If you’re like me, you’ve been watching the recent Prometheus trailers (spoilers!) over and over, pausing only to wipe the frothy spittle off your chin. If you’re really like me, you’ve also been wondering, “what’s it gonna take for some talented studio to create a killer game based on the Alien films?” Luckily, Gearbox Software is building an increasingly compelling case with Aliens: Colonial Marines, an upcoming big-budget PS3 shooter that aims to pick up where James Cameron’s seminal 1986 film Aliens left off.
While we know a good bit about the game’s tense single-player campaign, details about its multiplayer component have remained frustratingly elusive. So we took to Twitter and posed @PlayStation followers a simple question — what do you want to know about the multiplayer mode in Aliens: Colonial Marines?
This weekend at the Borderlands 2 booth, we granted PAX East visitors chance to play with two brand-new characters for Borderlands 2 — Salvador the Gunzerker and Maya the Siren — in a new environment called the Caustic Caverns. The Gunzerker and Siren classes have made great strides compared to their counterparts from the original game. Players who choose to play as Salvador will be able to use his Gunzerking ability to run into a crowd with two guns blazing. If you played the first game, you may recognize this as an evolution of Brick’s Berserking skill. Meanwhile, Maya’s new Siren skill Phaselock isolates an enemy inside a phase bubble for a short time. Once you’ve Phaselocked a target, your primary choice is whether to focus your fire on the helpless foe before it breaks free or mop up any other threats nearby. Decisions, decisions!
Borderlands has a strong history of co-op gameplay and that’s still a core promise of this game. At PAX, we watched as Siren players Phaselocked an enemy, leaving an opening for the Gunzerker buddy to run up, dual-wielding, and take out the target just in the nick of time.
When I say that Borderlands changed my life, it’s no exaggeration. It was the way that the game rewarded each and every action that got me. Every enemy I gunned down, every chest I opened brought a feeling of accomplishment and progression. So when I had the opportunity to join the team at Gearbox Software, I moved halfway across the country without a moment’s hesitation. Ever since, I’ve been seeing things that amaze me, things I know our fans will absolutely love. Things I haven’t been able to talk about… until today.
Because today, we’re blowing the lid off of Borderlands 2. We’ve got a new trailer, and if you haven’t already skimmed down and hit Play, let me tell you what you’re in for.
The Alien films have always held enormous power over me, occupying the same sphere of significance that Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings do for many others. So it’s been with great interest and no small amount of hope that I’ve watched the development saga of Aliens: Colonial Marines. This Gearbox Software-developed first-person shooter promises to pick up where James Cameron’s 1986 classic Aliens left off — an irresistible premise for any diehard fan of the series. A recent trailer (watch it below) presented a convincing succession of sound and images, yet carried the sadface news of a new fall 2012 release date. What’s an impatient Alien fan to do?
Well, I went to Randy Pitchford to get some answers. The gregarious CEO of Gearbox Software was all too happy to share new insights into the studio’s plans for Aliens: Colonial Marines, including multiplayer concepts, the control scheme, play style…and, perhaps most tantalizing, what he knows about the upcoming Ridley Scott-directed origin tale Prometheus.
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 Aliend. 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.
During E3 2011, I entered a gloomy room and found myself before Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford. He was there to show off Aliens: Colonial Marines, the upcoming first-person shooter that’s scheduled to hit the PS3 in 2012. When you hear a developer talk about his game with the passion Pitchford demonstrated, you know the studio is on the right track. Gearbox Software is packed with fans of the Aliens films; seeing the game in action, it shows.
The demo starts with the crash of the U.S.S. Sulaco, the high-tech marine vessel from the second film. You wake up to find yourself in a nightmare, surrounded by xenomorphs with no idea about what is happening. But you’re not alone — you’ll have a group of highly trained marines at your side wielding state-of-the-art military technology, from the iconic pulse rifle and flamethrower to the pulverizing smart gun.
“It’s like shaking hands with Bigfoot or riding the Loch Ness monster,” said Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford when talking about finally releasing Duke Nukem Forever. Look up the term ‘vaporware’ and Duke Nukem Forever will likely be used as an example, but it’s real and it’s coming to U.S. PS3s in less than two weeks. I caught up with Randy to ask why you should always bet on Duke.
Duke is an all-American hero with the Stars and Stripes featuring heavily in the game’s art style, but characters like that haven’t always been so popular internationally. Why is Duke an exception?
Not so long ago, the whole of gaming faced a terrible evil – a threat so grave that few knew of its true scope, a threat so intense that even fewer were capable fighting back. The greatest video game hero – Duke Nukem, our King– was on the verge of being lost forever.
A world without Duke Nukem wasn’t something I even wanted to consider. I know that because of my history with Duke that I’m not objective about it, but I also know I’m not the only one. In the interests of full disclosure, long before Gearbox was founded, long before we developed our games for Half-Life, long before we created new brands including Brothers in Arms and Borderlands, it was working with Duke Nukem at 3D Realms (with Gearbox co-founder Brian Martel) that launched my professional career as a game maker.