Videogames based on movie franchises rarely stand out as shining gems, but I decided to give Aliens: Colonial Marines a try because I was feeling exactly $37.79 too rich and had a few hours of my life to needlessly massacre on the altar of gaming.
What I found on that altar, though, was little more than a shiny homage to the Alien series. When I broke the plastic seal on the game, I felt thousands bow at the feet of Ridley Scott in reverence for his extraterrestrial empire. I felt Sigourney Weaver’s confidence wash over me as I pressed start.
But the game presented itself like a two-hour-old, lukewarm vanilla latte instead of Michelangelo’s David of gaming. This “scary” shooter plays like the illegitimate child of Call of Duty and Halo with a nice Alien-themed skin plastered on top. In order for this game to be anything special, it needed to present me with something new. Instead, I experienced a whole bunch of stuff I’ve already seen, this time Alien-style.
Did I have fun? Well… yes. But that’s because I adore Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien vs. Predator, Aliens vs. Predator and Prometheus more than life itself. I had a blast because I was able to set aside my picky gamer standards for the sake of actually being in the Alien world for a bit. I allowed myself to get wrapped up in something that might not be the best — like when you want a chocolate milkshake, but get vanilla instead, and just try to enjoy it.
Unfortunately, everyone seems to hate this game. More prevalent than game play-bashing, though, is the incensed screaming of butt-hurt fanboys over story consistency errors and faithfulness to the tenants of the Alien franchise. “Why do the ships have this?” “Why are the guns like that?” “The anatomy of the alien species technically would not allow that range of motion or that style of crawling.”
Overall, though, I say shut up and enjoy it. If you’re playing Aliens: Colonial Marines, you’re certainly not playing it for the stunning graphics. You’re playing it because you’re a nerd, you collect Alien figurines in their original packaging, and you always wished that you were born in the Alien world instead of our crappy one.
— SARAH MUNDS
Available on PS3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows