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E3 2011: Aliens Finally Has a Sequel

This year, there was a lot to expect from the E3 show.  With all of the new hardware and awesome software that was right in front of our eyes, there was bound to be a gem hidden somewhere that we weren’t quite expecting.  When I got in line to see Aliens: Colonial Marines, I had no idea of the treats that I was in for inside their booth.  When I got inside the metal bunker they had set up in the middle of of the show floor, I took my seat and prepared myself for the live demo.  As I took out my notepad and flipped it open, none other than Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford took the podium to narrate.  If there is one thing that the world knows about Randy Pitchford, it’s that he loves what he does.  Right from the get-go, he made it clear that this project was no exception to that fact.

Randy started by mentioning that many games, in both the past and present, have borrowed something from the Alien franchise.  As I huge fan of Dead Space, I can graciously admit to that fact.  What Gearbox and Sega have managed to do here, is team up with Fox to revitalize the incredible horror franchise with a true sequel to the second movie in the series: Aliens.  Mr. Pitchford mentioned a number of times that this game is being considered as authentic canon of the franchise.  The game takes place after the events of Aliens where the colony LV-426 has self destructed in several places, but there are still some areas left intact.  You are part of a team that gets sent to LV-426 to investigate the incident.

The game looks fantastic and Randy mentioned that this was in large part due to a new rendering engine they’ve implemented for this game.  There are also several places from the films that you will get a chance to explore throughout the story.  Not much was specified beyond that for right now, but more details are surely coming later.  As the team went through the environment, it felt just like watching Aliens.  The characters were just like the marines from the film, with the same uniforms and weapons, and even the atmosphere reeked of the movie.  They even had the heat sensors with the red dots to show when the aliens were heading towards them.

With the demo underway, one thing they mentioned was that the game is going to be co-op ready.  Someone can drop in and out at any time during the game and play right along with you.  The game seems to play quite a bit like a horde mode in a multiplayer game.  A lot of what I saw was the marines trying to survive in an area being invaded by the enemies.  Luckily, they give you more than just a rifle to take them out.  Both turrets and the loader, from the climactic scene towards the end of the movie, have made it in the game.  They also managed to throw in some new stuff in the mix as well in the form of a new alien breed called the Crusher.  It’s got a giant bulletproof head and will charge at you with it.  From how they reacted to it in the demo, it may be best to just run away from that one.

Of all the consoles that the game will come out for, Mr. Pitchford definitely seemed most excited for the Wii U release of the game.  He wasn’t able to tell us why he was so excited about it, but promised not only amazing graphics on Nintendo’s new console but some awesome mechanics as well.  He was also able to say that the game will be coming out in the spring of 2012.  As a pretty big fan of the Alien franchise, they were some of my first R-rated movies, I’m extremely excited to see how this game turns out.  With the full support of Fox, I have faith that Gearbox will turn this into a game that finally does this great series justice.

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