Posts Tagged ‘Review’

BioShock Infinite aims so damn high – fittingly, since its alternate-reality 1912 city of Columbia literally floats atop clouds – that it’s a wonder it successfully hits any of its lofty goals at all. But it does hit them, again and again. A stunning original world of retro-sci-fi technology and gorgeous scenery A cast of fully fleshed-out, memorable characters who deliver real emotional impact. A great villain and a greater monster. New and thrilling ways of traveling and changing the world around you. A story twist most people won’t see coming. Even when it does occasionally miss, another hit follows so quickly that the stumble almost feels like a setup to increase the effect. Infinite comes through as a true, worthy follow-up to BioShock, one of the most-renowned shooters of this generation. In my book, it becomes one itself.

Irrational Games – a studio that’s made a name for itself in eschewing predictability and is known for pathological cybervillains and brutish Big Daddies who earned our sympathy in their staunch protection of Little Sisters – somehow makes a city built on the clouds seem plausible. It’s a place that feels alive. Townsfolk bustle in the plaza streets, birds flit about almost everywhere, and propoganda extolls the local prophet’s racist, ultra-nationalist beliefs. Columbia has its own history and hierarchy, to a degree that most shooters – or games of any genre, for that matter – can’t even aspire. It’s created using a vibrant color palette and a unified vision of a twisted, jingoistic take on America. Simultaneously, no two of its many diverse areas ever feel alike. All these elements give this fantastical city a sterling sense of genuine place.

This world is easy to buy into because its characters believe in it so convincingly, chief among them our player character, war veteran-turned-PI Booker DeWitt. He’s a reluctant hero on a mission, vaguely referred to as a less-than-virtuous man with a shady past. The first hour chronicles DeWitt’s unusual journey to Columbia under orders to recover a teenage girl named Elizabeth so that he might “wipe away the debt.” Though he begins as both a bit unlikeable and mysterious, eventually Booker’s backstory is fully filled-in and brought to a satisfactory end. Under your stewardship, he oscillates between doing good deeds and some clearly bad ones, but his words and actions eventually left me thinking of myself as a fan of the man by the time the credits rolled.

Pleased to Meet You, Elizabeth

It’s that inaugural hour – and in fact the few that follow it – that build the foundation upon which the rest of BioShock Infinite stands. Er, floats. Early on, thanks to the weapons, powers, and upgrades having new names but functioning in largely the same way, it’d be fair to call Infinite an elaborate, blue-sky reskin of the first BioShock. If that’s a criticism at all, it’s a weak one; BioShock’s about as sound a starting point to build upon as a game could hope for, and Infinite has made the most of that. I’d put the artwork, meticulously crafted detail, and overall atmosphere of Columbia right up there with BioShock’s Rapture, Half-Life 2’s City 17, and Mirror’s Edge’s unnamed dystopian metropolis. Two things evolve Infinite past its predecessor, however, and the first is one of its central characters: Elizabeth.

Our mystery girl rarely leaves your side once she joins you a short time into the campaign, and unlike the vast majority of AI companions throughout the ages, she requires zero babysitting. To the contrary, she’ll take care of you, tossing you ammo and health in the heat of battle, randomly throwing you money at idle moments, and even bending the layout of a combat area to your will using her dimensional-portal-opening abilities.

In firefights, that means you might have the choice to teleport in any one of a flying gun turret, a wall of cover, a powerful weapon, or a stash of medkits. It’s yet another option that’ll affect how the fight plays out in a big way – a layer that makes Infinite’s combat so refreshingly nimble. The guns may not be wholly original, and the vigors may be familiar, but in concert with the Elizabeth wildcard and the open, large-scale play spaces, Infinite offers tangible, meaningful choices in each encounter.

Elizabeth herself, in fact, plays a central role in BioShock Infinite’s story, and in the moment-to-moment experience. Once she’d established herself at my side, any period of separation was noticeable. Not only does the action revert to feeling very much like BioShock 1, but it made me feel as if something was genuinely missing: emotional depth. Over our time together, Elizabeth’s expressive performances elicited everything from sympathy to fear and even guilt. She provides motivation and moves the story forward, and like the clear bond the Big Daddies and Little Sisters had in the first game, I was compelled to protect her. And from a purely mechanical perspective, it’s a half-miracle that she never gets in the way – but she doesn’t. What’s great about Elizabeth is that her presence always adds something, and never takes anything away.

Booker and Elizabeth have a strong supporting cast to work with as well. Almost from the moment Booker arrives on Columbia he’s antagonized by Zachary Comstock, aka “The Prophet,” who makes for an easily hateable villain both for his morally reprehensible views on race and for his oddly personal verbal attacks towards Booker over loudspeakers and other communiques. His level of evil and the ways in which he harasses you indirectly are something of a cross between the sadism of System Shock 2’s SHODAN and the manipulation imposed by BioShock’s Andrew Ryan.

Meanwhile, Booker’s most physically imposing opponent is the Songbird, the gigantic robo-fowl assigned to “protect” Elizabeth in a tower, Rapunzel-style. He is constantly in your rearview mirror, as it were, ominously threatening you each time he appears and giving chase in exhilarating running sequences. I wish he’d shown up more often, really – among all the players in Infinite, his is the arc that feels the least developed. That’s not to say his story isn’t satisfying, just that I was left wanting more.

Drinkin’ and Shootin’

And what of the rank-and-file bad guys you’ll be shooting at? Some of them seem borderline comical, like the Patriot robots modeled after George Washington, who Columbia’s residents revere as a god. Then there are the Handymen — intimidating 10-foot-tall proto-cyborgs who freaked me out the first time I thought I’d escaped them but, in fact, hadn’t. They’re much more agile than they look, even if they’re essentially bullet-spongy Big Daddies on PEDs. At least the AI is wise enough to use cover and the Skylines to keep you on your toes and even the odds.

From the moment you begin fighting your first barely competent Columbia cops early on, vigors – nee plasmids – bolster your offense with potent table-turners like the target-zapping Shock Jockey or Charge’s directed speed burst. My go-to, Bucking Bronco, floats targets up in the air for a few moments, letting you pick them off like (paralyzed) fish in a barrel. Some vigors are essentially reskinned abilities from the first BioShock, and all are familiar from one game or another; the ability to charge them up to lay them down like mines is the only thing that really sets them apart, though I rarely saw fit to use their secondary functions. But they’re a useful toolset, and odds are you’ll find a couple you favor above the others — particularly in their impressively powerful upgraded forms.

Since vigors are activated on the left hand while guns are held in the right, they combine with Infinite’s fairly standard collection of old-timey pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, and stat-boosting gear in unique ways. Prefer to step right out into the line of fire with a heavy weapon and the bullet-absorbing Return to Sender vigor? Do it. Would you rather bring everyone up close for a melee mashing with the Executioner shirt that adds a +60% chance for a melee critical hit? Feel free.

Speaking of spitting-distance combat, I was particularly fond of the Skyhook’s melee attacks because of the gruesome executions they deliver. Similar in function to BioShock 2’s drill, it’s a vicious tool for snapping necks, boring into chests, and exploding heads into a bloody mist with its spinning rotor. It’s a treat until the enemies get too tough to make it a viable strategy any longer, but I was able to stave off that time using stat-boosting Gear augmentations, the equivalent of BioShock’s tonics now in the form of apparel. Specifically, in this case, I made ample use of the Deadly Lungers pants’ tripling of my melee-strike range, making the guilty pleasure of those sadistic executions much more frequent.

Infinite’s combat is nimble in the truest sense of the word thanks to its other great evolution: the aforementioned Skylines. Something akin to self-guided, one-man roller-coaster tracks, Booker is able to hook onto these metal rails with his Skyhook gauntlet and speedily navigate around Columbia’s large open areas, often dangling perilously over the abyss below while moving from floating island to floating island. Riding a Skyline is surprisingly intuitive, useful, and perhaps most impressively, not the slightest bit scripted or disorienting. You are in full control at all times, to the extent that you’re never forced into any significant encounters while you’re riding them. If you prefer to take the action to the ground, you can. Laudably, BioShock Infinite isn’t so proud of Skylines that it wants to impose them on us for anything other than transportation.

Dusty Old Boxes

Having played BioShock Infinite on all three platforms, I’ve found that some of the combat system’s inherent versatility and wealth of options are restricted by the gamepad control scheme on the console versions. Oddly, only two weapons and two vigors can be hotkeyed at any given time (via a quick tap of the Xbox’s shoulder buttons or the PS3’s triggers). The rest of your arsenal is accessible, of course, but you must pause and go into a menu in order to get to them. That can break up the fun flow of an otherwise high-octane encounter, and picking the right tool for the job during the fight was something I found myself avoiding. As you might expect, though, these are non-issues on the PC, where the number keys offer instant access to vigors and the mouse scroll wheel zips through your full list of guns.

Aging console graphics hardware lets down Infinite, too. When the original BioShock debuted on Xbox 360 in 2007, it was an eye-gasmic wonder – a blissful marriage of Art Deco art direction with top-shelf graphics technology. Fast-forward almost six years, and Infinite is every bit as effective in the former area, but in the raw graphics department it fails to make anywhere near the same impact on either Microsoft or Sony’s box.

 

It’s far from an ugly game (quite the opposite, really), but the low-quality textures, wooden NPCs (aside from Elizabeth), and occasional minor but noticeable framerate hitches are all maladies the first BioShock avoided. It seems Infinite’s stratospheric ambition is a bit too much, at least in the technology department, for the creaky hardware of the aging consoles. The PC version, as run on mid-range hardware, makes no such visual compromises, with gorgeous high-resolution textures, detailed faces, and smooth performance.

Story Time (No Spoilers)

Infinite’s layered gameplay carries it through much of the campaign, but eventually the story must close the fun loop and bring everything together. After the original’s mind-blowing “Would you kindly?” twist, you’re probably expecting a similar “Gotcha!” this time. Will I spoil it? Of course not. But will it come? Yes. Will it catch you off-guard? It got me, and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t wow most people. The moment it happened was, for me, every bit as stunning as Andrew Ryan’s reveal in the first BioShock. Unlike the vast majority of other games, Infinite’s ending will give you something to talk about with your friends for hours and days afterwards. And mechanically, Infinite has clearly learned from the original BioShock’s big boss fight mistake, concluding in a much more organic, sensical way.

Infinite deserves plenty of credit in its moment-to-moment storytelling too. Serious themes abound in Columbia’s alternate-reality 1912. Racism, sexism, nationalism, and religion are all put directly in front of you, whether you like it or not. It makes a point simply by confronting you with these uncomfortable issues and forcing you to at least think about them. And though Infinite never gets preachy, it certainly offers political commentary, chiming in with obvious nods to the “99% vs. 1%” debate — even if, unlike in the original BioShock, Infinite slyly submits that both sides of the coin have their demons, and neither can claim the moral high ground in Columbia. To that end, Infinite skips out on any significant moral choices or multiple endings from the previous BioShocks. I didn’t miss them, though, as its story arc is both definitive and impactful while riding its own singular track.

Still, the pacing seemed to plateau and flatten out for a chunk in the middle. The story’s delivery slows to a drip-feed, and the gameplay suffers from an exhausting stretch where the goalposts you’re barreling towards are suddenly and repeatedly moved back, ratcheting down the momentum. I wouldn’t say BioShock Infinite ever drags, but it does noticeably – and disappointingly – take its foot off the gas at times. That slowdown does let Infinite last for between 10 and 15 hours (depending on your appetite for exploration, which Columbia readily feeds and ably satisfies; it was the latter for me), but it does come with a cost.

Given that this is a single-player-only game, is that one playthrough all you should expect? I’d say not – the 80 plot-buttressing Voxaphone recordings and other lore-lifting collectibles offer BioShock Infinite at least one more run worth of exploration, optionally while playing in 1999 Mode. Unlocked after completing the campaign on any difficulty, 1999 ups the challenge exponentially by severely reducing the amount of money available (and thus the number of times you can pay to revive when killed in combat), notably slowing down your shield’s recharge time, and of course making enemy attacks hurt more. Oh, and completely disabling the handy navigation arrow, which in normal play kindly stays off of your screen unless you summon it for a few seconds with a button tap.

THE VERDICT

Going in, I had to question whether Infinite could live up to the BioShock name after having discarded its signature world of Rapture, with its Big Daddies and Little Sisters and warring philosophies, and starting from scratch. On the way out, I’m forced to seriously question which is the better game. In total,BioShock Infinite is a brilliant shooter that nudges the entire genre forward with innovations in both storytelling and gameplay. It trips over itself in a couple of spots, but not in any way that should keep you from embracing it with your utmost enthusiasm.

Source: Ign

Review: Fire Emblem: Awakening

Posted: February 18, 2013 by Areeb Fazli in Games
Tags: , , , , , ,

| Obelion13 |

Well it’s been a little over a week since I’ve got my hand on Fire Emblem: Awakening and I think I’m ready to review it; however, while writing this article, I’ve found that there’s a lot more than the basic points to review that I have to talk about in order to give a real review. So, what can I do?

Split the review into two parts!

This review you’re reading right here will review the game as a whole. It’ll include graphics, story, music, and gameplay. The NEXT review will be a full dissection of the gameplay to really compare it to other titles in the series. If I put this all in one review, it’d be way too long, and non-fans would get bored of reading specifics, so I’m throwing all of the detailed reviewing into a special article so you don’t have to read it unless you…

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Review, Aliens: Colonial Marines

Posted: February 12, 2013 by Areeb Fazli in Games
Tags: , ,

After playing Aliens: Colonial Marines (ACM) I learned that the two sweetest words in the English language are “Checkpoint reached.” You’ll learn that too once you’ve crawled your way through each level, danger coming at you from every angle. You also learn to be acutely aware of every shadow, every ping on your motion tracker. But if you ignore even the—AUGH!

If you’re a fan of the Alien franchise, this game is a big deal. Not only because it’s the latest videogame based on the movie series, but also because it’s an official 20th Century Fox sequel to Aliensand Alien 3. But gamers should play it because ACM is a good (albeit not great) game. There’s enough dark, paranoid atmosphere here that my Aliens fangirl heart went pitter-pat with excitement.

In the first few minutes, we’re thrust into the aftermath of the 1986 movie (and the beginning ofAlien 3. See this article for more background). As Corporal Winter, our mission to rescue the rescuers of Hadley’s Hope colony on planet LV-426 rapidly devolves, and it’s up to us to determine what happened.

We also get an intro by Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn) and some interaction with the “whole” new Bishop (Lance Henriksen). For fans of the films and comic books, that alone is worth the price of admission to this shooting party.

The Plot: “A Few Deaths Were Involved”

Corporal Winters is a get-it-done space marine on board the Sephora, the sister ship of Sulaco, the ship from Aliens that is now inexplicably back in orbit around LV-426. Sephora is chocked to the brim with Semper-fi-Do-or-die types. No matter. We’re quickly winnowed from many to few.

Just as we’re trying to understand the depth of the mess we’re in, we rescue a marine, Bella, who says she woke up with some sort of alien wrapped around her face. But other than a sore throat, she feels just dandy. Uh-oh.

Soon after, we also encounter elements of “the company,” Weyland-Yutani, who want to bring the xenomorph back to Earth for study, because what could possibly go wrong?

Without giving away specifics, lest I incur the wrath of Gearbox and Sega, the broader story arc could have used some tweaking. There are more explanations than answers, and one pivotal moment didn’t quite make sense to me. The ending wasn’t completely satisfying. However, it could besetting up for a sequel, presumably in future DLC, of which four are planned. (Sega told me that at least one will be campaign content, but they’re keeping the dossier classified for now.)

Rather neatly, the opening cinematic plays out in the background of the main menu, showing the arrival of the Sephora and the boarding of theSulaco. The game proper starts with a scene that we know occurred in Aliens but happened off-camera: Hicks’ distress call back to Earth.

Look and Feel: “It Looks Like Some Sort of Secreted Resin”

LV-426 is not a pretty place—and that was beforethe atmosphere processor blew. But Hadley’s Hope was built to withstand severe weather, so it’s more or less intact. All the environments are rendered with great attention to detail (especially for fans ofAliens). But be prepared for a lot of grim visuals painted in shades of black, charcoal, gray, and entrails.

We also get plenty of Gigeresque décor, and all the wonderful flesh-crawling unpleasantness that this entails.

A lot of the game is also very dark, deliberately so. At times, disorientingly so. Of course, this is true of the movie too (see the “coming outta the walls” slaughterfest under the atmosphere processor), so the game evokes its source material. But if you prefer to keep your bearings, you may find it frustrating. The game wants to push you out of your comfort zone.

The visuals are detailed at a distance, but some textures could use an upgrade close-up; they’re surprisingly coarse in places, particularly rocky surfaces in the outdoor levels. Also, the characters’ faces seem a bit stiff and rubbery—like the developers were using dated mo-cap technology. If Gearbox updates the textures, that’d be five-by-five.

The music, which uses the more familiar notes from the movie, is fantastic, shifting ably between the slower oh-god-we’re-going-to-die sections and the more frantic oh-god-we’re-actually-dying sequences. At times you really feel you’re in an Aliens film, and there’s no higher praise than that for a game whose purpose is serve you a plate of kick-ass.

And because I know some of you are bursting to know, yes, there is a Field of View (FOV) slider in the graphics options.

Gameplay: “Short, controlled bursts”

ACM is a military science fiction FPS, which means that much love has been poured into the upgradable guns. But because the marines in Aliens have no mini-map, no health bar that extends as the game progresses, and no way to upgrade armor, neither do you.

 

The gameplay has an unsophisticated feel to it, which honestly makes sense. There’s no peeking around corners or cover system, but as many of your enemies attack from above and at face level, “cover” doesn’t really cover it. And since the marines in the film don’t barrel roll across doorways, you too are sans barrel roll.

Speaking of marines, you have at least one NPC companion with you, so it’s not as lonely as playing a marine was in Aliens vs Predator (the 1999 game. We don’t talk about the 2010 one). And awesomely, you can play any campaign level with up to three buddies in drop-in co-op too. Thanks, Gearbox!

The AI controlling the NPC marines and adversaries is decently smart, which livens up combat. I learned that I could fall back and let my main buddy O’Neal take the heat. Plus he responded to my movements, flanking to cover me rather than just following a script. As a nice touch, your fellow marines also have multiple lines for the same situations, like “Eyes up” and “They’re in the ceiling.”

Respawning, I also noticed O’Neal went ahead of me, sometimes going left and sometimes going right: the AI doesn’t always make the same decisions each time. That makes replaying combat more interesting; you can’t  memorize a sequence of actions. And while enemies mostly spawn predictably (mostly), you similarly can’t say exactly how they’re going to jump out and—AUGH! Even pick-ups are semi-random in nature. Just because you found a medkit once doesn’t mean you’ll find it after respawning.

And there’s one other thing Gearbox has totally got right: The best way to shoot really is to use short, controlled bursts.

The Motion Tracker: “Man, this is a big f*cking signal”

There is no mini-map in ACM, which sucked hard until I got used to my motion tracker, a nifty little multitool. Objectives appear on the tracker’s display, with an arrow if they’re out of the tracker’s display range. If you orient yourself to look in the direction the tracker indicates, then (and only then) do you see an actual marker. It serves to preserve the movie ambience.

The motion tracker also picks up collectible (and stationary) dogtags if they’re in range, so keep an eye out, marine.

You can’t use the tracker while firing a weapon, so that means if you’re running and gunning (and you’ll be doing plenty) you’ll often find yourself trying to find a quiet moment to whip out the tracker before you’re overrun by enem—AUGH!

Health: “Physically she’s okay”

A:CM takes a middle road between automatic regeneration and player reliance on found medkits. Your overall health is segmented into three bars.

  • If you don’t take too much damage, you’ll automatically recover to the top of the top bar.
  • If you lose enough health to cost you the whole top bar, you’ll only be able to regenerate to the top of the middle one, and will be maxed out at 2/3rd’s health until you find a medkit.
  • Lose the middle bar too, and you’ll be down to a max of 1/3 health.

Did I mention that, unlike ammo and armor, medkits are as rare as alien eyes? So while you regenerate health at a pretty fast clip, you’ll still be trying to take as little damage as possible in order not to be knocked down to one bar’s worth of health.

Healthy or not, death happens sometimes without warning if you lose track of aliens or forget to use your motion tracker. It kind of sucks to have survived a particularly nasty shootout, only to have some alien get the drop on you. And when I say, “Get the drop on you,” I mean they leap on top of you, and when you’re down, they thrust their glistening second jaw into your prone body. It’s a startling, disturbing, and creepily sexual way to die.

Experience, Ranks, and Challenges: “Now All We Need Is a Deck of Cards”

You know the drill: Gain experience to gain rank and earn a “commendation” point, which allows you to upgrade weapons with better sights, faster firing or reload speeds, larger magazines, or different alternate fire modes. If you’re playing xeno (only possible in multiplayer) you instead earn “mutation” points instead to upgrade your Soldier, Spitter, or Lurker xeno abilities. Experience and upgrades are shared between the campaign and multiplayer Versus modes, so leveling up in PvP also helps you in the story.

Bonus experience can be earned by finding dogtags from the Sulaco marines and audio recordings from the surface in the campaign levels, as well as by completing challenges: marine, campaign and multiplayer objectives, such as “Kill two enemies with one alternate-fire shot from a rifle” or “Get 10 headshots with the service pistol.” These challenges are serial, so you only unlock the latter when completing the former.

There are also unique “legendary” weapons, leftovers from the Sulaco marines and special versions of the game’s standard pistol, shotgun, pulse rifle, etc. They’re better than the basic versions of the same gun, but once you upgrade your weapons they quickly become better than their legendary counterparts.

Multiplayer: “They’re All Around Us, Man!”

Multiplayer is a big feature, so much that I may devote another article to it. I already mentioned campaign co-op. Due to technical difficulties during the press beta I was unable to explore in detail the four “Versus” modes available at game launch (a fifth, “Bug Hunt”, is due next month as DLC). But in brief:

– Team Deathmatch is 5 by 5 marine-on-alien action. Both sides have a power-up to aim for: For the marines, it’s the always-awesome sentry gun. For the aliens, a Crusher, more than double the usual size and hard as hell to bring down.

– Escape is ACM’s version of Left4Dead. Four marines have to reach an exit while four xenos try to stop them. The xenos get to respawn. The marines don’t. If just one marine makes it to the end, that’s a marine victory. Otherwise, it’s xeno high-fives.

 

Extermination sets the marines to stomp out eggs, which means take and hold capture points until a timer expires. Each capture spawns a new point elsewhere; there are two active at any time. The xenos’ task is simple—stop the marines (and stop them getting the smart gun). But to help, xenos can unleash a Burster alien.

– Survivor is another asymmetric variant where xenos respawn but marines don’t. The the xenos don’t stop until the last marine is down or the timer expires. Marines can fortify their position and deploy a sentry gun to even the odds, but sentry guns can’t point up.

A match consists of two rounds, one where you play a xeno and the other, a marine.

One nice check-mark: ACM supports local LAN play, so you don’t need to be on the official game servers so long as you or one of your playmates hosts the game.

What I Liked: “Absolutely Badasses”

  • ACM locks in the look and feel of LV-426, and has many fabulous references to Aliens. Even the oogie parts—soldiers stuck up on walls—look the part. Gearbox are clearly Aliens fans, and it shows. The plot isn’t stellar, but it hits the right tone, has good, if not great characterization, and honors continuity. For an in-canon storyline, that’s a sigh of relief for fans of the movies.
  • ACM might not always be much to look at–but she’s got it under the hood. In other words, despite some unlovely textures, the AI is refreshingly smart for a game that has no pretensions of being an ultimate shooter.
  • The semi-randomization of levels is a nice trick and keeps you guessing.
  • Campaign co-op is excellent, and the fact you can invite someone mid-game is even more so.
  • From my brief time with it, I can see the PvP modes are fun, and playing as an alien is undeniably a guilty pleasure.

What I Disliked: “You Always Were an *sshole, Gorman”

  • I would love the ability to walk around with Vasquez’s smartgun, but it’s a love that Gearbox does not share; you only get to a smart gun twice in the campaign. Similarly, sentry guns are underused.
  • There were entire levels where I could have found a pastel color more easily than a freakin’ medkit. And these were levels mostly made out of shadow.
  • Varied though weapon selections are, I hardly used my sidearm because I never really learned to easily switch to it.
  • Regrettably, there’s no way to change difficulty in the single-player campaign once you’ve started it.
  • And most importantly: H.R. Giger was nowhere to be found in the credits. He created the original design of the xenomorph for Alien. Why must he constantly be snubbed?

Helpful Hints: “I Only Need to Know One Thing…Where They Are”

  • If you get lost or disoriented, use the tracker andfollow your buddy. NPC marines usually head for the right exit as soon as the current area is secured.
  • Grenades work better against humans. The aliens are too quick, so by the time the grenade lands, the xeno will have scurried away.
  • Your buddies are immune to friendly fire and can’t actually die (though they can be knocked out). Shoot away.
  • You’ll want to slap a laser sight on your pulse rifle first chance you get, although it may be incompatible with later upgrades.
  • You can upgrade and change your arsenal configuration at any time, even mid-combat. Nice.

Overall: “Not Bad for a Human”

If you’re fan, you’re going to play this game. It clearly belongs to the Aliensuniverse, even if there are times that the Alien-ness doesn’t shine through. It’s not a pinnacle of gameplay and doesn’t attempt to be sophisticated, but that perfectly fits the xenomorphic ambience. I would have preferred more story and less running and gunning, but it is an FPS, after all.

Whether or not you like ACM is a question of what kind of player you are. If you like wandering around in darkness and stalked by the universe’s most deadly predators, you’re golden. If you want to follow the story after the 1986 movie, there are good times to be had. On the other hand, if you like a polished Halo-like experience and don’t really care about xenos, you may be disappointed.

After completing the campaign and dabbling in PvP, I’m giving Aliens: Colonial Marines an 8 out of 10.

Source: FORBES