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Aliens: Colonial Marines Q&A – Not Bad For a Human

James Gallagher's Avatar + Posted by James Gallagher on Aug 25, 2011 // Blog Manager, SCEE

Aliens: Colonial Marines for PS3

I checked out Aliens: Colonial Marines when I popped over to the SEGA gamescom booth to say hi to a friend and, within minutes, it became one my highlights of the show. I’m not as familiar with the Aliens films as many – I remember seeing one of them on TV as a child and not sleeping well for a few days – but judging it purely as a shooter, it is looking very impressive.

The level shown was a beautifully lit labyrinth of corridors on-board a craft sent to investigate LV-426, 11 months after Ripley escaped in Aliens. The most memorable aspect for me was the animation of the Xenomorphs and my skin is crawling as I type just thinking about them. This added to the level design, which always leaves you feeling exposed as creatures pour from every angle and air vent, produces an unnerving shooter that piles on the tension.

After the demo, I spoke with Gearbox Chief Creative Officer Brian Martel about working with such an iconic IP and why his team is best suited to bringing the essence of the Aliens films to the interactive space.

Aliens: Colonial Marines for PS3

Earlier in the week, Rocksteady Studios told us that they had been given the creative freedom to build their own ‘Batman canon’ with the Arkham games. Is that what you’re trying to do with Aliens: Colonial Marines?

That’s exactly what we’re looking to do. Fox has been great to work with and SEGA has been a good partner in building the bridges between developer and IP holder. Fox is a little more flexible with the canon than other companies out there, but they do have to be careful not to annoy directors – if you put together a proposition that assumes a particular film never happened, the director isn’t going to like that very much and Fox may have plans to work with them again in the future.

We’re able to introduce our own elements that we feel are right for the interactive space, whether that’s weapons or new types of aliens, and we’re aware that in doing so we’re adding to the existing canon.

Aliens: Colonial Marines for PS3

What is the essence of the Aliens films?

The aliens aren’t just looking to kill you, they’re trying to propagate the species and take you elsewhere so they can get you face-hugged. That’s the threat and it forms the scary aspect of the world, and then you also need to have the high action aspect. If you watch the film Aliens, there aren’t too many scare moments; it’s scary because you know what’s going to happen if you get caught but it’s action-packed, and to make a great game like this you have to have lots of aliens, lots of stuff to shoot at. You need the diversity between extremely quiet all the way up to high-octane.

What are the differences between creating fear cinematically, in a film, and doing so in the interactive space?

A lot of it is the same, so you’re going to have audio cues that catch the player unaware and you always want to use some misdirection, drawing the eye to one spot and then making something happen elsewhere. But at the end of the day, with a co-op shooter it’s pretty hard to truly scare the player so that’s why Colonial Marines is more action driven. It’s not like Dead Space, which has a fright around every corner, or something like Condemned, which was pure tension throughout.

Aliens: Colonial Marines for PS3

We could talk about the Aliens IP all day; what gameplay innovations are you bringing to the table?

You’re going to see a lot of growth in terms of what you expect from a Gearbox game that is co-op focused. Obviously, things like the look and atmosphere belong to the Aliens universe, but underneath you’re going to get a sense of something that is totally Gearbox.

Why is Gearbox the right developer to take on the Aliens IP?

If you take a look at our track record on working with IPs, whether it’s Half Life or James Bond, we’ve been true and honest with what it needs to be. We’re one of the best at that, looking at what gamers want and expect from the license and giving it to them.

Aliens: Colonial Marines for PS3

What’s more important to Aliens fans: familiarity or surprise?

It’s important to have these little signposts or fan service moments, such as finding out what happened to Burke or seeing what happened to Hudson when he got pulled down. But then you also have people coming in who might never have seen the movies so we’re bringing something for everybody.

//Add Your Own

33 Comments

1

+ Rorek_IronBlood on August 25th, 2011 at 7:12 am said:

Question: Will this game be subjected to and take part in an “online pass” and offer a multiplayer? Competitive or not. I’m looking foward to this title and have been for well, over a year (when I first heard whispers.) I just hope this game will be all that and more.


2

+ nikrel on August 25th, 2011 at 7:42 am said:

Gearbox is a great developer, I can’t wait for this new Aliens game.


3

+ JLP_M on August 25th, 2011 at 7:56 am said:

Just love the style of this game,


4

+ mcbuttz78 on August 25th, 2011 at 7:58 am said:

rorek. what does it matter. if it has online pass or not. online is not a bad thing . Its just buy the game new and get everything else free it help verify the game who bought the game legit .. .. I understand renting a game b4 you buy it and etc.. ne way..

It sounds like a action packed game. I think the graphic look ok, they could some more polish look a little to spikey onthe edges.

How does co – op work, is it offline co op as well as online, is the campaign co op, up to how many player ?? ty in advance..


5

+ Lil-ManWGT on August 25th, 2011 at 7:58 am said:

I did not like alien vs predator…I hop this one has a better review then that game it gets boring the campaigins but i never play multiplayer is it good ?


6

+ lcb62 on August 25th, 2011 at 8:01 am said:

I´ve LOVED the ALIEN vs PREDATOR (PC Version).
The console version I HATED.

Let´s see if SEGA did a good job this time with this franchise…


7

+ Hogwild333 on August 25th, 2011 at 8:21 am said:

Can you confirm whether this game will have split screen? I read in Playstation Magazine that it will have split screen but I am looking for official confirmation if possible.


8

+ moneyman1852 on August 25th, 2011 at 8:21 am said:

I enjoy all alien games but is it at all possible to add alien ressurection to a PSone classic?

I WOULD REALLY ENJOY IT :)


9

+ Lugoves on August 25th, 2011 at 8:33 am said:

Ya know Lance Henriksen co wrote a Autobiography by the same Name … “Not bad for a Human” I picked up a Signed HC but I haven’t read it yet …. just saying …. It’s on Amazon if I’m permitted to link … Search for it by title verse using Lance as he’s got too many Movies …http://t.co/LL6pv98


10

+ Rahabib on August 25th, 2011 at 9:19 am said:

looks nice. If they would have added Move support, I would get the PS3 version. Otherwise, Ill be getting the PC version (if its good).


11

+ jmanxp on August 25th, 2011 at 9:21 am said:

i miss the aliens trilogy back on the PSX, that was a sweet game, if u did not play it you missed out, good thing i still got my copy of it


12

+ sciteach on August 25th, 2011 at 9:34 am said:

we’re dogmeat


13

+ Zacky-V-A7X on August 25th, 2011 at 9:55 am said:

will be AMAZING!!!!!!


14

+ Falaut on August 25th, 2011 at 11:01 am said:

Sharpshooter support!!!


15

+ Airwalkinman17 on August 25th, 2011 at 12:55 pm said:

i wanna know the same thing #7 asked
split screen?


16

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 2:49 pm said:

To all you that wanted to know about Splitscreen-

The official website states 4 player drop-in / drop out coop.

Randy Pitchford also confirmed it will be playable 2 player split-screen (console), via LAN and Online.

Though no confirmation of 4 Player split screen yet, or mixed split-screen and online combinations.

Anything else you want to know?


17

+ Rorek_IronBlood on August 25th, 2011 at 3:13 pm said:

… Well, Mcbuttz78, you know what? I had replied to you much earlier today (a very length two paragraphs too.) However, I guess because, I was spouting the “real” facts and being “negative” towards their views and behavior (which is highly unethical) they sought to “censor” me, and denied my post. Which was awaiting moderation for over eight hours. I apologise to you, but I will have to say that Sony needs to check themselves. Censoring me because, of my views and opinions don’t fit into their world (and that I refuse to be another statistic to them and a mindless drone.)

I will say this then. That PlayStation Network “Online Pass” and the system itself being used by other publishers such as Bethesda, and ElectronicArts is “unethical”, and encroaches upon our civil rights and ownerships of the properties we own. I do, not support such behavior and enabling it like so, many are (the mindless nulls and drones) are part of the same problem that helped bring about such horrible behavior.


18

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:14 pm said:

Just a few observations from all the recent media we have seen. Hope this helps…

Encounter Types
- Survival Horror – These slower paced sections will be much closer to the original film, in that players will often find themselves separated from their squad, hunted and alone with limited armaments. They are allegedly tense affairs in which a single alien can be a threat.

- Last Stand – These are scripted set-piece encounters which require players to setup sentry guns and weld shut entry points and then defend against a horde of xenomorphs as they swarm in from every conceivable direction.

- Gauntlet Run – These are heavily scripted get from point A to B affairs that force the players to run for their lives through a gauntlet of xenos.

- Close Encounters – The CE’s are similar to Quick-Time Events, they are tightly scripted events that appear during the course of the game and play out from the players first person perspective.


19

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:14 pm said:

Gameplay Features / Mechanics
- HUD can be switched off
- Recharging health
- Acid blood temporarily obscures view, rather than melting flesh
- Dynamic alien A.I. (Random spawns, creates diversions, use vents to move around, self survivability)
- Real-time dynamic lighting
- Character customisation
- Weapon customisation (Add sights, scopes, alt. ammo types, shotguns, GL’s.)
- Customisable loadouts (Equip different weapons and equipment.)
- Earn experience points
- Unlock perks
- Hacking mini-game
- Coop difficulty scaling dependent on # of players and difficulty setting
- Partially destructible environments. (Doors buckling, Acid decals etc.)
- Aim Down the Sights – “The game will ship with sights if the weapon calls for it.” – zafford20
- Crouching – “We did demonstrate crouching in the e3 demo.” – zafford20
- Sprinting – “Sprinting was demonstrated in the e3 demo.” – zafford20


20

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:15 pm said:

Armaments
- Armat M41A Pulse Rifle & PN 30mm underslung grenade launcher
- M56A2 Smart Gun & Self-aiming stabilised mount harness
- M240A1 Flamethrower
- H&K VP70 Pistol (Seen in old media)
- M4A3 Pistol – From the ACMTM – Standard USCM sidearm (Seen in OPM screen)
- Semi-auto Shotgun (Looks like a Benelli M4)
- UA 571-C Remote Sentry Weapons System
More variations on weapons not talked about yet. Also, more than likely, I am guessing a few from the Aliens Colonial Marines Technical manual.

Equipment
- M3 Armor & M10 Ballistic Helmet
- Halogen Shoulder Lamp
- Miniature Hand Welder
- Motion Tracker (Can be used offhand with a pistol and can be heard beeping when off screen.)
- Hacking Kit
Brian Martel said ACM would introduce new gadgets into the Aliens universe.


21

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:15 pm said:

Vehicles
- M577 Armoured Personnel Carrier ‘APC’ – Possibility to drive and man weapons systems, including: rocket pod, hood mounted 20mm gatling cannons and rail mounted 20mW boyars PARS 150 phased plasma cannon.
- UD-4L ‘Cheyenne’ Utility Dropship
- Caterpillar P-5000 Power Loader (Possibly drivable)
- Daihotai Tractor (Making an appearance, but unknown if its drivable)

Locations
- U.S.S Sulaco (Conestoga class)
- Remains of Hadley’s Hope
- Surface / Sub-terrain of LV-426 (Possibly colony mines?)
- Derelict Alien Space Craft

Characters
- Winter (Player Character – Silent protagonist)
- Rook – Synthetic (Lance Henriksen)
- Cmdr. T. Shannon (William Hope)
- Sgt. Cruz – Marine with the prosthetic leg
- Sgt. O’Neal (Bryan Massey)
- Bella (Farah White)
- Reid
- Monday
- Weirzbowski (Josh Ridgway)
- Gen. Pryz (Gene Pyrz)
- Cpt. McLofflenn (Bill Huggins)
- Private Rashaad


22

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:16 pm said:

Alien Types Confirmed
- Queen
- Face Hugger
- Warrior (Ridged Cameron Design – Hive mentality)
- Crusher (Mutated from radiation – Head is impervious to standard gunfire)

Hinted at
- Scout (Smooth domed head Giger design – Said to be the most sneaky alien that stalks alone) Originally talked about in 2008 Game Informer preview, but still hinted at in many of the recent E3 and Gamescon interviews.

- Queen’s Guard (Hinted at in VG247 article that interviews Brian Martel at Gamescon.)

Quote:
”Then there’s the idea of the hive. Who is guarding the queen, what else is inside the hive – you’ve gotta have that sort of thing in your game or else it’ll be repetitive.”

- Dog “like” Alien (Hinted at by Brian Cozzens in the PSM magazine article.)

- Drone – With special egg carrying carapace (Hinted at in the old 2008 Game Informer preview.) On the Aliens Quadrilogy, the Drone is described as a smaller Albino worker / hive builder caste that Cameron cut from his initial film script.


23

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:17 pm said:

Story (Possible Spoilers)

The story actually picks up a few months before the game proper begins, right after the events of Alien 3, when W-Y discover the Sulaco drifting in orbit around Fiorina ‘Fury’ 161, just after Ripley’s sacrifice. They find eggs or evidence of eggs on-board, likely from the same batch as the ones that mysteriously appeared at the start of Alien 3.

In search of the source, W-Y heads straight to LV-426 with the Sulaco in toe. What happens next isn’t clear, but from what I gather, its that W-Y setup some kind of research operation down on LV-426’s surface (possibly to study the Derelict). It looks like that process somehow leads them to repopulating the diminished xenomorph ranks.


24

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:18 pm said:

Jumping forward 11 months, we play as the 17 day Colonial Marine rescue team eluded to in the second film, sent to investigate the whereabouts of U.S.S Sulaco. In the OPM interview, Randy mentions something about the rescue team being diverted or interrupted, implying some W-Y subterfuge as the cause. Due to this, our ship the U.S.S Sephora, arrives late on the scene at LV-426, and discovers that somebody blew up the Atmosphere Processor station and also find the seemingly abandoned Sulaco drifting in orbit. As we see in the Teaser trailer, they remotely access the ships logs and quickly determine that the ships crew is missing and that there are unregistered life forms on board.

They receive new orders through to investigate and board the vessel. From the E3 Demo Previews we know that they are met with a xenomorph infestation. At some point during or after the Op, something goes horribly wrong and our marines end up crashing down onto the moons surface.


25

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:18 pm said:

Once down on the surface, they see the remains of the Hadley’s Hope colony, which has only been partially destroyed due to the explosion being a sub-surface detonation that sent most of the blast energy up vertically like a funnel. It seems that Bishops calculations were off, or something occurred that he couldn’t anticipate. (Due to Randy’s post on throwing doubt onto Bishop’s reliability as an android, I can only assume that this will be answered in more detail in the game.)

Anyway, Winter <(player character) blacks-out during the crash and wakes-up on the surface of LV-426, near to the Colony. He and a bunch of fellow marines fight there way through the ruined colony and crashed Sulaco, fighting the newly reinforced xeno numbers until finally the Queen makes an appearance.

And that’s about as much as they have told us. Accept for the fact that we do go to the Derelict in Act 3.


26

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:19 pm said:

Additional Campaign Plot Points

- The campaign will be split up into self contained missions with an overarching plot. The first three acts will take us, in order.. to 1. the Sulaco, then 2. the surface of LV-426 and remains of Hadley’s Hope, and then 3. onto the Derelict. Where or IF we go anywhere else from there, GBX haven’t talked about yet.

- A whole battalion of marines is sent to LV-426 this time. Most of them will be cannon fodder, but we can keep some of them alive for extra firepower.

- There will be recurring NPC characters that we will be able to form bonds with, similar to those in the movie.

- Exploration of the Space Jockey mystery re-confirmed.

- Many of the characters from the movie will be referenced in various ways. For example, the aftermath of Vasquez and Gorman’s grenade, where Hudson got taken to, and the fate of Burke. They wont be magically resurrected from death though.

- Gearbox have taken the opportunity to attempt to fix some of the plot holes in the movies, like where the eggs came from at the start of Alien 3.


27

+ plaztiksyke on August 25th, 2011 at 3:19 pm said:

The detailed lighting is off-the-hook amazing in these screenshots! This game has been a loooong time coming, and you can really tell. If their animation and rigging is decent (especially in the faces), this will be quite amazing.

re: co-op, the only game I ever really liked to play online was Ghostbusters. If this game has a similar approach, and isn’t like the awful Aliens versus Predator game from a few years ago, I’m even more interested.

Will the score be all-new music, or re-using (some) original score from Aliens? One thing that disappointed me about Ghostbusters and Dead Space was the low-quality audio (relative to other PS3 games). I hope this game takes advantage of the capacity of bluray and the ability to do large mandatory HD installs to give us an auditory experience that meets/exceeds the Aliens/Alien3 movies on bluray (which were 24-bit/lossless)!


28

+ Silentghost4 on August 25th, 2011 at 3:21 pm said:

^^^^^^Above Is mostly what i know about Aliens Colonial Marines… Enjoy!!!!

Release date- Spring 2012


29

+ favian on August 25th, 2011 at 4:31 pm said:

I enjoyed A vs P, this looks even better


30

+ jvasq on August 25th, 2011 at 6:00 pm said:

i WANT THIS SOOOO BAD!!! Alien’s vs Predator was a disappointment but I’m so looking forward to this.


31

+ Istay-For-ever on August 25th, 2011 at 9:44 pm said:

nice game


32

+ Itobon on August 29th, 2011 at 7:46 am said:

its will be cool if the game have a coop story to play online 4 players.


33

+ mercenary24 on September 8th, 2011 at 1:22 pm said:

I would definitly buy this game if it has coop.But the game footage looks good alot of detail put in


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