Aliens: Colonial Marines (PS3)

Today we will be doing things a little different as we delve into the world of video games.  A few months back I pre-ordered Aliens: Colonial Marines.  As the release date slowly crept up I too was one of the many fans horrified by the number of negative reviews surrounding the game.  I decided to bite the bullet and stick with the pre-order even though many fans jumped ship.  While I would have loved to be one of the first bloggers to show this awesome set in it's entirety, I decided to wait so I could give an honest review of not just the contents, but the game itself.

Last night after about a week of off and on game play I finally beat A:CM.  I've still yet to do much in terms of online tournaments so this review will mostly be concerning the story mode along with the extras included in the limited edition set.

"Game over man, game over"
The game takes place weeks after the Aliens film takes place.  You are one of a handful of Marines sent to LV-426 on an undisclosed rescue mission.  Soon after landing you encounter various obstacles ranging from xenomorphs to Weyland's own army (sent on a similar mission, only to retrieve the Aliens.)

I'm not going to get into more of the story line as I'd hate to spoil it for any fans.  The game isn't perfect, clearly.  It's first issue is a clunky control scheme, the biggest annoyance during game play is actually having to stop and look at an item (health, ammo, weapon, etc) and press a button to actually pick it up.  During a battle this becomes a very big pain in the ass.  The next issue comes with some of the Aliens AI, it's not as awful as some reviewers have pointed out, but their movements become very predictable in some points of the game.  Another issue is a pretty obvious one and that's pertaining to the graphics. The game does look a bit dated for PS3 standards, but considering this has been "in the works" for a very long time I guess that was to be expected.  Flaws aside I found the game to be very enjoyable.  It's standard FPS fare, which is why I think so many people have a problem with the game.  I think a lot of people were expecting something more than a bunch of grunts killing aliens.  Maybe something a little more survival-horrorish, which this is not.  It takes the tone of Aliens strips it down and runs with it.  With all that said after reading countless negative reviews I'm still scratching my head...While I'm not the biggest gamer in the world I'm left wondering "is this really that bad?"

If you're a fan of film I think you'll get more enjoyment out of the game.  While this is sort of an obvious statement, it's true.  The creators went out of their way to recreate the Cameron/Scott vision.  You'll immediately recognize some of the sets.  The weapons and their sounds.  There's even a few familiar faces that popup through the game (some dead, some alive.)  You are literally transported into the movie.  It (again, without spoiling anything) connects Aliens to Alien 3, it ties up any loose ends and answers a few questions.  In that aspect, it is in my opinion very well done.

I would recommend this game, but I would recommend playing a demo first.

Now, onto the extras.  I was blown away when I opened this set.  The Game itself is just a normal PS3 snapper case so there's no need to get into that.  The statue however, is awesome.  It's made out of resin and while the detailing on the marine is a big light, everything else is spot on.  For it's size it really is a well done piece, everything is painted and then given a few washes to look a bit "beat up."  The Xenomorph is spot on and given a bit of a metallic blue wash to bring out all of the details.

Also included is a Colonial dossier with various paperwork and blue prints, this is a very nice touch.  It gives you a mission briefing along with a certificate which can be signed if you so desire.

Completing the set are two Marine patches and two exclusive codes for the game.  The codes give you access to Ripley's flame thrower along with a few skins for the online feature.  Lastly everything is housed in a big cardboard box with a plastic slip case featuring artwork of various crawling aliens.

Overall I'm very happy with the purchase, while there is certainly room for improvement I found the game to be a blast and the box set to be a great display piece.