Aliens: Colonial Marines – The Whole Train Wreck, Explained
Aliens: Colonial Marines was hyped to a great degree, and its release was met with little more than disappointment by the games press, gamers, and fans of the Aliens franchise alike. Though touted a great deal by its developers, including Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford, the game appears to lack a lot of the elements that appeared in demonstrations previously shown to the public.
The game itself is a showcase of bugs, poorly animated characters, uninspired levels, and gameplay reminiscent of a shooter from the last generation, as our Ben Richardson points out in his Aliens: Colonial Marines review.
As Jim Sterling points out in this episode of Jimqusition, demos of Colonial Marines shown at conventions such as E3 and PAX differ significantly from what players actually experience in the game:
Other videos have been made that point out graphical issues and various big changes between supposed “in-game demos” of Colonial Marines and the shipped product.
What happened to Aliens: Colonial Marines during its development? Where is the gorgeous, intelligent, and extraordinarily fun homage to the Aliens movies Pitchford boasted about during his presentations?
In an attempt to answer these questions, or perhaps in anticipation of the questions that would surely surface just hours after the game’s release, Internet sleuth Superannuation discovered a forum post allegedly by a former developer at Gearbox, the studio chiefly responsible for the development of Colonial Marines. In his post on the TexAgs.com (via Gameranx) forum community, the supposed ex-developer claimed that primary development of the game had been outsourced to a lesser-known studio called TimeGate (developers Demiurge and Nerve also were involved in development). Prior to their work on Colonial Marines, TimeGate had been responsible for the FEAR expansion packs, Section 8 and Section 8: Prejudice.