Brad Beach and myself attended PAX East 2012 and there were only a handful of games we felt we had to check out, Aliens: Colonial Marines was one of those games. We were shuffled through back door into a small, dark room with two TVs on the wall and thankfully a comfy floor, as we were exhausted. We were presented with a live solo demo of Aliens: CM and also told that if Gearbox did their job correctly that even “Alien 3 would be a better movie,” as this game takes place between Aliens and Alien 3. We were also informed of drop-in/drop-out co-op as well as what areas the new game would venture into, such as the Derelict, LV-426 and the Sulaco.
The demo opened up with the us taking the first person view of Colonel Christopher Winter being addressed by his C.O. and commanded to get to the Sulaco and to investigate what’s going on there. Winter heads out through the airlock into a long glass walkway between the two spaceships, walking passed blood smeared on the floors, walls and ceiling of this walkway, a little foreboding if you ask me. Winters arrives in the Sulaco to find it eerily quite with no sight of anyone or anything. The next few minutes of the demo had Winters walking slowly through Sulaco with no action, but a lot of tension. You could feel as the room was filled with it, just waiting for a Xenomorph to jump out at any minute.
Heading down a flight of stairs into a new area you soon have a feeling that you know what has happened here. The walls of this area of the Sulaco are coated with the well known Xenomorph wall crust, slime and other unmentionables. Moving through this area, Winter discovers soldiers and other humans hanging from the walls in classic Aliens fashion. All seem to be dead except for one soldier that still clings to life on the wall. Winter pulls out his plasma cutter at gets wot work freeing the soldier. Just as he begins the all too familiar high pitched “Alien” audio cue pierced our ears as an Alien dropped down onto Winter. The alien is bucked off and then takes off running, Winter finally frees the soldier and they’re on the their way out as well.
The next few minutes are filled intense action as Winter and the soilder make their way back towards the airlock. Regularly pulling out their motion trackers and firing at the xenomorphs as they are attacked from every angle, ceilings, floor vents and are basically being overwhelmed by the xenomorph’s agility. The tables are turned however as Winter picks up the Smart Gun power-up. Remember these guns from the movie Aliens? They were the big bad ass guns that Vasquez and Gorman used, the guns that sat at their hip. Apparently these guns have an auto lock and render the xenomorph speed useless. As they make it to the airlock and head back through the glass walkway, the soldier drops to his knees starts to scream and pulls out a grenade. Our confusion was soon made clear as a chestburster appeared through the soldier’s chest. What happened next? BOOM! The grenade goes off, the walkway shatters and Winter is grasping the edge of the walkway for his life. Pulling himself back into the airlock foot by foot.
That was the conclusion of the demo, they ushered us into a waiting area where we would get our hands on the multiplayer portion of the game. Brad and I chatted over what we saw and we seemed to agree that it did look great, but that it seemed as if something was missing. Maybe the multiplayer would change our mind? Oh and it did, in spades. Quck version, it’s phenomenal. Read it here.