2013's Aliens: Colonial Marines is one of the most memorable gaming disappointments we've ever seen. After witnessing a gorgeous, atmospheric engine showcase back in 2011, fans of the series were hungrily awaiting a true sequel to the iconic 1986 film. But then, in February 2013, Aliens Colonial Marines came out and the horror of its truth became reality. Gearbox's first-person shooter was an infestation worthy of being nuked from orbit. The AI was broken, the gunplay was unreliable, and the "perfect organism" - the Aliens themselves - couldn't even run at the player properly.
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Ease down, Ripley, ease down.
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When stealth is done right, it's a gratifying test of your skill, patience and focus. When stealth is done wrong, it's more irritating than a mosquito in your room at 3AM asking to borrow a tenner.
Gearbox's Aliens: Colonial Marines wasn't great. Now, a modder has fixed it.
Randy Pitchford is showing me an email he received a day ago on his phone. In it someone asks the Gearbox Software boss whether Aliens: Colonial Marines, which came out in February 2013 for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, will be remastered for PlayStation 4 or released as part of the PlayStation Plus subscription service.
It's a new year which brings about all sorts of self-help resolutions, new beginnings and a healthy dose of optimism. It also brings about expired video game licenses resulting in a slew of titles being removed from digital distributors.
Sega is cutting cheques for consumers who felt Aliens: Colonial Marines was wildly different to the marketing videos used to promote it, but while that particular battle is over, the war of words between the publisher and Gearbox Software, which developed the game, certainly isn't. This week brings fresh squabbling to light. The respective parties presumably wish they could just dust off and nuke the whole sorry episode from orbit.
For over a year now Sega and Gearbox have been the target in a class-action lawsuit claiming that Aliens: Colonial Marines' marketing misled customers by showing supposed gameplay footage that looked substantially better than the final product.
Sega has agreed to pay out $1.25m as it looks to settle a class-action suit relating to the false advertisement of Aliens: Colonial Marines - while Gearbox, which was also named in the claim, continues to fight on. Polygon has the full scoop on the latest twist in the ongoing saga.
Last year a class action lawsuit was filed against Gearbox and Sega alleging that Aliens: Colonial Marines was falsely advertised as its impressive press demo at E3 didn't resemble the final retail release. At the time Gearbox and Sega sought to fight this lawsuit and now Gearbox has filed a motion stating exactly why the accusations are baseless and that the developer should be removed from the lawsuit entirely.
Season's Greetings Eurogamers. It's the home stretch now, 2013's almost over and we're feeling nostalgic for the last 12 months. Broadly it's been a great year for gaming and there are plenty of fantastic games to talk about, but this week we've decided to concentrate instead on the fantastically awful ones.
This is going to be a fun one. From 12pm BST, Ian Higton's going to be braving the new DLC that quietly snuck out this week, and he'll be suffering through whatever new fresh hell Gearbox - or was it TimeGate or Nerve Software? - have conjured up.
UPDATE:The previously-spotted Aliens: Colonial Marines add-on Stasis Interrupted has arrived without fanfare on Xbox Marketplace.
Aliens: Colonial Marines was one of Sega's best-selling games last financial year (ended 31st March 2012) despite being absolute pants.
The shooter, made by Gearbox Software - oh really? - shifted a successful 1.31 million copies, according to Sega's annual financial report.
Nevertheless, Colonial Marines remains a sore spot for Sega, having been pelted with critical scorn and even class action lawsuits about misleading advertising. And rumour has it that TimeGate Studios, the team thought to be responsible for the bulk of Aliens: Colonial Marines, has now been closed.
TimeGate Studios, the developer behind Section 8 and part of Aliens: Colonial Marines, was allegedly shut down earlier today, according to a couple of anonymous sources at Kotaku.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon voice actor and Eighties film legend Michael Biehn has hinted that a sequel to the bonkers downloadable shooter may be on the cards.
Blood Dragon's creative director Dean Evans recently spoke with Biehn and mentioned plans for another spin-off.
"[Evans] was with me on the phone last night. He was pretty jacked up," Biehn explained on the Major Nelson podcast (thanks, IGN).
Aliens: Colonial Marines co-developer TimeGate Studios has filed a petition for a chapter 11 bankruptcy in Texas.
UPDATE: EA has confirmed to Eurogamer that FIFA 14 will not release on Wii U.
UPDATE 2: Sega and Gearbox have chimed on the class action lawsuit against them for allegedly false advertising Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Update: Sega has revealed that the Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines has been canned.
A Sega rep sent the following statement to Kotaku: "We are constantly looking at all areas of our business and in this case have made the decision to not continue development of the Wii U version."
"Rest assured that we have some fantastic developments for Wii U in the pipeline which we will announce at a later date."
Sega has added disclaimers to its Aliens: Colonial Marines trailers after admitting they didn't accurately reflect the final game.
The decision was made following talks between Sega and the Advertising Standards Agency sparked by a complaint made by a Reddit user called subpardave.
Subpardave wrote to the ASA highlighting what he described as the "absurd" difference between the "in-game" and "playthrough" footage used to advertise the troubled Gearbox Software shooter.
UPDATE #2: A second patch for console versions of Aliens: Colonial Marines has been deployed, in addition to the update listed below.
Amongst a multitude of bugfixes and tweaks, the glitch that showed Xenos displaying "erratic animations" (jazz hands) is now gone.
There's now an increased light radius for player's shoulder lamp (a common complaint) and tweaked enemy and friendly AI to be "more aggressive and responsive" (presumably so you can't just run straight past them now).
Layoffs have hit Aliens: Colonial Marines developer TimeGate Studios.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is heavily regarded as one of the biggest train wrecks in gaming history. Criticisms have run rampant from its shoddy critical reception to gamers crying afoul of its pre-release demo not being at all representative of the final product. While publisher Sega and developers Gearbox and TimeGate haven't officially responded to the game's poor reception - and are probably buried under a mountain of non-disclosure agreements - several staffers agreed to anonymously speak to Kotaku to outline what went wrong with the highly-anticipated sci-fi shooter.
Once upon a time Sega had an Aliens RPG and an Aliens FPS. The Aliens FPS became Aliens: Colonial Marines; the Aliens RPG was canned.
PC players have been collaborating to improve the visuals in sci-fi shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Sega and Gearbox's ropey shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines is top of the UK video games chart.
It's the biggest release of the year so far, according to UK data cruncher GfK Chart-Track, which means it's bigger than Dead Space 3.
Colonial Marines enjoyed the second strongest opening week of sales of any Aliens video game. The champion is Rebellion's Aliens vs. Predator from 2010.
Sega has denied internet rumours that the Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines has been cancelled.
"It's not true," a Sega UK representative told Eurogamer this morning. "We haven't announced the release date for it yet but that's it."
Rumours that Sega had shelved the Wii U version of Aliens began last night after a remark made by Kotaku writer Jason Schreier.
Update: Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has finally acknowledged the discrepancy between the Aliens: Colonial Marines hands-off demo and the final game that shipped to lackluster reviews last week.
PlayStation 3 owners can at last download Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC. It's available on the EU PlayStation Store today, priced £6.49/€7.99.
Sega has swatted away reports that Aliens: Colonial Marines developer Gearbox Software outsourced the majority of work to other studios.
Well, that just happened. Aliens: Colonial Marines launched today, and you've probably already dissected Dan Whitehead's verdict on the long-awaited game from Gearbox. Still, while it might hardly be a great game, it's definitely an interesting one, and you might want to check out what exactly all the fuss is about.
The majority of Gearbox Software's Aliens: Colonial Marines was not actually built by Gearbox, a report suggests.
The first thing you see is a gun. Not just a gun, but the gun. The M41A pulse rifle 10 millimetre with over-and-under 30 millimetre pump action grenade launcher, as so lovingly described by Corporal Dwayne Hicks during an unlikely moment of firearms-assisted flirtation with Ripley in James Cameron's 1986 classic, Aliens. Before the game even starts, you're forced to watch as your virtual hands hold the rifle up and inspect it from every angle. "Look," Aliens: Colonial Marines is saying. "Just like the film!"
That, it transpires, is the best trick in the arsenal of a game that understands that its success rests not on innovation or polish but on how often it can remind us of a movie made 27 years ago. That's why artist Syd Mead was brought back to expand on his original designs. That's why the music borrows from James Horner's score, by turns eerie and full of martial urgency. That's why the plot - such as it is - is sure to revisit every location, every encounter, that fans will want to relive. In terms of pandering to fan expectations, Colonial Marines can't be accused to dereliction of duty.
Those are mere surface details, however, and you only have to play the game for half an hour or so before you start to wish that Gearbox had invested as much time and effort in a stronger game engine and a few fresh ideas. For all the lunges it makes in the direction of movie authenticity, the game is held back by a stultifying lack of ambition and a game engine that barely works.
Walmart has outed the Bug Hunt DLC for Gearbox's upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines, due out next week.
Last night Gearbox Software announced that Aliens: Colonial Marines had gone gold on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. But there was no mention of the game on Wii U.
Happy 2013, Eurogamers! We hope you have have at least one resolution still on the go. Outside Xbox began the year with the Far Cryathlon: not a feature reverse-engineered from a punny name, but a grand new tradition of excellence and personal betterment. In it, we undertake a trio of Far Cry 3 events to test our mettle as electronic sportspersons. The first event is the prestigious Hang Glider Crash Challenge:
Were you ever lucky enough to run through the blue-lit corridors of the Trocadero's Alien War? Based in the bowels of Shaftesbury Avenue's ever-devolving entertainment complex, it was a staged tour of terror that set up shop in London for three short years, and it was pantomime of the highest order.
Film props were imaginatively placed around a little steel warren patrolled by over-eager marines and a lanky chap in an alien suit, a ghost house set in the tatty remains of a movie set. The rough edges were rounded out by its brilliant sense of theatre, though, and it's a sense of theatre that Gearbox's Aliens: Colonial Marine could do well to learn from.
Things start off promisingly. You're in the boots of colonial marine Corporal Christopher Winter - though really you're occupying the fantasies you've had ever since you first watched James Cameron's gung-ho addition to the Aliens saga - exploring the remnants of Ripley, Hicks and company's heroic stand on LV-426.
Oldschool Dave is remaking the Marine missions of tense and terrific shooter Aliens vs. Predator (1999) as a Crysis 2 mod.
Sega's leathery oozing egg sac has slowly peeled open, and a pre-order trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines has jumped out, all skittering and creepy.
In the trailer we finally get to see the in-game content that's on offer for anyone who pre-orders the game before its February 2013 release. Chief among these is the chance to play as "legacy characters" from James Cameron's 1986 movie. Gruff old Sergeant Apone. Handsomely deadpan Corporal Hicks. Squealing fraidy cat Private Hudson and illegally blond Private Drake. No love for poor old playground favourite Spunkmeyer? For shame.
No word on whether the actual cast members will reprise their roles - Bill Paxton isn't that busy, surely - or how this will fit into the series chronology, now that Hicks and friends will apparently be investigating their own disappearance on LV-426. We'll leave that to the fan fiction writers to sort out.
Aliens: Colonial Marines has debuted a new asymmetrical competitive mode called Escape mode, developer Gearbox has announced.
Aliens: Colonial Marines will feature playable female characters in both competitive multiplayer as well as the main campaign in co-op, developer Gearbox announced at a recent PAX Prime panel.
Those of you who came along to Rezzed this July were privileged to check out a small glimpse of Rome 2, The Creative Assembly's newest instalment in the all-conquering conquer-'em-up Total War series. If you're coming to the Eurogamer Expo, however, you'll witness the first public demonstration of playable code in an exclusive Creative Assembly developer session.
The inaugural Rezzed game show, organised by the people behind the Eurogamer Expo (you know, us), happened in Brighton earlier this month.
A recent petition aimed at convincing Gearbox Software to allow playable female characters in Aliens: Colonial Marines' multiplayer has sky rocketed past its goal of 1000 signatures earlier today. As of writing this the total was at 1493.
Sega will sacrifice operations in Europe and Australia to laser-focus on four key brands: Aliens, Sonic, Total War, Football Manager.
For Gearbox chief Randy Pitchford, the recently unveiled Wii U GamePad is "the best controller I've ever had from Nintendo".
UPDATE: The Aliens: Colonial Marines Collector's Edition is exclusive to Amazon in the UK, Sega has confirmed.
Hot on the heels of Vigil revealing that the Wii U version of Darksiders 2 will look "at least as good as" the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, Gearbox Software has gone one step further, and insisted the Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines will be the best-looking version.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is a "massive" project and hundreds are working on it, developer Gearbox has said.
UPDATE: Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has issued a statement on Aliens: Colonial Marines' latest delay and new release date, and addressed fan complaints that development has taken too long.
He said the total development time will end up being the same as that of Borderlands and the first Brothers in Arms, and blamed the perceived long wait on Colonial Marines' early announcement in December 2006.
"At the beginning of this effort a few years ago, as the business was in place to allow for the effort, everyone was excited. 20th Century Fox and Sega immediately shared the news with a press release that announced that Gearbox would be making a game in the franchise with these goals in mind. Later, the game was revealed with details and a title, Aliens: Colonial Marines, on the cover of Game Informer magazine. At that moment, we had finished our prototypes and were eager to test our promise against fans and then set real production in motion.
Look into my eye.
Nintendo has responded to recent reports about the power of the Wii U.
Sega will cut jobs and cancel titles as it attempts to "streamline" the home video games business in Europe and the US.
Parent company Sega Sammy released a statement announcing the "structural reform" today. It comes as Sega braces investors for an "extraordinary loss" for the full financial year ending 31st March 2012.
"The Consumer Business centred on Sega Corporation is expected to post operating loss in the year ending March 2012, due to the challenging economic climate and significant changes in the home video game software market environment in the US and Europe.
Aliens: Colonial Marines on Wii U will be the definitive version of the game by virtue of the system's innovative new controller, so says Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford.
Yakuza: Dead Souls launches in Europe on 16th March, Sega has announced.
Dead Souls is the Western name for Of the End, the zombie-themed PlayStation 3 exclusive Yakuza game.
Elsewhere, a Limited Edition of PC strategy game Total War: Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai launches on 23rd March 2012.
Long-in-the-offing shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines has been delayed from this Spring until some time in the Autumn, Sega has announced.
An image of what purports to be a special edition of forthcoming Sega shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines have found their way onto the internet.
Long-in-the-offing DS side-scroller Aliens: Infestation launches on 30th September.
According to Joystiq, a US release for the WayForward-developed title will then follow on 11th October.
Wayforward know their platforming onions so it could be worth a look. The studio's past credits include the lovely Wii update of A Boy and his Blob, DS brute Contra 4 and recent DSiWare favourite Shantae: Risky's Revenge.
Duke Nukem dev shows off new project.
Swarming the cockles of your heart.
Long-rumoured sci-fi action title Aliens: Infestation will launch on DS this September, Sega has revealed.
Outed in a post on the company's official Twitter feed, this is the first we've officially heard of the game from Sega.
Despite this, rating listings from both the ESRB and it's Aussie equivalent pointed to the game's existence as far back as May.
Unannounced sci-fi action game Aliens: Infestation is a side-scrolling platformer for the DS, a new ESRB rating has revealed.
The Wii U as a "really cool stop-gap" between this generation and the next generation of consoles.
Borderlands maker Gearbox owned the Blade Runner IP but passed up the opportunity to make a game with it.
The next generation of Wii U prototype hardware will be sent to developers in June or July, Eurogamer can reveal.
Aliens: Colonial Marines was one of the games featured in a Wii U show reel during Nintendo's E3 press conference.
There's something refreshing about a sci-fi first person shooter which doesn't have to be coy about its influences and disguise the fact it's stealing from one of action cinema's finest offerings.
What lovely teeth it has.
SEGA has announced a new Aliens: Colonial Marines release date of spring 2012.
Gearbox shooter still alive.
An alleged retailer document has thrown up release dates for a number of new titles including Tomb Raider and Alien: Colonial Marines.
Randy Pitchford has revealed that Duke Nukem nearly ended up with a "gay robot" sidekick – which could still make an appearance in a future title.
Aliens: Colonial Marines developer Gearbox Software has dismissed reports that the upcoming FPS has been pushed back beyond the end of 2011.
SEGA has told gamers waiting for information on Gearbox's Aliens first-person shooter – announced in 2006 – that all will be revealed soon.
Resurrected first-person shooter Duke Nukem Forever might have been the talk of PAX over the weekend, but developer Gearbox Software still found time to reassure gamers that its other in-development title, Aliens: Colonial Marines, is still alive.
SEGA president Mike Hayes has said that the launch of Gearbox Software's Aliens: Colonial Marines probably won't be scheduled until 6-12 months after Aliens vs. Predator launches in February 2010.
Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford has confirmed that shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines will not arrive this year.
Gearbox Software has denied that Aliens: Colonial Marines has been cancelled following reports of trouble at the developer on Friday.
SEGA has whipped out its calendar and put dates alongside its upcoming titles, including Sonic Unleashed, which will be out this November. However, Aliens: Colonial Marines and Empire: Total War both fall into 2009.
Gearbox has defended its recent in-game advertising deal by asking critics not to rubbish it "based on fears that may not turn out to be true".
SEGA has revealed that Aliens: Colonial Marines will be on shop shelves in "late 2008".
Aliens: Colonial Marines will be the name of the Gearbox-developed squad-based FPS.
Gearbox chief Randy Pitchford has worked himself into an excitable mess over a mysterious new project.
Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has let fly a few plot details for his team's upcoming Aliens-inspired first-person shooter.
SEGA has enlisted seasoned PC and console developer Gearbox Software to create a first-person shooter based on the Alien film franchise.
The news comes hot on the heels of an announcement that Neverwinter Nights 2 developer Obsidian Entertainment will be producing a role-playing game based on the films.
Earlier this week SEGA revealed it had secured the rights to create next-generation games based on the enduring sci-fi favourite.
SEGA has confirmed that Obsidian Entertainment will be developing its upcoming Alien RPG for next-generation systems.