I suppose I’m not impartial to playing bad games now and then. But if I’m honest, I don’t think this game is as bad as people say it is. Now I will absolutely have to explain and defend my reasons for saying that. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like this game, but I don’t hate it. Actually, it’s sort of got a few positives to it that I wouldn’t mind discussing. I guess you could say Aliens Colonial Marines is sort of like a cult classic.
Only kidding, it’s a genuinely terrible game that is effectively one of the reasons gaming is going down the toilet. That’s a bold statement to make, but Aliens Colonial Marines may possibly be one hell of a terrible game. Nothing within this game is worth experiencing for yourself, so you can be thankful that I did.
What I think is interesting to note is that my thoughts on this game have changed severely. Before watching the film Aliens (1986) I didn’t think it was too bad. Sure, a bit mediocre, but a standard shooter that would gain an audience. But after watching the film and experiencing the magic of that, I can see why this game is loathed.
Possibly the biggest reason is that it’s basically just one big slap in the face to any fan of anything. Movie tie in games are often quite terrible, look no further than Cars: The Videogame for evidence on that. The problem with adapting a film into a video game is that there are too many aspects to consider. With Aliens Colonial Marines, they realised that, and decided not to worry about any of it. Instead of copying over plot from the films, they decide to do, well, something else.
What they decided to do is still entirely unsure to me. I’m presuming they wanted to create their own story to compliment the film. Clearly, this did not work in any sense of the word.
Graphically speaking, the game looks like arse. It genuinely does look poorly cobbled together, and the assets they have used are dull. The game looks grey, boring and above all it looks pretty cheap. This is no further highlighted than with the A.I. which is honestly some of the worst I have seen in any game ever. Enemies in the game include your standard Xenomorph’s but they seem to have been knocked on their head. I’m not entirely sure how the game managed to cock up something so crucial.
It’s not as if anything else is done correctly either. Aside from the despicably poor A.I., a plot that doesn’t make sense and terrible graphics, everything just feels terrible. Musically, the game is about as nice to listen to as, I don’t know, death metal? Yeah, we’ll go with that. The game itself has nothing in regards to sound really. A usual barrage of bullets that sound like they’ve been bought from a store based for Unity games is never a good sound.
Even the achievements in this game are not worth going after. Some of them are fairly simple, for example completing some segments of the game. Others are extremely difficult because you have to rely on the A.I. and relying on them is going to get you nowhere. It’s not just the Xenomorph’s that are badly coded either, even companions and other soldiers are pretty terrible. My favourite of all encounters throughout the game is when one of the Alien’s decided he’d had enough and literally jumped down to his death.
Aside from suicidal Aliens though, the game tries to give us a fairly decent choice of weapons to choose from. None of them really matter in the long run though. For me I just went with the shotgun. For the most part it seemed like it was a one hit kill and that never changed throughout my run. The assault rifle was genuinely useless, it would have been more useful if I’d propped a door open with it. I’m pretty sure they were the only two weapons I used if I’m honest. Sometimes you could find weapons in relation to the film series, but they were sometimes as useless as the base weapons.
What I don’t understand is that, after about an hour or so, it just becomes a generic shooter. Instead of kicking some Alien ass, we’re handed a load of generic guys in different coloured shirts. Somehow they manage to make the Alien series boring. A game called Aliens Colonial Marines should not be about killing other colonial marines. It should be about shooting the shit out of some damn Aliens!
Oddly enough, I do enjoy poor quality shooters every now and then. Really it’s because it’s something to break up the ordinary shooters I play from time to time. Aliens Colonial Marines is without a doubt a really terrible game. It manages to destroy the experience you could have with the films. Not only that, but it goes one further and pretty much destroys any impact future Alien games could have for me. That does exclude Alien: Isolation though, from what I’ve heard it’s supposed to be thrilling.
Let’s get back on topic though, Aliens Colonial Marines is a bad game. There is no doubt about it. But there’s a definite, weird charm to it that I can’t explain. Sometimes it’s just nice to step back and appreciate how truly terrible some games can be. Is it the worst game I’ve ever played? No, I can’t say it is if I’m honest. Like I said though, I find there to be something very charming about this game.
At the end of the day though, it is bad. Quite terrible actually. Don’t think about playing this game because quite honestly the experience is not worth it. Not even some fairly easy achievements can be worth it for this. With games like this I often have to evaluate whether or not I play games for fun anymore. Because judging by this game, I really don’t think I do.