As of today you’ll be able to join the fight against the Xenomorph infestation. The game will cost £49.99/€59.99, but PlayStation Plus members can download the game with a 20% discount (offer available for two weeks only).
If you’re like me, you’ve been watching the recent Prometheus trailers over and over, pausing only to wipe the frothy spittle off your chin. If you’re really like me, you’ve also been wondering, “what’s it gonna take for some talented studio to create a killer game based on the Alien films?” Luckily, Gearbox Software is building an increasingly compelling case with Aliens: Colonial Marines, an upcoming big-budget PS3 shooter that aims to pick up where James Cameron’s seminal 1986 film Aliens left off.
While we know a good bit about the game’s tense single-player campaign, details about its multiplayer component have remained frustratingly elusive. So we took to Twitter and posed @PlayStation followers a simple question — what do you want to know about the multiplayer mode in Aliens: Colonial Marines?
We received a flood of questions — some insightful, some maniacally detail-oriented — and presented them to Gearbox Software Multiplayer Producer Chris Brock. Though Gearbox is keeping tight-lipped concerning certain specific details for the game, some of your questions did manage to penetrate their veil of secrecy with all the effectiveness of a 10mm explosive-tipped pulse rifle round. Read on to learn more, and we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more revelations during E3 2012 this June.
What different multiplayer modes will there be? And how many players are supported in multiplayer matches? (asked by @Pogo_05)
Chris Brock, Multiplayer Producer: We’ve only announced and shown Team Deathmatch at this time, but there are additional modes that we’ll be showing before too long. These modes are more objective based and we can’t wait to put them out in front of people. As far as player counts go, we’re still testing out what feels right on a per-mode basis.
How many maps are there for competitive multiplayer, and how many players does co-op support? (asked by @Nekrospike)
CB: We’re working on many multiplayer maps at the moment. We don’t have a specific number at this time but it will be a good selection of maps that will be our best! The co-op campaign will support up to four players.
Will multiplayer weapons be in-map pickups or loadouts? (asked by @LingeringRegime)
CB: Or a combination thereof, perhaps?
Will it support splitscreen on PS3? I would like to see more games having a split-screen option (asked by @TRIEDGE_68)
Will there be multiplayer maps based on other alien movies like Alien, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection? Will the Predator make a cameo? (asked by @JDas2k)
CB: The Predator is something that you will not see in Aliens: Colonial Marines. AvP is a fun and compelling universe, but a separate one from the original Aliens universe. We draw inspiration for multiplayer maps from all the films, in addition to concept art and expanded Aliens universe content.
What’s it like to control a xenomorph in multiplayer combat? What attacks and abilities do they have?
CB: Awesome ones! Xenomorphs are obviously much more agile than their human counterparts, so they’re very quick and have the ability to maneuver about on walls and ceilings. As you’ve seen before, every part of a xenomorph is dangerous, from their claws and tails to their “little mouths” and acidic blood. They have a wide variety of ways to attack the marines.
Several other titles have enabled players to control xenomorphs. Where did those approaches fall short, and how does Aliens: Colonial Marines improve on that approach?
CB: We feel it’s key to keep the xenomorph player’s perspective in third person. Xenos have to be sneaky and agile, so the wall and ceiling climbing is a necessity. That said, playing in that style, in first person, can be quite disorienting.
Can aliens kill humans in multiple, theatrical ways? And what can a marine do in close quarters to ward off an alien attack?
CB: Xenos can kill humans in many ways. What can a marine do in close quarters to ward off an alien attack? Pray! In all seriousness, a marine’s best bet is to stay with other marines and cover each other.
Will ACM’s multiplayer include customization for the humans and aliens and, if so, what are some examples of abilities that can be enhanced for both species?
CB: We’re not talking too specifically about the metagame yet, but there’s a wide amount of customization in both appearance and abilities.
Will the game include weaponry not depicted in the films? Can weapons be modded and improved?
CB: The films allude to a lot of weapons that are never shown. As you might imagine, we’re pretty excited to show you what those might look like.
When I say that Borderlands changed my life, it’s no exaggeration.
It was the way that the game rewarded each and every action that got me. Every enemy I gunned down, every chest I opened, brought a feeling of accomplishment and progression. So when I had the opportunity to join the team at Gearbox Software, I moved halfway across the country without any hesitation. Ever since, I’ve been seeing things that amaze me, things I know our fans will absolutely love. Things I haven’t been able to talk about, until today.
Because today, we’re blowing the lid off of Borderlands 2. We’ve got a new trailer, and if you haven’t already skimmed down and hit Play, let me tell you what you’re in for. You’re going to meet the four new playable characters. You’re going to catch a glimpse of the colorful new environments and areas you’ll be fighting through. You’re going to see what you’re up against, from new enemies like the multi-armed Bullymong and the robotic Loaders to the man with the plan to destroy you and everyone else on the planet, Handsome Jack. You’re going to see a fraction of the new weapons that await. Oh, and you’re going to learn when the release date is. That’s pretty important.
But, enough text. Let’s get this show on the road. Without further ado, Borderlands 2:
And that’s just the beginning. It barely scratches the surface of some of the underlying changes, especially when it comes to the way that characters grow and become more powerful throughout the game.
Each character has their own unique Action Skill at the root of their multi-tiered Skill Trees, and as you complete more quests and kill more enemies and gain the necessary experience to start working down those Skill Trees, you’ll come across skills that do more than just add passive stats and perks — they change the way that character plays.
Let’s talk about Salvador the Gunzerker, for example. When you trigger his Action Skill, he’s able to temporarily dual wield any weapons in the game. And if you just want to run and gun and blow everything up and cause as much chaos and destruction as possible, there’s a Skill Tree for that. Or if you want to make him more of a tactician and focus on nailing that one perfect shot for ridiculous damage and money, there’s a Skill Tree for that as well.
And the same goes for the other characters. Maya’s Skill Trees and the way they alter her Phaselock Action Skill likewise allow players customize the way she plays and the role she takes in battle, as do those of Axton and Zero.
As our Game Designer Jonathan Hemingway puts it, Borderlands 2 isn’t just about making a few big changes and improvements, it’s about making thousands of little ones as well. Everything is being tuned, refined, improved and reworked, and in the coming months we’ll be talking much more about, well, all of that.
We’ve heard your feedback, so now, for example, you can take your split-screen game online. From day one, Lead Designer Paul Hellquist and Writer Anthony Burch have been working side-by-side so that story has a stronger role. Art Director Jeramy Cooke and his team have been working to infuse the characters with more personality, the environments with more color, and the guns with far more badassitude than previously thought possible.
Oh, and one more thing. Pre-ordering puts you in the Borderlands 2 Premiere Club and nets you some pretty handy in-game bonuses, including a set of golden guns, that will help you get a leg-up on Handsome Jack when you’re first starting out. For more on the bonus items and the participating retailers, visit Borderlands2.com/preorder.
You’re going to need a lot of guns, and Handsome Jack isn’t going to hold anything back. Neither should you.
The Alien films have always held enormous power over me, occupying the same sphere of significance that Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings do for many others. So it’s been with great interest and no small amount of hope that I’ve watched the development saga of Aliens: Colonial Marines. This Gearbox Software-developed first-person shooter promises to pick up where James Cameron’s 1986 classic Aliens left off — an irresistible premise for any diehard fan of the series. A recent trailer (watch it below) presented a convincing succession of sound and images, yet carried the sadface news of a new autumn 2012 release date. What’s an impatient Alien fan to do?
Well, I went to Randy Pitchford to get some answers. The gregarious CEO of Gearbox Software was all too happy to share new insights into the studio’s plans for Aliens: Colonial Marines, including multiplayer concepts, the control scheme, play style…and, perhaps most tantalizing, what he knows about the upcoming Ridley Scott-directed origin tale Prometheus.
Alien fans: Something tells me that 2012 is going to be a mighty fine year.
I checked out Aliens: Colonial Marines when I popped over to the SEGAgamescom booth to say hi to a friend and, within minutes, it became one my highlights of the show. I’m not as familiar with the Aliens films as many – I remember seeing one of them on TV as a child and not sleeping well for a few days – but judging it purely as a shooter, it is looking very impressive.
The level shown was a beautifully lit labyrinth of corridors on-board a craft sent to investigate LV-426, 11 months after Ripley escaped in Aliens. The most memorable aspect for me was the animation of the Xenomorphs and my skin is crawling as I type just thinking about them. This added to the level design, which always leaves you feeling exposed as creatures pour from every angle and air vent, produces an unnerving shooter that piles on the tension.
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