Typo caused Aliens: Colonial Marines’ broken AI


It has emerged that a single typographical error may have been the cause of the aliens’ unimpressive AI behaviour in Aliens: Colonial Marines.

The 2013 game, developed by Gearbox Software and published by Sega, suffered poor review scores, due primarily to its poor AI, which saw its alien enemies behave in a sluggish and generally unintelligent manner. Now, ModDB user jamesdickinson963 thinks he has found the answer.

As he explained in a post on the site, there is a spelling mistake in the games INI file. Which includes the line: “PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather”. Removing the superfluous “a” from “Teather” causes the alien AI to act as it should have done all along, instantly rendering Aliens: Colonial Marines much more fun to play.

It’s astonishing that such a simple typo should have both ruined an otherwise fine game and remained undetected for five years after a game’s launch. But it goes to show that even in the games world, correct spelling is important.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.