Sega always seems to have something going at every PAX event, and this year’s PAX East was no different. The company brought out all sorts of playable products this week, including Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2, Jet Set Radio HD, House of the Dead 4 and Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown. (More on those titles later!) However, perhaps its biggest draw was Aliens: Colonial Marines, a huge big-budget project being worked on by Gearbox Software. In fact, the game was such a big project, the company housed it in an area across from its booth, giving gamers plenty of room to check it out.
Along with a video featuring the game in action, Gearbox and Sega also had an area set aside where attendees could try out multiplayer, which pits soldiers against aliens in a huge win-it-all battle. In a unique twist, players checking out the presentation got to play as the aliens, while members of the development team took them on as gun-toting soldiers.
The aliens are faster and have better maneuverability than the soldiers, as well as some vicious attacks that can incapacitate soldiers rather quickly if they hit. Meanwhile, the gun-toting Marines have plenty of firepower, as well as tracking tools to keep an eye out for Xenomorphs.
The multiplayer provided a great opportunity to connect with those involved with the project. Afterward, attendees were able to chat with Gearbox members and discuss things revolving around the game, such as its authentic presentation (running along the same lines as James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens film) and its fast-paced action. Sadly, we weren’t able to tell if you could control one of those cool walker robots in the game…but we don’t see why not.
One thing fans of the Aliens film will notice about Colonial Marines is just how devoted the development team is to making the atmosphere just as good as the movies. You’ll notice a lot of familiar elements, including the auto turrets (which are present in the director’s cut of Aliens), the assault rifle with the digital ammunition readout on the side, the return of the “Mother” alien, a big freak that apparently can’t be stopped; and even some smaller details on the planet of LV-426, where you’ll have to maneuver through in order to stay in one piece.
Not only that, but the audio definitely captures that exquisite Aliens atmorphere. The roar of the creatures is just as creepy as ever, especially when they’re in your face; the bleeping noises that come from your motion tracker are sure to send chills down your spine, especially when the aliens get close; and your fellow soldiers’ chatter is non-stop, as they try to communicate with you on strategies, or scream when they’ve been attacked.
Thanks to Sega for hosting our session and letting us check out the game. We’ll have more coverage for you soon leading up to its fall 2012 release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U.