Let’s just pretend Aliens: Colonial Marines was never made
Aliens: Colonial Marines (Sega; PS3, Windows, Xbox 360; rated mature)
I had to take out the disc for Borderlands 2 when I put in the disc for Aliens: Colonial Marines. I shouldn’t have done that.
Even though the two games were developed by the same studio—Texas-based Gearbox—they don’t belong on the same shelf. (There is some debate as to how much of Colonial Marines was actually developed in-house at Gearbox. See Destructoid for a good timeline.)
Which is a shame, because the idea behind Colonial Marines was genius: to create a video game that would be as good as the first films in the franchise and accepted as canon.
But for something based on such original source material, there is precious little originality here. It’s as bland a third-person shooter as possible. The enemies, those aliens that were so terrifying, simply aren’t. The man-eating rabbit in Monty Python’s Holy Grail was more frightening.
There’s not even any point railing here about how you can’t play the game as a female, despite James Cameron’s Aliens establishing that the female marines were every bit as bad-ass as their male counterparts. It’s problematic, but not nearly as bad as the lackluster level design, mediocre art direction, and tepid mechanics.
The execution of Colonial Marines is so dismal that instead of becoming part of the mythology, the game will be remembered in the same way as the film Aliens 4. Which is to say that everyone prefers to forget it and pretend it was never made.
The best thing about playing Colonial Marines is that it unlocked some golden keys in Borderlands 2. That’s where I’ll be if you’re looking for me.