The multiplayer experience in Aliens: Colonial Marines is a whole different animal. As a marine squaring off against player-controlled Xenomorphs, the stress and twitchy action expected from an Aliens game makes a stronger stand.
Here are 10 tips for how to play your best in Team Deathmatch, the game's unadulterated (and arguably, its best) game mode. The first is a general tip; the rest are specific to marines and Xenos.
1. Stick around for both rounds!
Whatever the game mode, contests in Aliens: Colonial Marines are played in "packs" of two games. It’s not a Street Fighter thing, it’s to even out the playing field. If you play as marines in the first round, you’ll be Xeno the next, and vice versa.
The two rounds are separate as far as victory tallies are concerned, but your Kills, Deaths, Assists and Score will be aggregated into final stats.
Tips for Xenos:
2. Hunt together
If you’re a Xeno, grouping up shores up the disadvantage of fragility; Xenos just don’t take that many hits before dropping. Look to the horizon for any lone marines and get to hunting.
At the same time, sometimes a predator just has to fly solo. Which brings us to our next point...
3. Know that as a Xeno, you’re setting the pace
Make no mistake, Xenos decide when and where the encounters go down. It’s one of those asymmetries that makes the multiplayer experience in Aliens: Colonial Marines more memorable.
But the odd thing is, you’ll notice that the marines are often the team to rack up more kills. It comes down to Xeno players getting a little too gung-ho. How do you fix that?
4. Choose your battles
Take your time. The clock is ticking but the only thing that matters at the end of the day is having more kills than the opposing team. The only successful encounter is the one where you come in for a kill and escape unharmed.
Wait for a marine’s back to be turned (or for him/her to be reloading) before making a sprint.
5. Show a little skin
What I mean by this is that you should bait the attention of marines from around a corner. Show your face and draw a little fire.
Done effectively this can keep their eyes on your area for the immediate future, opening up another flank for fellow Xenos to attack.
6. Nothing beats the Quick Strike
As a Xeno, you’ll have several different offensive moves mapped to your controller. A lot of them are too fancy. Putting together multiple Quick Strikes is where it’s at (oh, and every Xenomorph type has this attack).
In concert with this, be sure to use Dodge (also available to all). Just leave the "fatalities" at home, or at least for special occasions only.
Tips for Marines:
7. Keep to your squad
As a marine, be sure to regroup with your squad as soon as you spawn. Fortunately for you, you’ll start the game as a unit. Keep it that way for as long as possible.
8. Please sir, may I have some Claymores? Yes!
There’s a reason Claymores are so popular among marine players. They’re tremendously effective, miles more so than the crappy grenades given to the vanilla loadout (seriously, good luck getting a single kill with a grenade).
As soon as you can, edit your loadouts to give them Claymores across the board. You’ll spawn with just one, but it can often lead to some Xenomorph gibs.
Drop it in an obvious avenue of attack, or in your squad’s blind spot. Also effective in open spaces is to use Claymores in an offensive capacity. Like a matador, bait a Xeno’s sprint and drop the Claymore in their path as you keep backpedaling. Bam.
9. Bunker tactics win the race
This tip is really a combination of two others (stick together and use claymores), to which I’ll add the advice that defense is really the name of the game for marines. Don’t go hunting. Just make your circle of squadmates as impregnable as possible.
Sure, there are flamethrowers and RPGs out there to pick up, but your starting equipment (and an extant collection of your bodily organs) outweigh the draws of exploration.
10. Use your eyes, not your ears
Xenos are darn quiet, too much so to rely on hearing the one creeping up behind you. Whether you’re camping or moving around, keep that vision sweeping.