On Tuesday, Gearbox Software and SEGA unleashed Aliens: Colonial Marines on the gaming masses. The general consensus (unless you write for website EGM and you huff glue before reviewing vidja gaemz) is that the game is utter rubbish, chockfull of dumb Xenomorphs with no AI and even dumber marines. There’s a video floating about the interwebs showing how you can literally run through a level, straight past dozens of aliens who ignore you once you’re a certain distance from them.
Aliens: Colon Marines spent six years in development. That’s a hell of a long time for a game this terrible. Now that everyone has seen just how bad the game is, somebody at Gearbox has spilled the beans on Reddit, providing some insight into just what happened to make this game so awful.
Obviously, there’s no way of actually knowing for sure whether this person is really from Gearbox, but they realise that themselves and begin their lengthy post by saying “due to me breaking NDA [Non-Discluse Agreement], I can’t provide any proof that I’m not just talking out of my ass.” It’s also worth pointing out that the contents of this Reddit post matches up with other rumours regarding the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines.
The gist of the Reddit post is this: the Colonial Marines deal was inked way back in 2006 between SEGA, 20th Century Fox and Gearbox. Gearbox then went off to develop Borderlands 2 and Duke Nukem Forever on top of working on Colonial Marines. However, Colonial Marines would be shelved many times so that work on the other two projects could proceed. Eventually, SEGA grew impatient (understandably) and Geabox outsourced the continued development of the single player campaign to a development team called TimeGate. That dev team completed a portion of the campaign, but “what had been made was in a pretty horrid state.” By that stage it was too late for Gearbox to redo the work, because SEGA was threatening to sue if the game was delayed again. The result was what many of you have now played.
The sad thing is that Aliens: Colonial Marines had heaps of potential. Looking back at the demo gameplay footage that Gearbox showed off to press at various events and conventions, there was so much going for the title. Website VideoGamer.com has put together a comparison video based on the demo footage of Colonial Marines. That footage looks amazing. They then show you what the demoed sections look like in the final game that launched this week. It’s heart-breaking stuff knowing what the game used to be like. What the hell happened to the lighting? What happened to the animation? Why are there NPCs missing from the final game? What IS this? I don’t even.