17 days? We're not going to last 17 hours, man! - Private Hudson from the movie Aliens (1986)
Sega's Aliens: Colonial Marines, which is developed by Gearbox, is set to hit the stands later this year. The game, a first-person shooter, is based on the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise, particularly the film Aliens.
Gearbox has done an impressive job by introducing the look of the classic films, and has even placed a camera filter to replicate the 1986 classic by director James Cameron. Moreover, the developers have also been helped by Sydney Mead, the visual-futurist for the movie.
Let's take a closer look at the game.
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Surviving the 17 Days: Although the vivid story detail of the game is not known much as of now, a few questions still need to be answered. How does the Sulaco make its way back to planet LV-426? Where do the extra Marines come from? These are just a few of them.
However, the game, which has been described as a true sequel to James Cameron's film, takes place after the events of the third film, Alien 3. Much of the main plot was written by Battlestar Galactica writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, and the story is told through Corporal Christopher Winter, a Colonial Marine that is part of a search and rescue team sent to investigate the U.S.S. Sulaco in search of Ellen Ripley, Corporal Dwayne Hicks, and the rest of the missing marines who were dispatched to LV-426.
Gearbox President Randy Pitchford previously explained that he likes the fact that the marines, who have been dispatched on LV-426, are insecure and are wondering how they are going to last the whole 17 days. This provides the opportunity for more marines to enter the situation. The Sulaco is no longer in orbit around Fury (the prison planet from Alien 3) and now it is back around LV-426.
Although it is believed that there will be a fair bit of similarity to last year's Nintendo DS game, Aliens: Infestation, there will be four main characters, according to producer Brian Burleson. Although there's a host of main characters in the game, the player will spend most of his/her time with O'Neal, Bella, Winter, and Cruz.
Multiplayer: Aliens: Colonial Marines is set to feature a campaign with dynamic drop-in/drop-out cooperative multiplayer for up to 4 players online or 2 players locally via split screen. Although competitive multiplayer has been confirmed, Gearbox has only hinted at Aliens vs Marines gameplay so far.
Gearbox is expected to do well in the multiplayer scenario as it has a long history of building multiplayer shooters. Hence, a varied amount of fire power that includes shotguns, pulse rifles and pistols have been introduced. For example, the M41-A pulse rifle has an appropriate amount of kick while the shotgun delivers some powerful shots up close. Moreover, every weapon comes with a primary and secondary fire option with the pulse rifles also having the ability to launch grenades.
Remember that the motion tracker is your best friend in this situation while you are surrounded by these creatures and the entire environment is creepy and dimly lit. However, the fact that your weapon must be holstered when the tracker is equipped makes it even more challenging. Basically, you are either concentrating on your motion tracker or on your gun's iron sight.
From the point of view of the xenomorphs, these creatures have the ability to see outlines of the humans anywhere in the level, making it pretty easy to plan and coordinate attacks. Apart from different classes of Aliens - Soldier and Lurker - the one that can create greater problems is the Crusher which, apparently, refuses to take any kind of damage from the marines' bullets.
Although multiplayer shooters, these days, demand that you earn XP to unlock weapons, it is believed that Gearbox is working on other objective-based multiplayer modes. There will be more to multiplayer than deathmatch modes.
What do you mean, 'they' cut the power? They're animals!: First thing, the game's environment is impressive as well as creepy. Gearbox has done, possibly, everything to make sure that the gamers are scared. Although it is still to be seen if the developers introduce any new alien types, the demo has suggested that there will be Stalkers all over the place to make the marines' lives a living nightmare. The scale of attack is greater and you could see them crawling down the walls and jumping off them, and hiding behind pillars.
The xenomorphs (aliens) will target every move you make and will pop in and out and attack accordingly. These creatures will be smarter now and will evade your firing while you blow up its friends. They are also said to avoid spots where its friends have died, and will change their paths accordingly. How you strategize against the xenomorphs will heavily depend on how fast you are, both mentally and physically, while you see your fellow marines being dragged into dark corners and massacred. At least the demo had an abundance of blood and gore.