All the signs were there. From the outset, we really should’ve known this game was going to be an absolute prize pig. The second we saw iron sights on a pulse rifle, alarm bells should’ve been ringing. And in hindsight, we did know.
We knew it was going to be a mediocre game, no one was expecting a game about Mentally incompetent Marines killing bugs in space to be a genre busting watermark moment a-la Bioshock or Half Life 2.
What we didn’t expect, what noone could have forseen, was that Colonial Marines would wind up being so bad as to go down in history alongside gaming shit sandwiches such as Night Trap, Rise of the Robots, and Killzone 1-3.
To say Colonial Marines had a troubled development is like saying Jimmy Savile was a bit of a Paedo.
It was kicking around development Hell since it was originally planned for release on the PS2. The PS2 version was scrapped, and according to some sketchy reports on the internet which we will assume are 100% fact, the current gen version was also scrapped, and eventually brought back to life, in 2007. So it’s no surprise that a game that’s been kicked from one circle of development hell to another for more years than the average age of its target audience, turned out to be one of the worst games since Bad Rats.
Colonial Marines isn’t a bad game. It’s a game so catastrophically inept as to serve as a template for ‘How not to make a videogame’ for decades to come. Seriously, future generations will study this game, examining its every fuck up until they discover the perfect mathematical formula for making awful videogames. The people at the heart of the Horse meat in Burgers scandal are currently mopping their brows and thinking “phew, well at least i wasn’t responsible for Colonial Marines.”
Colonial Marines transcends the term ‘bad game’ and carves a new niche of ineptitude all it’s own, atop a pantheon of piss poor game design and fuck arsed decisions ingrained in every single frame, presided over and made President-for-life, Aliens: Colonial Marines.
It’s a once in a generation blunder that’s as fascinating to see unfold as it is infuriating to play.
ACM assumes that every Aliens fan out there wants nothing more than an authentic pulse rifle and or motion tracker sound and they’ll merrily drool all over themselves and spastically slap their hands together like the money spunking retards Sega and Gearbox assume we are. And to be fair, the motion tracker is the most authentic sounding and looking i’ve seen in an Aliens game thus far. And that’s pretty much the only praise i can give this gaming abortion.
On a purely visual level, ACM is ‘making jokes about aborted downs syndrome babies’ levels of offensive. To say it looks like something out of 2006 is an insult to all games from 2006. Jesus Christ, 2006 at least had Dead Rising, which looks about a million times more impressive than this steaming pile.
The characters and animation are so bad they could’ve been thrown together on someone’s lunchbreak in between games of minesweeper. According to all the completely fabricated pre-release videos, ACM was to debut a new super amazing type of dynamic lighting, which is completely missing from the final game. Textures are so flat, low res, and unconvincing you’d think the world was made of fucking lego blocks.
What’s worse than the fact that the game looks like someone vomiting up a half chewed anus however is the blatant lying Gearbox did in pre-release, showing videos of a game that looked orders of magnitude better than ACM. I wanted that game, but sadly what we got was the soiled condom Gearbox used when it fucked Sega over for money to make Borderlands 2.
As ugly as the game looks, it’s nothing compared to how astronomically brain dead the team-mate AI is. Squad mates will stand around doing nothing during Alien attacks. Their guns seem to be firing BB pellets. They’re incapable of helping you out if you’re downed. They’ll run around in circles like they’re on day release from a Hospital for the terminally retarded.
And the enemy AI isn’t any better. Aliens are obviously most notable for their love of running on 2 legs directly towards you. And Gearbox/Triptych/Timegate/whoever captured this masterfully. The Alien’s pathfinding ability is that of a cabbage. They mostly run directly toward you, or failing that, get stuck in scenery trying to use an alternate path to reach you. The only genuine threatening enemy in the game are the human enemies, which spectacularly misses the point of a fucking GAME ABOUT ALIEN KILLING MACHINES.
As bad as all this is, as vomit inducingly ugly as it is, as cataclysmically dull as the gameplay is, and as Korky from life goes on retarded as the AI is, the biggest insult of all hands down goes to the story/dialogue. I’m honestly not even exaggerating when i say i could write better dialogue than this. I could. Without even a shadow of doubt in my mind, and if Gearbox want to throw me a 6 pack of Tuborg and 20 euro, I’ll gladly pen the script to the hopefully already cancelled follow up to ACM, which will be 100 pages of nothing but scenes of Randy Pitchford getting violently Alien raped.
This game actually features someone being paid to voice the line “Shit’s all exploding and shit!”. Someone made money by writing that. Think about that. And in a SUPER COOL bit of fan wank we also get the incredible “Were in the pipe, five by..FUCKED!” (It’s just like she says in Aliens right!! Isn’t that cool?! Right? Gearbox are HER-UGE Aliens fans!!). The fan service goes beyond service and enters creepy stalker rooting through your trash looking for toenail clippings territory. Any time the film is even remotely referenced it’s shoved down your neck like Randy Pitchford’s engorged phallus while he gives a double thumbs up and screams “YOU LOVED THAT BIT IN ALIENS RIGHT?! WE DID IT IN THE GAME!!!”
Not content with utterly fouling up every single aspect of ACM thus far, the story retroactively tries to take a shit on the ending of Aliens by having Hicks turn up toward the end of the game because, fuck it? Why fucking not? Why not throw the goddamn Terminator in there too for a laugh? Hicks apparently was stolen out of his cryotube and Ripley and Newt blah blah blah, i actually cant continue writing this anymore as it physically fucking PAINS me that this game is even a thing that exists.