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.