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Aliens: Colonial Marines Preview (PS3)

June 6, 2012 Written by Alex Osborn

At the E3 demo for the Aliens: Colonial Marines multiplayer, a group of eager gamers and I were pitted against a team of developers from Gearbox. It is important to point out that we were only allowed to play as the marines, leaving the crew at Gearbox in constant control of our horrifying adversaries.

The first thing that immediately jumped out at me was the lighting. As I traversed a sparsely lit hallway, I saw the flicker of a light and, before I knew it, one of the alien foes was upon me, shredding my character to pieces. From that point on, I played careful attention to my surroundings, scanning the landscape for any hint that an enemy was nearby, but thanks to the sheer speed and stealthiness of these suckers I was often only able to frantically fire a few shots before being decapitated.

Fortunately, the marines are equipped with a tracking device that aids in locating nearby enemies. Of course, this is a bit of a risky move, as you have to be ready to switch back to your weapon at a moment’s notice. This dynamic served to create one of the most tense-filled experiences I have ever had with a first person shooter. For me, the frantic looking around led to a sense of paranoia, a response that very few games manage to evoke.

And then there’s the Queen, a hulking beast that decimates everything in its path. As I was playing alongside Game Revolution‘s Daniel Bischoff, I heard a yelp of excitement come from my right. Since I had a headset on, I couldn’t tell what Daniel was saying, but I got the sense that he was trying to warn me of something. Then, a few moments later, I saw her and suddenly it became clear. By the time I could figure out what was happening, the beast was barreling toward me and I was dead.

If you haven’t already caught on, I died quite a lot during my time with the multiplayer — but don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it. The fast-paced gameplay made it easy to jump back into the action, and all those last minute kills that I managed to rack up before getting torn limb from limb made it well worth the persistence.

Following my hands-on time with the game, I spent a few minutes observing the developers as they controlled the alien swarm. Lurking from above and skittering along the walls, the developers methodically stalked their human prey, waiting to pounce at the opportune moment. The drastically different style of gameplay was fascinating, and seeing it from the other side had me dying to get some hands-on time with the aliens.

First-person shooter fans, put this one on your radar.