Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Aliens: Colonial Marines [Download]

Aliens: Colonial Marines [Download]




Man it hurts to write this review. For over 6 years I have been waiting for this game and I had high hopes.

Even with my high hopes I was concerned. This is one of the strongest franchises today but as we have seen with the latest of Alien movies (Resurrection, Alien3, AVP) and games, it's one of the easiest to mess up.

Sadly folks this has happened again.

When I heard that Gearbox was making this game, my hopes rose a bit. Their Boarderlands games were pretty good all in all so how could they screw this up? Right?

As soon as you start playing Aliens: Colonial Marines you realize that every inch of the game screams how much Gearbox tried to make it everything it should be. They cared about the franchise and they wanted us to feel the same emotions that we felt from the Aliens movie. It has a million different pieces from the movies but fails to connect them properly.

Unfortunately they failed and they failed badly!

All that you cared about from the Aliens movie is hard to find in this game.

The emotion is gone.

The tension is gone.

The atmosphere is gone.

What a shame!

The game does have potential and that is seen in the game as quick glimpses but it never mounts to much. Sadly these rare moments are just that; RARE!

The Graphics are extremely dated and this brings this title down another notch. As one reviewer said already, it's like playing the first FEAR game which is insane really. While better than the consoles, the PC version still has low res. textures. Suffers from odd glitches and has some TERRIBLE A.I.

Speaking of the A.I. ...... What on earth? Why is it so bad? Your fellow marines in the game will behave in the most idiotic of ways. Sometimes standing completely still while the world goes to heck or they will shoot through each other while never actually killing anything. They will walk into walls, run around in circles.... It's bizarre! The xenomorphs also don't seem to care about anyone else other than you. Apparently they know you are the leader which makes this game feel that much more unrealistic.

By the way, the story makes no sense what-so-ever and the game will tell you that during the cutscenes. One Character will ask a question as to how this is possible and the other will say that it doesn't make sense and it basically doesn't matter. (0_o) Nothing is explained.

Overall this game can be completed in about 4 hours on the hard setting. Hard is recommended since normal is abnormally easy.

The Dialog is horrible. I promise you this; you won't care for any of the characters.

Ultimately my friends, if you are going to purchase this game you better forget about comparing it to the 1986 James Cameron movie. If you do that you will be so utterly disappointed you will probably be seeking a refund almost immediately. If you can look past the graphics, the odd A.I. and laggy multiplayer and play this game as a simple FPS with some Aliens lore mixed in; you might actually enjoy it. If you are going to get this game you better make sure to get it for the PC. The graphics for the PS3 and the 360 lack in a major way.


Animations are jerky.

Animations are messy.

Incomplete and ugly.

Completely unpolished.

Co-Op seems tacked on. Very arcade-like in nature and overall it's ok.

There is a leveling system and it's not bad. You gain Xp and rank up and then can purchase upgrades. These upgrades are questionable...I don't remember a red dot on the battle rifle........

Also why can your character carry so many weapons all at the same time? You would think that it would make it very hard to go through doorways. Just a random thought.

Multiplayer is fun when it's not lagging. Humans against Aliens. Players take turns in being the enemy.

Sadly the Aliens aren't the easiest to control and the move slowly. Also the maps don't provide any good hiding places.

So for my review consider it a very disappointing game. It could have been more but it failed.

My Rig: Rig: Intel i7-2600k @3.40 GHz, with 16GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI)

: ** UPDATE ** :

On 2013-03-19 Gearbox released a retooling of this game in the form of a HUGE patch. The long rumored patch for Aliens: Colonial Marines has finally dropped and it's finally available for PC. It includes patches introduced to the console version as well as texture improvements, an overhaul to the AI systems, difficulty adjustments, animation fixes, and a ton of other bug fixes that one would have expected a complete game to have. The patch is 3.5GB, compressed. That in itself is still big enough to be a game all its own, so Gearbox obviously did some major retooling to the game, which should enable it to have a completely different look and feel from before. If not, then they still have a ways to go.

Aliens: Colonial Marines was a pretty big festering blot on the image of Gearbox Software and it looks like the company is at least making some amends to one of the biggest controversies of the year. The headline feature of the patch is improved textures, with other "various visual improvements" promised. Additional fixes patch up audio bugs in cutscenes, players falling through the map, and a bug that caused players to occasionally spawn without a weapon.

The patch notes in full:


- Improved texture resolution.

- Various visual improvements.

- Added mouse smoothing to options menu.

- Fixed crashes tied to launch and motion tracker.

- Added additional safeguards to better protect save data.

- Resolved an issue where a player's level could sometimes appear incorrect when backing out of a party.

- Addressed several scenarios under which players could spawn without a weapon.

- Changes to better prevent audio from sometimes cutting out during end of mission cinematics.

- Fixed issue where Xeno death animation was not properly calculating momentum of the killing blow.

- Smart Gun animation now properly tracks targets.

- Addressed some instances where Xenos would display erratic animations.

- Increased light radius for player's shoulder lamp.

- Adjusted aim assist to better reflect player input.

- Addressed an issue that could sometimes cause co-op player revival to not work under certain circumstances.

- Addressed issues with players not spawning into a level properly.

- Fixed a marine player invincibility exploit.

- Resolved several instances where players could walk or fall outside of maps.

- Addressed an issue where Ripley's Flamethrower (bonus content) would sometimes fire continuously without player input.

- Fixed an issue that could cause localized text to sometimes display incorrectly.

- Addressed an issue where weapon ammunition was not always highlighted properly.

- General user interface improvements.

- Miscellaneous bug fixes.


- Tweaked enemy and friendly AI to be more aggressive and responsive.

- Modified campaign difficulty to account for improved AI responsiveness.

- Improved enemy collision detection regarding doors and Power Loader.

- Addressed some issues that could cause improper warping for co-op players.

- Various tweaks to address instances where NPC characters would not always properly navigate to objectives.

- Players will no longer bleed out immediately when downed in a Power Loader.


- Fixed issues that could cause clients to report inaccurate results and statistics.

- Addressed instances where a map would appear to "pop in" when loading into a new match.

- New Xeno appearance customization added.

- Multiplayer teams should now correctly auto-balance between rounds.

- Increased duration of Lurker Pounce Challenge "Cat-Like Reflexes" from 10 to 20 seconds.

- Fixed issue where certain multiplayer challenges would not unlock properly for all characters.

- Crusher pick-ups now correctly appear as highlighted for clients.


: ** MY THOUGHTS ** :

Patch installed, noticeable graphical improvements with better lighting, additional fogging / mist as well as a sort of 80's grain film effect added. Anti aliasing however seems to be off (lots of jagged textures now) so had to force it 'on' @ 16x via Nvidia Control Panel. Its a marked improvement to what the game looked like on release and definitely looks a lot closer to the demo that we all thought it was going to be.

Also the alien AI is remarkably better. The Xenos don't run straight at you like they used to do and attack with a lot more variety.

Since the price has dropped down to $32 I would recommend this now to the average shooter crowd. There have been improvements made and the game is closer to how it should have been but there are problems that will never be addressed; example: The Story is so messed up that there isn't any fixing it. If you are big on stories...miss this game! The story sucks and makes no sense what so ever! Only purchase this if you COMPLETELY understand what you are getting! I will update in the future with further updates.

: ** UPDATE 2 ** :

Continuing to inspect the game post-patch and there is a huge difference in AI and in difficulty. On a medium setting there is a real challenge now. This is much improved compared to pre-patch. I raised my review score of 2 stars to 3.

: ** UPDATE 3 ** :

Gearbox Software has released a new patch for the PC version of Aliens: Colonial Marines today (May 6th). This update adds support for tomorrow's MP DLC as well as several visuals enhancements. Below is the change log.

Added compatibility for "Reconnaissance Pack" multiplayer add-on.

Various visual improvements, including new screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO) functionality.

So far this is a good addition to the game. Adds a lot of graphic options and enhancements. I don't have the addon content so I can't comment on that. Ultimately it looks like GB is trying to get this game where it should have been from the beginning.