Sulaco-operation: Aliens – Colonial Marines Multiplayer

By Adam Smith on September 3rd, 2012 at 10:00 am.

I hate vents

I have fond memories of Aliens vs Predator 2 multiplayer, in which I most often played the part of a terrified marine, a coward really who should never have signed up, abandoning my team and shooting wildly at shadows whenever anything resembling an alien jittered across the screen. Shown at PAX Prime, Colonial Marines is bolstering its multiplayer offering with a mode which is inspired by Left 4 Dead. Four marines must escape, booking it through a level while player-controlled aliens, some with special abilities, attempt to eviscerate them. A trailer skitters in the darkness below.

I like Aliens (although a great deal less than Alien) and I like Left 4 Dead, so is this the game mode that finally makes me excited about Colonial Marines? I don’t know, because it’s Monday morning and I’m incapable of feeling anything other than vague anxiety at the speed with which the weekend passed. Maybe I’ll be excited later today, in which case the idea of being hunted by acid-spewing claw-beasts might well be responsible.

On the Left 4 Dead inspiration, Eurogamer quote Randy Pitchford at the Gearbox PAX panel thusly: “The last awesome asymmetrical game I really enjoyed was Left 4 Dead…it’s really cool to have a franchise which really lends itself and almost demands us to bring asymmetrical gameplay back, so I’m really excited that we’re doing that.”

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41 Comments »

  1. Toberoth says:

    Hey! Finally a good trailer for this game! This might be the mode that redeems it.

    Edit: Kinda reminds me of a first-person Alien Swarm, which is a game that everyone should play, since it’s both excellent and free on Steam.

    Double edit combo: Also, at 46 seconds–I’m not sure that opening an alien up with a shotgun and then walking on top of it is the wisest course of action, but apparently there’s no damage from acid blood in this version?

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Agreed. This looks like it has potential to be fun. Like L4d2, but with more objectives, fewer, stronger enemies, and more of an emphasis on looking out for the enemies, rather than non-stop shooting. Still, so many things could go wrong. Even the best of games can not be salvaged by poor matchmaking.

    • baby snot says:

      @The Goodzilla Hunter: Surely they will have dedicated servers with a simple server browser? That can’t be too hard to conjure up.

      After watching the trailer a few times I can’t see a reason to get excited. Only because it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on. Grunts seem entirely unmemorable which is sad considering the film it’s supposedly a sequel too, and the games it’s inspired by, all of which have well written characters and dialogue.

      And no women? WTF. Apparently they’re in the pipeline and have been from the start but, how the fuck have they not been in any of the trailers yet? And that goes for both sides (xeno queen = tank please).

  2. AJ_Wings says:

    I’m quite shocked to hear someone on the internet say he prefers the original Alien rather than it’s sequel. An opinion that I can share!

    • Wololo says:

      I’m with ya and Adam right there

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      felisc says:

      ?! I always hear the opposite.
      I like them both as much, screw taking sides.

      • Toberoth says:

        Yuh, I like them both in different ways: the first as horror, the second as action. I don’t think I could pick a favourite.

      • Archipelagos says:

        Everyone always unites under a single banner over how awful Alien: Resurrection was though, that film brings people together.

        • roryok says:

          I thought it was ok.

        • baby snot says:

          I thought Resurrection was great. 3 is still a steaming turd though.

        • Triangulon says:

          I agree. First three brilliant. Resurrection rubbish.

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          Jubaal says:

          Not me. I’m one of the minority that liked Alien: Resurrection.

        • The Magic says:

          I personally think all 4 were pretty great, though i am basing my opinion on the Quadrilogy Special edition whatever, where the last 2 films are pretty drastically different, particularly 3

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          Vandelay says:

          I don’t mind Resurrection either. It is, overall, pretty mediocre, but has some interesting ideas. Fans of Firefly should definitely see it gestating somewhere within too. Three is the weakest for me.

          Every right thinking person rates the first at the top though.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Sorry, but the third one is the best. It’s as if someone took Aliens and decided to remake it with maximum Britishness.

  3. Metalfish says:

    I can’t help but think that the “spitter” would be much better* if designed by Geiger, rather than a sort of bolt on design due to the apparent need for a long range xeno (nothing to do with the L4D2 spitter, I’m sure).

    *Might be the wrong word.

  4. Archipelagos says:

    I also prefer Alien to Aliens. While Colonial Marines looks like dumb fun I would kill for a game based on Alien, you know, something with suspense, tension and a roster of characters that are normal working people dealing with an extreme situation — no marines, no cannon fodder xenos. Before someone says that would be impossible,it won’t work as a game, you need a bazillion enemies to shoot before it’s fun, blah blah, it has been done before: Haunting Ground anyone? Sure, HG had it’s share of problems but it managed with a roster of 4 — FOUR — enemies.

    • Toberoth says:

      That would be an amazing game :-) A slow-paced, first-person adventure/exploration game framework, interspersed with brief and terrifying moments of running the fuck away? I would play that.

      • Adam Smith says:

        I’d like to see Frictional’s take on a creaky, industrial space wreck.

        • Toberoth says:

          Mmmhmm, I was just thinking they’d be the perfect bunch to have a crack at it.

      • Archipelagos says:

        Exactly! Plus you could have a mystery aspect of never knowing who amongst your crew has been infected (that in a multiplayer aspect would be hilarious, especially over vent: “Hey guys, got a surprise for you!”)

        It reminds me of Friday the 13th on the ZX Spectrum, where you would never know who the killer was until he attacked. Not a great game but nifty idea.

        • Toberoth says:

          So many good ideas waiting to be resurrected by modern game devs…

      • buzzmong says:

        Oddly enough, the new XCOM FPS remake was originally billed as something along those lines, which got me all excited. Sadly they went to boring actionville.

    • mattratcliffe says:

      Great idea. Pretty much what dead space 1 is like.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      I do agree with you in theory- I far prefer Alien’s breath-robbing suspense to Alien’s Big Dumb Everything. I’m just not sure that Alien would translate well to a game. It works very well as a movie where the audience has no agency, but as a game I can see it being nigh impossible to pull off.

  5. pruchel says:

    1:08 stapler gun.

  6. Slinkyboy says:

    Natural Selection 2. Nuff sed :D

  7. Dudeist says:

    L4D2 with Aliens – for me ok :)

  8. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    I assume the alien players have the ability to respawn, while the marine players are dead for the rest of the match. Otherwise it wouldn’t be any fun, would it?

    • abandonhope says:

      With the right level design it might be more interesting for the marines to have to go back (take a detour off the main course to retrieve a taken comrade). This could be feasible if a) the aliens were trying to capture the marines to use as hosts and b) there were some areas inaccessible to larger aliens (ducts, etc.), giving a last remaining marine a chance to get to the captured players (while player-controlled head crabs assaulted him).

  9. rockman29 says:

    This actually looks really cool. It’s like Natural Selection and L4D, good mode for the series of games definitely.

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    Chaz says:

    Didn’t AvP 2, have something similar called Evac mode, where a team of Marines had to reach an evac point whilst player aliens tried to stop them. Or did I just imagine that?

  11. Geen says:


    I give up, I’m gonna just go back to AvP2.