'Aliens' gets resurrected

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Entertainment,Greg Prince

Ridley Scott's famed science-fiction franchise finally gets a follow-up that's not a complete joke.

As a continuation of the "Aliens" saga, "Colonial Marines" has everything that made the story great: Plenty of xenomorphs; a hefty dose of those creepy horror sequences, including chestbursters and aliens pouring out of the walls; and a character-driven story about a team of marines trying to rescue their fellow soldiers.

The game centers on Cpl. Christopher Winter, a marine who is part of a search and rescue mission sent to investigate the USS Sulaco. He goes into the spaceship that once hosted Ellen Ripley and all the others in hopes of finding out what went wrong, as well as to rescue fellow marines who came under attack from an unknown source.

Sadly, the action-packed story is really the only redeeming feature of "Colonial Marines." As a shooter, the game is passable at best. The gunplay is too loose, there are noticeable glitches (such as xenomorphs warping around levels and nonplayer characters getting stuck in place), and the level design is extremely simplistic.

'Aliens: Colonial Marines'
» Systems: Xbox 360, PS3
» Price: $59.99
» Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Given that you are supposed to be wielding a futuristic assault riffle most of the time, it's pretty inaccurate over long distances. Other basic weapons in the arsenal are fine, but nothing stands out. The famed smartgun is fun once you finally get your hands on it, but it runs out way too quickly. You'd think this rescue mission would have involved more weapons and soldiers, especially since the rescue force arrives on such a massive spaceship.

On top of the oh-so-average shooting, the xenomorphs -- mythic killing machines that have haunted moviegoers for decades -- only retain their creepiness when bursting through floors and ceilings and climbing along the walls. As soon as they stand up and walk, they do this awkward little shimmy that makes you want to laugh. Also, when they are shot, the acid blood always forms the same electric-green pattern on their arms and legs. It's not bad a first, but really sticks out the longer you play.

News of "Colonial Marines" had gamers antsy for years, but as a complete package it just doesn't hold up. People who love the "Aliens" films will get a kick out of the story, revisiting spots from the movies and finding collectibles. But everyone else will just see a limited shooter that just can't compete with any of the top titles on the market.

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Author:

Greg Prince

Examiner Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner