BILLED as the official sequel to James Cameron’s 1986 sci-fi classic, Aliens: Colonial Marines takes gamers back to the LV-426 space colony to uncover the truth behind Ripley and her team’s disappearance.
Cameron’s source material is ripe for the game treatment, but thanks to the project’s protracted development the overall quality suffers. The game entered production in 2008 and it feels trapped there.
The gunplay is juddering and inaccurate, the alien enemies are unintelligent and easily overcome, while your fellow marines get confused. They react to threats unconvincingly and offer little in the way of support when you’re under attack.
The game also looks dated, with bland, murky textures, robotic character animation and a soulless environment that captures little of the movie’s urgency or horror. Multiplayer may offer some small solace for fans who simply have to play the game, as they can tackle the campaign with up to four players, or take to the competitive lobbies and test their skills.
PvP matches see aliens and marines facing-off in Team Deathmatch, objective-based Escape mode, territorial Extermination mode and the horde-based Survivor mode. These modes capture the immediacy of the film more accurately, but they may not justify the price of admission.
Elements such as the eerie motion scanner and the iconic rasp of the marines’ pulse rifles may raise a smile, but they can’t paper over the game’s glaring cracks. Between the confused plot, forced fan service and shoddy production, this feels like a wasted chance from developers Gearbox Software.
• £44.99, PC/PS3/Xbox 360