With its eerie atmosphere and well-realized story, it’s hard to argue that James Cameron’s 1986 film Aliens isn’t one of the most memorable sci fi films ever released. But since its initial launch on the silver screen, the franchise’s lore has become somewhat muddled and messy, leaving fans wanting more concise answers to their many, many questions.
Well Aliens fans, Gearbox Software has heard your cries. And like the distress call from the USS Sulaco that the game’s protagonist responds to, they’re coming to save the day and put your speculation to rest with Aliens: Colonial Marines. Here are five reasons why you might want to consider looking for it on release day.
A TRUE SEQUEL FOR ALIENS FANS
Intended to be a true sequel to James Cameron’s 1986 sci-fi classic Aliens, Aliens: Colonial Marines sees players taking control of Christopher Winter, a marine in the search and rescue squad meant to find out exactly what’s happened to the colony of Hadley’s Hope and the U.S.S. Sulaco.
From the very beginning, it’s clear that this is a game made for Aliens fans, by Aliens fans. Everything from the carefully crafted environments and lighting to the game’s dramatic set pieces feel like something ripped right out of the film universe. Various nods to Aliens canon can be found throughout the game, and you’ll even be able to take up many of the classic weapons and items to use in combat along the way.
But while it is rife with many nods and references, the game itself is more than mere fan service. It is its very own standalone experience, adopting a completely new angle in the Aliens canon and putting it exclusively in a video game for the very first time. While you’ll be able to enjoy many of the references and links to the original series, you can also expect to experience something entirely new and unique, all while building on the lore first explored in Cameron’s classic.
BRING A FRIEND…OR THREE
Being that the game is made by Gearbox, it shouldn’t be shocking to find that Aliens: Colonial Marines will feature seamless drop-in, drop-out cooperative play.
You’ll be able to play with up to three other friends in a squad as you fight Xenomorphs and explore the surface of LV-426, the narrow corridors of the Sulaco, and the decimated remains of Hadley’s Hope, among others.
Fans can rest easy, knowing that this is made by the same studio who’s mastered co-op with the likes of the Borderlands franchise. With that in mind, you can expect a seamless experience allowing you and your friends to take on hordes of Xenomorphs without any irritating interference.
BUILD AN AUTHENTIC LOADOUT
Experience points are earned in combat and will allow players to build a custom loadout featuring familiar weapons from the Aliens universe, including Pulse Rifles, Flamethrowers, and even Motion Trackers. Points earned in combat are applied to unlocking and equipping weapons, gear, and your solider’s overall aesthetic. Build your own badass marine in whatever way you see fit, and test out various weapons to find the one right for the job.
NEW TAKE ON MULTIPLAYER
It should come as a shock to no one that Aliens: Colonial Marines will include a competitive online multiplayer mode. The real surprise, however, is what Gearbox is doing with the mode to make it unique.
The most notable part of the game’s multiplayer is its new take on Team Deathmatch, which puts one team in control of a squad of marines, and another in control of a squad of Xenomorphs. I know, I know, the whole “enemies vs. humans” formula has been used before. But what makes this special is its implementation.
In this Team Deathmatch mode, both teams have a very distinct set of strengths and weaknesses. Those who play as Marines will have all of their classic gear available to them, but will have to stick together and rely on tactics and strength of numbers if they want to survive the Xenomorph onslaught.
Those who play as Xenomorphs will be limited to largely melee-based attacks in a third-person perspective, but will also be able to do everything Xenomorphs in the game would be able to do, including climbing on walls and ceilings, and using the alien’s “sixth sense” that allows them to see the location of their enemies at all times.
Tactics and communication are the key in the multiplayer of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and if it stays true to these ideas, it has the potential to be fantastic.
GEARBOX AIN’T NO SLOUCH
The studio behind Aliens: Colonial Marines is one that has had more than a little taste of success throughout their history. While Duke Nukem Forever might be the company’s major outlier, it’s hard to deny that Gearbox knows how to make a solid First Person Shooter. Coupling the beloved and iconic elements of the Aliens franchise along with their knowledge of the genre and dedication to making this a true fit in the film’s universe, it’s a safe bet that Aliens: Colonial Marines is likely to please even the most hardened of Aliens fans.
Look for Aliens: Colonial Marines on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Wii U on February 12th.