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Release Date: March 31, 2012

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E3 2012: Aliens: Colonial Marines Will Impale You In The Chest

Posted on June 7, 2012 AT 07:15am

EGM’s High Five: Aliens: Colonial Marines

Playing Aliens: Colonial Marines is a bit of an odd sensation for me. Not because I frighten easily at jump scares or I’m bad at first-person shooters, but because every bit of gameplay so far seems like it only operates on a “CONSTANT PANIC” setting. Thankfully, multiplayer is bit less hair-raising since you should generally be defending yourself alongside other competent shooter fans.

Fight, Die Together

We got to try the multiplayer in a 6-on-6 match against a team of Xenomorphs, playing as the titular Marines. To be frank, I thought we were doomed. Not only can the Xenomorphs soak up a lot of bullets, but they’re hard to target. True to their film counterparts, the aliens can climb and scale buildings with frightening ease, often jumping clear across the map to land right behind you. And then you die. You die horribly. Not a single person in my team of Marines avoided death, but we did manage to win the match in the end by a few kills.

Eyes On The Sky

Keeping an eye out as the Marines is pleasantly difficult, and the specific map that we played on was a wide open field at nighttime, stacked with cargo containers. Dim settings like that made spotting the Xenomorph team difficult enough, but the aliens will generally attack you with auto-kill animations that sever limbs, decapitate torsos, or outright stab you through the chest with their pointed tails. It’s extremely challenging, but had a nice side effect of forcing my team to stay close together. Racking up kills as the Marines is most easily done when in one big group, as the first dead person alerts everyone to incoming danger.

Picking Your Shots

While I’m adamant that the Alien team has overwhelming advantages in the multiplayer mode, it’s nonetheless balanced out by plenty of weapon options for the Marines. After each death (and you will die a lot), you can switch your loadout to be more focused around close-up gear like shotguns or rapid-fire options like the pulse rifle. Each gun felt crisp and responsive, and all the better for the humans, none of the weapons seemed underpowered. A steady eye and good aim can really help you maintain a good kill-to-death ratio.

The Bigger They Are…

Probably the only situation where my team could more easily pick off enemies was whenever one of them transformed into the new, hulking Xenomorph type with the skull plate that’s roughly the size of small Dodge truck. It’s much easier to surround and overwhelm the larger Xenomorph, as its size restricts it to the ground and it can primarily attack in a bull rush charge. Picking up certain items in the multiplayer maps can give you temporary boosts, although I died before I could grab the special item for the Marines.

Death Looks Good

Aliens: Colonial Marines has really good visuals and sound design. It’s clear that Gearbox Software and Sega spent a good deal of time trying to make the game’s atmosphere as close to the films as possible, and the end result is looking pretty good so far. It’s still cool to hear the blips on your radar speed up as you’re being stalked, even though the sound just made me lose my cool and start spamming the air with gunfire. Through two E3s, the single-player and multiplayer have looked enticing, although I’m hoping that the frequent “OH MY GOD KILL KILL KILL” rush of the gameplay doesn’t burn me out too early.

Will you play Aliens: Colonial Marines’ multiplayer as a Marine or the Xenomorphs? Let us know which one you like best in the comments.

McKinley Noble, Contributing Editor
McKinley Noble has been writing about video games for seven years as a blogger and journalist, with each job adding to his painstakingly alphabetized collection of retro gaming memorabilia. When not cracking jokes about the gaming industry, he's a talking encyclopedia when it comes to mixed martial arts and anything MMA related. Follow him on Twitter: @KenTheGreat1. Meet the rest of the crew.

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