E3 2011: First Glimpse of Aliens: Colonial Marines

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E3 2011: First Glimpse of Aliens: Colonial Marines


During E3 2011, I entered a gloomy room and found myself before Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford. He was there to show off Aliens: Colonial Marines, the upcoming first-person shooter that’s scheduled to hit the PS3 in 2012. When you hear a developer talk about his game with the passion Pitchford demonstrated, you know the studio is on the right track. Gearbox Software is packed with fans of the Aliens films; seeing the game in action, it shows.

The demo starts with the crash of the U.S.S. Sulaco, the high-tech marine vessel from the second film. You wake up to find yourself in a nightmare, surrounded by xenomorphs with no idea about what is happening. But you’re not alone — you’ll have a group of highly trained marines at your side wielding state-of-the-art military technology, from the iconic pulse rifle and flamethrower to the pulverizing smart gun.


During his presentation, Pitchford assured us that this is the real sequel to Aliens and everything indicates that this is so, from the Marines’ tools (including motion trackers) to the automatic turrets that we saw on the special edition of Aliens; they are all here. The game also featured a cooperative mode for four players and your friends will be able to drop in and drop out of gameplay as they please.

Without a doubt, the most striking element I saw in Aliens: Colonial Marines was the setting and atmosphere. Gearbox is busy perfecting the combination of loneliness, abandonment, and claustrophobia that have become hallmarks of the series. The xenomorphs are more horrific that ever — they’re quick, merciless, and attack in groups that will not give you a moment’s rest. We also saw a new alien who looks like a Queen but is faster, uses its head like a shield, and can charge its enemies. Of course, you have to run away to face it afterwards in a battle that involves a exosuit cargo-loader. You can imagine the rest.


We are a long way off from 2012, but from what we have seen, Gearbox is on the right track. Aliens purist can rest easy, while those passionate about first-person shooters can look forward to a promising co-op experience.

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  • Game is gonna be incredible when it finally comes out!

  • Looks cool, but I’m guessing you can only play as the Marines? My favorite thing about the AvP games was playing as the xenomorphs.

  • I’d love it if somebody made a good Aliens game, but it’s just not going to happen.

    They already tried to do the Alien vs Predator thing, which was the most promising in terms of potential gameplay and variety, and that was totally fumbled.

  • Thanks for the Aliens (1986) film concepts!

  • so there will be a alien vs predetors 2

  • I have high hopes for this game, and I think this will finally be the Aliens game fans have been waiting for.

  • Niiice! A Looong Time Ago, I Owned An ATARI JAGUAR And I Can Remember Playing Long Hours On ALIEN VS. PREDATOR As The Marine… Looking For New Weapons Like The Pulse Gun And Flame Thrower, But AllSo Haveing To Ration The Ammo’s Useage As It Was Limited….Ooooh. It Was Easyier To Play As An Alien Or As The Predator…But WhatEver. I Bought The Game “Second-Hand” And I Was Missing The “InLay/Key Template” That Slid Into The “JoyStick”‘s Key-Pad… Soooo Frustrateing As A Marine… Especially Those Nights Of Crawling Through Air Ducts… The Same Ones… Over… And…OVER…Again. With That Crappy CBC Radio Station In Thunder Bay, Ontario Playing Those Creepy As [DELETED] Songs From “SPOOKY RUBIN”…. Ughhhh..

    ANYWAYS… THAT “ALIEN” Franchise Game Back THEN Was Friggin’ AweSome For Its Time (1996) And That Was Right Before ATARI Came Out With A “CD Unit” For Its JAGUAR… AnyBody Ever Own The CD-Unit For The ATARI JAGUAR? Just Curious…

  • I love the idea of a consistent narrative, focusing on the humans. If the dialogue isn’t repetitive and shallow, that’ll be a big plus.

    The screenshots look great, especially the alien. It looks like they’re going to the effort to really render the details on the aliens body in the model, rather than just painting it on a texture like most other games have done. If Gearbox is leveraging all the SPUs, this should look great.

    is there a new score and sound effects, or will they be using film assets?

  • Hey Sony man, tell Mr. Pitchford over at Gearbox to keep up the awesome work. Got the Balls of Steel Duke box on Tuesday and I’m totally lovin’ it regardless of what the idiots in the media are trying to say. Game on.

  • For those who don’t get the idea, this game will have no true connection to AVP. It will be a stand alone title and will only be associated with the movie series. So no more comparisons and force puzzle pieces together. This is a new IP of sorts. Now, I’m very interested in this series since it has alot more promise as a horror title than anything else. Here’s hoping it will succeed.

  • i <3 aliens, i am really looking forward to this, i hope it is beter then avp. it was an ok game. setting that aside, Lorenzo will there be a special edition and will Lance Henriksen reprise his role as Karl Bishop?

  • Nice work!

  • This could end up being a nice survival-horror game. I’ll be rooting for the best outcome.

  • Ahhh yeah :D Aliens done right…. I hope :P

  • I can still recall many happy hours playing Alien Trilogy on PS1.

    Wow, I’m old!

  • some awesome games coming to PS,thank you game gods!

  • @3

    its a wonder that ppl dont play online, probably cause of ur reason


  • @13

    i was never really a fan of the trilogy, but ressurection (i know misspelled) i thought was better and had good graphics for a ps1 game

  • I cannot Wait to Play this game is Looks Awesome I have waited for Years.

  • I’m a big fan of all the movies so I’m looking foward to seeing this game come to the PS3..

  • co-op campaign? would be cool if there was a randomizer for maps or something too. Probably wishful thinking :)

  • I like the co-op survival….havent seen a good one since resident evil outbreak ps2

  • I grew up on the arcade 2d alien series so this game has big shoes to fill

  • Man o man, now this is a game that I want more than anything else. If done right this game can be epic. If not well iam still gonna by it lol.

  • I have been waiting… Duke fans you waited a long time… I’ve been waiting for this since my Apple IIGS and Aliens: The Computer Game (1987). Gearbox, you have my gratitude for your M.O! Outstanding :)

  • It has the potential to be great, hopefully they get it done.

  • With this game I can finally make use of my name. :D I call dibs on the shotgun(if there is one), because I wanna say “I like to keep this handy for close encounters” alot.

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