Reviews by NeuroticFool
Aliens: Colonial Marines (w/Season Pass)NeuroticFool | July 12, 2014 | Review of Aliens Colonial Marines and Season Pass
In this review, I'll give a summary of content and value: Now, let me start off by saying I got this during a sale for $5 or $6, and that this game is terrific value at that price. However, the base game and especially the game and season pass are priced horribly at retail ($20 and $50 respectively), and the quality and amount of content you are getting warrants at most $20 for the game and season pass and $10 for the base game.
It's for this reason I just can't recommend the game at the current price, whether it's the game with no DLC or a copy with the season pass. Speaking of the season pass, it adds little-to-no worthwhile content to the game. It does add a sort of horde/onslaught survival mode that turns the game into an "Aliens"-themed Killing Floor clone, but when a game gets better by mimicking the mechanics and gameplay of another game, that's when you know something is wrong. The season pass also adds an extra campaign that explores the tale of Corporal Hicks between Aliens and Alien 3, which is an interesting for a playthrough but honestly not worth revisiting. Other content added includes new maps for the 4v4 Objective-based "Escape" mode and the standard 6v6 Deathmatch mode. That's pretty much it, and it hardly warrants the price-tag of $20 tacked onto the base game's price.
And now for the "cliff notes" review of the SP/Co-op Campaign, MP, and Gameplay:
-SP/Co-op Campaign: *Uninspired writing *Cardboard-cutout characters that exemplify stereotypes of the military *Chock full of terrible clichés *Terrible enemy and ally AI *Buggy as all get out *Co-op makes the campaign loads better, but uses a Peer-to-Peer system, resulting in a good amount of lag, latency spikes, dropouts, and disconnects for everyone *Human enemies are unsatisfying to fight *No horror/sense of urgency when fighting Xenomorphs; your buddies are always at your side, being generally useless and shouting their generic callouts to flank this, kill that, get objective "X", etc. *Xenomorphs aren't the apex predators depicted in the films, their AI makes them look more like lemmings than the creatures that stalked the dark corridors of LV-426 in "Aliens", as they'll gladly charge you head-on, and refuse to scale walls or ceiling intelligently *Locales and levels are dull set-pieces that fail to grab your interest for the most part, but there are some environments ripped from the movies that serve to entertain (the Sulaco, LV-426)
-MP: *Honestly, I've stayed away from MP because of the Peer-to-Peer and the fact that I think competitive MP in this game would be utterly unsatisfying due to the gameplay and is most likely dead. *"Bug Hunt" mode is a lot of fun, it's Survival Co-op that reminds one of Killing Floor, but with more of a survival-horror twist (an element that is non-existent in the campaign, unfortunately). The feeling of being watched and hunted ends soon after you and your buddies get a few auto-turrets and go all "God-mode" on the Xenomorphs and Weyland-Yutani mercenaries that you face. The pacing seems to revert to something similar to the campaign (in which the pacing is terrible).
-Gameplay: *The weapons feel hollow and are unsatisfying to shoot, and there are too few to keep your attention if you're a gun nut, but mods are plentiful but are all too similar (underbarrel grenade launcher, underbarrel shotgun, underbarrel flamethrower...starting to see a pattern?). There are some cool weapons, like the Smart-gun and auto-turret (the auto-turret unfortunately breaks the gameplay, in my opinion), and the classic M4A1 Pulse Rifle, with it's distinct "ratatat" firing sound (the sound alone makes it fun to shoot), and although the weapons have no weight, heft, or punch (except for the shotguns), the gunplay is solid. *It's fun gibbing Xenomorphs, but only for so long, as they feel pretty weak to fight and only powerful in hordes. *A progression system adds some replayability, but honestly, if you completed this game, you most likely won't return to the campaign, except maybe for some Co-op with your buddies. Thankfully, the progression is the same in campaign as it is in the multiplayer (allowing you to have one character that you can level up offline, or online in co-op campaign or competitive MP), which is nice, but you cannot choose loadouts in the campaign and instead, the custom attachments you apply to weapons are the only persistent aspect of the character progression (as far as I know, anyway) besides gaining XP and whatnot for your character. *I haven't tried playing as an Alien, so I can't review that aspect of the game, as I said before, I haven't tried the competitive MP.
TL;DR: It's an alright game with a bad campaign component that's saved by a survival mode, character progression, weapon mods, and co-op. It's a terrible value at anything above $30 for the game and season pass bundled together, but if it's available for anything less than $20, I'd recommend you and your friends grab this game and give the co-op aspects of it a try.