Chances are, like me, you were watching over the trailers of Aliens Colonial Marines and drooling. The game looked fantastic, and honestly, being a fan of the films and the previous Alien vs Predator games, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. But then the final release was dropped, and despite my best attempts to grin and bare with it, I shouldn’t couldn’t. As I reviewed the game, the AI, the bugs (and I don’t mean the ones with acid for blood), the story, the graphics, were just… bad. We know from previous stories that both SEGA and Gearbox were trying to shift the blame for the title. There were conversations exploding on social media, forums and the internet as a whole. Gamers were angry – what in the hell happened to the game we saw in the trailers?
Damion Perrine, a plantive who is suing both SEGA and Gearbox for the title claims “…Gearbox and Sega falsely advertised Aliens by showing demos at trade shows like PAX and E3 which didn’t end up being accurate representations of the final product.” Further, the trailers were advertised as “actual gameplay” at the time, yet portrayed a level of “graphical fidelity, AI behavior and even entire levels not featured in the game.”
“Each of the ‘actual gameplay’ demonstrations purported to show consumers exactly what they would be buying: a cutting edge video game with very specific features and qualities,” the claim argues. “Unfortunately for their fans, Defendants never told anyone — consumers, industry critics, reviewers, or reporters — that their ‘actual gameplay’ demonstration advertising campaign bore little resemblance to the retail product that would eventually be sold to a large community of unwitting purchasers.”
Aliens Colonial Marines was rushed out to the shops at the last minute, after being constantly set back because of being stuck in development hell. The development team were busy working on their own products (such as Borderlands 2). The story was constantly revised, and in the end the game ended up as a broken, terrible mess. Indeed, the game itself became a “spot the glitch” rather than “oh noes, they want to eat my flesh”.
This is a tale of how video games can fail, in the worst possible way. I think Aliens Colonial Marines ended up as being one of the biggest disappointments in recent gaming history.