Like I said in my write up of the live demo, something seemed to be missing, that “oomph” from the live demo. Don’t get me wrong the aesthetics and sound were spot on and fantastic. The iconic sound of the pulse rifle remained and just the general look, gave no doubt about it being a game based in the Aliens universe. Brad and myself stayed away from any harsh judgments and figured we would know more as soon as we got our hands on the game for ourselves.
We were brought into a room with 16 Xbox 360 stations set up facing each other. On one side was the dev(elopment) team playing as the xeno’s, the other side were PAX attendees playing as the marines. We watched as the dev team destroyed the opposing team. They gave us hints as to what were were about to face, gave us a little more info on the game and danced professionally around some of our questions.
We learned there would be “classes” to choose from for the xenomorphs, as well as a number of loadouts for the marines. We were given three for the purpose of the demo, they would not tell us what classes, loadouts or how many of either would be in the final game, they only said there would be more. Same goes for the multiplayer modes, there will be objective based modes and other deathmatch style modes, but as to what they are or how many is unknown to us. Also there are power ups in the game as I mentioned the Smart Gun in my previous post. The xeno power up we would face in this match turned the player into a “Crusher” class alien. Huge, quick, bullet sponges. The worst part is they can run down multiple targets like a rampaging bull.
We started the match being able to choose between a pulse rifle, a shotgun and an automatic weapon of some kind. We loaded separately into a dark and partially destroyed facility. First thing I notice is the amount of detail has been put into the textures, lighting effects and level design. I used my motion tracker right away to see two red blips heading towards me, but I saw no xenos. Glancing up I see the xeno’s upside down on the roof bearing down on me. I was able to take both out and feel a little proud of myself. Then all hell broke loose.
I watched the dev team as the xenos, as they literally attacked us from every possible angle. I watched xenos run up on squad mates and brutally (and yet visually satisfyingly) execute them. I knew then Gearbox has done something no one has been able to do with an Alien game yet. They have completely captured the chaos of a xenomorph attack. I felt as if I was playing out a scene from the movie Aliens. I was ecstatic to feel I was finally playing a proper Aliens game. Anywhere you looked during this match you could see multiple scenes of war at once. From a xeno getting the drop on a marine from behind, to grenades being fired from the under-over pulse rifles and seeing the rampaging “Crusher” class bearing down on all of it. After five minutes of us being slaughtered and yet enjoying every minute of it, the game ended with of course the devs, victorious.
The controls felt tight in my hands, the audio sounded excellent and my eyes were feasting on everything I saw. Of all the games I got my hands on at PAX East, Aliens: Colonial Marines left the biggest mark. Needless to say, this game has that “oomph.”