PS3 Reviews: Aliens: Colonial Marines Review

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Aliens: Colonial Marines Review

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Overall Rating:       3.7






Gearbox Software, TimeGate Studios

Number Of Players:




It has been a long time since I laughed this hard when playing a game. I’m not referring to the kind of laughter that arises from genuine mirth, nor am I referring to the kind of laughter that makes one feel all warm and toasty inside. I’m talking about the sardonically tinged sort of laughter, the kind that explodes from your mouth due to bitter consternation masquerading as a normal reaction to comedy. Aliens: Colonial Marines is beyond disappointment; it’s just a colossal mess. It’s technically terrible, the story is a joke, and the gameplay is tedious and boring.

Upon first seeing media for this title, I wasn’t overly impressed. Few were, in fact. But unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that the actual game looks even worse than those unimpressive video peeks. The animations are clumsy and stiff; they’re unrealistic and jerky and even spasmodic. The detailing is okay in some areas, while other times you’re convinced you’re playing a game that could’ve ran on last-generation hardware. As for the special effects, the one area of an Aliens game that I expected to shine, they’re just plain mediocre. I’d like to say something good about the cut-scenes but I can’t, so…

The best part of the game can be found in the audio category, as there is some decent voice acting. Recognizable names like Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen (familiar to “Aliens” aficionados) lead a solid cast and despite the terrible writing, they manage to give us good performances. The rest of the sound is ridiculous. Shooting my rifle is the first thing that made me laugh; it’s like I’m firing off a big pop-gun inside a tin can. In general, the effects are either subpar or even distorted, as the balancing is atrocious. The soundtrack is also comical; it reminds me of those goofy scores from yesteryear that do nothing to enhance our immersion.

Now, considering that Colonial Marines is a first-person shooter, one would likely assume that it can’t be too awful. I mean, developers have pretty well mastered that genre this generation; it’s immensely popular and for the most part, the blueprint is well known. It’s a simple, proven formula. Even if you’re not planning to produce a masterpiece, it shouldn’t be that difficult to produce an entertaining – albeit underwhelming – FPS that remains fun to play for fans of the genre (and in this case, fans of the movies). Yet somehow, Gearbox and TimeGate couldn’t even nail down the basics.

My first crushing disappointment came when I faced my first alien. I believe I said out loud— “Oh no.” Then when it died and another came, I said— “…well, sh**.” Thing is, despite the laughter that would soon follow, I don’t enjoy playing bad games. It’s just depressing. The aliens do offer a significant challenge, but only because they’re really fast and, unbeknownst to me at first, they’ve mastered the art of teleportation. That’s the only word I can use to describe what happens when they leap toward you. You see it jump and then magically, it’s on your face. At first I thought it was a glitch. Then I realized it was just the way things were…and I was sad.

Your allies are all right. They’re not terrible, as they will kill aliens so they’re not necessarily incompetent. The problem is that they’re usually late to the party. Aliens will start to come and only after they’ve been swarming for a second or two will your buddy start to fire. The aliens attack completely at random, too; some will simply sprint right past your ally to come at you, as if your partner doesn’t even exist. That’s extra fun when three or more aliens converge on you all at once. Given their leap/teleportation ability, you probably won’t survive.

But that’s okay. Because when you die, you can watch the alien(s) hovering over your carcass for a good ten seconds before the game starts to reload. And when you get back to the action, you start to realize that even when the gunplay works, it’s still just a tedious, boring shooting gallery. You really only shoot aliens and even though a few bosses are mildly interesting, you basically do the same thing over and over and over. Granted, the astute could make such claims against most FPSs but in this case, it’s all the more exaggerated. Checkpoints are quite far apart, too, so that’s another added annoyance that I really didn’t need.

And what genius designed the item pick-up mechanic? It’s basically what you see in Borderlands, in that you have to look at a piece of equipment or ammo set and hit a button. However, there is no “pick up all” feature and having to stop and carefully aim at a piece of ammo to pick it up really interrupts the fast-paced nature of this game. Obviously, you can just wait until everything is dead before you go after more health or ammo, but wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to implement a normal FPS pick-up system? You know, just run over something and you get it? Did the developers think this method was…I don’t know…fancier, or something? Whatever, it doesn’t work.

The story is sophomoric and uninteresting and the dialogue is full of clichés and awful one-liners. There are some mildly funny lines that almost hit the mark thanks to competent acting, but that’s an easily forgettable bright spot. The campaign won’t take anyone longer than five or six hours (if that) and at no point does the adventure feel anything more than predictable and repetitive. And you know, I don’t even mind shooting galleries here and there (‘cough’ Serious Sam ‘cough’) but the game has to at least function correctly. If you can’t even get a shooter to look and feel right, then don’t bother mucking up an iconic film franchise.

Then there’s the multiplayer, which is only slightly better than the campaign. It can be fun to play co-op with friends (provided they don’t mind playing an extremely mediocre shooter), but it has serious flaws. Playing as an alien, for instance, seems fruitless and the control is far too loose and unreliable. You’ve got a few modes in which you shoot just about anything that moves, and that’s about it. With so many enjoyable and diverse multiplayer experiences out there now, I can’t see any reason to recommend this one unless you’ve got friends who are absolute “Aliens” junkies. And even then, I’d be wary of foisting this on them.

Aliens: Colonial Marines has little to nothing in the way of redeeming value. It’s bad enough to make you laugh – like me – or cringe continually. The technical elements are beyond outdated and the game is glitchy and poorly constructed, the AI is borderline brain-dead, the story and characters are lame, and the repetitiveness and predictability of the campaign is mind-numbing. The control is okay, I guess, and a few of the voice performances are fine, but that’s where my praise ends. I could say something like “wait for a price drop” but I’d rather just say “avoid at all costs.”

It’s just safer for you, the consumer.

The Good: Some effective voice acting. Decent control.

The Bad: Outdated and critically flawed technical aspects. Animations are jerky and erratic. Plot, dialogue and characters are beyond lame. Repetitive, uninteresting gameplay. Unreliable AI. Multiplayer is uninspired and badly balanced.

The Ugly: “Oh look, another alien to shoot. …and I really, really don’t give a sh**.”

2/12/2013 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (41 posts)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 @ 11:43:21 PM

Nice review lol Had fun imagining your reaction while reading through your disappointment haha (grin and all lol).

But I'm kinda sad since I was really looking forward to this game being good. I really love the Alien *world*. I do hope some1 will get it right soon...

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 @ 11:51:30 PM

I feel bad for Gearbox, their name gets glued to things that other people did poorly.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:19:14 AM

But why do they let this happen?!
I love Gearbox, this feels like watching your cousin doing something real destructive and can't do anything about it.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 4:36:50 PM

Yes and no - they had responsibility for putting it together, and chose the subcontractors. If a company chooses to subcontract, then they don't get off scott-free.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 4:36:51 PM

Yes and no - they had responsibility for putting it together, and chose the subcontractors. If a company chooses to subcontract, then they don't get off scott-free.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 7:31:07 PM

Why feel bad for them? They were being paid to do the work, and then outsourced it. They obviously didn't give a rats ass.

They deserve everything they get from this, they ruined the latest chance for Aliens to become awesome again.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 @ 11:55:53 PM


i was'nt expecting such a low score, i was thinking, 6.5 or 7.0

thanks for the review ben.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 12:05:02 AM

Play AvP on Jaguar instead then?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 12:34:44 AM

Hell yeah.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 12:05:08 AM

WOW. Im going to give a simplified personal review so some Alien fans don't get discouraged. Firstly, i'll start with the bad. The alien AI is dumb. I mean that is something they really should have worked better on. Half the time they run by you and your thinking "Uh..bro over here." AVP aliens were programmed better and so you would expect it to be the case here. Its not. Not to mention they all feel so...dialogued. As in they only pop up when you reach a certain point.

That kinda blows because it ruins the tension and fear you COULD and SHOULD have gotten. The gun animations are so old and outdated its not funny. It feels like an action FPS most of the time. The alien effects could have been much better implemented. Some lag issues in certain areas are pretty annoying too.

Then the way the aliens attack you is..just no. They don't have that smart intelligence they should have had. They kind of run at you with their arms up like an escaped loony asylum convict.

There are tons of glitches, but just as much as assassins creed 3. The big one i've encountered is blood being stretched out through the entire room. Looks so ridiculous. Like an angry artist tossing his paint around.

The good stuffs. I grew up watching the alien movies. My mom is a huge alien fan so i would see her watching them sometimes. So i can safely say the level design was straight out of the Aliens movie (as in the second one.) I mean they did a fantastic job on the level design. The textures are neat in most areas and the lighting is great. So many dark areas with just a flashlight and the beeping sound.

The story is what you would expect from aliens. The soundtrack is another thing thats just like the movies. Basically, you have to have watched the movies in order to appreciate the game. Otherwise you give it a 3. I haven't beaten it but i do like it. I just wish they would have put more effort into the aliens AI. Its like a worse version of resistance 3 in terms of AI. The human enemies acted as they should.

So i would personally give it a 7. Because it delivers in a movie/game relantionship but fails in delivering on the difficulty levels. It gets annoying trying to have an enemy notice you. Like seriously. But all in all, if you like the movies get it. It honestly does a good job in that regards. If you want a FPS thats the perfect alien fps shooter its not it. Go buy AVP and play the marines campaign on...inhuman? I don't remember the name of the difficulty.

No disrespect Ben, but this time i had to say something.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 12:37:35 AM

That's fine. But to say it has no more problems than Assassin's Creed III is just so insane, I can't really respond to that.

And I saw all the movies. Just because the films basically used the same corridor over and over again doesn't necessarily mean the game should. And the soundtrack is a million times better in the movies; this sounds like I could've made it with an old synthesizer and a bunch of default action tunes that have no impact whatsoever.

I'm glad you like it. But by no means does this mess deserve a 7. That's doing a terrible disservice to games that are actually halfway decent.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/13/2013 1:02:15 AM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:18:59 AM

Cool, I'm picking it up. I'm a huge Alien fan. I'm sure the bugs aren't as bad as Skyrim. The last Alien movie wasn't very good either (Alien Resurrection), but I still enjoyed it.

Thanks Knightzane

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:26:11 AM

Don't sweat it bro, I like some pretty crappy games myself. As long as you find something in it you can relish.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:38:38 AM

Seriously Gungrave, I'd really go and read more reviews before I made up my mind if I were you, and not just trust a user review.
The first impressions from someone who's just received a game is *never* a reliable source, no matter how good the intentions (no offense, Knightzane).

I mean, if you just need excuses to buy the game, if you want it regardless for collector purposes or something, then you don't need reviews at all, just watch the trailers and buy the game.

But if you now imagine this is anything like the quality of Skyrim minus the bugs, well then I urge you to read more reviews before you do a purchase you very likely will regret.
At the very least wait for the price drop. It will happen within the next 6 weeks, I guarantee you.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/13/2013 1:39:21 AM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 2:15:19 AM

All I care about is did they succeed in making it a true Aliens sequel. I haven't played it yet but I do know they were trying to recreate the location of Hadley's Hope Ben...

I heard they tried to have everything left as how it was at the end of Aliens, where Hudson was dragged under, the room where Ripley and Newt were attacked by facehuggers.
Little details. If they failed then fine but this was aimed at followers of the films. To be viewed as a true sequel in game form. A lot of the original cast is back. Many haven't seen eachother since the 80s.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 10:27:45 AM

He said it had the same amount of bugs as AC3 not no more problems. But if we want to get into how disappointing and repetitive AC3 is I could write a small essay comparing all the games in the franchise and how AC3 completely failed on gameplay, story telling and technical levels(bugs and lack of polish).

I haven't played this aliens game so I can't say it is better or worse bug wise than AC3. What I can say is that AC3 was no where near the level of polish that AC2 was, and was almost as repetitive as AC1, with only the very few mandatory boat sections feeling really fresh and new.

I kind of agree with world here. I like a LOT of games that are considered bad, from old PSX games like Dragon Valor, to newer games like Alpha Protocol. Sometimes you can see what they were trying to do with the game, and sometimes even though it has problems you still love the innovative things they tried to accomplish even if they failed. Or maybe the atmosphere and story just work well and thats why you keep playing.


Lets be clear though, I'm not defending this game in particular, was more saying that AC3 had a LOT of problems more than critics seem to point out, or if they DID point them out they said the overall product wasn't ruined by them(for me it was). Also I'm saying that some "crappy" games have appeal and charm to them.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 10:32:51 AM

Come on guys, here we are talking about a game with a metascore of LESS than FIFTY. To seriously discuss and compare a game like that with any - ANY - game with a meta of more than 80 is just crazy.
And I say that without having played neither AC3 nor Colonial marines.

It's not like I can't enjoy a mediocre game too - like Alice 2 a while ago, or the Spiderman games - but with THIS low metascore we talk about something completely different.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/13/2013 10:38:47 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 11:13:35 AM

Your little essay would be easily refuted by me and many others, xenris. That doesn't mean anything.

The bottom line is that comparing this game to ACIII is ridiculous.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 12:35:41 PM

You can refute the truth but that doesn't make it any less true. Small micro list of things objectively wrong with it. People refused to believe the world was round after all ;)

-AC3 changed the controls for the worse
-The combat was dumbed down and became less about timing and more about spamming there was no timing involved in countering, combat on a whole was largely automated.
-Native Americans running around in waist deep snow in skirts,
-Plot that falls flat about half way in. Or did you play enough of the game to see the plot flop? I know you don't finish most games you review.
-Repetitive story missions; eavesdrop, follow, chase, kill. Nothing unique like AC2 had, with divincis glider, and infiltration missions.
-Main character is stiff, stale and unlikable.
-Killing a mountain lion with your forearm as a child.

Those are bullet points of which could easily be extrapolated, and turned into a comparative youtube video. But Ben dutka is always right, he always has the right facts. My facts are only my opinion so why waste my time showing more evidence.

You can try and find people that agree with you, just like all those critics who said the constant combat in NNK was a detriment...oh wait thats right the top three game review sites said nothing on the matter. Even if these phantom critics you do know said there was too much fighting, that is a completely subjective statement. Not to mention you clearly didn't play far enough to see that enemies can be avoided when you do side missions and unlock different perks. Oh and the FACT that enemies run away from you when you become stronger than them.

I'm not saying this game is better than AC3. I was saying that he had a point about AC3 having a ton of bugs, and I furthered that point by saying it flopped in several areas.

Last edited by xenris on 2/13/2013 12:37:30 PM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:53:49 PM

It can't be as bad as Quantum Theory :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 4:01:30 PM

World: Oh, but it is. LOL

xenris: I don't appreciate the little token jabs you take at me on a consistent basis, like I'm just some idiot who makes baseless comments and you're some messiah of gaming truth.

That's a worse set of bullet-points than I thought you'd come up with. Thank goodness you don't review games; otherwise, you'd be leading people astray with your mediocre analysis on a consistent basis.

First, the controls were altered very little. The differences are extremely minor; the biggest issue is that they removed the grab function that lets you stop yourself when falling. No idea why that was removed. Beyond that, there's nothing that makes the game feel significantly different from any past entries. There's also the added dynamic of running through trees, slogging through snow, and quite a few added animations, which you apparently give Ubisoft no credit for whatsoever.

I have no idea where your combat comment comes from. None at all. There's nothing "automated" about it, and certainly not more than in past entries. They merely added some special combo kills he does on his own, if you counter and multiple enemies are in certain spots. You don't mash anything; timing is exactly the same as it was before. Hit the counter button when an enemy begins his attack animation. That didn't change at all. They also added WAY more combination mechanics in regards to the different weapons (of which there were more types than ever before), but again, you must've missed that.

The story missions are absolutely no more repetitive than before. There's NOTHING in AC2 that you don't do in ACIII and in fact, there's plenty in AC3 we don't do in ACII. Da Vinci's tools were cosmetic and by the way, many of the controls associated with those machines were subpar and frustrating (want some reviews to remind you of that, too?). While on the flip side, the naval missions - which you want to barely mention - were extremely well constructed from a design and control standpoint.

I agree that Connor wasn't anything special. I also don't see how Altair was any less stiff or unlikable. Ezio wasn't any better defined. He was basically the same throughout all three entries; he just had more bravado. If that's your definition of a better character, fine.

For the story, there are problems. There is also more layering and more ambition on display in this plot. The much higher ambition and bigger scope in ACIII presented some issues, that is's also certain that the scope and ambition easily eclipsed that of any previous iteration in the series. I guess that counts for nothing. Really, why should we be rewarding extreme ambition? How silly.

There were way more different types of missions. There were frontier missions, item collection missions, missions directly related to building up your HQ (in this case, the Homestead), building your ship and conducting naval missions, and opening up trading routes and utilizing the services of your acquired allies to assist you. There were essentially three large and meticulously designed areas (Frontier, Boston, New York) when compared to one city in each of the previous installments.

There were more tools, more pieces of equipment, and the assassin setup was subtler yet deeper than ever before, as there were multiple categories for each assassin assist. Utilizing them could change the feel of any given objective. There was more freedom and less restriction in general and the contrasts were constant; I might pick up someone to bring to a clinic one minute, practice my platforming by chasing an Almanac page the next, and use any number of my new tools to achieve a different objective the next.

It's true that the hunting isn't exactly realistic. It's also true that this isn't a game about hunting and oh yes, you actually CAN hunt. What you CAN do compared to what you could do before provides quite the gap in analysis.

In a two-hour play session, I will do a dozen very different things if I visit all the major areas and do both main and side quests in ACIII. I was never capable of doing that in any past AC. I played them all, did everything in them, knew everything there was to know about them because I loved them. Hence, I think my breakdown and analysis of ACIII should probably be at least considered as professional and knowledgeable.

If you would like, I can point out about two dozen reviews from other sources, since you mention it, that will readily explain what I have just said in greater detail. But of course, as I've said numerous times before, you've never admitted to being wrong a day in your life and you're not about to start now.

So why did I just waste my time? ...not sure. I know you think you're far better suited to the task of reviewing games than I am; that much is evident. And that's cool with me. Except of the two of us, I'm the only one who actually knows how to do it.

P.S. I won't be responding again. It's like talking to a gumball machine, anyway.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/13/2013 4:10:50 PM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 5:25:20 PM

Your the one who explodes on everyone who has a different perspective or opinion here with a condescending tone. I think you have things backwards, you think your opinion on games is objective in ways when it is not, simple as that. I just merely state my opinion, and turns out there are people here who agree with me.

Your response was very much like any product representative. I platinumed AC2 so I sunk time into it and know that it was better than AC3 which I was going to platinum but it just was way to repetitive. So if we are going off of that I have the same credentials you do. Not to mention I have been gaming since I was 4, so I'm more than qualified to give opinions and analysis on videogames. Not to mention I am going to be working with friends to make sprite based video games so I know the work that goes into them.

Also combat is more button mashy, you can counter by mashing on O with no consequences. You can't sprint anymore without engaging free run which is a terribly choice.

Pro tip, you can grab when falling, try pushing the analogue stick forward when your falling. Should work.

PS I have only just started poking at you as an individual. You constantly bash and take a condescending stance with your community when you disagree with them. Like for example calling me a gumball. Way to be professional ;)

PPS I never said AC3 was bad, or worse than Aliens, but that it failed to deliver on several levels and lacked polish, in areas outside of the realm of just bugs and glitches.

Last edited by xenris on 2/13/2013 5:55:51 PM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 8:04:39 PM

The only part of your comments I agree with Xenris, is Ben's personality short comings. Ben, you do go on a rant to anyone who disagree's with you, and it's hypocritical of you to say Xenris never ever admits he is wrong, because you're exactly the same. I mean, you write the reviews so why should you, right?

But Xenris, you are completely wrong when it comes to ACIII, I am actually astonished at some of the statements you are making about the game. You can't be bothered platinuming the game because it is too repetitive.... What?! I am about 85% of the way to the platinum and have never once felt like it was a repetitive experience..... I've loved the challenge.

I agree with Ben's analysis of the game, but you are right that the grab function was never removed, but it isn't as reliable as it used to be, I have tried to use it numerous times and it has failed on me a lot.

The combat is the same as always, you can't just spam O, because O just throws them on the ground, what the hell is that going to do? Try spamming O against a Jagger.... See how far you get. The timing is exactly the same as always, I'd even go as far as saying it is better than before, in previous installments all you had to do was press R1+Square to counter attack and kill them, but now counter and your counter attack are seperate, which is a great function, I LOVE the new combat. There is a small level of strategy involved with a lot of the higher enemy classes now, it took me a long time to work out how to kill a Jagger.

There is more variety than ever before, the free running is more satisfying than ever, the missions aren't as plenty as the ACII series, which is a good thing, they dragged on WAY too much in that game. Did you like running around and collecting hundreds of chests? I didn't. Or maybe completing 12 or so missions for EVERY side mission type.

ACII was a HUUUUUUUGE improvement on the awesome ACI, but it still suffered from minor repetitiveness.

Connor is a better character than Ezio was, I like Connor a lot more, I wish he got at least one more game. I mean, Ezio got 3....

The Naval section of this game was amazing, and one of my favourite parts of it, they could make an entire game from it and I would be satisfied, Captain Connor is such a bad ass. "FOR THE AQUILA!!! FOR HER GLORY!!!"

One of the few gripes I have with ACIII is that the story jumps around a bit, I still don't understand parts of it.

Last edited by Akuma_ on 2/13/2013 8:08:37 PM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 10:09:48 PM

I'm glad that you like the game Akuma but I will try and clear up what I was talking about. First maybe I'm just burned out on the AC series because they have all started feeling very similar to me. The problems I am talking about are free running, and not being able to just sprint. It makes running from people annoying because you will start climbing everything you slightly point towards.

I will say that I personally was let down by AC3 because I was hoping the story to really take me like it did in AC2 but it never did. Connors personality was odd. He had no reason for killing some of the people he did, and when he found out the truth after killing them from their dying words, he looked slightly conflicted but still went on his killing spree. I just know that the story was hugely unsatisfying for me, and the characters other than Hatham were uninteresting.

You absolutely can spam O ONCE you see the red counter icon you can literally spam O if you want and you will counter. In AC1 you had a small window. I never once tackled someone in a fight by doing that. I was let down because I realized I could do this. I also felt that the combat was button mashy. Mash square on normal enemies, use the interupt on harder ones then mash square. I dunno, maybe it has been a while because AC2 didn't feel this easy. Further more, the combat was much harder and more satisfying in AC1, it was almost rhythm based in its execution which I much preferred.

Variety in what? If you play only the story missions, the game asks you to do very little in the way of variety. Most missions are follow someone, find and kill someone, chase someone or eavesdrop. Half way through the game I felt like I was doing the same thing over and over again. And I was going for 100% syncro in all the missions until over half way through the game when the problems with the game became more apparent to me. Side missions weren't bad variety wise, but after a while I was just thinking whats the point. Getting new items didn't seem to affect anything as I did everything with the basic stuff I was given no upgrades, where in AC2 it felt relevant and like it made a difference.

Strategies for Jaggers were easy I dont know what you are talking about. They fought similar to the squad leaders, you just had to counter, break guard/disarm, and then mash for the most part. Then they would try and do the same to you. I dunno it felt pretty routine to me :
I come from a competitive gaming background, and Dark Souls is one of my favourite current titles for its challenge so nothing in AC3 really was that tough.

I platinumed AC2 so I guess I did like running around doing all that stuff :P But I agree all the AC titles have suffered from repetitiveness.

The naval sections were alright I had no problems with those, but I have played Pirates of the burning sea, Sid meirs(spelling?) pirates, and a couple other pirate games on the PC and the naval combat didn't feel like anything new to me. Although I will admit it was a nice addition and a pleasant surprise.

I don't know what else you are astonished with though. I found it silly that they couldnt be bothered to make winter costumes for the characters considering it is winter half the time. Seem silly seeing a native person running around in the snow chest exposed and in a skirt or some other summer dress code.

Let me make it clear to you though, I'm not trying to come across as "right" here but there were some glaring issues with the game. I'm not one to give games free passes like Skyrim and Fallout 3 for being buggy and glitchy just because they are an open world and ambitious.

I do think AC3 is a good game, but that there are problems with the game that critics over looked it would seem. I need to get recording software because I know the exact instances I am talking about and making a video would be easier but alas I don't have the money for all that right now.

All that said, my main main point here was just agreeing with Knightzones point about bugs. I was not saying this game is better than AC3 because I haven't played aliens, and from the footage I have seen it looks meh.

Hope that clears things up, and certainly I'm not trying to be right here. I'm just trying to explain my perspective, hence why I type so much :)

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 @ 8:21:12 PM

I have always found it HILARIOUS how people use the argument "this is too repetitive" when complaining about a game, if you don't like repetition STOP BREATHING... You know that thing you REPEAT doing about every 2-3 seconds... It's TOOOOO repetitive... Xenris, I'd have to say you're a lil over the top sometimes...

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Friday, February 15, 2013 @ 1:12:15 AM

@Xenris: Compared to AC Brotherhood and Revelations, AC3 has significantly harder combat. IMO combat hasn't been this difficult (which is a relative term since its never truly been hard) since AC1. So please stop referring to AC3 as having terribly easy combat without referring to the square mashing fest that is Brotherhood/Revelations.

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Friday, February 15, 2013 @ 10:33:40 AM


Breathing is essential to life, and is an largely autonomic process, that can indeed be consciously controlled. Imagine if we had to think about breathing all the time? So many people would probably be dead. The breathing argument is kind of silly isn't it?

All games are repetitive to some degree, however AC3 felt repetitive to me. The mission variety felt as dull and unvaried as the first AC game which was what all the critics and gamers complained about. Now you weren't forced into doing repetitive missions to unlock the main target missions but still it felt similar TO ME, that is the important part right there.

I just felt like I had done this before, and there wasn't an interesting story to pull me along like AC2, which was the biggest leap in terms of gameplay and mission changes from its predecessor.


The combat never felt as challenging as it did in AC1, something I even had a problem with in AC2 which is overall my favourite in the series. You know the reason why I haven't refereed to those two games is because I haven't played them. I watched a playthrough online for Brotherhood for the story, and AC revelations I read a synopsis for.

I shouldn't have to compare AC3 to anything other than itself really. The combat felt very easy, and for me was very unsatisfying. It was minimal input maximum stimuli, making you feel like a badass without really needing to do anything.

Another complaint would be how piss poor the stealth was in AC3. Doing certain missions Full Sync that required you to not be seen because frustrating because of how finicky the AI was. This is coming from someone who beat MGS3 and 4 with no detections, no continues, and no kills. The stealth genre is one of my favourite but the stealth has been sort of broken in these titles.

I would say that all of them have easy combat except for the first AC, with AC2 coming in at a close second.

I know I can be over the top, but largely that comes from trying to explain my views through text. Something I'm not very good at. I find most people grab one point, one hole they find and attack that and ignore anything else I said that might be valid.

Again I'm trying to point out that I am not saying I'm right on the matter. I was more saying, that I could do a comparison video or an essay given the time and show areas where AC3 failed compared to its predecessors. I know many people who had problems with it, and I'm not trying to be nit picky like _____________. but more expressing my concern and confusion when a game with bugs and glitches gets high 8s and 9s because the reviewer can overlook them, and other games dont get that pass. It is an inconsistency I see a lot in the games journalism industry and one that is kind of bothersome.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 12:35:49 AM

I was expecting it to be bad, but ouch.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:21:50 AM

The funniest *and* saddest thing about this release I've seen so far, is that sole reviewer that gave it a 9, with the entire page DRAPED in Aliens commercials.

That site surely needed the money. They didn't even try to hide it.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/13/2013 1:24:37 AM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:23:04 AM

Damn a friend of mine is hyped with this game, he never cares about internet reviews or even gaming mags, guys full old school gamer in the sense he buy anything he think could be cool and get his own conlusion of the game, he even payed a friend 30 bucks to go for the game today because he didn't have a chance to go for it.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 3:59:24 AM

Wow, I've been looking forward to this game since it was first announced not long after the PS2 launched...gutted.

I might just grab it when it's cheap which I'm sure won't take too long.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 4:38:41 AM

This thing will drop *fast* in price, trust you me.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 4:49:50 AM

its bad, but its not THAT bad!
it at least does a very good job of making you feel like your reliving the movies, surely thats worth more than a 3.7!
id go with a 5.5, for once IGN was actually quite good with their review.

really ironic, 2 of the biggest complaints of DNF also are 2 of the biggest complaints of aliens, but in reverse.
DNF restricted you to 2 weapons and people HATED that!
rightfully so, DN3D made you feel like such a powerful bad a$$ because of the death dealing weapons, and multitude of them!
DNFs weapons felt piss weak in comparison, and i was always struggling to choose which to drop or keep.
another complaint medipacks were gone.
aliens medipacks are back, unlimited weapons.
looks like they just tried to turn aliens into a duke nukem game!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 10:51:49 AM

I'm sad to hear the game isn't very good. I was really excited for this one to come out, but it kinda devolved into a broken and disgusting mess :/ Like lots of other people said here, I'll wait a few weeks until I can find a cheap copy somewhere.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 11:00:27 AM

"Fair warning- The game blows."

Again, from yesterday, this wouldve sufficed for the review. I know you have to write it out, but coming from a reviewer (you being the reviewer), this speaks all those words you wrote in this review in only five words.

Last edited by wackazoa on 2/13/2013 11:01:01 AM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:39:00 PM

I bought the game yesterday (gasp) and I respectfully disagree with Ben's review here. It is far from a 3.7 (so far) and I am feeling that the 6 to 7 scores out there are more fair.

Although I have only spent about an hour playing it, I have had a smile on my face several times and it's NOT from the reasons Ben indicated. Seeing and hearing Hicks and Bishop was sure cool.

It feels like I am in an Aliens movie without James Cameron directing it which means it's all there from the movie sets, sound effects and the musical score. The only problem is, the game (if it was a movie) feels like it was not given the proper budget to handle the task at hand.

If you are an Aliens fan, by all means, at least rent it and try it for yourself.

Last edited by maxpontiac on 2/13/2013 1:39:58 PM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 1:55:08 PM

Sounds like the setting is what is swaying your opinion, nothing wrong with that, I felt Duke Nukem was saved just by having Duke's jokes and personality back.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 2:42:40 PM

Hi. I hate FPS'sers. I hated all the COD's and said they were all bad, even though they sold 20000 trillion copies because the 20000 trillion players who bought them were stupid compared to me. Cuz only real men play jrpgs were they make me cry.

Terrible and unfair review of this game, imo. It was dead from the time the 'fps' tag was added to it. Jaded gamers make jaded reviews.

It is just a game. I played Duke Nukem, and for the price, liked it.

End of Line.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 @ 4:55:35 PM

I've only played the first hour or so of this so far, and it is pretty damn rough (the teleporting you mention I'm pretty sure is missing frames of animation - they're missing from the Marine animations as well), but for only the first hour, as someone that only watched Aliens once (over twenty years ago, but enjoyed it a lot), I found it enjoyable. The level design was solid, the pacing well put together, the acting and story enjoyable. Of course, it may go to pot later, and calling the game AAA would be oh so wrong, but (not unlike MoH:W and RF:Armageddon) the broader reception for this game seems to be much more negative than the core game would justify.

If I ever get the time/energy, I'm keen to investigate why this is (is the review code a patch or two prior to the final release (my most probably explanation) or is it some kind of mass hysteria propogated over the internet (less probable, but still possible - mass shifts of opinion driven by nothing other than others' opinions are common, and if we're not conscious of the impact these can have on our emotional filters which, in turn, affect our interpretation of things, then our behaviour can appear erratic).

The only thing I'd note is that every single gamer (non-reviewer) who I've seen that's played this game thought it was reasonable - just like MoH:W and RF:A, there's huge gulf between the reception critically and the reception by gamers, and this seems to be happening more and more (and I've got a huge backlog on games across PS3/PC/Xbox360/Vita, so a bad game that's on my 'to play' list isn't a bad thing that needs to be justified, it's an excuse to move onto something else).

TL DR version:

Here, as for other games, there seems to be a disconnect between the critical and gamer reception. This is odd (given most critics are gamers) and disturbing (if critic reception doesn't reflect gamer, then what value do the critiques hold for gamers).

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 @ 11:41:34 AM

Brilliant post Axe. I really like the part about the mass shift of opinions. I actually firmly believe that this happens with a lot of game releases. I have friends who are stoked for a game and read a review and they just hate it, and when I ask them why it turns out it was a couple of negative things that the review said that they just couldn't help but notice.

I think it is interesting the disconnect between some of the critics reviews and the fan reaction to a game. For example a lot of AAA elite titles fall short of gamers expectations but they are called whiny for saying that they didn't like it. Flip that around to gamers liking a game way more than the critics and you start to wonder whats actually going on with videogame journalism.

Now metacritic isn't a great source, but the negative user score can sometimes give you an idea of how vocal gamers or fans of the series feel about the new game. Dragon Age 2 for example somehow managed to get critics everywhere giving it high scores, I think it is still in the 80s somewhere. But the user review was about a 5, and not all of these were 0s from spam accounts.

I have no right to talk about this game but I do know that some of my favourite games were games that received poor critical reception, like Alpha Protocol, Asuras wrath, advent rising, Binary Domain and several on the PSX. So I understand exactly where your post is coming from. Well said :)

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 @ 8:17:22 PM

I was HUGELY looking forward to this one after playing AVP, but as the time got closer and closer I slowly lost interested, glad I didn't pick it up day 1 if it's THIS bad... Maybe I'll get lucky and pick the collector's edition up at a rather reasonable price, at least the statue looks well done...

Ben, keep up on the wonderful work review games, you're one of the VERY FEW who's reviews I'll even read, and try not to let Xenris get to you, I have a feeling his mother didn't hug him enough as a child.........

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