Aliens Colonial Marines
Date Released: February 12, 2013
Formats: PC, X360, PS3 (Wii U Cancelled)
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Buckle up, soldier! Welcome to Aliens Colonial Marines. Created by Gearbox, the critically acclaimed and fan-favourite developers of Borderlands and Brothers In Arms, this first-person shooter is steeped in the eerie, claustrophobic and terrifying atmosphere that made the Aliens films successful worldwide. You and your friends will become the most badass military outfit in the galaxy – the US Colonial Marines. It’s down to you to not just survive but wipe out the Xeno infestation.
- Enlist in the Marine Corps
Bringing you a true sequel to James Cameron’s classic Aliens, get tooled up with classic Marine weapons including pulse rifles, motion trackers and flamethrowers.
- The most authentic Aliens experience ever
Using authentic environments inspired by the film series including Hadley’s Hope, the Sulaco and LV-426, you will be immersed in an eerie, atmospheric world where any moment could bring your death.
- Drop-in / Drop-out co-operative gameplay
The masters of co-op bring their expertise to the Aliens universe. Xenos getting too tough? Call up your buddies so they can drop in with extra firepower. The whole campaign can be played with a squad of up to four players, dropping in and out as necessary through self-contained missions within an over-arching narrative.
- Loadouts and upgrades
Create your perfect killing machine. An extensive upgrade system allows players to customise their characters to play the way they want. Earn experience to get perks, new weapons and new looks for your squad.
Sega announced on December 15, 2006 that Gearbox Software will be creating a first-person shooter based on the Alien film franchise which will be released on next-generation consoles. Gearbox is no stranger to first-person shooters. They’ve developed many games including Brothers in Arms, Half Life and ported over Halo to PC. This Aliens game will keep “the atmospheric look and feel of the original films while leveraging next-generation technology to create an entirely new interactive Alien experience”.
Simon Jeffery, President of Sega, said “Gearbox Software has a storied history of bringing innovative and compelling design to the FPS category. Combining their design talents with the intense action of the Alien franchise ensures that gamers will have an immersive and action-packed experience.” Randy Pitchford, President of Gearbox Software, also said “The Alien series has been a tremendous influence for myself, the people at Gearbox Software and the video games industry in general. The opportunity to work with the amazing people at SEGA and Fox to build a next generation video game in the Alien universe is one of those dream projects that is a perfect fit for our capability and our passion.”
When the game was first announced, it was due for a 2009 release. The first screenshots were shown in Game Informer magazine in February 2008, and these were leaked online. High-res screenshots were posted online in March 2008. The first footage was posted online in August 2008. Cam footage of a teaser trailer was leaked online in the following month.
Rumours of Cancellation
Rumours circulated at the end of 2008 that Sega were thinking of dropping Aliens Colonial Marines altogether because they were concerned the game wouldn’t be delivered on time and on budget. Development was suspended for a short time. In February 2009, Sega announced Aliens vs. Predator, and Aliens Colonial Marines was left in limbo. There were rumours Sega had cut funding on the game and was looking for another developer to take over. Gearbox were still developing the game but Sega wanted to put all their effort into AvP which was further in development than Aliens Colonial Marines. There were occasional news articles throughout 2009 insisting Aliens Colonial Marines was still alive. 2010 was another quiet year for Aliens Colonial Marines. In September 2010, Gearbox showed some screenshots of Aliens Colonial Marines at the PAX convention. In December 2010, high quality footage of the 2008 teaser trailer leaked online.
In June 2010, Sega announced Aliens Colonial Marines will be released in Spring 2012. They released a teaser trailer as well as a new promotional screenshot. The game was featured at E3 2011 and they revealed it would be released for Wii U too. The game featured at Gamescon and PAX. A new trailer was released in August 2011 for the Gamescon/Pax conventions. In September 2011, they released a 11-minute gameplay video that was shown at E3. The game was featured at the PAX East convention in April 2012 where they showed off some singleplayer/multiplayer footage. In May 2012, Sega revealed that Aliens Colonial Marines had been delayed until February 2013. They also posted a new trailer. Some gameplay footage was released for E3 2012 in June. Over the months, developer diaries and various screenshots were released. In December 2012, Corporal Hicks posted a report about a preview event he attended organised by Sega. At the end of 2012, Sega released a new Story Trailer. A few more trailers were released in 2013: Alien Hive, TV Commercial and Kick Ass trailer.
Release, Reception & Sales
Aliens Colonial Marines was released worldwide on February 12, 2013. After its release, critical reception was extremely negative. It received a score of between 43-48 on Metacritic. Reviewers criticized the graphics and bugs, the poor AI, the singleplayer campaign and its lack of tension, and the multiplayer. The few positives were aimed at the sound and music, and the weapon and character customization options. In the UK, the game debuted at number one in the All Formats charts while in the US, it debuted at number six. In total, Aliens Colonial Marines sold 1.31 million units worldwide. In comparison, 2010’s Aliens vs Predator sold 2.22 million units worldwide.
Rumours of Development Problems
All kinds of rumours surfaced after the release of Aliens Colonial Marines about how Gearbox outsourced the majority of the game to Timegate Studios. A QA Tester for Sega posted on Reddit saying that Gearbox didn’t care about the game and that they spent money for Aliens Colonial Marines on Borderlands. In April 2013, it was announced that the Wii U version had been cancelled due to the negative reception the game had received. In May 2013, it was revealed that two people were suing Gearbox and Sega due to them misrepresenting the game at trade shows. In August 2014, Gearbox filed documents saying blaming Sega for the marketing. Later in August, Sega agreed to pay a $1.25 million settlement which would free Sega from any more lawsuits but not Gearbox. In September 2014, Sega filed more documents blaming Gearbox for the game’s marketing. In May 2015, Gearbox had been dropped from the lawsuit and it was now no longer a class-action lawsuit. Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox, did a frank interview with Eurogamer in July 2015 denying Gearbox was to blame for Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Gearbox still released patches for the game after its release as well additional downloadable content. The first was called Bughunt which was available in March 2013. It contained three new maps that are based on locations in the Aliens film. The second DLC pack was called Reconnaissance and was available in May 2013. It featured three new Team Deathmatch/Extermination maps called Grief, Shipwreck and Autopsy based on locations seen in the singleplayer campaign of the game. The third DLC pack was called Movie Map Pack and was released in June 2013. It featured a new Survivor map called Nostromo, a new Escape map called Exodus, and two new Team Deathmatch and Extermination maps that feature locations from Aliens and Alien 3. The final DLC pack was called Stasis Interrupted which was released in July 2013. It featured a new singleplayer campaign and was developed by Gearbox Software and Darkside Game Studios. The story is about what happened to Corporal Hicks between Aliens and Alien 3.
New Aliens: Colonial Marines Overhaul Mod Released! ()
Randy Pitchford on A:CM Backlash – “Some People are Sadists” ()
Randy Pitchford – Aliens: Colonial Marines Lawsuit Was “A Huge Waste of Time” ()
Gearbox Dropped From Aliens Colonial Marines Lawsuit ()
Sega Blames Gearbox for Aliens Colonial Marines Marketing ()
You can full the full news archive for Aliens Colonial Marines here.
You can view more Screenshots in the gallery.
You can view more Concept Art in the gallery.