Someone Else Mostly Made Colonial Marines, Mostly (Maybe)

By Alec Meer on February 12th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Edit – Sega Senior Producer Matthew J. Powers has said of this allegation that “Absolutely not, the game has been developed by Gearbox Software. Other studios [like Timegate] helped Gearbox on the production of single and multiplayer.” Which doesn’t really clear anything up, but there you go.

By almost all accounts, Aliens: Colonial Marines, released this week, is a trainwreck. And not one of those cool trainwrecks with explosions, collapsing bridges and men in awesome hats leaping to safety at the last second. Instead it sounds like a sad, slow, drift off the edge of the track, toppling gracelessly onto its side and making a limp ‘pffffffffffffffffff’ noise. Mister John Walker will be along either later today or tomorrow to confirm or deny this, but in the meantime let’s have a confusing look at the Gearbox shooter’s odd gestation. I say ‘Gearbox shooter’, but it rather sounds as though other studios did the heavy lifting.

It’s been hinted before that Timegate studios, known for Section 8, FEAR add-ons and the excellent, sadly abandoned Kohan series, had pitched in with the game, and indeed they are openly listed in the credits of the game itself. However, unearthed (though as yet unconfirmed) rumours now have it that they may have done the majority of singleplayer development, despite official claims to the contrary.

Eurogamer‘s got a good summary of alleged events, almost all of which has to remain rumour until official word arrives. And frankly I doubt that will happen, as I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone involved with the game probably just wants it to go away now. In short, Gearboss Randy Pitchforkd last year acknowledged the involvement of Timegate, as well as Shoot Many Robots dev Demiurge and another studio, Nerve (best known for assorted ports of Activision games), but he told Gamasutra that Gearbox had handled approximately 80% of development.

However, around the same time someone alleging to be an ex-Gearbox employee claimed that Timegate were doing pretty much everything except multiplayer. Quoth the mystery man, “I used to work at Gearbox, and the development of that game has been a total train wreck, going on what, six years now? Gearbox isn’t even making the game, except for the multiplayer. Primary development was outsourced to TimeGate Studios, which has a less than stellar past.”

It’s deeply unwise to take the claims of someone who is a) anonymous and b) no longer working for the company in question at face value, but if there’s any truth to it would at least explain why a company arguably at the top of its game right now would make such a sorry mess of such a high-profile title.

That said, arguing that a game is necessarily a disaster because such and such a studio was involved is also nonsense. It’s just as likely a shortage of budget and resources as it is creative wrong-headedness. Too many cooks on the other hand…

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140 Comments »

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  1. Hirmetrium says:

    Two studios, whom have arguably made good games each (Section 8, Borderlands) have both made this trainwreck?

    There must be more to it. I refuse to believe that the developers of great games are both to blame, and that developer’s comments about Timegate are particularly nasty and inflammatory.

    One also has to wonder why Randy Pitchford has lied (and he has, assuming this is true), and why Gearbox were so prominently promoting the game. And why SEGA let it release in such a state. There’s a lot of unanswered questions. This will tarnish them both.

    Finally, prominent games journalist Jim Sterling claims the game-play demo at Eurogamer (the very one that convinced me to purchase) isn’t even present in the final game (wouldn’t know, not that far yet). What the hell? Is that not misleading? (obviously covered by disclaimer of beta/alpha code, etc)

    • rockman29 says:

      I dunno, I can see how a bunch of switcharoo madness can cause a game to mess up.

      Plus, this is Alien.

      How much do you be faithful to Alien, and how much do you devote to making an interesting and fresh game?

      My money is on this game being a poor man’s Natural Selection 2 combined with an Alien skin, but only time will tell…

      • TrueBlue says:

        More like a CoD clone with the “Aliens” code of paint all over it, in fact it’s exactly how it plays and for the most part acts, having a generic multiplayer, a rather useless and contrive weapon attachment system and your typical, overly accessible and uninspired CoD gunplay that people have, for better or for worst, come to know for these past years, very prominently I might add.

    • Taidan says:

      From the team that brought us Duke Nukem Forever? No, who’d have thunk it? :o

      • nephilim83 says:

        People keep forgetting that Borderlands is the ONLY good thing Gearbox has put their hands on since Counterstrike. It’s silly to automatically assume anything they put out is going to be as good.

        • tangoliber says:

          Well the Borderlands team is amazing… and I’d expect anything they do to be amazing. I hope they do their own Duke Nukem game.

        • gunner1905 says:

          Brothers in Arms was quite good

        • Taidan says:

          I’m not even overly fond of Borderlands, myself.

          While I found the RPG elements, (AKA. The WoW-ness) the co-op and the driving very compelling, I found the actual FPS mechanics (AKA. The Meat of the Game) to be diabolical. It was just a zerg with clumsy, unsatisfying weapons, and pointless skill-less bossfights.

          • bjohndooh says:

            I really didn’t even find the RPG mechanics enticing, and I found the FPS bits equally dismal.
            I found the most substantial part of the game to be its style, but that wasn’t enough to entice me into even finishing it.

          • mouton says:

            The gameplay of Borderlands 1/2 was horrible. Music, visuals and voice acting were great – but it was still a chore playing just for that.

        • Maniac says:

          Still, the two Half-Life expansions they made were pretty fucking good. If not excellent. But yes, most of what they’ve produced has been garbage, and the only original-ish, none-contracted work that they’ve made that wasnt shit was Blands. (Whereas the first was really, really… Bland)
          Oh, and the second game was hugely disappointed in my opinion. (The vehicle mechanics felt tacked on like in the first game) And having a ninja whom is displayed prominently with a big-arse ninjasword only have a hotkeyed attack with it instead of being able to hold it? For shame!
          Oh and the one you’d swipe with when using said hotkey was nowhere near as big as the one thats shown everywhere else. Boo.

        • JCD says:

          Let’s not give them any credit for Counterstrike. That was Minh Le and Jess Cliffe with a bit of help from Valve later on. Gearbox always reminded me of Raven Software, clinging to the coattails of a better developer. You play one of their games and steer well clear of them after that.

      • Eclipse says:

        Duke Nukem Forever was pretty good. There, I said it out loud.

        • x1501 says:

          While there’s no accounting for taste, objectively speaking, it really wasn’t. I had zero expectations (and a lot of free time) for Duke Nukem Forever, and I still found it to be too tedious, mind-numbingly boring, and just dated in almost every way to be able to finish it. I can’t think of a single aspect of that game that wasn’t subpar, and apparently, neither could the critics.

          • Baines says:

            The bad thing is that it was dated in the wrong ways. DNF seemed to take the weakest parts of different eras, while leaving out the good.

          • Mman says:

            “The bad thing is that it was dated in the wrong ways. DNF seemed to take the weakest parts of different eras, while leaving out the good.”

            Yeah, the thing with DNF is that it combines the worst of both older and modern FPS in such a way that you can say it’s either extremely dated or too modernised and be completely right because it somehow manages to be both.

        • brulleks says:

          Yeah, only because we can’t see your crossed fingers.

      • Werthead says:

        From the team that made DNF? No. That was 3D Realms. Gearbox took the mostly-finished game and released it without doing much more work on it themsevels because, well, it didn’t need any more delays. The idea seemed to be to release it, try to make some money on it, and make sure any future Duke Nukem game is better and released more speedily.

        • Baines says:

          Even if Gearbox did nothing but put their name on it, that isn’t a positive thing. DNF was a poorly made game that Gearbox wanted to be associated with, and which Randy Pitchford repeatedly hyped. Gearbox thought it was a good idea to release it in the state that they released it in.

      • CaspianRoach says:

        Actually, some (most?) of the work was done by http://www.triptychgames.com/games.html and not the main studio.

    • TrueBlue says:

      lol Unanswered questions, not really, it’s rather obvious what happened here, there was probably some issues regarding Fox ownership of the IP creative liberties, which ended up with the title being delayed in development, then Sega’s order to rush this product to the market, when it clearly wasn’t prepared to be, the fact that Gearbox was more interested in other self made titles to rightfully give this product the same amount of attention, care and income that it deserved, and probably a lot of inconsistent back and forward feedback between Gearbox and Timegate themselves.

      Again nothing unnatural about this whole affair, just another ambitious project that wasn’t exactly well thought out or developed, it happens a lot in this industry in case you didn’t know.

    • The Random One says:

      Too many cooks.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Too many crooks you mean.

        AW yis, big pats on own back for that one

      • BooleanBob says:

        “It’s a feature!”

      • unsane says:

        That was painful to watch. Time to get the hot air out of the GBX hype balloon?

        I’m not commenting on the ca. 2000ish graphics, since it’s clearly console footage, but really… It’s a corridor shooter how hard can it be? I made better looking HL/HL2 maps 10 years ago (with more interesting gameplay to boot), and I didn’t quit my dayjob…

        In other words: -1/10.

  2. db1331 says:

    I do not understand why studios have so much trouble with the Aliens and the James Bond licenses. It seems to me that those should be the easiest things in the world to turn into a fantastic video game, but nearly every time, they are absolutely dreadful.

    • Premium User Badge

      DrAmateurScience says:

      I think the problem is the urge to make a GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! game when what makes the films great is frequently neither of those things.

      I always felt it would suit a survival horror game rather than a COD-u-like but apparently anyone with enough money to make these things disagrees with me.

      • QualityJeverage says:

        Yep.

        Even a good, well-made “ACTION ACTION GUNS GUNS GUNS” game would have felt like a failure to capture the Alien license. And this isn’t good or well-made or anything positive.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        The whole premise of Alien (no S) is survival horror cocaine. A bunch of NPCs, a dark industrial, inescapable spaceship, and one lethal stalking machine. You get to hear everyone dying over the radio, or in front of you, etc, and you have limited access to weaponry.

        Aliens is basically the multiplayer FPS micheal bay “reboot” of sequels.

        If nothing else, Alien 3 at least attempted to return to the original’s nature.

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          Gap Gen says:

          Also motherhood. I mean, if someone told me to make a film about becoming a mother, I’d like to think I’d make something like Alien.

        • Archipelagos says:

          Just so. I’m sick to the back teeth of Cameron’s vision of the Alien, we need to go back to the original. The xenomorph is not supposed to be cannon fodder with waves and waves flooding the character to get mowed down like they’re harmless. One xenomorph, if going by the rules of the first film, would have been enough to wipe out the marines. You know, perfect organism.

          But no, the bromocracy needs its pewpew. Get back to me when gaming gets out of its 90’s action movie phase.

          • Brun says:

            In the first film the single Xenomorph is facing a group of unarmed, untrained space scavengers. Of course it looks like the “perfect organism” there. There’s no evidence in the original Alien that, were they armed with real weaponry, the crew couldn’t have killed it with ease.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            The idea of their lethality isn’t simply about the first film.

            You’re probably right that they could’ve eventually killed it without nearly everyone dying.

            However, a lot of the stuff that spun-off (comics, games, etc) paint them as such. That whole galaxy-wide companies will constantly try to engineer into a “controllable” bio-weapon (it’s always the “control” that goes wrong)… companies that have functioning androids, cloning, space-travel, etc.

            Even Aliens basically holds them as bloody nasty, while mowing down bunches with space-weapons and flame-throwers. A swarming mass just makes it harder to deal with, when they break through the floor, or drop out of air-ducts, or just drip acid on all the furniture.

          • colw00t says:

            You and I must remember very different films. The Cameron one is, amongst other things, a very good Vietnam allegory. The marines are hyper bro shoot shoot mans with the best technology, and lose about three-quarters of their number in the first engagement. Second engagement they lose a couple more, so by the end there are three people out of fifteen, and one of those isn’t even organic and thus probably doesn’t count from the xenomorph’s perspective. The whole thing is a deconstruction of that entire mentality, which is a big part of why you could never make a good FPS out of the idea. Survival horror, yes. FPS, not so much.

            Ash in the first movie says that he admires the creature’s “purity,” in that it is an absolute hunter, with no concessions to anything else and nothing to slow it down. That’s what he means by perfection. It’s not a physical god, it’s an extraordinarily capable predator.

          • Brun says:

            Even Aliens basically holds them as bloody nasty, while mowing down bunches with space-weapons and flame-throwers. A swarming mass just makes it harder to deal with, when they break through the floor, or drop out of air-ducts, or just drip acid on all the furniture.

            But that’s just it, isn’t it? The xenomorphs are portrayed as formidable, but not invincible. Moreover, they are basically the zerg (Blizzard definitely borrowed heavily from Aliens when creating Starcraft) – not particularly threatening on their own, but very dangerous in numbers.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            I think it’s probably better to boil the whole franchise down into 3 genres:
            1. Survival Horror: (obviously the first film leads here), limited weaponry, limited Aliens.
            2. Shooter: (mostly Aliens leads here), lots of guns, lots of Aliens everywhere (they’re coming outta the walls infact).
            3. ~Stealth adventure games: typically rescuing a person from an Alien nest, only the have them chestburst at the most inconvient time, but also using the environment (the end sequence of Alien 3, or a ship’s engine) or non-weapons (cargo-lifter) to fight back.

          • Lemming says:

            @Brun, um just a small point, but Blizzard ripped the Zerg wholesale from Games Workshop’s Tyranids.

            It goes:

            Aliens–>GW Genestealers–>GW Tyranids–>Blizzard Zerg.

      • alabastersteel says:

        Actually Creative Assembly is supposedly working on an Alien (original film) survival horror game right now, and reports from the dev team is there’s a lot of excitement about it internally. It may be mixing aspects of dead space, some think you’re actually living through the plot of the original film and you only face the one Alien at the very end. Sounds promising. Shame there’s hardly any information on it.

        Edit: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/05/12/creative-assembly-birthing-alien-the-game/

    • wild_quinine says:

      Allow my friends Captain Gif and Corporal Png to tell this story:

      http://i.minus.com/i212wUcwcU0eE.gif

      http://imageshack.us/a/img651/6526/colonialmarines.png

      I actually find the alien in that GIF to be even more scary. It’s all a bit uncanny valley. Plus, he swaggers like a total Geeza.

      • Bhazor says:

        I like to imagine him giving a polite cap doff as he walks past the player.

      • Ravenholme says:

        Let me make that gif complete for you:

        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5386258/1360580902385.gif

      • dE says:

        Steampunk Aliens.
        No, seriously, why the hell does it have exhaust pipes with Steam coming from it?
        Gearbox, do you dream of Steampunk Sheep?

        • Unruly says:

          You know that the Alien was designed by H. R. Giger right? That man has built his career around the merging of biological and mechanical ideas while throwing a lot of sexual imagery on top. The original Alien had those exhaust pipes too.

          Also, in case you didn’t know, the Alien’s head is a giant penis.

    • woodsey says:

      Well for one thing, Activision has the Bond license and they have no interest in putting any effort into it.

    • Bhazor says:

      It’s because they make games based on how they remember the films. What they remember are the bangy bangy shooty shooty bits what they forget are the slow build ups and quiet moments that give the shooty shooty bangy bangy bits their meaning and weight.

      It’s like writing a film adaption to a book when all you’ve got is the synopsis on Wikipedia. You get all the events but none of the feeling or emotion.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Only way to make scary Alien game is to mod Slender-game or Amnesia to have Alien model. But shooters won’t work for this franchise because when there are hordes attacking you it’s only scary because you have low HP level, not because of enemies – you can play L4D2 with Infected, Terminator, Alien or even Ponies – it won’t really change scare factor.

      As for Bond – whoever owned licence thought Bond is a shooter (maybe I played way too late, but I think GoldenEye 64 receives more praise for being one of the first playable console FPS than being Bond game) . Proper Bond game would have to be RPG – something like Alpha Protocol.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Amnesia and Slender only really work in the sense that it’s one monster, but both use mechanics built on “eyeing up” the monster… whereas Aliens is trying to kill you whether you’re looking or not. Obviously there’d still be a need for cues so the player is aware of the monster’s presence, where you can run to, and how to actually secure your location.

        • HadToLogin says:

          Ok, maybe not exactly just changing models, but it”s more about “setting” or “theme” or whatever-its-called of Slender/Amnesia that would be a good start of scary Alien game.

          Make spaceship, one weaponless character and one single Xeno and objectives like “start auto-destruct and then run to escape pod” and that would be a good idea-start.

  3. f1x says:

    Had to read that last sentence twice, almost got cumfused

  4. Innovacious says:

    In a piece on IGN (http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/02/11/the-future-according-to-randy-pitchford?abthid=51193083323b9b3f14000003) they have this:

    Houston-based TimeGate Studios, meanwhile, worked on “probably about 20 or 25 percent of the total time,” with Pitchford noting that “if you take preproduction out of it, their effort’s probably equivalent to ours. Now, it’s not fair to take preproduction out of it, but that says a lot about how much horsepower those guys put into it.”

    • Shuck says:

      Weird. A friend of mine is a developer at Gearbox. He had very minor role on Colonial Marines, but from what he was saying, I had no idea any other developer was even involved with it, so I find it hard to believe they had an equal role. My friend certainly wasn’t pleased with his time working on it, however.

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    Lars Westergren says:

    The reviews are absolutely savaging this. More exploding septic tank than exploding…um…something cool that explodes.

  6. bitbot says:

    I’m sad to say but I don’t have much faith in Gearbox anymore. Borderlands 2 was okay, I guess, but still just more of the same and not much new over the first game. I got bored with it really quickly.

  7. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    Really classy Gearbox, with the dev diaries and all the pre-release materials you claimed total credit but now people don’t like it you’re shifting the blame to another company within hours of release.

    Regardless, Gearbox contracted this stuff out so if it is of low quality they have to take the ultimate blame.

    • woodsey says:

      They had an equally childish response to people saying that DNF was shit, only instead of blaming it on another developer, Pitchford just went around bitching and threatening review outlets.

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      slerbal says:

      +1 Agreed!

    • SelfEsteemFund says:

      They do this every time, it’s always someone elses fault.. they’re absolutely pathetic & frankly, Randy Pitchford is a piece of shit.

  8. D3xter says:

    Don’t believe anything Randy Pitchford says, ever.

    He’s one of the most “bullshit-y” PR types that exists in this industry.

  9. Bugg says:

    Odd how Gearbox went out of their way to take credit for the game and build up hype, then backed away and pointed at someone else when it neared release.

    Even if we take this anonymous source at face value Gearbox has made some pretty scummy moves.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I’m sure Gearbox would have been backpedaling a lot early if they knew it was going to get this slammed.

  10. Core says:

    Sega should have cancelled this game rather than the Obsidian Aliens RPG.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      “Sources” said so years ago. Imagine what Obsidian could have done with these three years of polishing!

    • lucky jim says:

      I doubt SEGA wanted anything to do with Obsidian after they delivered Alpha Protocol.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Strange, then, that they didn’t mind Gearbox working on ACM after Duke Nukem Forever. Or were they working on it before that, even? If that were the case, that’s even worse. Delaying a game for that long is rarely a good sign. As is contracting another studio to do what you ought to be doing.

  11. db1331 says:

    So has the guy who took to twitter to claim they weren’t responsible for that trailer also come forward to disown the main game yet?

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    Skeletor68 says:

    Makes you appreciate the original AvP even more.

  13. Beernut says:

    I must confess, that I was first made aware of this game’s existence by the huge alien grinning at me from the steam-client today. Never heard of it before. Why is it considered a train wreck?

    • f1x says:

      It was hyped a lot by Sega and Gearbox, by hype I mean they released info and trailers very often, there was a lot of marketing, press demos, etc

      But reviews so far have been quite negative, not negative like “its acceptable” but more like “its a piece of shit”

      • Brun says:

        Indeed. PC Gamer has been fapping hard over it for months now, methinks they had some kind of advertising deal with Gearbox/Sega. Fortunately for them, the tone of their review and the score they gave seems to indicate that they regret that arrangement.

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          Or maybe they were genuinely excited by the game before release. No reason to bring out the corruption argument unless there’s evidence of it (perhaps there is, I dunno).

          • Brun says:

            It’s pretty obvious that they had some kind of ad deal because their “Promoted Trailers” and “Promoted Articles” have been nothing but A:CM for the last 3 months. That doesn’t mean corruption (given that their review is overwhelmingly negative I’d say there’s strong evidence to the contrary), it just means they took money to advertise a game that they panned anyway, which is good.

          • f1x says:

            The truth is everybody expected a great game, because of the big marketing and all, aliens, etc

            but looks like its miles away from that

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            Ah, OK, so does “promoted article” mean “advert made to look like an article?” Note that I haven’t read PCG in ages. And yeah, panning a game even if your magazine has been advertising it is just as it should be.

    • Premium User Badge

      xao says:

      The Penny Arcade Report had a fairly comprehensive savaging review up.

  14. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    It sounds like all the good ideas are already in Natural Selection 2, but that game doesn’t have any of these bad ideas.

  15. Moni says:

    Idea for game: Trainwreck Simulator 2013. Basically Crash Time from Burnout.

  16. deadly.by.design says:

    I feel like I should ask my online acquaintance who works at Timegate.

    /edit/

    I won’t pester her about it, but I see that both her profile and cover photo on Facebook are from the ACM launch party. So, Timegate was definitely celebrating their involvement.

    • grundus says:

      Or they just really need a stiff drink.

      • deadly.by.design says:

        Sounds more accurate. Unfortunately, though, Timegate hasn’t exactly knocked anything out of the park lately… so I suspect it was celebrating. Section 8 seems to be resoundingly “OK,” but I don’t have a reason to play it since Tribes: Ascend is out and free.

        For my friend’s sake, I hope their next title is a grand slam. It would take a lot of effort, though, because they seem to have shown that it’ll take more than a popular IP. To be fair, at least Alien games have been botched before.

        • Brun says:

          they can mishandle a capable IP

          I wouldn’t exactly call the Aliens IP “capable,” at least not in the last decade.

          • deadly.by.design says:

            Yeah, I thought better of that phrasing and reworded it.

    • gritz says:

      While I genuinely value games that have the option to be played pacifist/no-kill, something tells me this is not working as designed.

  17. Eddard_Stark says:

    To be honest, any anonymous source is more reliable than Randy Pitchford. At least in case of an unidentified source there is a possibility that the info could prove to be real. And as for Randy, well, let’s just say the only thing I saw coming out of his mouth is bullshit of epic and legendary proportions. The guy is a total tool.

    It’s a pity the sort of bullshit SEGA and Gearbox pulled out, hyping the hell out of a clearly flawed (borderline abysmal) product, isn’t punishable in the real world. Seriously when was the last time you’ve seen mainstream gaming sites giving a high-profile game anything less than 7/10 (who am I kidding 9/10 that is)? A truly remarkable achievement for A:CM.

    • Pony Canyon says:

      That is amazing. I have the strangest urge to go watch Spaceballs now.

  18. Hoaxfish says:

    I was worried when they talked about making “new aliens” (apparently due to being mentally unable to work outside the constraints of Left4Dead and other “class-based” monster game-designs)

    Now Gearbox is apparently telling us they have nothing to do with the game as much as possible, whilst we should all be looking forward to “Brothers in Arms” and “Furious 4″.

    I just feel sorry for Sega having such a good license, and being nearly unable to make this succeed. Aliens: Infestation on the NDS from 2011, has almost the same players (Sega, Gearbox) with Wayforward being the only different team-member… the game seems to have recieved good reviews, but it’s rarely even heard of.

    edit: oh, and I just remembered that whole nonsense about “no female marines”.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      Infestation is absolutely the best Aliens game of this cycle. Bit silly if a “well, good, I guess” Metroidvania title can achieve that.

    • Barberetti says:

      “oh, and I just remembered that whole nonsense about “no female marines”

      Oh no, what’s this about?

      • Hoaxfish says:

        http://www.polygon.com/gaming/2012/9/3/3290001/aliens-colonial-marines-will-feature-playable-female-space-marines

        Basically, they said you wouldn’t be able to play as a Female marine despite having character customisation (though obviously the films have some strong female characters, and the single-player game features female NPCs)… after an online petition they basically did the actual bit of work needed to make it an option.

        Frankly, it’s a minor aspect of this train-crash now, but the idea that people wouldn’t want to play Ripley/Vasquez knock-offs is astounding.

        • colw00t says:

          Especially in the Alien franchise, where being a hardass woman is essentially the only way to survive.

          But seriously, I would rather play as Vasquez than just about any Spess Mahreen character in any other shooter game. That lady was awesome.

        • Barberetti says:

          Ah thanks. Figured it was going to be something like that, but yeah, pretty astounding that they even thought that was gonna fly without getting stick for it.

  19. Askeladd says:

    I’m not even sure if reviewing this game makes sense… let’s just put a generic scripted FPS stamp on it and forget it is even an Alien game.
    Let’s just pretend it’s Alien Shooter 33k.

  20. Brun says:

    What really boggles my mind is that, comparatively, Borderlands and Borderlands 2 (both great games) received *much* less hype if memory serves. Why does Gearbox spend all its money hyping their terrible games?

    • Premium User Badge

      slerbal says:

      because they *are* terrible and they hope that the volume of marketing shite will overwhelm poor reviews and word of mouth?

  21. Rossi says:

    I pre-ordered this! :(

    Instead of playing it I’m just going to pretend I had to pay a speeding fine.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Some day, someone is going to work out how to use these terrible games to make some form of memory-eraser.

      Masters of Orion 3? Never existed!
      Aliens: Colonial Marines? You’re crazy, there was no Aliens game in 2013!
      That murder you witnessed me doing to the Prime Minister? What are you talking about?

    • almostDead says:

      I am interested when you did this. I thought this was highly suspected to be a stinker for quite a while now. Did you not care?

  22. KDR_11k says:

    For some reason I had it stuck in my head that TG was making only the multiplayer, not the SP and that was frankly the only reason I was even considering the game. Seeing it pop up on Steam before seeing a review made me stay the hell away though.

  23. ucfalumknight says:

    So, if we were to give this one numbers to grade it: $2.99 Steam Sale?

    • RegisteredUser says:

      I bought some really good games for $2.50, and even 99 cent games can keep you entertained for hours.
      So how do you price crap? < 10 cents maybe? Heck, there are free to play games that are great(Path of Exile).
      Basically they should pay us for losing lifetime.

      • colw00t says:

        Alpha Protocol was once a $2 steam sale game, which puts this somewhere in the realm of about ten cents. I mean, AP was flawed, but it was at least interesting.

  24. almostDead says:

    Yikes, 4.5 from Gamespot.com. You know you have officially failed with a bad review from them. They are going to make about 10 pound 50 from this release.

    It should be made illegal to fuck up certain franchises and Alien is one of them. Jail for all those involved.

    • Sugoi says:

      “What are you in for?”

      “I betrayed the expectations of the fans of a popular franchise and drove many people out of jobs when our game bombed critically and commercially.”

      “Damn. I only killed a guy.”

    • colw00t says:

      But hey, 9.0 from EGM *cough*

  25. Totally heterosexual says:

    There was that Aliens DS game a few years back and that was awesome.

    Shame that this game went the way it did.

  26. RegisteredUser says:

    Gearbox finishing a pile of crap that someone else botched for over half a decade?
    Well, that certainly is a new and never-seen before development.

  27. Hoaxfish says:

    On an entirely unrelated note, I’m looking at the Alien Breed trilogy, with is currently 80% off on Steam… are those games any good?

  28. lucky jim says:

    I honestly feel bad for SEGA, because I feel that company actually has a lot of good gamer interests in mind, and ends up working with shitty developers or.. something. Maybe it IS publisher mismanagement, who knows.

    They work with Obsidian, they get Alpha Protocol.

    They work with Gearbox, and this shit comes out.

    This is a company that has been releasing practically all their games on PC, which is a really nice change for a console-centric developer. And they also brought Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown to consoles due to fan interest, despite it being an extremely niche franchise in North America. So I’m in the SEGA fan club.

    At the moment, I can only feel that certain developers are taking advantage of publishing dollars to fund other projects.

    • elevown says:

      I guess you missed all of sega’s recent attrocious behavious to fans in several incidents – most notably the ‘shining force’ takedown notices they blasted many fans on youtube with which cost these people their channels and livelyhoods – when all they were was fans of a sega fanchise who had worked hard to make videos about it- playthroughs etc.

      These takedowns werent even legal if i remember – and lead to many people boycotting sega coverage/games completely like totalbuscuit did. Im sure you can find articles, his vids or other vids covering what they did. So no- I think Sega dosnt have a good record in giving a damn for its fans.