Aliens Colonial Marines: What we want to see
17th Sep 2011 | 16:00
The 'Alien' franchise was once a shining beacon of the Sci-fi genre.
Unfortunately for us though, the series found itself wandering steadily off course from Alien 3 onwards and never really returned to form.
And now, after two Alien versus Predator movies - which, it has to be said, were even worse than expected - all remaining remnants of fondness for the series have surely dispersed into the nearest airlock.
Still, chances are that if like us, you loved Cameron's 1986 sequel 'Aliens' then, deep down, you'll probably be willing to reconcile your differences.
If you're brave enough to admit you fit into this category, then like us, you'll presumably be keeping everything crossed that Colonial Marines isn't as unpleasant as the prospect of having a snarling xenomorth burst through your ribcage.
In light of the fact that we really want this game to be a winner, here are a few things we think would make it so.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Thanks in part to its nail-biting horror sequences, eerie futuristic settings, haunting music, and terrifying xenomorth creatures, the first two Alien films remain absolute classics in the Sci-fi horror genre. And needless to say, fans of the films will want to re-live all their favourite moments from each.
Colonial Marines follows on directly from events depicted in 'Aliens', which saw Ripley and co marooned on the desolate mining planet 'simply' named LV-426.
We want to revisit all those legendary sites from Cameron's 1986 classic such as the mysterious crash site, the web-like alien nest and the operations room, which staged Hudson's last stand as he took out twenty or so aliens before meeting his untimely demise by getting pulled through a metal grate.
Much like the movies, we want to be genuinely terrified throughout, fear every step and wince every time the music dramatically changes key or when a pipe suddenly blows steam in our face.
We imagine defending blockades, putting catacombed humans out of their misery and quaking in terror as twenty dots suddenly appear on our motion detectors. We want to feel the cold tingle of fear run down our spine as the booming warning bleeps get faster and faster, before partaking in an epic stand-off to the death. Now that's a proper Alien game!
RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT
Commencing way back in 2006, Colonial Marines has certainly been in development for a very long time indeed. And while it's hard to say if this is a good thing or not, Gearbox clearly hasn't rushed the project, which is encouraging.
When it comes to the story elements though, there doesn't seem to be a great deal for Colonial Marines to do in terms of originality. After all, at its core, Colonial Marines follows near identical events from the second film.
To counter this, the game needs to have a gripping display of tense and well paced edge-of-your-seat gameplay that's supported by a strong background narrative, accompanied by a band of likeable heroes that feel genuine enough for us to actually care about. If Gearbox achieves all this, it'll be a truly absorbing experience.
And there's plenty to get excited about in this regard, since the project has been driven by the brilliant Battlestar Galactica duo: Bradley Thompson and David Weddle. This makes a solid narrative all the more likely. Playable Cylon dlc anyone? No? Didn't think so.
AVP VERSUS COLONIAL MARINES
Rebellion's 2010 Alien versus Predator (AvP) was a decent attempt. Despite having weak alien and predator campaigns, the marine section was spot on, and it left everyone who enjoyed that particular part of the experience hungry for more.
Hopefully the fact that Colonial Marines focuses entirely on being a marine will mean that Gearbox's entry will offer 'Alien' fans a more complete gaming experience.
But AvP's multiplayer is another outstanding feature, particularly its last-man-standing based mode: Infestation. This sees one player begin the game as an alien with the objective to kill other players (all initially marines), who after being killed, transform and spend the rest of the game as a xenomorths hunting whoever's left.
These modes make provide some genuinely tense and high octane gameplay and we hope to see this sort of multiplayer experience feature in Colonial Marines.
One cool feature we're already excited about is the promise of 4 player split screen, which will give players a break from AI team mates, enabling them to take on hordes of aliens whilst working together with friends online.
During one scene in 'Aliens', the marines enter the nest, but quickly discover that firing their weapons will result in a massive explosion. The sensible decision is made and the marines receive orders to hold their fire.
We want to see scenarios just like that in the game, as well as limitations on ammo and health supplies. We think it would add an extra element of suspense. Restrictions would make a situation seem all the more desperate and terrifying, allowing the player to become completely absorbed in the experience.
As for the weapons, the game will feature all of the original guns from the movies including pulse rifles, shotguns, flamethrowers, smartguns, sentry turrets, pistols, frag grenades and the awesome Queen killing power loader!
The game has the player take command of 4 different marines so you can bet that each one will slot into a different weapons class, each with their own abilities and objectives. This will hopefully make for some varied gameplay, giving players a chance to get their hands on all sort of hardware and experience a range of different scenarios.