Aliens: Colonial Marines
E3 2012: Aliens: Colonial Marines Hands-On Multiplayer Preview - Coming Out of the Walls
Written By
View author's profile

Game over man! They're coming out of the walls! And so on... Almost everyone knows the score when it comes to Aliens, and so too does Gearbox, as Aliens: Colonial Marines is quite clearly a real labour of love for the studio. Every detail from the 1986 movie is fully accounted for, from the iconic sound of a rasping pulse rifle to the shadows of scuttling Xenomorphs flashing across your line of sight. Most importantly, the atmosphere and sense of tension seems to have been nailed, which in multiplayer makes for some fraught encounters with the toothsome, acid-blooded killers.

Set in and around the inhospitable colony of Hadley's Hope on LV-426 on a map fittingly titled 'Last Hope', our experience with Colonial Marines' multiplayer borders on the movie-like, as our team of six marines face off against an opposing team of six aliens controlled by a group from the Gearbox dev team. The Hadley's Hope facility is spot on, with claustrophobic, brilliantly lit interiors open to Xenomorph attack from all angles ensuring you're usually watching your teammates' backs as well as your own.

You have several loadouts to choose from as a colonial marine, giving you a selection of classic aliens weapons, including the M41A pulse rifle (yes), Corporal Hicks' Itchaca M37 12-gauge shotgun (for close encounters), a double-barrelled combat shotgun and others, with a standard issue pistol as your secondary weapon. You can also acquire weapons out in the field, including the M56 smart gun, which packs the same kind of punch it does in the movie, with a scope that tracks your targets.

Teamwork is vital to survival during a multiplayer match in Colonial Marines, as we quickly find out during our hands-on. Xenomorphs can ambush you from almost anywhere, whether it be vents or the ceiling, so sticking together is a far preferable strategy compared to going lone wolf. Chances are you won't last all too long on your own anyway, even if you manage to mow down several aliens in one gung-ho rampage. You're still likely to be pounced upon with a flanking pincer movement, an unexpected drop from the ceiling or a leaping, drooling death from the shadows.

In essence, playing a round of Aliens: Colonial Marines multiplayer is like taking part in a sort of 'what if?' scenario that never made it to the movie screen, with a dirty great nest of Xenomorph eggs to tread carefully around, an eye-catching exterior zone of Hadley's Hope to draw out the aliens into a more open area, and various interior storage rooms and hangars where you and your squad can mount a brave last stand against the opposing team as they lash or charge at you.

Wait a second. Charge? Yes, thanks to Gearbox being given the blessing of 20th Century Fox and the input of concept artist and movie designer Syd Mead, there are new alien breeds to face in Colonial Marines, including the huge Crusher we last saw during our hands-off look at the game during Gamescom last year. In multiplayer, he's a playable Xenomorph and he can ram you into a wall if you get on the wrong end of his big crushing head. No doubt there'll be a few more breeds to try out in multiplayer, beyond the classic Xenomorph we all know and love.

Playing as a marine, it's heartening to find that each weapon feels suitably weighty and lethal. Having shot down several aliens using it (counting towards one of the XP boosting weapon challenges, no less), we now fully understand why Hicks kept that 12-gauge on him and realise why you should only ever fire a pulse rifle in short, controlled bursts. Blast a Xenomorph in the face with either weapon a couple of times and it won't be doing any more shrieking, drooling or face-chomping. Just look out for that nasty corrosive blood, won't you?

Classic Team Deathmatch with a Xenomorph twist, Aliens: Colonial Marines' multiplayer is intense stuff, while the Last Hope map is an impeccably designed location with small corridors, foreboding caves and as we've already mentioned in passing, exemplary lighting. The tension the game also manages to ratchet up while you're holding up your weapon as you consult your beeping motion tracker is a faithful and brilliant touch right out of the classic movie too, and the overall attention to detail in replicating the recognisable weapons, items and creatures is superb. Keeping an eye on the tracker is an integral part of the Aliens universe, and having it mapped to a button that leaves you momentarily vulnerable as red dots move inexorably closer and closer makes you feel as close to being a colonial marine as you'd ever want to be.

Whether this eye for the little details that really matter will extend to the other multiplayer maps on offer is unknown (because we haven't played them), but you can bet the campaign will be looking to please even the most die-hard Aliens fans. It'll even go as far as bridging the gap between Aliens and Alien 3, with Gearbox promising to clarify certain preceding events that transpire during the opening of the third divisive film. Now that's fan service. Add 4-player co-op support for the campaign, and more than a few sly nods to the movies including Lance Henriksen as Bishop, and you have a recipe for a truly great movie-based game. Now there's something we never thought we'd say.

Aliens: Colonial Marines will be hatching on February 12th, 2013.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 2416
Comment #1 by upindat
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:26:17 AM
(5Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Please dont suck!!!

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #2 by Hilbert13
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:26:34 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
high hopes for this game sounds great

Forum Posts: 1747
Comment #3 by UberPirateNinja
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:29:28 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I need this game in my life!

Forum Posts: 540
Comment #4 by ErmacVersion1
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:31:00 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
As long as power loaders are involved at multiple points, I'll be a happy colonial marine.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #5 by BrokenFuse
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:35:41 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
We're gonna move in, we're gonna conquer, we're gonna kick some!

Forum Posts: 64
Comment #7 by xduderx
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:37:43 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
God this game will fucking rule

Forum Posts: 132
Comment #9 by stianpuz
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:38:33 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
ahh been waiting for this game for to long>.< Can hardly wait anymore, this game has such promise!
Also hoping for a sort of L4D2 esque feeling when it comes to multiplayer ;D

Forum Posts: 553
Comment #10 by Hansathan
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:38:46 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@6 Seriously?

Forum Posts: 3568
Comment #13 by exo-apollo
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:41:11 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #18 by zWARzSPLIFFaLOT
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:49:54 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I have very high hopes for this game.

Forum Posts: 3585
Comment #19 by LickableLemons7
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:53:44 AM
(4Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Somebody fix the comments, I think they're broken.

Forum Posts: 311
Comment #20 by BUZZARDIO 1080
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 08:53:46 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
i cant wait for this game.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #21 by fierfly
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 09:31:04 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@11 asshole much?

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #22 by Godfather93a
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 10:02:44 AM
(2Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Dear [STAFF] Please ban MrFartson thank you.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #23 by hartonwarrior
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 10:06:59 AM
(-1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
what the fuck was all of that?........sum real fucking twats on here like!

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #24 by Vay
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 10:26:43 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
/impatiently awaiting this game.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #25 by RancidSkank
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 12:09:15 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Looks incredible. Day one.

Forum Posts: 1676
Comment #26 by Jack Frost
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 12:41:15 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
From a rebooting-the-franchise standpoint, this looks like it'll go a lot further to doing that than that bubbling cauldron of liquid shit, "Prometheus".

Forum Posts: 3585
Comment #27 by LickableLemons7
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 12:51:20 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
What made you think Prometheus was bad? Just curious.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #28 by Oldylnator
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 03:30:03 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I loved the Marine campaign on AVP. I have high hopes for this game.

Forum Posts: 396
Comment #29 by yakuzzaa
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 03:55:40 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
AVP had a brillant MP - the part that messed it up was that fucked up lobby waiting system !

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #30 by EpicHerbs
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 05:41:46 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Getting this fo sho. Gearbox hasn't failed me yet.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #31 by Xerany
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @ 01:43:13 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
There's a typo in the third paragraph after the first picture: "...and hangars where you ->can

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #32 by Xerany
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @ 01:47:31 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Derp >.>

Like I said, a type in the third paragraph, after the first picture: "..and hangars where you (can) your team can mount a brave.."

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #33 by gearsofmetroid
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @ 05:06:36 AM
(-1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
After the abomination of AvP I really want this game to be awesome gettin more hopeful with every review, screen and bid I see

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #34 by radfolio
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 10:03:10 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@27 most likely a film review on the internet, its where everyones knowledge and hautiness comes from!

i have been waiting for this forever (not literally obviously) i want it now. NOW DAMN YOU!

Forum Posts: 562
Comment #35 by gravelandx88
Sunday, July 01, 2012 @ 09:00:40 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@27, Visual, Audio, Presentation wise; I thought it was a great in IMAX 3D. The film left me w/ more questions than answers. I'm guessing that's why people think it sucked or rated it poorly. I wish the director would of given more background stories on some of the crew members. When this film comes out on bluray, I hope it comes out with a extended edition. Add some scenes that we the audience felt confused on. Or maybe add a alternative ending.

Forum Posts: 562
Comment #36 by gravelandx88
Sunday, July 01, 2012 @ 09:03:00 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
As for the game, I can't wait to get this. I maybe get the Collectors Edition.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #37 by PRIME SUPREMACY
Saturday, July 28, 2012 @ 02:03:42 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I am hoping that this one does better than the others. dont get me wrong i love the alien movies and story. but the games havent been as good since the 90's arcade

You need to register before being able to post comments.


Game Info
Gearbox Software


US February 12, 2013

You need to log in or register to use MyAchievements.
Related News




You need to log in or register to rate games.

User Score is based on 169 user ratings.