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Thread: Aliens: Colonial Marines

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Rochester, NY

    Aliens: Colonial Marines

    A friend let me borrow his copy of Game Informer, and the cover article was about Aliens: Colonial Marines, which is being developed by Gearbox. It's set on the Sulaco, where a team of Marines have boarded to investigate after Ripley, Newt, Hicks and Bishop got ejected. While staying close to the original movies, they do seem to be adding new things- for example, the Alien from the first film returns as a scout and overall sneaky bastard, while the xenomorph from Aliens is the ubiquitous warrior type. They're also considering adding more, such as a drone that can carry eggs. Overall, it has much potential- you know, like the Hindenburg. The last Aliens game was AvP2 back in 2001, and it's good to see fresh blood, but I'm afraid that too many concessions and changes may be made for the gaming community, and we'll thus end up with something close-but-not-quite Aliens that will have changed too much to recapture the original feeling. I'm not really aware of Gearbox's track record for developing games, so I don't know how that will factor into it.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: i am the avatar of tolerance
    I thought that got cancelled.

    As for Gearbox, you needn't worry. As I've said in another thread, their development resume is top-notch.

    I always figured a drone that carried eggs was common sense; after all, they have been compared to ants...

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Damn you James Cameron for turning potentially interesting and actually alien aliens into giant space termites.
    Interesting plot tangent anyway; taking a leaf out of The Thing game's book by the sounds (it wasn't the same mob was it?)

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Rochester, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    I thought that got cancelled.
    It was. Aliens: Colonial Marines was originally a PS2 game that was cancelled very early. This is only related by name- apparently someone felt it was better to just re-use the name than to go and trademark something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muzman
    Damn you James Cameron for turning potentially interesting and actually alien aliens into giant space termites.
    Yeah, that's one of the things I'm afraid of. Aliens are interesting, generic sci-fi bugs are not.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    I'm actually more interested in the Alien(s) RPG that Obsidian is working on. At the very least, I think it will be interesting to see how they design an RPG around the property. The only other thing that I would hope for in these games is that they go more of the Lovecraftian route of the original, and not the "hurrr space marines fighting bugs" of the sequel. Too bad that seems to be the route Gearbox is taking, not surprising actually.

  6. #6
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: i am the avatar of tolerance
    Jesus, have you all forgotten that xenomorphs were the original generic sci-fi bugs?

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: Deutschy-Deutschland / London
    no they're not, and yes, as much fun as aliens was, it made the beasts way less interesting than they were in the first one.

  8. #8
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: i am the avatar of tolerance
    That's a completely different thing. Fighting giant bugs in the open is one thing. But Aliens started a whole trend of "creepy sci-fi bases loaded with monsters running around in the dark."

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: Coca Cola, Sometimes a war!
    Quote Originally Posted by dethtoll View Post
    That's a completely different thing. Fighting giant bugs in the open is one thing. But Aliens started a whole trend of "creepy sci-fi bases loaded with monsters running around in the dark."
    Not to mention fighting said monsters wearing only underwear.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Aliens kicked ass. Yes its not as horror based as Alien. But it introduced a hell of alot of great things into the mix. If you want to talk about terrible Aliens movies you have only to look at Resurrection.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Sniper Hill, Quebec City
    Are you going to have that conversation all over? Again? For the nth time?

  12. #12
    I will kill every motherfucker in the room.

  13. #13
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Quote Originally Posted by Mingan View Post
    Are you going to have that conversation all over? Again? For the nth time?
    Whatever, whenever.

    Anyway, colonial marines are fine and well, and the new Aliens game may look good but the concept GETTING SO OLD. Besides, they have been copied so many times... tatatata, etc...

    What I'd like to see for a long time, is a game based on the first film, at least in gross idea - essentially it would not be a wild shooter, but a first-person SURVIVAL HORROR combined with ADVENTURE, where you would be in role of a civilian with limited or no access to weapons, in closed environment like Nostromo spaceship is. And you would have only ONE Alien on board. Maybe you could control one of more crew members and when that one dies, you would assume role of the next crew member with highest rank and try to figure out with your crew, HOW THE HELL YOU CAN GET RID OF THAT THING. Part of the goodness of Alien film comes from desperation and dense psychological clashes between the crew members, a beautiful thing which nearly vanished in Aliens stuff, focused on action and BOO scares.

    The game would be written and designed so that one Alien drone would scare you more than their hordes in AvP games.

    Who's up for that?

  14. #14
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by BR796164 View Post
    but a first-person SURVIVAL HORROR combined with ADVENTURE, where you would be in role of a civilian with limited or no access to weapons, in closed environment like Nostromo spaceship is.
    As long as it's not like Penumbra's combat. I'm so sick of the survival horror genre's tendency for creating tension through frustration over poorly implemented game mechanics. They finally scrapped the shitty awkward camera angles and crap digital movement from 3rd person Survival horror games, but then came Penumbra whom chucks the basic combat mechanics of FPS out the window.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by BR796164 View Post
    What I'd like to see for a long time, is a game based on the first film, at least in gross idea - essentially it would not be a wild shooter, but a first-person SURVIVAL HORROR combined with ADVENTURE, where you would be in role of a civilian with limited or no access to weapons, in closed environment like Nostromo spaceship is. And you would have only ONE Alien on board. Maybe you could control one of more crew members and when that one dies, you would assume role of the next crew member with highest rank and try to figure out with your crew, HOW THE HELL YOU CAN GET RID OF THAT THING.
    ...
    The game would be written and designed so that one Alien drone would scare you more than their hordes in AvP games.
    This idea I like very much. I can hardly concieve of a development studio with the balls to do it these days (perhaps one run by women is needed. It would fit the material after all)

  16. #16
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    I don't see it as a problem of dev studio, they can have good ideas... it's the problem to convince the bizsuits that it's a solid material that would do fine on the market. There is no question who would publish it - Fox Interactive. But it seems Fox had always in interest only selling us stuff based on Aliens. Those two or three old games based on Alien 3 and Resurrection were bad enough and I'm afraid they see Alien 1 as an arty stuff not appealing mainstream players. But survival horror is an established subgenre and if games like Alone In The Dark, Silent Hill or Penumbra received good critics for artistic approach and at the same time they were commercially succesful, I don't know why Alien Survival Horror wouldn't have a chance.
    What I would take as an argument to convince them ? In the first place game based on The Thing, but also Scarface and Ghostbusters (which will earn enough I believe). They prove well that games based on old movies can still have appeal, IF they're done right.

    *More ideas for the game : Every crew member would have his special technical, scientific abilities or leadership skills. For example
    Enginereers would be good in constructing gadgets and repairs of the ship, doing technical tricks, while scientific members would be able to research Alien's strengths and weaknesses and officers would be superior leaders with higher morale and problem-solving ability. And when a crew member dies, it will be a huge loss, as it will severely limit your options how you can destroy the Alien.
    Another main strength of the game would be detailed model of the spaceship and it's working sub-systems, which you can use in various ways to your advantage. There would be many opportunities for you, but it would depend on skills of your crew and your wit, how you use and combine these opportunities.
    Last edited by Rogue Keeper; 21st Feb 2008 at 06:30.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Rochester, NY
    Eh... I don't know. I think AI still aren't good enough to recreate that sort of emotional, psychological conflict without feeling scripted or robotic. And in order to make the loss of each crewman felt, they'd each have to be important. That leads to easily killing the alien if you can keep the crew alive, but getting mauled because one or two people die early on.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    I agree that a game of that scope would most likely not be possible to pull off today but the characters would not have to be important from a gameplay perspective to make you feel the loss. The best way would be to make them likeable human characters (as opposed to likeable caricatures).

  19. #19
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    We shall figure that out... basically the cooperation would be based on character's morale level and intelligence, charisma... We can have stats for that, there is a possibility for RPG-like levelling up for certain accomplishments, like researched knowledge of Alien lifeform, construction of a gadget or weapon, repair and regular maintenace of the ship, or for being just able to convince your fellow crew members to try some new strategy. Well the crew members will be important, each for what he's skilled in. But you would be possibly able to gain new and improve your current weak skills to the crew members, a pilot would be able to learn medical skill through providing first aid to other crew member, or you buy him grade in technical skill, so he'll be able to repair damage caused by Alien's acidic blood, for example.

    There would be a strong emphasis on making the Alien more cunning and intelligent than we are used to expect from this race as it has been portrayed in Aliens. His intelligence could be subject of game difficulty you select. In the first movie I thought that Alien is actually quite smart, watching and sensing what the humans are planning, he's travelling unseen through the ship, stalking prey that has been splitted from the crowd. The player would be often forced to split the crew into groups of 2, even send someone somewhere alone, if he wants to do more tasks simultaneously (leave the scientist in a lab, send engineers to repair the ship, etc.). And the Alien would normally keep himself away from large group of people, unless you invent an efficient trap strategy.

    But because there would be different ways how to get rid of xenomorph, you wouldn't rely only on one's crewmember's help. F.e. if your scientist dies, you won't research sample of Alien's tissue and realize that he's vulnerable to fire, instead you could freeze him with this great freezing gun your engineer has just constructed from spare parts. Just the more people die, the more challenging the game will be and this would be the game's main trait - how to solve this problem with limited people and their skills left?

    Of course all this would put a heavy burden on shoulders of a talented game designer, to create such complex game system - it must be balanced - and eventually some interesting ideas would be lost in the process, but it's not impossible - we have seen some interesting game worlds in RPGs which have been shaped during the campaign by your unique style of gameplay.
    Last edited by Rogue Keeper; 21st Feb 2008 at 07:40.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Tatry Mountains, Poland
    Nice shots!

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: Sweden
    The idea of running around the familiar environments, in a pure bred based-on-the-movie-universe aliens game (without the AvP dilution of including predators or playing as aliens), in 4 player co-op, excites me a bit.

    Allthough I'm reserved, in theory it sounds like the Aliens game I've wanted for the last 15+ years, but there are so many ways to screw it up and the game-screw-up-statistics of the last years are working against it.
    Last edited by Myagi; 22nd Feb 2008 at 00:22.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: Deutschy-Deutschland / London
    Goddamnit - blatantly from a movie as those shots were, I'm getting excited now. This game had better be awesome.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Alberta, Canada
    SURVIVAL HORROR combined with ADVENTURE, where you would be in role of a civilian with limited or no access to weapons
    anybody played this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliens:...Book_Adventure

    I thought this game was wicked. very atmospheric and not heavily combat oriented.

    I didn't know that Fox sued the company that developed it though... doesn't make much sense.

  24. #24
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Yes, I vaguely remember it from old reviews... Cryo was a great studio a nd the game had quite advanced graphics for its time. Wish I could find it as abandonware somewhere at least, it must be a hard-to get rarity.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Tatoine
    there actually was a survival horror-ish/adventure game loosely based on aliens for the sega saturn called enemy 0 (zero). it was teh shitz0r (on ones pants).
    puzzle elements good and combat wasnt rambo like.
    seeing as saturn emulators dont suck dick anymore i'd advise you to check it out if you can find it (and then bypass your twisted sense of morality).

    i'd backup 100% any alien survival horror game though i do believe it would be rather dull or rather short.

    i'll get back with some ideas on gameplay after i get back from work.
    /me is interested.

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