We see Aliens: Colonial Marines for what it is now. It is a deeply flawed game that has perhaps left an indelible stain on both Sega and Gearbox Software. Which begs the question, who would actually buy Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC, knowing what the game is like and how unbearable an experience it is? It is a short, miserable, glitchy, ugly and overpriced game. Some people have even been reporting the Xbox 360 version is trying to save people from itself by wiping out their save files. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to pay more money so they can spend more time with this game.
The Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC won’t be stopped. Sega, Gearbox, TimeGate, Demiurge, Nerve and who knows who else have already commited to four add-ons. The season pass is already for sale for $29.99/2400 Microsoft Points and people who pre-ordered the game from certain stores received it for free and perhaps even activated it. The companies now have an obligation to come through. Still, the thought of people willingly grabbing Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC as its released between March and August, 2013 is unimagineable.
The first Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC has been announced and, surprise, Bug Hunt is a multiplayer add-on. It includes a new gameplay mode with three maps. The vague wording makes it unclear if those three maps are just for the new mode or for all multiplayer modes, but whatever. I’ll admit that the multiplayer is probably the only salvageable part of the Aliens: Colonial Marines experience. Maybe someone might be willing to chip in a few bucks to build on that so the overall $59.99 investment hurts a little less.
However, Bug Hunt’s new mode is a horde mode. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means that relentless waves of enemies launch themselves at players, with the difficulty gradually increasing for about 10 waves. This is problematic as a rock is more intelligent than one of the Xenomorphs in Aliens: Colonial Marines. I’ve opened doors in the game, seen an enemy in the other room look at me, and then watch it do absolutely nothing until I actually walked right in front of it. I’ve witnessed enemies go after whichever opponent is closest and moving, relentlessly throwing themselves at one player without any semblence of srategy. Facing waves of xenomorphs identical to the ones in the game is something I do not want.
Not to mention a horde mode continues to go against the Xenomorph attack patterns we’ve seen in the movies. These aliens are intelligent and sneaky. They should be playing shadow games, striking when people least expect it, not all bearing down on a group of marines at once. Yes, I know this is a game, but it’s unrealistic.
But maybe the developer(s) can fix that. Maybe the Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC will have improved AI. Even if that does happen, improved AI is only half the battle. The Xenomorphs would need to be more than just smarter to make Bug Hunt and subsequent add-ons worthwhile. They’d have to look better too. Animations are so flawed that some Xenomorphs seem to stutter in place. I could go on, but I think it would be more effective to share a now internet-famous video from a user named Grizzl360 to prove my point.
This is a thing that happens in Aliens: Colonial Marines and it isn’t an isolated incident. No one should be eager to give developers and a publisher money to play more of something like this. It would be like rewarding them for their bad behavior.
Obviously, people aren’t going to go buying Bug Hunt without first seeing what others’ experience is like. If it shares even some of the problems of Aliens: Colonial Marines, people will run. There’s no way people will trust it, or any of the other optional add-ons. If a new single or cooperative campaign expansion is announced, players can cite the terrible script and gameplay of the existing campaign. If multiplayer map packs are announced, players could point out how the multiplayer is currently failing to entertain them.
Sega, Gearbox, TimeGate, Demiurge and Nerve can’t win. No one will rush to purchase Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC now that they see what the game is like and it would probably be more cost effective to only put out Bug Hunt, since it already has a March 2013 release window and is likely finished, cancel the rest and give anyone who purchased the season pass a refund. Let’s call Aliens: Colonial Marines a wash and try to pretend it never happened.