I haven’t played Aliens: Colonial Marines. Based on reviews and videos I’ve seen I am incredibly glad about that. Therefore I guess it would be pointless to talk about gameplay that I have no experience of but which everyone knows is hugely unsatisfying, graphics I’ve never seen in person but which everyone can see are refreshing call backs to the PS2 in the same week the PS4 is debuted, or a storyline which seems to be best described through curses and screams for mercy.
So instead I’ll review Gearbox. Or whoever it was that made Aliens: Colonial Marines happen to innocent people, since no one seems to really be sure anymore. An ex-Gearbox employee said that most of the single player game had actually been done by TimeGate Studios, noted developers of, erm, some FEAR expansions packs. In fact one guy from TimeGate claims to have pretty much singlehandedly made the entire first level. If one guy made the whole first level then not only do the reasons behind this atrocity start to become clear, it also makes Randy Pitchford(Gearbox CEO)seem way off the mark with his estimate of 25% TimeGate.
Gearbox has thus far claimed responsibility for the multiplayer segment, which to their credit is regarded as a rare bastion of mediocrity amidst a storm of animated vomit. They also apparently tried their best to clean up the mess TimeGate had left behind once they finished Borderlands 2. It didn’t work. What was left post clean-up was a game that’s suffered a 65% drop off in players in one week. So at least people had the common sense to put down the controller and put the game in a dark, dark corner.
What’s perhaps most depressing is that this game has been in development for a decade, as in ten whole Earth years, as in it was announced before I’d even been alive for a decade. That’s how long it took them to release this absolute omnishambles of a game. Ten years for a game that managed to somehow look infinitely better in pre-release demos than the actual retail release that they wanted people to actually, really, seriously use. I mean just look at some videos they released of this game during development, some of them genuinely looked really really good. The lighting looked incredible, the aliens looked terrifying and the world of LV 426 looked like something straight out of the films. Most importantly it looked like something that Gearbox, a fairly prestigious developer, could proudly put its seal on. Instead they’ve just kind of scrawled aimlessly in crayon and left a smiley face; and then asked for your money please.
So for lying about the progress of their game, lying about actually developing their game, taking a decade to just end up defecating on a beloved franchise, and for then deciding to release it regardless of knowing it wasn’t fit for human interaction, I give Gearbox and Aliens:Colonial Marines one star and a very lengthy fart sound.