A dark cold place, my motion sensor is beating as if it’s my own heart. Almost suddenly it starts to race, quickens it’s pace of beating and I instantly know there is something close to me, something not human. Unfortunately for the stalkers, nothing they can do can really scare me because of their dumbed down AI.
Colonial Marines was set to make its own tone as an almost horror shooter, although it feels extremely weak, more familiar to a simple beat-‘em-up than anything else, kill some aliens, run around, kill some more. Run from point A to B.
Honestly, being excited for this game was easier, I watched the demo premier at E3 multiple times, listened to Randy Pitchford talk and honestly, I was excited as he sounded. Quite difficult. As I watched I couldn’t help but feel jittery, this was easily one of my favourite movies coming to life, I loved the original Alien vs. Predators, and even the new one was great. The demo showed all of it off perfectly, I was amazed by its creepy tone, the scary scorners and that dreaded motion sensor that sent players hearts racing. But what really stood out was the fact that the alien NPCs learnt as you played, they started to go to places that you looked at less. The aliens slowly whittled down your squads morale. This game looked absolutely amazing.
This really was not the case with the game. Gamers repeatedly called Randy Pitchford a liar, stating that he cheated them by showing them an amazing demo but delivering a below average game. The demo showed off didn’t even appear in the actual game, a bad blow to Gearbox’s reputation as they delivered other games, such as Borderlands 1 and 2.
The graphics are a particular let down, they look similar to a game made almost a decade ago. Character customisation is a complete let down, opting instead for a more Call of Duty feel of customising guns instead. The norm at the moment is that the PC version is usually considerably better graphically than consoles isn’t here either, the graphics customisation is there, but almost none of the options actually affect the graphics. In the end you are still looking at the same old boring game which terrible actual visuals. Easily one of the biggest let-downs is the muzzle-flash. This was meant to be one of the striking features of the game, a dark corridor suddenly being lit up by the flash of a marines pulse rifle as well as the dark shadow of a xenomorph. Instead it looks blocky and extremely pixelated, as if every time you shot your gun (which is quite a few times, trust me) the whole gun looks like it should belong in Minecraft or similar.
The gameplay fits well with the graphics, annoyingly stupid. Seemingly incompetent AI riddled the game. One example is the simple runner alien, the most basic enemy. He would too often run up to you and stop, wait a second and then attack, sometimes they would just run away. Given the fact that you can carry around six or seven weapons make this game extremely easy, especially the fact that the shotguns shoot in a complete straight line.
Eventually you will find the Weyland PMC soldiers, which will start a few fire-fights in the game. This should add a new dynamic to the game, and a much needed increase in difficulty. But again, it just does not deliver. The soldier AI is so dumbed down that it feels like they want to be shot. This just shadows the new dynamic that should be introduced.
The audio is possibly the light that helps the game the most. The creepy music teems in through cracks in the corridor, eerie feelings combined with your motion sensor actually give this game a scary feel, making you not want to continue into the next corridor.
Overall this game is average at best, I enjoyed the small reminders of the Alien universe like finding parts of Bishop around the ship etc but I would much rather recommend you buying the 2010 version of Aliens vs. Predator and just using Marines and Aliens. Honestly you’d have a much better experience.