles at the same time. Additionally, campaign (which was being developed by TimeGate) was extremely far behind, even as Pecan’s Beta deadline got closer and closer. In April or May (can’t remember which), Pecan was supposed to hit beta, but GBX instead came to an agreement with SEGA that they would push the release date back one more time, buying GBX around 9 mos extension.

About 5 of those 9 months went to shipping BL2. In that time, TimeGate managed to scrap together 85% of the campaign, but once Borderlands 2 shipped and GBX turned its attention to Pecan, it became pretty apparent that what had been made was in a pretty horrid state. Campaign didn’t make much sense, the boss fights weren’t implemented, PS3 was way over memory, etcetcetc. GBX was pretty unhappy with TG’s work, and some of Campaign maps were just completely redesigned from scratch. There were some last minute feature requests, most notably female marines, and the general consensus among GBX devs was that there was no way this game was going to be good by ship. There just wasn’t enough time.

Considering that SEGA was pretty close to taking legal action against GBX, asking for an extension wasn’t an option, and so Pecan crash-landed through certification and shipping. Features that were planned were oversimplified, or shoved in (a good example of this are challenges, which are in an incredibly illogical order). Issues that didn’t cause 100% blockers were generally ignored, with the exception of absolutely horrible problems. This isn’t because GBX didn’t care, mind you. At a certain point, they couldn’t risk changing ANYTHING that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system. And so, the product you see is what you get.

Beyond gameplay, the story has been raised as an issue several times. I can’t really comment without feeling bad beyond saying that the script was approved by 20th Century FOX, and that the rush to throw a playable product together came at the cost of the story. Campaign does a pretty bad job of explaining a lot of the questions raised at the start of the game, and so hopefully there will be DLC to flesh that out a bit better.

The full thread can be read here. The thread features some pretty great responses from some Redditors, so I recommend checking the full post.

Follow Albotas on Twitter | Like Albotas on Facebook
Critics Consensus: Aliens: Colonial Marines
Today saw the release of the Aliens title everyone has been waiting for since forever. I’m not too sure why so many people were excited for Aliens: Colonial Marines at all, considering the previous entries published by Sega weren’t so great, plus the title just looks like another generic space marine video game. But hey, it had a sweet ass collector’s edition release and it has the title “Aliens,” in it, so I guess that was enough to intrigue the lot of gamers.
Reviews came out and I think it’s safe to say that critics didn’t really have a mixed message here, as most major gaming sites have pretty much bashed this game to bits. ”It’s empty and nostalgic, meticulous and dated. More importantly, it’s hands-off. Like a museum, Colonial Marines is at its best when you’re admiring the view. The moment you attempt to reach out to interact you’re met with a barrier, reminding you that you’re there to look, not to touch.” - Hollander Cooper, GamesRadar
"The problem lies with the aliens themselves; they’re not smart enough to hunt in packs or take you by surprise, they just wilfully hurl themselves in front of your short, controlled bursts. There’s never a feeling of being outwitted or outmanoeuvred, just outraged that you’ve sat down to take on some deadly xenos in one of sci-fi’s most iconic settings and somehow ended up in the equivalent of a clunky, coin-operated shooting gallery." - Tristan Ogilvie, IGN 
“Take away the Aliens license, and you’ve got a shooter that has no reason to exist.” - Jeff Cork, GameInformer
“Unlike the movies, which relied on atmosphere, ominous sounds, and sharp surprises to frighten the bejeezus out of you, the life of these space marines is far more Doom-like. Xenomorphs in the story campaign don’t stalk you — they just lunge, which negates what made them so scary in the first place. Replace them with velociraptors, zombies, or demons, and you’d have essentially the same game.” - Chuck Osborn, Official Xbox Magazine
“If Gearbox’s quality scale has Borderlands 2 at one end and Duke Nukem at the other, Colonial Marines sits somewhere in the middle.” - Leon Hurley, Official PlayStation Magazine UK
“Aliens: Colonial Marines famously considers itself the canonical sequel to Aliens, but the quality of its campaign reduces such a claim to little more than arrogant posturing, as this bumbling fan fiction dares compare itself to one of the most respected science fiction horror films of the 20th century. It barely deserves a comparison with Battlefield Earth. Clocking in at just under five hours, and containing very little in the way of actual story, Colonial Marines quickly establishes itself as nowhere near notable enough to be the ‘true sequel’ it claims to be.” - Jim Sterling, Destructoid
Bottom line: Don’t fucking play this game. It’s generic, the A.I. is absolutely retarded, the graphics are acceptable at best, and it’s got an extremely short campaign experience that ends with a terribly anti-climatic ending. The only thing Colonial Marines has going for it is its use of “Aliens,” in its title, which should be the only reason why anyone would glance at this in the first place. Fans of the series may overcome a nostalgic feeling for the franchise, but it’s safe to say this isn’t even worthy of a thought.
Oh, and it should also be noted that EGM has the sole positive review I’ve seen of this title.
"All things considered, Colonial Marines is a consistently solid, occasionally spectacular shooter that does more than enough to honor the Alien name. It was going to be a tough task from the onset, but despite a ton of potential pitfalls for the talented team at Gearbox, they’ve gone a long way toward reminding us that, for folks who love the craft of building great games, the best challenges only seem impossible. Like most successful license-based games, Aliens: Colonial Marines is much more than a loving homage; it serves as one of the most robust story-driven co-op experiences to date. The concept definitely has room to grow, but as maiden voyages go, Colonial Marines is a clear winner.” - Brandon Justice, EGM
Okay, Brandon. Okay.

Critics Consensus: Aliens: Colonial Marines

Today saw the release of the Aliens title everyone has been waiting for since forever. I’m not too sure why so many people were excited for Aliens: Colonial Marines at all, considering the previous entries published by Sega weren’t so great, plus the title just looks like another generic space marine video game. But hey, it had a sweet ass collector’s edition release and it has the title “Aliens,” in it, so I guess that was enough to intrigue the lot of gamers.

Reviews came out and I think it’s safe to say that critics didn’t really have a mixed message here, as most major gaming sites have pretty much bashed this game to bits. 

It’s empty and nostalgic, meticulous and dated. More importantly, it’s hands-off. Like a museum, Colonial Marines is at its best when you’re admiring the view. The moment you attempt to reach out to interact you’re met with a barrier, reminding you that you’re there to look, not to touch.” - Hollander Cooper, GamesRadar

"The problem lies with the aliens themselves; they’re not smart enough to hunt in packs or take you by surprise, they just wilfully hurl themselves in front of your short, controlled bursts. There’s never a feeling of being outwitted or outmanoeuvred, just outraged that you’ve sat down to take on some deadly xenos in one of sci-fi’s most iconic settings and somehow ended up in the equivalent of a clunky, coin-operated shooting gallery." - Tristan Ogilvie, IGN 

Take away the Aliens license, and you’ve got a shooter that has no reason to exist.” - Jeff Cork, GameInformer

Unlike the movies, which relied on atmosphere, ominous sounds, and sharp surprises to frighten the bejeezus out of you, the life of these space marines is far more Doom-like. Xenomorphs in the story campaign don’t stalk you — they just lunge, which negates what made them so scary in the first place. Replace them with velociraptors, zombies, or demons, and you’d have essentially the same game.” - Chuck Osborn, Official Xbox Magazine

If Gearbox’s quality scale has Borderlands 2 at one end and Duke Nukem at the other, Colonial Marines sits somewhere in the middle.” - Leon Hurley, Official PlayStation Magazine UK

Aliens: Colonial Marines famously considers itself the canonical sequel to Aliens, but the quality of its campaign reduces such a claim to little more than arrogant posturing, as this bumbling fan fiction dares compare itself to one of the most respected science fiction horror films of the 20th century. It barely deserves a comparison with Battlefield EarthClocking in at just under five hours, and containing very little in the way of actual story, Colonial Marines quickly establishes itself as nowhere near notable enough to be the ‘true sequel’ it claims to be.” - Jim Sterling, Destructoid

Bottom line: Don’t fucking play this game. It’s generic, the A.I. is absolutely retarded, the graphics are acceptable at best, and it’s got an extremely short campaign experience that ends with a terribly anti-climatic ending. The only thing Colonial Marines has going for it is its use of “Aliens,” in its title, which should be the only reason why anyone would glance at this in the first place. Fans of the series may overcome a nostalgic feeling for the franchise, but it’s safe to say this isn’t even worthy of a thought.

Oh, and it should also be noted that EGM has the sole positive review I’ve seen of this title.

"All things considered, Colonial Marines is a consistently solid, occasionally spectacular shooter that does more than enough to honor the Alien name. It was going to be a tough task from the onset, but despite a ton of potential pitfalls for the talented team at Gearbox, they’ve gone a long way toward reminding us that, for folks who love the craft of building great games, the best challenges only seem impossible. Like most successful license-based games, Aliens: Colonial Marines is much more than a loving homage; it serves as one of the most robust story-driven co-op experiences to date. The concept definitely has room to grow, but as maiden voyages go, Colonial Marines is a clear winner.” - Brandon Justice, EGM


Okay, Brandon. Okay.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...