Is Aliens: Colonial Marines’ multiplayer worth a second glance?
Aliens: Colonial Marines may very well be the first bust of 2013. What was promised and what was delivered to us were two totally different things. The game's single-player campaign has been slammed by critics for glitchy gameplay, poor graphics, and just bad presentation overall. Aliens: Colonial Marines may have a redeeming factor: the multiplayer. But after having trudged through the disappointing campaign, is the multiplayer even worth your time?
Thrown in as a complimentary mode, the multiplayer in Aliens: Colonial Marines reminds me a bit of Left 4 Dead – which is definitely a good thing. The sci-fi game pits marines vs. xenomorphs in four different match types. The most well-known mode being the classic death match, with supporting modes from extermination, escape, and survivor. Enhanced by an upgrade system that separates marine play from xenomorph play, you’ll level faster the more frequent you play that species. First let's check out the modes:
Team death match works off total score once the match ends. This mode plays how exactly how you expect; you use your custom load outs and upgrades and play in marine vs. xenomorphs brawl, get kills, get points – win.
Extermination mode sets up marine objectives, like blowing up Alien eggs, while xeno players attempt to tear them limb by limb. The humans want to ‘exterminate’ the eggs while the Aliens want to ‘exterminate’ the humans’ faces.
Escape mode is the most like Left 4 Dead. You are marines and you need to escape this specific nightmare. The humans trudge through the Alien invested map and wait for extraction. As expected, the xenos reject everything about your attempt to live.
In survivor mode, the marines have the lovely objective to survive at all costs while Aliens want to kill the silly humans. The xenomorphs respawn while the humans do not; they fight until they are all but a fleshy memory.
Multiplayer is the most redeeming factor for Aliens: Colonial Marines. It's definitely not Call of Duty caliber, but it does have some draw. If you’re a fan of the movies, these modes will bring back the nostalgia. Checking your motion tracker as the player-controlled xenomorphs troll and scare the s#$% out of you is priceless and really takes you back.
The major difference from Left 4 Dead is that there aren’t the hordes of AI controlled xenos in these matches. It is player vs. player –skill / teamwork vs. skill / teamwork. One of the brightest spots is the ability to play as the xenos. To finally play as the very creatures that gave you nightmares as a child is a welcomed experience -- though not without its flaws.
While the multiplayer is glitchy, it is fun. Would I buy this game only for the multiplayer? No. Is the multiplayer exceptionally unique? Certainly not. Should you invest some time into the multiplayer if you already coughed up $60 for the game? Sure, why the heck not?