Aliens: Colonial Marines ‘Stasis Interrupted’ DLC Review – Terrible
Warning! Mild spoilers within as to set pieces and other big moments in the progression of Stasis Interrupted. If you actually care about playing this and don’t want to know about the encounter with REDACTED, skip this one.
If James Cameron’s Aliens was supposed to be an allegory for the Vietnam War, Aliens: Colonial Marines is probably best described as an allegory for totally not understanding what an allegory is.
Meanwhile, the first (and
hopefully probably last) piece of story-expanding downloadable content for Gearbox’s Aliens-lengthening disappointment, “Stasis Interrupted,” is like the game’s Walter Sobchak of The Big Lebowski — it continually wants to tell stories of its buddies who died face-down in the mud, and all you want it to do is shut up and bowl. Everything’s a f–king travesty with you, Colonial Marines.
I lost track of this metaphor somewhere along the way, but this still makes more sense than the story of Stasis Interrupted (or A:CM). It’s a DLC that exists purely for the sake of filling in the game’s massive, unwieldy plot holes and lore retcons, without fully realizing that there’s no spot-welding this shambolic disaster of a caper back together at this point. And now we know why those plot holes and lore retcons were left with so many jagged, acid-etched edges in Colonial Marines’ retail release. When Cpl. Dwayne Hicks answers characters asking how the hell he is still alive in Colonial Marines after he supposedly died back in 1992 in Alien 3, what Hicks says is, “It’s a long story.” What he meant was, “It’s a long story, and you can hear it for only an additional $9.99!”
He made no promises as to its quality, however.
Aliens: Colonial Marines ‘Stasis Interrupted’ DLC
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), XBOX 360, Playstation 3, Wii U
Developer: Gearbox Software
Released: July 23, 2013
So, long story, huh. Hicks wasn’t kidding. If you know your Aliens lore, you know Hicks supposedly bought it at the very beginning of Alien 3 when a facehugger, apparently left over from the attack of the queen in the Sulaco hangar bay, cracked into Ripley’s hypersleep chamber. The resulting acid blood triggered smoke, which triggered a fire alarm, and that triggered the emergency launching of the stasis pods in the Sulaco’s EEV — an “Emergency Evacuation Vehicle.”
That EEV crashed on Fiorina 161, at the prison colony seen in Alien 3. Newt drowned in her tube; Hicks’ head and upper torso were basically annihilated in the crash. Except they weren’t, according to Colonial Marines, and someone else was apparently in that EEV. Stasis Interrupted sets out to explain what the hell happened in the intervening time between Alien 3 and A:CM, closing up the plot hole of Hicks’ being alive — while also opening some new ones that fall more into the realm of “Hey, that really doesn’t make scientific or physical sense,” and less “Hey, that’s a complete retcon of known character and logistical information.” So in that sense, the new issues are a little easier to swallow than the old ones, although they don’t do much to save the overall story.
It’ll be a massive waste of time to make sense of all the crap that goes on in the DLC’s actual plot, but suffice it to say, Stasis Interrupted is basically the story of how some other poor fool wound up in Hicks’ stasis pod. It concerns, mostly, survivors from another ship, the Legato, which Weyland-Yutani filled with xenomorphs and then sent to dock with the Sulaco to intercept Ripley and Hicks before Alien 3. So that explains in a nutshell where all those goddamn aliens came from that you’re constantly splattering all over the place in Aliens: Colonial Marines (and also, incidentally, where Ripley’s facehugger came from). There, is that everything? Whew.