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Published on June 8th, 2011 | by simeon

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Aliens Colonial Marines Overview From E3 2011

I was asked to take part of a special behind the scenes look at the new Aliens Colonial Marines game while attending E3. The presentation took place in a bunker from one of the films that were guarded naturally by Colonial Marines. Upon being seated, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford talked about his love for the project and that how it is the true sequel to Aliens. Pitchford said he is not dismissing Alien 3 but rather considered that film to be a sequel to the original in terms of the one Alien on the loose stalking a group.

The gameplay video opened with the Aliens music and Sega and Gearbox script presented in the bright blue titles of the film.

The first thing we saw was a ship named The Sephora who was coming up on its sister ship the Sulaco. We see a screen with the crew manifest and then see the hyper sleep chambers. From a players point of view you are waking up when an alarm sounds and we see marines rushing from the ship and then both The Sulaco and Sephora appearing to nose dive into LV 427. I wondered how this could happen as the last time we saw the ship it was dumping escape pods over Fury and not orbiting LV 427 but I digress

The game is squad based and allows up to four players to drop in and out and play co-op. The video showed the marines going through the lab on Hadleys Hope and then falling under attack from the Aliens. The aliens are very fast and pop out of all sorts of nooks and crannies as well as scale the walls, drop from walls, and are very aggressive. Pitchford explained that we would learn the fate of Hudson and the others left behind and that the A.I. powers the alien’s ability to appear from vents and all manner of locales.

This made me wonder as the film clearly stated that the blast from the processor would reduce an area the size of Nebraska to vapor and we clearly see the massive explosion consume the colony at the end of “Aliens”.

Also wouldn’t the area be radioactive and the tech of the colony damaged by the blast and rendered nonfunctional by the EMP blast. I figured this must be due to a future blast shielding for circuits.

Using a shotgun and later a pulse rifle the demo showed that even with great firepower the marines are at a huge disadvantage. The battle moved from the blast damaged observation area complete with the ruined atmosphere processor in the distance.

A new style of Alien attacked which was basically a large bull type with a huge head plate that allowed it to ram and batter. I wondered where this came from and all I could come up with was a mutation from the radiation but the other aliens did not seem to be affected.

A sentry gun was used to hold off a wave and this was an amazing visual complete with an alien emerging from a vent to snag a fellow marine.

Taking refuge with power loaders and new ammo did not help much as a Queen emerged and made short work of those around her before turning towards the main player.

The demo ended at that point.

The graphics are sharp and crisp and clearly great attention has been paid to detail. The game looks solid and may just be the Alien game that fans have longed for as that is exactly what Randy Pitchford said is the goal for the project.

Here is hoping the time until its release in 2012 allows the developers to polish and add to this already impressive looking game.


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