At ease, Marine! Today, I’m going to be briefing you on your latest mission. If you recall, in 1986 General James Cameron directed one of the most adrenaline spitting science fiction/action/horror movies to ever scare a magazine clip out of a marine’s pulse rifle. It set standards for special effects, action set pieces, sound design, and badass females as action heroes (Oorah!). It was my primary motivation for joining the corps. Anyway, your mission is meant to take place directly after that film, to be an official sequel to Cameron’s creature-feature masterpiece. It’s too bad for you, marine, that this mission takes almost every element that made that film unforgettable and cocoons them in enfeebling mediocrity – so that they can be later impregnated and killed by bloodthirsty regret.
Don’t you run away while I’m briefing you, marine! I haven’t even told you about the gameplay yet. As trained as you are in the art of first-person shooting, there isn’t a drill sergeant in the colony who could prepare you for these aggressively dimwitted Xenos. Remember how they blended in with their environment and attacked with coordinated stealth in the film? Well, that’ll certainly never happen. Hold on now — is that a standard issue motion tracker you got there? Throw that crap away, soldier! You won’t need it! These aliens like to leap and charge directly at your line of fire in overpowering numbers with their smooth, phallic craniums, flailing and head-butting your face until you’re incapacitated by chest bursting laughter. But it isn’t funny! If you die in your mission, you’ll be waiting at a load screen for at least twenty seconds to restart at a checkpoint that’s ten to twenty minutes behind the spot you died at. Now that’s what I call “shock and awe” (OORAH!).
The online mode partly redeems your mission. Modes like Escape where a 4 person marine team wipes the pixelated floor with a 4 person alien team while the marines complete objectives does a good job of capturing the urgency that the campaign fails to implement. But with only a few maps to choose from, you might prefer a dishonorable discharge to remaining in active duty.
Even though the graphics are not of this console generation; your character model and that of your fellow marines resembles concepts for rejected, puppet-faced action figures of a bygone era; and the story is completely irrational as a continuation of the film, not all is bad on your mission, son. The sound effects are all nearly identical to the film (you’ll never tire of the sound of your pulse rifle shredding through a Xenomorph’s ugly mug), and the music has the intensity to set your trigger finger on repeat. With the right mentality and low expectations, your mission can be completed and occasionally enjoyed along the way. NOW GET YOUR ARSENAL IN GEAR, SOLDIER!
Subjective Recommendation: Marine! You’re breaking up… Do you read me…? Abort mission… I repeat… Abort ………. mission…………….
Objective Recommendation: As hyped as this mission was for the past five years, the end result is disappointingly underwhelming. Hardcore colonial marines and fans of Cameron’s film who want to knock some aliens on their ribbed backside might have fun with this offering. Rent before you buy. I repeat, rent before you…