Aliens: Colonial Marines is a canceled first-person shooter based on the Alien movie franchise, developed by Gearbox Software and published by Sega for the Wii U. It was originally going to be released during April 2013, but for unspecified reasons, it was canceled on April 5.
Despite the story of Aliens: Colonial Marines taking place after the events of the third film in the series, Alien 3, the game is described as a "true sequel" to the 1986 film Aliens and according to Gearbox Software, the game is considered an official part of the Alien franchise's canon by 20th Century Fox. The main character is Corporal Christopher Winter, a Colonial Marine that is part of a search and rescue team sent to investigate the U.S.S. Sulaco in search of Ellen Ripley, Corporal Dwayne Hicks, and the rest of the missing marines who were dispatched to LV-426, as seen in the film Aliens. Many locations and environments from the films such as the planet LV-426, the Sulaco, and the derelict alien spacecraft from Alien will be featured in the game and are said to be meticulously recreated. Gearbox has implied that there may be connections or references to the events of the prequel film Prometheus in the game, stating that they were able to discuss the film's script with Alien and Prometheus director, Ridley Scott.
Aliens: Colonial Marinesis a first person shooter/survival horror game. The player has access to many iconic weapons and tools from the movies such as the flamethrower, pulse rifle, smartgun, pistol, RPGs, robotic sentry turrets, as well as welding torches for sealing doors and motion trackers to detect unseen enemies.
The game will not feature an onscreen HUD, though the screen on the controller will likely display information normally seen onscreen such as maps, health and ammo. Gearbox has said that the game will utilize many of the features the Wii U controller has to offer, though no specifics have been revealed outside of the idea of using the controller's screen and gyroscope as a motion tracker.
"There is no lead platform but the Wii U will have some special stuff because you have an awesome controller and how could you pass that by?" - Gearbox producer Brian Burleson
Gameplay scenarios have been described as "Gauntlet Runs", where players must fight enemies as they travel from point A to point B, and "Last Stand" moments, where players must defend a specific area by welding doors and/or setting up automated sentry turrets.
The game features a cooperative multiplayer campaign with dynamic drop-in/drop-out for up to 4 players online or 2 players locally via split screen. Competitive multiplayer has been confirmed, in which players can fight as a xenomorph alien. When playing as a xenomorph, the gameplay style changes from first person to third person.
Players will gain experience points when killing enemies and completing certain objectives. These experience points will allow players to customize the appearance of their character, purchase upgrades for weapons, and unlock other skill sets, all of which carry over to other gameplay modes.
The primary enemies in the game are the xenomorphs from the first three films, which include the Facehugger, Chestburster, and "Drone" alien from Alien, the "Warrior" and the "Queen" aliens from Aliens, as well as the "Runner" alien from Alien 3. The game will also feature never before seen xenomorph types created by Gearbox Software. The specifics of these new alien types have been kept a secret, with the exception of the "Crusher" alien, which was revealed in the E3 2011 demo.
Along with being able to traverse different surfaces from any angle, Gearbox and Sega have also stated that the aliens' AI will use the environment to set up sneak attacks, and group tactics to overwhelm the player.
Not all enemies will be aliens as players will find themselves also fighting Weyland-Yutani commandos and mercenaries.
Various versions of Aliens: Colonial Marines can be traced all the way back to 2001. Originally developed by Check Six Games a game bearing the same title was to be published by Fox Interactive and Electronic Arts for the SonyPlayStation 2, but was cancelled before its release. Despite many similarities between the story and setting, Gearbox has claimed that their game is entirely unrelated to the Check Six Gamesversion.
In 2006, Sega announced they had purchased the electronic rights to the Alien franchise from 20th Century Fox and shortly afterward Gearbox Software announced that they were working with Sega on a completely new game based on the franchise.
In 2008 the game's title was officially announced as Aliens: Colonial Marines and it was featured as the cover story of Game Informermagazine.
In 2011, Gearbox unveiled a teaser trailer and officially announced that Colonial Marines would be presented at E3 2011 with an expected releas in spring 2012. The game was delayed however, and on May 21, 2012, Gearbox Software announced a 2013 launch for Aliens: Colonial Marines.
The development team took great pains to recreate the vehicles and settings of the films by using original set designs to recreate the exterior and interior of the Sulaco and LV-426. Concept artist Syd Mead, who had worked on Aliens, was hired to design areas of the Sulaco that did not appear in the film but would be used in the game.