Aliens: Colonial Marines Review — Not A Substantial Dollar Value


Considering the state of the final product, which some reviewers are calling “unfinished,” why was this game released at all? It certainly speaks to the industry’s willingness to ship a product that is alternately bad, boring, broken, and still happily accept your $59.99. In a scatter-shot attempt to eke out sales, Aliens: Colonial Marines is laden with every 2013 back-of-box cliche in the book. It’s all there: score-challenge level replays. Online co-op. Class-based, XP-driven multiplayer. Horde mode, available soon as DLC.

The game was promoted via a dub-step heavy trailer that misrepresents the game to Call of Duty-loving Best Buy shoppers and, more damningly, doctored preview footage that the retail version couldn’t live up to. The first tactic smacks of relatively harmless publisher cynicism. The second is shockingly insidious. After playing Aliens: Colonial Marines, I’m no longer scared of aliens, or Weyland-Yutani. But I’m a little more worried about real life.


  • It’s Aliens!
  • Excellent art direction and sound design creates a horrific atmosphere.
  • Left 4 Dead-style four-on-four multiplayer modes are derivative but fun.


  • Campaign too short (Five hours on Normal Difficulty).
  • Gameplay is repetitive, heavily scripted, and simply not very fun.
  • Narrative elements, such as plot and character, are disappointing in the extreme.
  • Game is technologically outmoded in a number of ways, including visual fidelity, AI behavior, level design.
  • Multiplayer can’t offer the variety or replay value it needs to compete with other, better offerings.

Final Score: 40/100


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11 Comments on Aliens: Colonial Marines Review — Not A Substantial Dollar Value


On February 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm

wow, wasn’t aware of the videogamer vid … what a shocker, lol


On February 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Wonderfully-written and thoughtful review! Thanks!


On February 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Considering this game was supposed to release back in 2001, Gearbox did a smashing job picking the project up and working with what they had. Personally I loved it, buy you have your opinion and I have mine. I dont agree with your review but I respect you for your views and reviewing it how you see it.

The Defenestrator

On February 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I’ve never played a full $60 retail game this glitchy, buggy and broken. No hyperbole at all.

When I try to talk about it, I feel myself slipping into a version of Rutger Hauer’s Blade Runner monologue: “I’ve seen aliens… walking upright like they have something long shoved in their hindquarters… just floating in air… never touching the ground. I’ve seen bits of bloody aliens spinning and dancing in circles in mid-air. I’ve seen aliens, hanging from a wall by their tail, dead but never disappearing. I’ve seen friends, partners, stuck halfway into the ground… unable to move until we mercilessly executed them so they could respawn. I’ve seen a woman put her hand clean through her lover’s chest to reassure him… collision detection being that janky. I’ve seen a man brought back from death because… I dunno… clones or something. It was never explained. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

Kill me now.

Ben Richardson

On February 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Glittering C-Beams are said to be available in the forthcoming Tannenhauser Gate DLC.


On February 15, 2013 at 4:27 am

As many i was expecting munch from that game…sadly it’s gonna be for the,next time.
@ The Def , thanks you make my laugh today.


On February 15, 2013 at 8:38 pm

This game is pure BEEP. And for an Aliens fan like me this piece of BEEP is almost an insult.

Willy Wiper

On February 16, 2013 at 7:53 am

My only surprise is that ‘lol’ hasn’t rushed to the game’s defence and called people ‘entitled’ and ‘whiny’ for expecting a finished game for the money they pay for it. That’s what happens when you have all your things bought for you by your mother. No respect for consumer ethics.

The games sucks balls. Even the usually sycophantic, luvvy-duvvy mainstream outlets are treating this for what it is.


On February 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm

So… you guys have checked the Aliens Colonial Marines Total Conversion for Doom 2? It nails so many things… here:


On February 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

You hit the nail right on the head with this review, although I personally think you were being too generous with the final score. I can’t believe I paid $60 for this garbage. In fact, I’m shocked and appalled that Gearbox/Sega/whoever else had a hand in all of this would put out such an ugly, buggy, joyless excuse for a game at that price. They’re no worse than “Wey Yu” in my books.