Playing this game, I have a feeling like there was so much cut out of it, or rather: so much ideas that have been half assed. Started but not finished. And it's visible in literally every aspect of the game.
- The idea of having marines with discernible characters. You know who you look at even from a distance, so they are designed well - it's not easy to create soldiers who stand out. But this is all undercut by gameplay, where you basically stop noticing companions since they are worthless. If they weren't there, nothing would change. Well, you'd have to open doors yourself.
- The idea of having a welder. Yeah, it's iconic. Yeah, in theory it's heart-pounding to weld a door shut or open while aliens are behind it. But the way it was utilized... Oh boy. NOTHING happens while welding, not a single unscripted moment was designed where you'd have to make a decision to use the welder or watch your back. This was done perfectly in Isolation, here the welder is a glorified door opening animation.
- Levity. Some of the dialogue in Aliens is basically just a fun crap talk, but it build characters and gives the viewer a moment to breathe. They attempted this here, too, but in all the wrong places. Right after the boiler section, which should've been tense, Winters meets the other guy and they share a small talk like nothing's going on. They crack a joke and depart. OH, COME ON, you do this to release tension, not in the midst of the only HORROR section of the game, when the big bug is still after you! What were they thinking?!
- Generally, the writer had a lot of cool IDEAS. Like the fact that Bella doesn't want to search for whatshisname, while he was the one who insisted to go find Bella. THIS IS SUPERB. This is a great idea, a great conflict possibly, a great opportunity to create character moments. But they play it like that: "let's go find him!", "no, I won't", "oh you bugger", "oh you stop it, we're going". And this is the entirety of it. This is so undercooked, and the fact it's barely animated in game makes it so cringy. But the potential was there.
- Weapon customizaton. Great idea! That's what colonial marines are all about. They have their custom armor and stuff. But in the end, it doesn't make any difference. A bunch of mods I haven't even used, because the starting guns are a-ok and I can easily make it through the game using only them.
- Visuals in general. Yeah, they look kinda like the movie, but also they look somehow lifeless and... just not real. There are pieces of movie set design all over the place, but I never felt like I was going through real locations - something Isolation made me feel all the time. These environments just don't make much sense, don't serve a purpose. They don't feel practical. Also, they are missing like a final coat of paint, a final pass. Everything is so... smooth. So simple. It has no character. I don't know how to describe it - it's just so shallow, like they forgot to add details.
I could go on an on about it. It's Missed Opportunity: The Game. So many ideas that worked great on paper but ended up butchered and half done. It's a pity.