E3 2012: Aliens: Colonial Marines Hands-On

Aliens are back in style, what with Ridely Scott revisiting the universe with Prometheus. It seems like the perfect time for a game in the franchise. So does Colonial Marines cover the need? Well I got to play around with the multiplayer versus mode, and I must say it’s an interesting and new experience.

So there are two sides to the multiplayer coin. The obvious one is that of the titular Colonial Marines. It plays as a standard first person shooter for the most part. You’ve got weapon loadouts to choose from, including automatic rifles and shotguns. Each weapon also has a secondary attack, and of course sprint and melee are the game. However, beyond that, the game plays much like a survival horror experience, as you would expect from an Aliens game. You and your buddies need to stick close as the Aliens can appear at any time and from some unexpected locations since they can crawl on walls and scurry through passageways. They can make short work of you if you let them close in, so you need to be alert and work together to stay alive.

On the flip side, you can actually play as an Alien. Now your loadout changes, and instead of choosing guns, you’re choosing which type of Alien you wish to play. Whether you want to be small and agile, or hulking and brutal, you have a choice. Now you can see through walls, and climb them. You’re attacks are melee based, so you need to close with enemies, so speed, guile, and stealth are your key assets.

In the time I played it was evident that the game played well and felt rather balanced. The Aliens often surprised us but just as often enough our quick trigger fingers saved the day. The gunplay and movement worked great although the weapons didn’t feel varied enough. It’s possible we will see more in the final game though. Visually the game is very impressive and the lighting and art help add to the feeling of tenseness as you’re wandering around, never knowing when something will pounce at you from the shadows. Aliens: Colonial Marines multiplayer is definitely solid, and if the single player is of the same caliber, then it’s definitely worth looking out for.


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