Aliens: Colonial Marines ‘Stasis Interrupted’ DLC Review – Terrible
There just aren’t many redeeming qualities in Stasis Interrupted. The reason to play is the plothole-filling story, but it’s not compelling in any meaningful way. So Hicks survived, and then he sent a distress call — that’s the gist of it. There are three characters you get to inhabit, and not one of them has a single interesting thing to say. In fact, they tend to say the dumbest thing possible whenever possible — each has a set of barks to shout out as they kill things, and you’ll hear a lot of “Killed ‘em good!” and “Serves you right!” shouted out. At the aliens. Who are animals. The writing here is not exactly inspired, and while Aliens also had dumb dialog, that was at least about characterization.
So if the reason to play is the story, and the story is not only not interesting but kind of a foregone conclusion, what’s left? More shooting enemies that are kinda dumb, I suppose. Between xenomorphs freezing in place like they can’t decide what to do, and the annoying PMCs who claim they’re smarter than they are (they constantly say they’re going to flank, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one actually do it), it’s just not that exciting. The best moments are those spent dealing with the “lurker” aliens that hide behind things and ambush you; the worst are those that see the addition of rocket launcher-wielding troopers who can kill you before you know they’re there. We all know how fun a rocket to the face can be.
But the issues with Stasis Interrupted aren’t just limited to the technical problems that might just be hold-overs from the crappy main game: There certainly doesn’t seem to have been a lot of thought put in here even in new stuff. On two or three separate occasions, I flat ran out of ammo in the middle of big fights. Just, nope, there’s no ammo to pick up for your two guns and there hasn’t been for 10 or 15 minutes — use your basically ineffectual pistol instead.
Sure, there was plenty of ammo around, dropped by enemies, but for some reason, it was all for guns I was not carrying nor had seen anywhere in the DLC campaign at all. The simple question is, did anyone ever bother to play these badly designed levels before shipping them? Given what we’ve seen in Aliens: Colonial Marines, my money is on, “No, absolutely not — why would we bother to ensure quality?”
Probably the thing that bugs me most about Stasis Interrupted isn’t that it’s, at best, a sometimes-competent rehashing of a mostly broken game. It’s that it’s a reminder of just how big a rip-off A:CM really is. We’re talking about a DLC whose reason for existing is that fundamental conceits of the original game’s plot needed to be explained over again. It’s a DLC that highlights that, even with some graphical fixes and some AI fixes that have been added to the new content, A:CM still just isn’t any good. And even Stasis Interrupted’s own idiotic problems, like levels designed without enough ammo in them and set pieces that make you wish you could get back to the lackluster shooting, make clear that the people behind this game would have been challenged to demonstrate an ability to give fewer f–ks.
The feeling experiencing all this crap again elicits in me is like video game PTSD: I’m stuck with flashbacks of just how upset I was that Gearbox et. al. not only turned out a game that Randy Pitchford and company sold like snake oil, but that it’s an utter mangling of Aliens story, lore and characters.
Stasis Interrupted is probably the best version of Aliens: Colonial Marines, so at least it has that going for it. It’s also a boring DLC built on a game that’s terrible, and nobody involved in that project deserves another $10 from anyone who got conned into buying A:CM in the first place. As Walter would say, if you buy Stasis Interrupted, “You’re entering a world of pain.”
- Explains most of the biggest, most idiotic plot holes from Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Some graphical improvements and other fixes
- Starts with a stealthy section that’s mostly on rails, but at least isn’t all about shooting dumb enemies
- Eventually comes to an end
- Boring characters working in a boring plot that’s mostly a foregone conclusion, explains little, and adds nothing to the overall experience
- Lots of rehashing of the exact experience of the full A:CM game
- Rocket troopers: blegh
- Demonstrates all the reasons A:CM sucked so badly, including technical glitches
- Poorly designed levels without enough ammo and resources; set piece moments that are irritating rather than thrilling
- Introduces its own, new plot holes
- Forces players to experience A:CM again, in any capacity
Final Score: 35/100
Game Front employs a 100-point scale when reviewing games to be as accurate about the experience as possible. Read the full rundown of what our review scores mean.