Aliens: Colonial Marines Review

aliens review logo

Six years have gone by since Aliens: Colonial Marines was first announced and now it’s time to jump into our lab and examine this specimen. Can Gearbox successfully deliver on their promise to release a great Aliens game or will we throw down our pulse rifles and shout Game over man!

The Good

Time to play with some friends: It’s nice that this game has 4 player COOP. At least you don’t have to go through this mess alone. However, it does seem a bit wasted at times with some narrow corridors that are hard to navigate through with people bumping into each other.

The Multiplayer is somewhat okay: One of the multiplayer modes called escape, plays out like left 4 dead versus. The player and his or her squad must complete objectives while the other team are the Aliens and try to stop you. Unfortunately, there are just two maps for escape and the controls and animations for the aliens can be clunky. There’s also the ability to customize the players appearance for both marines and aliens as well as unlock new alien powers along with marine weapons. The multiplayer is far from perfect, while it is somewhat enjoyable it still needs more polish and it isn’t exactly something I would have expected from a game that was 6 years in development.

I like to keep this handy for close encounters: The weapon customization in this game isn’t too bad. You can equip silencers, extended mags, custom skins, and more. There are a few weapons in the game beyond the default shotgun and assault rifle to keep things a bit fresh. It’s definitely no borderlands, but at least there are some weapons to choose from. Furthermore, throughout the game you will find legendary weapons that were used in the movie, which include Hick’s shotgun, Hudson’s Pulse Rifle, Vasquez’s smart gun, and more.

The Bad

Those Xenomorphs aren’t too pretty: I just don’t understand what happened here. The graphics of Aliens: Colonial marines are very dated.  There were demos of the game that really looked promising, but the final release looks like a borderline PS2 game. There is a complete lack of bump mapping in some areas with flat low resolution textures. In addition, the lighting is atrocious and a far cry from the demo that has been presented in the past.

Outsourced to hell and back: Almost every gamer feels like they were lied to when they preordered the game. There were gameplay demos not too long ago, which told a different story. Back then Aliens: Colonial Marines had better graphics, animations, cut scenes, and scenarios. This Aliens game has been reportedly outsourced to a few studios to take part in developing the game. As a result, we aren’t sure how much Gearbox actually had to do with this game, but fact of the matter is they released it under their name, their president, Randy Pitchford, showed those misleading demonstrations, and ultimately they are just as responsible for releasing the game in this atrocious state.

Where is everyone going? The AI in this game is just terrible. Both Aliens and Mercenaries just run right at the player or glitch right into view and grab/ shoot at you. Of course your teammate AI isn’t much better either. Most of the time your AI buddies will just miss their target and move up without you.

No Real Teamwork: Where are the different roles? In Borderlands you get to choose a class and fill some roles as a team. So, it would have been fitting to have some different roles or classes in Aliens: Colonial Marines with a support role, assault role, heavy weapons role, etc considering there is 4 player coop in the game.

Wasted Additions The game likes to jingle some fancy keys in your face while making the gamer jump up and down with your tongue sticking out, and then at the last second, it takes those keys and throws them in the trash. Two key examples of this are the power loader and smart gun. When you finally get to use the power loader you are so excited, but not 5 seconds later, after opening some door, are you forced to get out and stop using it. Further into the game you do get to use it again, but then you realize how unpolished and clunky it is as you slash about for an abysmally short segment. Next, up is the smart gun, the gun itself is somewhat decent, but outside of finding the legendary item, again you only use it for a brief amount of time.

Should I be tense? At no point do you feel truly pressed. There are some moments where your teammates may go down and your squad fails, but it’s not due to tension, it’s just due to enemies glitching out most of the time. Also, there is some talk of this sewer level, but after playing through it, the dated atmosphere and lackluster AI made it more of an annoyance than an interesting and engaging experience. You can simply just run through it trigger some switches and get the aliens to explode and make your way to safety. Even the so called note worthy points of the game are not even worth your time.

Let’s continue the story of Aliens: This game officially tells the story after the second Alien film and therefore it is official canon. However, even the best twists in the story, while seeming good fall flat right on their Xeno behind. At no point are any of these additional elements explained well and you just can’t even pretend to be surprised. Yes, Hudson was right, “That’s it man, game over man, game over!”


Alien’s colonial marines is just a terrible game that should be ashamed to even consider itself apart of the Alien universe. Perhaps the icing on the cake is that this is supposed to be official canon. The thought of Aliens: Colonial Marines being an official sequel to Aliens brings a chill down my spine, and that is scarier than anything that pops out at you in the actual game.

All of the bugs, animations, AI, graphics, the underwhelming plot development, and dialogue just doesn’t justify the current price tag. I can’t believe I am saying this, but Rebellion’s AVP from 2010 is a much better game than Colonial Marines. Gearbox, Sega, and all of the other companies that were involved in this game simply dropped the ball with what was supposed to be a great addition to the Aliens franchise.

Aliens Colonial Marines Review by FacTor-X