Friday Flame Wars: Is Aliens: Colonial Marines Really That Bad?

It’s no secret that Aliens: Colonial Marines is not receiving the warmest reception by critics and fans alike. With Metacritic review scores averaging 45 across all platforms and user ratings coming in at about 3.7 — and our own Ben Richardson giving the game a 40 in his review – the numbers speak for themselves.

It’s a rare sight for a major AAA title to receive such low critic scores — even Duke Nukem Forever fared better. But after the integrity of game review outlets has come into question, could Aliens: Colonial Marines just be the sacrificial lamb the industry needed to try to restore the faith of gamers? Is the game really so much worse than other AAA titles that weren’t well-received by players?

What do you think? Is Colonial Marines the heaping pile the critics are making it out to be, or is it getting an unfair reception relative to other AAA releases?

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16 Comments on Friday Flame Wars: Is Aliens: Colonial Marines Really That Bad?


On February 16, 2013 at 12:38 am

I just played it and it is bad. As for the sacrificial lamb aspect well that’s a interesting point I would note however that MoH:Warfighter was also lanced like a boil so I don’t think that’s what happened here. I think it is just a bad game and the reviews reflect that.


On February 16, 2013 at 7:17 am

The game is just plain bad. It definitely deserves all the criticism. What really infuriates me is how the final product turn out to be an extreme downgrade compared to the demo shown a year ago. It’s like two different games. If you have not seen a comparison video of the demo and final product, check it out. I truly feel like Gearbox has misled us, thus they committed false advertisment. Its obvious ACM was not Gearbox’s main focus, which is probably why they outsourced it. I think the gaming community should take a stand and not buy garbarge like this.


On February 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

Review outlets have done this before, slamming a game to try and earn credibility. A fine example is Alpha Protocol, on release reviewers slammed it and gave the game an abysmal score. Even though the average gamer’s opinion was split it was mostly favorable on Metacritic gamer ratings and to this day has a solid 7.5, a stark contrast to review outlets at the time. For example this site gave the game 35/100, an utterly baffling score.

Since then the majority of reviews by outlets have been much more positive and it is considered a “rough gem”. Alpha Protocol was definitely a sacrificial lamb, through and through. Is Aliens: Colonial Marines being treated the same? Perhaps it is, the game is far from perfect, but in no way deserves such a low score from the main review outlets, hard to trust many sites these days when they often go with the popular opinion rather than the informed opinion.

Any site that jumps on the sacrificial lamb for credibility bandwagon earns no points in my books. One thing worse than this are the reviews that give positive ratings for bad or bland games. A fine example is IGN with most EA games, for example Mass Effect 3.

Give it one year, that is the time is takes for a true game rating to come to fruition.


On February 16, 2013 at 7:48 am

Aedelric – it works the other way as well. Mainstream outlets are always heavily praising games that don’t deserve it, and a large number of gamers just take it as gospel that they’re the authority on what’s good and what isn’t. The way they turned Mass Effect fans against each other after BioWare’s shameful conduct and false advertising last year is evidence of that. What should have been a unified effort to improve the industry and make it more accountable to the people who pay into it was warped into childish tribal baiting. The moral is to take everything they say with a pinch of salt.


On February 16, 2013 at 8:39 am

They were handling a license and releasing it as canon, that’s why its failure is even worse, that said, I appreciate far better Alien 3 as a true sequel and trilogy conclussion. Life’s tough and hard as Alien 3, but not as unrelatedly dull as Alien:CM …( O.o yet, I know, I know… I should be more careful with that sort of commentary tho’, you get the point anyway).


On February 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm

the game is fine not perfect i have finished it 3 times now.
people need to stop thinking of it a a 2013 release the core elements were from 2002 so that is the mind and frame set of the game it plays like a cinimatic experience as it should play. the graphics are fine the voice acting is great the story is quite decent. and if all those “so called alien fans” were actually alien fans they would know that the story actually makes more sence than they realise. the only problem i see and felt was ai but that can be fixed at least for pc. but to all those people whineing about the console you are using a console from 2005 with sever limititations PERIOD. i mean look at resistance 3 great graphics even shiiter ai than this game. yes the game has it bugs but hell all new release games these days do. you just learn to get over it. as for it being a kind of cod clone as if heard many people say code is a cinematic game so are plent of other games and guess what meadal of honour was a cinimatic game ON THE PLAYSTATION 1 so kind of get over the fact that gaes like medal of honour are not cod clones when in fact cod once tried to be medal of honour if thats you you think. And besides cod could stand on its own two feet in creativity untill the expansion pack and then number 2.
the game is nowhere near as bad as mentioned it its certainly not 5 or foour score m ore like a 7 or seven and a half it is quite decent . and as for the people expecting it to be a horror like fear or reminesant of alien, aliens was an action movie not a horror or thriller so why should the game be it has some great moments and some good ideas but many people are far too consolised and new to get this. and no i have been gaming for more than 20 years i own over 4000 video games and this is just a long time gamers opnion


On February 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I would have been in the party of eh it’s not thaaaat bad in the beginning, as I’m not a huge Aliens franchise fan like a Jim Sterling. That is until I caught an interview with Randy Pitchford and saw how passionately he talked bout the franchise, like a super fanboi nerding out on the prospect of being able to create a game of his favorite IP. Then the idea planted in my mind was hey, this might actually be good because it’s being created by someone who truly cares and loves the franchise. It’s not just bad, it’s a betrayal because he lied to the face of all the Aliens fans that really wanted this to be good. He used his fanboi knowledge to trick people into thinking this might finally be it, a truly good Aliens game. So not only did he destroy Gearbox’s rep with the shoddy game, but his own with the straight up lie. I will no longer trust his opinion on anything at all.

It’s like a movie or a product that was hyped up to no end, then when it comes out and suck, people would naturally stomp on it more than usual. This is more so with huge fans of the Aliens franchise, as they have been waiting for years and years for something good. Out comes Randy Pitchford pulling on the heart strings of Aliens fans to make a sale, it’s no wonder people are really pissed off and slamming the hell out of the game.


On February 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm

It’s fairly atrocious. Given what we were lead to believe in the game’s trailers and presentations, everyone—myself included—was expecting far more than what we were given.


On February 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm

This game is ”really that bad”. I can’t believe the Aliens vs Predator game released before this one of the best Alien game out here and not Colonial Marines.

The Defenestrator

On February 16, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Yes, it is that bad.

No, it won’t restore the faith of gamers. Partly because people love a conspiracy (evidence be damned) and thinking that gaming journos are bent is a lot easier than regarding everything on a case-by-case basis.

Partly because this was a “safe” title to bash. Much like “Resident Evil 6″ was. The sliding scale of 8 to 10 for reviews of AAA games will continue unabated. Too many game reviewers are just too credulous whenever a shiny new toy drops in their laps. The only thing that will solve that problem is time.

Gearbox will certainly take a hit. I’m assuming they’re going to batten down the hatches for the time being and wait things out so they can avoid having to comment on it. Or else they’ll take the BioWare approach and never admit that anything went wrong and try to shift blame back to the fans. I really can’t imagine anything changing as a result of this game.


On February 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I bought and played it… It is is horrible. As I said in the comments of the other Aliens article, please see a review of the game before you buy it.


On February 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I dont get it. This game is NOT bad at all. Graphics on pc are fine, but graphics is not my priority either way.It may lacks major thrills but lets not forget that its a reference to ALIENS (action movie) not ALIEN (horror).Atmosphere is great,music sounds like anxiety,sound design is copied/pasted from movie,there are A LOT and VARIOUS actions sequences and settings ,and the whole shooting experience is very good. But most of all, its a great link to one of the best action movies ever,with great lore,and a lot of (nostalgic) easter eggs.If you are a fan of the movie as i am,then i cant find a reason not to play this one.Ok ,its not like the AvP 2 masterpiece from Monolith ,but its a great shooter .I really dont get why people didnt like this,except for (not ALIENS-fans)console players who play games only for their graphics.


On February 23, 2013 at 11:37 am

Thank you everyone being honest that this is actually a good game. You guys are right- this is an action game like the second movie. The amount of customization is huge and varied. The campaign is fun, especially on the hardest difficulty. The graphics aren’t the best but they’re still good. The only downside to this game that I’ve found is the weakness of the Xenomorphs, but this can be counteracted by unlocking upgrades and getting the right combination of abilities on your Xeno loadouts. I am a fan of the Alien series, the Predator series, and the Alien vs Predator series so I know that this game is worthy to be called a sequel to Aliens.
Stop your stupid whining people.


On November 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Any restoration/overhaul mod projects out there? Or better be playing Doom Aliens mod?


On May 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

This game was great. I loved all the Easter eggs and references to the movies. Newt’s doll head for example. They even had a reference to “Spaceballs”. It was a great shooter and it was fun. When the game was first released there was a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of glitches. With a couple of patches, though, it became an ok game. It takes a fan to enjoy all the things that went into the game. If people want to hate it because the graphics didn’t live up to their expectation or that it didn’t live up to all the other games that came out that year, then they shouldn’t play the game. If your a fan of the Alien franchise then I recommend this for you.


On May 23, 2014 at 12:31 am

@Ark – HAHAHAHA. Oh wow, that was one of the funniest comments I’ve ever read. It was a joke, right? Because any true fan of the Alien franchise would be absolutely offended at the fact that its horror roots were completely discarded in favour of yet another bland shooter where you slaughter herds of identical creatures for hours with no sense of panic or urgency whatsoever, and any true gamer would not accept that a triple-A release would require several patches just to make it playable. So yeah, I’m going to assume you were joking, because the alternative is frightening.