I regretted pre-ordering the game a day before it came out.
One of the first reviews to appear was one from a non-English site (I can’t remember the url, I think it was a French one) giving it 5/10. Fans who loved the Alien franchise rushed to the game’s defense immediately, but the majority of the apologists had not have a chance to play it yet.
Fast forward a day later, everyone who cared about the game had finished its woefully short campaign, and the opinion more or less gravitated towards a common consensus. Aliens: Colonial Marines was a train wreck. Right now, the Metacritic score for it is resting at 47/100. In an era where the pass for games seem to hover at around 70, 47 is downright abysmal.
The game plays a lot more like Starship Troopers than Aliens. It’s a shooter, and a very unimaginative one at that. Xenomorphs comes at you in waves, and you kill them, end of story. As a shooter, there really isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with it as far as controls and mechanics go. It could be better, sure, but there are certainly worse shooters with controls flawed in a myriad other ways out there. But as for the things done right, it ends there.
The game feels so hollow and lifeless that I do not even know how to begin to describe it. The story is haphazard and the characters all fall into staple templates that I could hardly care for any of them. The AI will stand in the middle of a walkway and let lose a stream of bullets into enemies it has no line of sight to, completely ignoring the fact that the enemy has gone under cover. Sometimes, it even completely runs past an enemy firing at it, woeful to whatever is going on. The weapons sound muffled and lack the feel of any actual impact. Grenades explode like they did in Counter-Strike 1.0. The cut scenes are reminiscent of FMVs in the 1990s. It’s hard to believe that 5 years of work were put into into a game that is over in about 5 hours.
Now if you excuse me, I’m going to down a fifth of whiskey and forget that I ever bought this game.