They needed time, money and resources?? didnt one guy in a few days do a graphics patch!! all i hear is excuses now as they were all hoping to get away with this pile of shit.
The tagline for the Aliens films is "in space, no one can hear you scream." I wonder if that holds true for the video game industry and the development teams that churn its gears.
My friend picked up the collector's edition of Aliens Colonial Marines yesterday and I was watching him play it for several minutes. This was before I realized how horrible a critical reception it received right off the gate. 4.0 from GameSpot. Major website publications calling it a "disappointment" and a blight on a storied legacy of a beloved film franchise. Personally, I expected the game to be a lot better than a 4.0, seeing how it's Aliens and all, but it looks as if Gearbox once again unintentionally committed a second offense after Duke Nukem Forever -- taking the reins of a game that languished in development hell and turning up a less-than-stellar effort.
The question remains -- what happened? The overall lurid reception of Colonial Marines can be blamed on a variety of things. First, it's been reported that Gearbox had been inundiated with Borderlands 2 development around the same time Colonial Marines was being made and, because of the obvious strain, were collectively forced to hand over duties to another team known as TimeGate. Second, the team that handled Colonial Marines in Gearbox's temporary absence (sans Borderlands 2) supposedly butchered what Gearbox had started, resulting in a game that languished in a horrid state. Third, there were signs of tension between Sega and Gearbox in regards to the lengthy time period of Colonial Marines' development. Sega was reportedly ready to pursue legal action against Gearbox, and that Gearbox themselves requested several extensions to polish the game while they were simultaneously working on Borderlands 2. All in all, either Borderlands 2 stalled the potential of Colonial Marines, or there was some nastiness going on behind the scenes between Sega and Gearbox.
Even though the game is disappointing, the fault does not necessarily lie with Gearbox. I'm lead to believe they might have done everything in their known power to ensure a quality product with Colonial Marines, but were met with various obstacles. I'm left to wonder -- could Colonial Marines have been a better game if they did not have Borderlands 2 to contend with? Would it have been possible if Gearbox had not taken on two different projects at once?
They could have gotten away with simply outsourcing the rest of the game to another developer and relegating themselves to advisory status, but it isn't immediately clear whether or not Sega would have been entirely happy with them abandoning ship at a crucial point in Colonial Marine's development cycle. After all, they did threaten legal action. Conversely, Gearbox could have delayed Borderlands 2 instead and diverted their focus in getting Colonial Marines done and polishing all the rough edges, but it isn't clear whether or not 2K Games would have been happy with Borderlands 2 being pushed back either. As you can see, Gearbox found themselves in a bit of a pickle.
I'm also worried if the heavy expectations of gamers might also have played some part in straining the cycle of development. Not just this game in particular, but many more like it. For anticipated titles like Colonial Marines, gamers expect nothing less than a solid game that hits on nearly every note, and rightfully so given the fact that they're paying $60 of their hard-earned money. They are known to express their disdain and frustrations against developers in company message boards, and I'm fairly certain the same holds true with the Sega/Colonial Marines message boards right now.
Whatever the case may be, what you see is what you get. Colonial Marines has become a tragic catalyst of the unfortunate behind-the-scenes squabbling, industry shoe-horning, and heavy struggles that developers endure to make games for us to enjoy. And I fear there will be many more like it in the future as the game industry continues to change -- for better or for worse.
My friend, however, did tell me the next day he enjoyed the game and was looking forward to playing more. For Gearbox and Sega, who probably aren't even friends anymore, that should be some bit of consolation.
I blame Pitchford ... how many interviews did he do for duke and colonial marines ? how many times did express his respect for the respective properties ....I seriously doubt that he never saw the finished product of C.M. before it was released ...and why all the hate for Prometheus ? I think it works as a great prequel of sorts for the franchise ...AND David was was amazing...Scott made in abundantly clear that even though it was set in the same universe , it would have its own ideas and mythology ...Awesome article by the way
I think it's just more solid proof that no one loves the Alien franchise as much as true fans. The franchise has been hexed since they made the AvP movies and has continued to descend to mediocre-quality (Prometheus) additions at the very best. In my opinion, too many people look at Aliens as the catalyst of what to do when making an Alien project, I feel that (despite the popular consensus, and I'm going to take some hate for this) Alien and Alien 3 make much better examples of what to take from the series in terms of story service. Prometheus was oozing potential, none of which was touched on because apparently they wanted the focus to be more on these people dying and rather impressive special effects than a deep multi-tiered origins story. Sure, again I digress, but I get riled up because, like a lot of franchises, it's not that there's not a lot to tell, it's how you tell it that matters. I hope this is an eye opener not just for those who made the game, but anyone who wants to handle Alien. Its material requires the respect it deserves.
Aliens Colonial Marines, PLAYED ABOUT 5 HOURS, IT'S OKAY, NOT BAD, BUT NOT GOOD, IT'S A SHAME, MAYBE THE NEXT Aliens Colonial Marines GAME will be better until then back to playing dead space 3 co-op mode.
I wrote a review on here on the game and basically you nailed it on the head. The game is just so disappointing. Playing on PC the graphics were very average and I can imagine on consoles. But it isn't the game's weakest point. It's how the game doesn't feel anything like an Aliens branded game. Ammo, health, and armor are everywhere, you never feel any fear, The enemy A.i is pathetic and you fight mercenaries....in an Aliens game. Plus it's has a short story and an equally horrible ending. I can go on.
What pisses me off, is that Randy was "supposedly" so devoted and excited for this game but yet it gets outsourced to two other companies who had no business working on it in the first place. It's like Gearbox did 20% of the game and just gave up. To many unanswered questions, and I will be wary of any gearbox branded game in the future. First Duke Nukem now this.
@Steel_Rain777 Based on what I've read so far in the comments, I'm surprised that Gearbox has such a ...well, not-so-good reputation. Still, I read your review (nice job BTW) and it's all beginning to sink in. Borderlands is their baby, it seems, seeing how it shows how much care they put into that franchise.
Gearbox was given 6 years to make Colonial Marines. They had a lot of time to craft the game, polish the rough edges, put out a solid (if not decent) product that would have made us and Sega happy.
As surprised as I am that people have a largely unfavorable opinion of Gearbox, I know now the reason why, and Mr. Pritchard's got a lot of answering up to do.
And he has yet to apologize, too.
It doesn't even phase me to see these ratings for anticipated games.
1) Don't trust ANY DEV.
2) Incentrives are 99.9% likely a trap to "SUCKER" even more money off you.
3) Don't imediatly buy, patience is king(See #2): so there is no reason you can't wait for reviews and "REAL GAMEPLAY FOOTAGE"
4) Even with #1,2, and 3.... the game is still probably at 3/4 chance of greatly below expectactions.
Who is the blame?, EVERYONE IS! Devs and players.
I am not familiar with this certain game but have partly played " Borderlands". Well it is a game I would choose as an in-between game for an hour or 2 but running around shooting this and that in a not so exciting environment is just not my cup of tea. It kind of reminded me of older games like Hexen and similar.
Well GS and other gaming sites have a rating system based on several factors and not just" game fun" so there are many many games we have tremendously enjoyed but didn't get a good rating because they had technical problems or poor graphic etc. There have been games which were sold like fresh hot bread and fan loved them and were critically highly acclaimed but had lot of issues, bugs glitches etc. which no one seemed to care.
Admittedly from past experience with Gearbox, when they create original IP's such as Borderlands they're great games with the best gameplay etcetera however if Gearbox picks up a licence such as say for example Duke Nukem, they screw it.
I don't know why Gearbox does this but who knows why companies do anything
Pitchford: "I've been stealing from Aliens my whole career!". What he meant was "I've been stealing from SEGA and my whole career is Borderlands!"
I purchased the game because it had Gearboxes name on it. I fully blame them and will not make the same mistake twice. If I knew it was outsourced to some crap company before hand I would not have purchased. I paid for a Gearbox game... guess that is what I got.
It's probably mostly Timegate's fault.. They don't have a stellar past.. Gearbox has gotten into this weird position where they're picking up all these old forgotten games and releasing them... It's not helping their sales any.. That being said I don't think this game is that awful.. Totally not worth $60 though..
Huh:o I thought I have already commented here. Will wait and see if my it appears again if not I will give comment one more time. Strange....
This, ladies and gents, is why I NEVER pre order a game anymore. I've been disappointed with games too many times to take the chance. I don't have to play games the night they come out, besides the games are often better if you wait awhile after release and they have a chance to fix some of the bugs they didn't catch during development. Doesn't seem like this game needs bug releases though, looks like it needs a rewrite.
Smart. I learned that lesson two years ago.
Aside from a friend pre-ordering X-Com for me I now wait until I hear reviews before buying.
That said I've heard it's not horribly buggy but just isn't what it claimed to be or what it could have been. It's very lackluster.
I also have to say the horrible Kotaku reviewer should never be allowed to review another game after she "thought the guns sounded annoying" and didn't like the "claustrophobic feel." From everything I've heard (no pun intended) the sound is one of the great parts of the game and the "claustrophic feel" was one thing they did correctly. Something tells me she had no idea what the source material is and most likely never watched the movies.
@Poodlejumper "That said I've heard it's not horribly buggy but just isn't what it claimed to be or what it could have been. It's very lackluster."
Sounds like a case of Diablo 3!!
No they are to blame completely. They could have been an intellignet and responsible company and developed the game in a timely manner and worked on only that game. Instead they chose to do multiple projects at the same time and then realized that they can't give both games the same amount of TLC so they chose their IP Borderlands instead of Aliens.
This is the second complete an utter flop they are responsible for; Borderlands is beginning to become the exception to Gearbox's record. One more game like this and Gearbox is done as they should be because they are not a good developer
@ziproy I can't take you seriously if you declare Gearbox to be a bad developer. Borderlands 1 and 2 easily makes up for their flops with Duke and now Aliens. I agree it is a dumb call keeping tabs on 2 projects simoultaneously, as obviously they will focus on their original IP. But saying they are a bad developer because of them taking over 2 unfinished products and finishing up, that's stepping over the line.
Not to put words in your mouth, but it's the same with the people saying EA are a bad game developer. They are a seriously greedy company, and their structure and their policies are seriously demonic and crappy, BUT the fact is that they've created the averagely highest scoring games in 2012.
Same goes for Gearbox in this matter, sure they've made 2 mistakes, but neglecting that they've created 2 games that have sold well and also gained some high scores all around, should make up for it.
In the end, it's not their skills as developers, it's their structure and their business aspect that lacks.
Trying to buy an unfinished game from another company to earn a buck or two on it, is a bad move, as it will not only twist the original idea of the original developers, but also in this case, make the game a second priority. I mostly agree with you, but I think the focus shouldn't be on their skills of developing but more on their business aspect.
@ziproy Too right, it is Gearboxs fault and only Gearboxs fault. The buck should stop with them, you can't blame sub contractors. In business that's how it works so it should be the same with games. The arguments would be endless otherwise with everyone blaming everyone. In a post mortem situation it is useful for a company to look into what went wrong but that would be after the company took total responsibility. Much like in life if you don't take responsibility you will never learn.
@Asagea_888 Good post, Interesting to note that your friend enjoyed it. I think it's some kind of placebo effect it's had on him though; he's telling himself to enjoy it to justify the price he paid for the Collectors Edition. He's probably crying himself to sleep tonight knowing the truth.
And the rest of us poor fans, as if '3', 'Resurrection' and 'Prometheus' didn't do enough damage to the franchise, now there's this.
At least there's the old Rebellion & Monolith 'Aliens Vs. Predator' FPS's, (just don't mention the movies! Especially 'Requiem'! Shhhh...it never happened!)
@LE5LO "he's probably crying himself to sleep tonight knowing the truth."
XD If he is, then he can cry on my shoulder! Yeah, I think you're right -- watching him play, he looked as if he was trying to like it. The Collector's Edition was a waste of money.
@Asagea_888 "The Collector's Edition was a waste of money."
Yeah, the detail in the statue looks great and the embroidered patches would be good for Cosplayers. I just hope soon enough that publishers stop hiring marketing people to come up with superficial extras we have little use for. It's seriously wasteful, especially if the game is bad.
I wish they'd learn that all that matters is the games quality, that's what sells more copies, not the novelty toys they squeeze another $20-$30 out of us with on day 1. Most people that pre-order the C.E will read the reviews first, then decide to remove their pre-orders and put it to something more deserving, and the retailers obviously end up stocked up with something nobody wants until the R.R.P is severely reduced. Bad games with C.E's are the companies loss, not ours. It looks like they're starting to learn this though.
I started watching lets play's of A:CM, and it looks 'kinda' fun for the nostalgia, the sound is good, the visuals are ok, despite the 2012 demo looking better than the finished product.
But with the basic A.I, lack of collision on NPC's, shonky story and all. It's definitely not enough to get my hard earned money, especially after playing something like Ni No Kuni for 45 hours, I'm still going and loving it. It's been a long time since I've soaked up a JRPG like this, but I digress.
You sound like a good friend. Unless you guys are homosexual, letting him cry on your shoulder in bed together could be a little awkward. I get what you mean though, I'm just joking. ;)
i'll return it today while I can still get some type of store credit.. in a month it will be on sale for 20 bucks
ok.... so I pick up the game on Tuesday when it came out.... First 10 minutes of playing this complete piece of trash I wanted to take it back and return it, what a waste of money. Cant get it off my hands fast enough
"The tagline for the Aliens films is "in space, no one can hear you scream.""
Not true - that was for the original (superior film in my view) "Alien".
The taglines for AlienS were:
- This time there's more.
- This time it's war
- The bitch is back.
@so_hai The bitch is back is the tagline of Alien 3. Jeez, if you want to be picky about sth, check your resources first!!!
They used that tagline for two films. Don't tell me to check resources when you haven't yourself - it's just embarassing.
@so_hai dat accuracy
I am shocked by the number of gamers jumping to the defense of Gearbox. These guys straight up lied about this game, treated it and the fans like garbage and haven't so much as issued an apology, likely because they don't want to disrupt week one sales. It is completely unacceptable. I get it, big fans will look past flaw, I am a massive Aliens fan and I was a huge Gearbox fan, but this can't be allowed to pass. Pitchford delivered nothing of which he said he would. AVP from 2010 is 3x this game in everyway, and it is in no way a perfect title. If you support this crap then these guys will continue to get away with it...like they did with Duke Nukem.
This game had so much potential and yet it fell flat on its face. The E3 2011 look game and we get this piece of crap? So much for Randy Pitchford's "words of wisdom", now no one is going to be able to trust him anymore especially after duke nukem forever and this travesty.
Honestly going as far back as 2008 Gearbox has a pretty bad track record. Of the 8 games they have made only 3 of them got reviewed well (two of those being Borderlands) so honestly if it has Gearbox on the cover and doesn't have Borderlands, you shouldn't expect much. It seems their dev teams are highly unbalanced.
@Sefrix Agreed, though I did like the original Brothers in Arms. Must have fluked it.
@Sefrix I agree. They have a disproportionate amount of good will for their output quality.
@so_hai Yup. Borderlands is fantastic and well made, but as a company they are very hit or miss, with more misses than hits.
Sega gave them plenty of time. 6 years... That's 2-3 times longer than the average development cycle. Gearbox shouldn't have taken on two projects at once if they couldn't handle it. So when Gearbox knew they couldn't handle both games, they handed it over to TimeGate to finish it, and then shift the blame that they messed up their game? Gearbox are idiots.
Remember, Gearbox isn't actually at the level of other great developers. People give them way too much credit for Borderlands - the only franchise they can develop. Borderlands 1 was in development limbo as well, changing the game's art style, and was in development for years with only a few screenshots to show for.
And then, no one could forget Duke Nukem Forever. I don't have to explain that one. So why are people so willing to forgive Gearbox again? They ruined two franchises which would have been historic games.
@Elann2008 Uh.. they didn't ruin DNF. 3D Realms did a great job of ruining it. Gearbox just carried it across the finish line.
They showed us several in-game previews of what the game would look like and it most certainly did not. That is fraud as far as I'm concerned. Of cause the fault lays with Gearbox, they made the game. Outsourced parts or not, it's their responsibility for releasing it in such a dreadful state. There is no excuse for this travesty!
@Con64 The moral here is do not accept any preview material as being in the final product until it's IN THE FINAL PRODUCT. This way, they can't bank on pre-orders made on false pretenses.
Oh I certaily didn't preorder anything never do, the moral here is that companys like this one seem to have no moral, scruples nor sence of ethics. The gaming industry in large is frown upon by other markets, it's not realy taken serious, thus some brands within the gaming industy believe they can get away with faud and such because no one really cares. "It's only a bunch of kids anyway who'll care, attitude"
This is far from the truth however, gamers are of all ages and cultures and should definitely be taken serious. It's up to us as consumers to put a stop to this blatant disrespect and show that we are a force to be recond with! Yes game development can go wrong...but falsely marketing a product and selling it anyway is something we should never except.