I’ve actually only just been able to watch the first half of Aliens lately, as I’ve been more busy than a supposed Alien Queen. From what I’ve seen, though, it’s a terrific blend of action, intrigue and drama that I think holds up well today. If you’ve been worried that Gearbox’s upcoming FPS spin-off Aliens: Colonial Marines would just be another lazy cash-in, you’ll be happy to hear that they’re respectfully transferring the source material to video game from.
Mikey Neuman, one of the writers for the game, stated in an interview that “We tried to find a new direction, something that had not been seen in an Aliens movie before… I would actually say we bring more character drama to the table than any of the movies.” The game will make sure to take advantage of its interactive format, as Neuman has reassured us that “95% of our storytelling is told in the levels. I don’t want cutscenes, I don’t want bull****.”
The game is billed as a sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens. The android character Bishop returns in Colonial Marines, referencing the famous ‘knife game’ from the film. However, the majority of characters will be brand new to the Alien universe. One of the most crucial to the plot is Bella, a squad member who has been, err, ‘caught’ by a facehugger. “For lack of a better term she’s terminal upon meeting her,” Neuman said, “and you hope you can do something to help her.” The fear that “she could pop at any minute” will bring a lot of tension and raise the stakes of the plot. The entirety of the game will be pretty grim, even for Alien standards; “There’s some stuff in this game where, even recording it, I’m like, ‘this is really dark.’ We go to some dramatic places that I think is gonna be sort of new for this franchise.”
The best part of all this is that the developers truly have a passion for the films and ‘get’ what they were about. “With Aliens, God bless it’s little heart, it’s so ****ing weird. I love it. It’s a badass action movie, but it’s so quirky and strange and unexplainable.” Gearbox understands that Aliens was not just a good action film, it was a good film, period. Things like “the small interactions between characters that are just a little bit off” are examples of this, and it looks like Gearbox are distinguished authorities on the film.
Aliens: Colonial Marines has just been officially accepted by 20th Century Fox into the Alien canon, so this will be a big deal for fans. Find out if Gearbox lives up to their promise this fall, when the game releases for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and the Wii U.