Actually, I think those were regular androids; I think combat synths are specially designed somehow for warfare, that's probably why they can still walk with their heads shot off while normal androids can't.
Aliens Book 1 had combat androids as a major plot point. Then they pop up again in Stronghold.
And Ash was doing okay against Parker with no head.
As I recall those combat androids specifically couldn't harm humans - I remember the Perry novel mentioning the First Law of Robotics, and that having androids violate that was mega-illegal. So having combat androids shooting Aliens
is totally cool, it's once you have them shooting at humans
(like in AvP2010) that it becomes a Big Deal.
Incidentally I know you fought combat androids in AvP2 as the Predator and Alien, but I can't recall if you fought any in the Marine campaign. I think you did, but I'm not sure.
Would you say it was a positive experience or negative experience?
Is there any indication when the game takes place, other than a general "around the time of the Alien films" sense of things?
No specific year is given, but it's a beta.