Aliens: Colonial Marines – Xenomorphic reconstruction
All gamers who are passionate about extraterrestrial parallel worlds are invited to delve back into the xenomorphic realm of the Alien franchise through a new game developed by Gearbox Software and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360. Aliens: Colonial Marines, a sci-fi first-person shooter based on James Cameron’s blockbuster Aliens arrives in two months.. Just sit back and relax, you’ll be joining a thrilling ride!
Although the game is an adaptation after a movie, it doesn’t fall into the common mistake of re-enacting the cinematic scenes, but follows its own coordinates, somehow trying to give a completion of the story in the blanks left by Cameron’s movie, constructing a sort of sequel, if you want to call it like that. The story is crafted from the point where Alien 3 left it off, by Battlestar Galactica writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle.
The character you will be embodying is Corporal Christopher Winter of the US Colonial Marine, as part of a search and rescue team sent to retrieve a regiment of marines lost for seventeen years in a mission on LV-426, Ellen Ripley being one of them. The gloomy environments to be explored in the game are the U.S.S. Sulaco Spaceship and also the Hadley’s Hope human colony established on LV-426, along with others that are to be later announced.
When the fun begins, you will have a lot of toys to play with, in the attempt of defeating the fearful aliens. The weapons include guns such as: a smartgun, a shotgun, a pistol, a pulse rifle but also RPGs, flame throwers and robotic sentry turrets. As additional tools, you will have a motion tracker and a welding torch for sealing doors.
It’s important to mention that you will have full vision command while playing the game, as it doesn’t have HUD, which means no onscreen information about life, energy or other statistics of the kind. Following the Gearbox tradition, you will find a lot of collectibles on your way, bearing names that will remind you of the Alien movie franchise found at the base of the whole story.
The actions performed during gameplay can be widely divided in: fighting enemies, travelling from one point to another and defending territories by setting up automated turrets or by welding doors.
The game advances as you upgrade your appearance and weapons with the help of experience points which you gain from killing enemies and accomplishing objectives. Also, more skill sets will be unlocked as the game modes are completed.
The enemies you will be facing are also humans, in the shape of Weyland-Yutani commandos, but primarily they are the iconic xenomorphs of Giger, the same as they are presented in the Alien movies. You will encounter various alien characters from the first three movies, Facehuggers and Chestbursters, the Drone, the Runner, the Warrior and the Queen, all trying to mess up you plans and your imagination. But don’t get all cranky, that’s not all! Gearbox has designed its own xenomorph characters that have been kept a secret, but of which we know that will have special artificial intelligence qualities enabling them to set up sneak attacks and group tactics in order to confuse and make things difficult for the player.
The single player mode was initially thought to have a squad-based gameplay, where the player would be able to control AI marines with commands sensitive to the context in which he was placed, but the idea was put aside for a more accessible flow of the game.
Despite of this, the multiplayer mode designed by Gameplay is announced to be quite thrilling, with possibilities of cooperative playing for up to four players online or two players locally, on split-screen. There will also be a competitive multiplayer feature with two options: a deathmatch mode with 6 versus 6 players and also an “escape” mode of 4 versus 4, where the marines must defeat the alien team trying to stop them from reaching an evacuation point.
The universe of the Alien movies is and will remain iconic especially because of the atmosphere of gloom and dread created, rendered brilliantly in the game Aliens: Colonial Marines also. Walking down the corridors of the Sulaco spaceship, you will recognize sets from the movies: the lab where facehuggers are preserved in tubes, filthy corridors or the turrets used by the marines in the final part of the movie.
The sound that accompanies your journey through the world of the xenomorphs in the game also contributes a lot to the tension and eerie atmosphere, bringing back intense memories from the movie.
Thinking about the way Giger designed his xenomorphs, it is easy to state that without him, the Alien series wouldn’t have existed. However, what contributes to the horror of the whole uniqueness of the movie is the rare apparition of the actual aliens, the tension and atmosphere being given by the precise feeling of knowing that something is there, but it is not visible. The apparitions in the game are, obviously, much more present, thus diminishing the feeling of fear and anxiety from the original story. You know that they are everywhere and that you will see them all the time while playing.
However, in spite of that, the creators of the game assured themselves that the Giger design will not become boring, bringing variety to the alien characters, from creatures that can touch you with their spit from the distance, to gigantic apparitions, to mutants created by the radiation on LV-426.
The long-expected Aliens: Colonial Marines will be released on the 12th of February 2013 on PS3, 360 and PC, after being postponed by Sega several times since its teaser trailer in June 2011. A new trailer and a series of five screenshots were released by Gearbox in this period of time, leaving the fans with a huge craving to enter the realms of the xenomorphs as soon as possible. But don’t worry, there is a little time left until the great encounter!
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