Aliens: Colonial Marines Articles RSS Feed | Aliens: Colonial Marines RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Fox Gives the Alien Franchise a Shot with a New Shooter Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:43:54 -0500 Sjaak den Heijer

On the 17th of January, FoxNext (a gaming studio formed by Fox) announced on their twitter that they acquired Cold Iron Studios, where they are currently working on a new triple-A shooter in the Alien franchise for both consoles and PC. In recent years the Alien games have garnered a lot of controversy, with some really good games in the franchise -- and some that were awful. Let's take a look at a few:

Aliens vs. Predator

After being laid down for several years, Sega made an attempt at reviving the Alien games that were massively poplular back in the late '90s. They made this attempt with a new Aliens vs. Predator game developed by Rebellion, the developer of the original Alien vs. Predator games released in 2010. This version was a decent multiplayer game that was liked by many people but hated by others.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

After seeing good sales on their last Alien game, Sega released Aliens: Colonial Marines, a co-op FPS developed by Gearbox Software that by some critics is deemed as one of the worst games ever, being one of the main reasons why the franchise has so much controversy around it nowadays.

Alien: Isolation

Most recently in the franchise is Alien: Isolation, also published by Sega but developed by Creative Assembly. It’s survival horror game that has excellent AI and shows off the real dangers of a Xenomorph. This is, according to many fans, the best Alien game yet.


For now, we’ll just have to wait until more information comes out on the game and hope for the best. Let us know in the comments down below if you’re excited about the new Alien game or if you’re going to stay far away from it.

Is Now the Time to Be Getting Hyped for Red Dead Redemption 2? Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

As we all have heard by now, Red Dead Redemption 2 has been announced by Rockstar Games. I classify Red Dead Redemption as one of the absolute best games to come out on the Xbox 360/PS3, and the best game that Rockstar has put out to date. I've spent countless hours in that game and in the Undead Nightmare DLC that they brought out for it. Knowing this, one would think that I would be ecstatic for this new game, right. Sadly, I can't say that I am. 

Now, I would be lying if I was saying that I have no excitement for a new Red Dead game. There is a small bit of excitement I have, but in the recent months, there have been plenty of places to be burned after being hyped. Let's look at a few of the games that have come out recently that were highly anticipated but came out in states that no one wanted them to be in.

Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Batman Arkham Knight

I think it's safe to say that Batman: Arkham Knight was one of the most anticipated games to come out last year. With Rocksteady returning to the helm after taking a break from the series, there was plenty to be excited for. But, after bugs that seemed to be rampant through the game, a PC port that is still broken with no official intent to be fixed, and a game that, when it did work, as a whole was just okay (in my opinion), Batman: Arkham Knight felt like it was to be the poster child for reasons to not buy into the hype machine of games marketing.

As someone who is a giant Batman fan, I felt extremely burned by this game. I had played Arkham Asylum and Arkham City numerous times and absolutely adored them. Arkham City is hands down my favorite Batman game ever made. When Arkham Knight came around, I was so hyped. I couldn't wait to see how Rocksteady was going to end an amazing series that I had no problem supporting. I even had a copy of the game that didn't have a serious bug problem and I still felt let down by that game (the Batmobile was the worst thing to happen to that game). I still have not finished the story of the game and have no desire to do so. My copy of the game now lives in the floorboard of my car because when I went to trade it in at my local game shop, I was told that they had so many copies already that they couldn't accept any more.

No Man's Sky (Hello Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

No Man's Sky

By now, everyone and their mother knows about the issues with No Man's Sky (heck, I've even written about it), but if we're talking about games that exemplify the problems with overhyping a game, it would be foolish not to mention it.

No Man's Sky is easily the most hyped game I have seen in my life. The hype around it made news on numerous occasions (remember the death threats?). If there was ever a game to point to about reserving your excitement, No Man's Sky is the perfect example.

The promises made about that game were huge and honestly unattainable especially for an indie studio who had only made Joe Danger, but the marketing around that game, the interviews with Sean Murray leading up to the game and the evangelists that came from the gaming community built that game up to basically be the second coming of Christ. When the game came out though, we all learned what mistakes the community had made by putting all their eggs in one basket.

Mighty No. 9 (Comcept/Inti Creates)

Mighty No. 9

Oh Mighty No. 9, where do I start with you? Mighty No. 9 was a game that got funded through Kickstarter after original creator for Mega Man proposed a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series. Promising a game that would feel like the Mega Man games of old, people flocked to throw their money at the Kickstarter. The game was funded in only 2 days. Originally slated for release in April of 2015, the game was delayed on numerous occasions and finally released in June of 2016. The game people received, however, was not what they were expecting. The game had many bugs and other technical issues that seemed to clog the gameplay making for a pretty mediocre experience.

This game is interesting to talk about here, because recently we've seen a fair few spiritual successors to games that are classics. Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night are two other games that have been funded on Kickstarter that are pretty hyped at the moment. The difference between those games and Mighty No. 9, is that Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night seem like they are being handled in a way that will live up to the expectations they have set for themselves. Mighty No. 9 falls short because it seems to have been clearly mismanaged. On top of that, people rightly expected a working game and didn't get that. The game is littered with many different issues, from level design to graphical issues. This game shows to not only to reserve your hype, but to also be wary when putting your money behind a game that is being crowd funded.

These are only 3 games out of a growing list that have not lived up to their expectations. Spore, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Fable III, Duke Nukem Forever are other games could easily be talked about here. As gamers, we have to be vigilant about what we spend our hard earned cash on. We can't continue to forget about games that didn't live up to the huge expectations that we give them. If we continue to forget how we've been burned, this industry won't learn from its mistakes and continue to take advantage of us.

While I'm not saying, "you shouldn't trust Rockstar." Of the big game developers today, Rockstar can easily be one of the most trusted. Their games are almost always hits, and usually release without a lot of massive issues (GTA IV and San Andreas PC versions excluded). I'm just saying that as we have over a year until Red Dead Redemption 2 is supposed to be released. I think it's safer to reserve my excitement, for now.

Failed to deliver: 6 game releases that bombed harder than Mighty No. 9 Fri, 01 Jul 2016 05:34:05 -0400 Ty Arthur


Obviously there are many more awful games out there, but these six are among the most legendary for how badly they bombed upon release.


What did you think of our picks, and do you agree they were all worse than Mighty No. 9? What titles do you think should have made the list of biggest bombs in gaming history? Let us know in the comments below!


Superman 64


Kids today have no idea how utterly vicious the console wars used to be. Forget Xbox One vs. PS4 – the real war was the N64 versus the original PlayStation, and it was fierce.


While Nintendo's console from that generation had ground breaking entries that are still loved today, like Super Mario 64, it also had some true stinkers, like Superman 64.


Words can't fully encapsulate the disappointment of this game, which mostly had you flying through blocky rings and then restarting the level endless times.


There's conflicting reports of why the game is so awful – the developers have since come out and claimed the license holder refused to let them make the game they wanted to – but no matter who is responsible, it was the gamers who set down money on this nonsense who really lost out.



Assassin's Creed Unity


Another game that prompted an actual apology from someone high up (how often does that happen?). In this case, Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat took the heat for this criminally untested game.


“Buggy” doesn't even begin to describe what happened here, with NPCs behaving in extremely bizarre ways, invisible walls appearing out of nowhere, and characters frequently hanging several feet away from where ledges where actually positioned. Needless to say, it made the bottom of our ranking of the entire AC series from best to worst.


Perhaps the most immersion-breaking (and terrifying) bugs involved missing textures, where half of a character's face would disappear mid-conversation.


Not only was there complimentary DLC handed out to smooth things over, but Ubisoft actually decided to break the 1-a-year cycle. Maybe Infinite Warfare will bomb hard enough to convince the Call Of Duty franchise to do the same?



Afro Samurai 2


A true lesson in what sort of state you should NOT release a game in, Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma received relentlessly negative reviews (including some calling it the “worst game of the year”).


How bad was this game? Well, it wasn't the notorious Atari E.T. experience, but it is notable in video game history for what may be a first. Realizing how badly they'd screwed up, the developers actually yanked the game from Steam and the PlayStation store.


They even went a step further then, offering refunds to absolutely everyone who made the mistake of buying the game. Obviously the next two planned segments of the series were entirely scrapped.


The whole situation was so bizarre that Afro Samurai 2's doomed existence made our list of the biggest gaming scandals of 2015.



Sonic The Hedgehog


The blazing blue hedgehog has been on the decline for decades now and has never really managed to capture the wonder of those old Sega Genesis titles in the modern day.


What really took the cake though was 2006's Sonic The Hedgehog. It featured bad controls, bad camera, and was just an all around bad interpretation of the Sonic experience.


Trying to out glitch all other games, the title has become notorious for its buggy nature. It was bad enough that Sega publicly apologized both for this steaming pile, and for the lackluster entries that preceded it. Will the series ever redeem itself, or are we doomed to replay the original games for eternity?



Final Fantasy XIV


After the relative success of Final Fantasy IX, I'd have to imagine the franchise's second major attempt at an MMO was more than a little disappointing for the execs at SquareEnix.


A (very) short lived MMORPG world, FF XIV was only live for a little over two years before the servers were shuttered and the game world came to a close.


This entry in the long-running series was so bad that subscription fees were nixed and then the game had to be entirely shut down and relaunched later under a different name after undergoing some serious fixes.


FF XIV: A Realm Reborn has certainly redeemed the game, however, and is still going strong today. If only something similar could happen with Aliens: Colonial Marines!





Much like with Colonial Marines, the Xbox 360 edition of Shadowrun was an object lesson in what not to do with a long running and beloved license.


Of all the games to make into a multiplayer death match, this is the one that makes the least sense. Multiplayer, squad-based stealth missions for Mr. Johnson? Sure, absolutely. But mindless capture the flag or death match? There's just simply no correlation there to the Shadowrun universe other than the inclusion of orcs and elves.


What really killed the game was the total lack of a single player campaign at a time when Vista was the most hated OS and not everyone was online gaming on the 360 to begin with. Good luck finding a big enough group of people to actually play a match on this game today if you find it in the bargain bin at GameStop.


Thankfully, Harebrained Schemes stepped in and crowd funded Shadowrun Returns, eventually leading to the two superior and modern day classic sequels Dragonfall and Hong Kong. There's a pretty good chance a genre redefining fourth entry will arrive after Harebrained Schemes wraps up their Battletech reboot as well.


Sadly, history repeated itself with Shadowrun: Online (later changing names to Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown), which bombed with fans and critics, especially after the home run of Shadowrun Returns.



Aliens: Colonial Marines


I remember when that supposedly “in-game” trailer dropped back in 2012 and had everyone absolutely stoked. It seemed like we would get a proper horror experience that really took the feel and tone of the classic '86 flick Aliens and translated it into a gaming setting.


We were, of course, all horribly duped. The game looked and played nothing like what was shown. Not only was there none of the tension hinted at there, the game was overall average-to-bad shooter fare where the aliens didn't even play a huge role. The people who paid full price for this got straight up robbed.


What's even more sad is that this is what was actually released after Obsidian Entertainment's Alien RPG was canceled mid-development. While we never did get that proper space marines title to evoke the feel of the movie, a legitimately worthy title did arrive in the form of Alien: Isolation, which took some major cues from horror classics like Outlast and Amnesia.





After a protracted battle against both time and angry backers who raised $4 million to see it created, the Mega Man spiritual successor Mighty No. 9 finally arrived... to less than triumphant fanfare.


Reviews are consistently coming in on on the low side, and people are so upset by what was created with all that money that some are wondering if it means the death of crowd funded video games.


For all the shade being cast at No. 9 though -- gamers seem to have forgotten we've had significantly worse (and less playable) games thrown our way in the past.


From big budget movie tie-in games that ended up in the bargain bin within months of release, to titles that so drastically changed style they were unrecognizable, there have been some mighty flops in gaming history. 


Here were going to look at six of the worst offenders that caused no shortage of headaches (and monetary loss) for publishers and developers alike. These half-dozen titles are all nothing short of a slap in the face to the gaming populace, and probably never should have been released.

5 Games that were obviously going to fail Mon, 09 Nov 2015 12:29:45 -0500 Stan Rezaee

There are many reasons why a highly anticipated game will fail. It could be due to an outdated game engine, poor story telling, a toxic work environment, or a few unknown bugs. However when a game fails, it creates a learning experience for both the devlopers and the industry.

Then there are the moments when it was obvious the game was going to be a failure, and yet the development team was oblivious to the red flags. This is due to early criticism, poor source material or just an obvious bad ideas.   

Here are five games that were obviously going to fail but the development team ignored the red flags.

5. 007 Legends

Back in 2012; Activision attempted to honor the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series by recreating several iconic films within the context of the Daniel Craig era. The premise is that following the events at the beginning of Skyfall, Bond is reflecting back on his legacy as told through recreating five “classic” films.

It appears that Activision had a loose definition of the word “classic” as 3/5th of the game was influenced by the worst Bond films ever. It was a given that On Her Majesty's Secret Service was going to be among the selections, but they had options when it came to picking a movie from the Sir Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan era. Hence, there should have been no reason why Moonraker and Die Another Day were selected.

The poor source material along with the same Call of Duty gameplay resulted in 007 Legends being panned by critics and gamers. Kind of sad, knowing that EA could make a better James Bond game than Activision.


4. Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil was the leader of the horror genre when the original established the foundations for the genre while Resident Evil 4 rebranded the series for a new generation. However, as the series progressed, the horror elements became lost which brings us to Resident Evil 6

When gamers had a chance to play the demo, many were not that impressed. Several critics also felt the same and they shared these thoughts with their readers. The most common complaint was the title had completely abandoned its horror roots for a mindless action game with zombies. Sadly, they were right to warn us to not get this game.

Resident Evil 6 has been panned by both critics and gamers for being the worst game in the series for completely abandoning the survival horror genre. From a laughable plot (involving zombie terrorists) to a shoehorned multiplayer, this was one train wreck of a disaster that everyone but Capcom saw coming.

On the bright-side, the failure of Resident Evil 6 has pushed the series to go back to its survival horror roots. Resident Evil HD was the best selling digital download game of all time while Resident Evil 0 HD is coming in 2016 while a Resident Evil 2 is in the works thanks to popular demand.  

3. Aliens: Colonial Marines

When Aliens: Colonial Marines was announced, many saw it as opportunity to continue one of the greatest stories in the context of gaming. The idea was brilliant, especially following the success of Aliens vs. Predator 2. However, that was back in 2001 and that game got canceled before Gearbox resurrected the project in 2006.

Following the disastrous release of Duke Nukem: Forever, gamers were quick to not get excited over a game that has been in development for almost a decade. However, the guys at Gearbox didn't really learn their lesson when they decided to release another game that had been in development for almost a decade.

It's funny how those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it and Aliens: Colonial Marines just made things worst for Gearbox and Sega. The games failure resulted in Gearbox being sued for false advertising while the Alien series almost became a toxic brand for gaming until Alien: Isolation saved it.


2. Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs is the iconic neo-noir thriller from Quentin Tarantino about a group of criminals trying to figure out what happened following a botched diamond heist. After much debate and attempts at murdering each other, the crew suspects that one of them is an undercover cop. Because they had to use alias at all times, nobody could trust anyone.

Spoiler Alert: Mr. Orange is the cop, this is what happens when you don’t bother to watch an iconic film.

The film has been hailed as one of the greatest crime films on par with The Godfather saga and Goodfellas while being recognized as one of the most iconic Indie films of the '90s. Despite its gritty tone and influence on pop-culture, Reservoir Dogs isn’t a movie that could have been made into a game.

Reservoir Dogs the game is a third-person shooter that adds to the story by focusing on moments that characters only talked about in the film. Oh, and Michael Madsen was the only member of the original cast to return.

The game was panned by critics, gamers and fans of the series for adding nothing unique to one of the greatest crime films. Kind of hard to make a third person shooter based on a film known mostly for its dialogue and a torture scene.

1. Dino Crisis 3

Following the success of Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami attempted to redefine the survival horror genre with Dino Crisis for the PlayStation. The game was a hit and it was followed by the more successful Dino Crisis 2. The series had promise, and Capcom would have had another horror franchise, but then Dino Crisis 3 happened.  

It appeared that Capcom attempted to make a hit game by mimicking the success of the '80s film, Predator. The project started off as a joke about Rocky Balboa fighting a space alien but after it was actually approved, several edits had to made like having the premises crafted into a real story. The result was one of the most iconic Sci-Fi films along with another memorable classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Capcom decided to do the same thing with the joke about “Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs in Space,” only somebody forgot to edit out the joke part. Instead, they took the joke then shoehorn the premises of Event Horizon followed by adding HAL 9000 that has a legion of mutant dinosaurs and somehow it got approved as a game.

To no surprise, Dino Crisis 3 was panned by both critics and gamers while having effectively killed the series. There had been some talks of resurrecting the series, but so far Capcom has showed no real interest.

What game did you think was going to be an obvious failure? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

Aliens Colonial Marines PC + Season Pass Review Sun, 11 Oct 2015 05:21:00 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Like a horror franchise refusing to die, we're heading back once again to LV-423. While Aliens: Colonial Marines found some redemption on console in the form of its competitive multiplayer, that didn't fix its campaign. Plagued with bugs, terrible graphics, and a general lack of polish, nothing but the game's online play was really worth the asking price on consoles.

This is not the case on PC.

Thanks to a well-timed PC sale, I've had the chance to review the core game and its two biggest DLC packs, Bug Hunt and Stasis Interrupted. So get ready for a whole slew of Aliens: Colonial Marines reviews!

Game: Aliens: Colonial Marines
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), PS3 (Reviewed), Xbox 360
Price: $14.99
Aliens Colonial Marines PC Rating: 7/10
Bug Hunt DLC Rating: 8/10
Stasis Interrupted DLC Rating: 2/10

This game was reviewed using a consumer copy purchased by a generous friend.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (PlayStation 3) Review Sat, 29 Aug 2015 04:30:01 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Aliens: Colonial Marines is the worst game of all time! Or is it really? I run a risk of being branded crazy, and try to find something worthwhile in this mess of coding and drama that is Aliens: Colonial Marines. It might have brought down Timegate and caused a mess of lawsuits, but it's time to really dig in and examine Aliens: Colonial Marines. Sassy synthetics, bursting chests, and dumb AI, oh my!

Platforms: PC, Mac, PlayStation 3  (Reviewed), Xbox 360
Price: $4.99 - $29.99
Rating: 6.5/10 (4.5/10 without online multiplayer)

This game was reviewed using a consumer copy of the game.

How to responsibly pre-order Fri, 07 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Duran Boskovic

It seems like in today’s climate the word pre-order has become synonymous with disappointment or shoddy corporate tactics; why would anyone pre-order a game before seeing the game (and it's day one bugs) in action? 

Say pre-order and you'll hear (oh god will you hear) about such titles such as Batman: Arkham Knight, Evolve, and Aliens: Colonial Marines and a slew of others. It's perfectly legitimate to bring up these cases as cautionary tales warning people to think before throwing money at these publishers for your limited edition batman Bathrobe and xenomorph full body suit.

It's sad that there are so many reasons why one can't take a publisher ANY publisher at face value when considering cost-benefit of reserving their copy of the game and picking up some cool Spiderman socks while their at it. When I hear that nobody should pre-order games, however, I have to disagree and I’ll defend it until I’m blue in the face.

Pre-orders are fine when you do your homework.

Pre-orders are fine WHEN YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK!  

One of the biggest game changers in indie game development has been the popularity of Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general, and if crowdfunding has taught us one thing it's that we can use our dollar more effectively now than we ever could before. I mention this because in the light of some great (and terrible) Kickstarter campaigns a methodology has begun to develop to inspire consumer trust in a project (Who is the dev, what's the likelihood this'll actually get finished? etc.).The problem with pre-orders is that this research falls on the consumers entirely (no handy videos explaining how and why this promotion is going to be everything it's promised to be) and when the hype train hits full speed it can be hard to remember that shitty deals are out there waiting for the unsuspecting fan to step in their trap. 

But how can this relate to a triple A game like Fallout 4?  When Fallout 4 was announced at E3 it was to a chorus of applause and the more info Todd Howard teased the more hyped we all got. When the Collector's edition was available for pre-order it didn't last long, people were trying to reserve during the presentation! I was riding the hype train right there with everyone else but I knew that if I was going to put $180AUD down on this I’d have to do some (quick) considerations.

One of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to getting the facts is asking: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Who: Is the company selling the pre-order? If the company behind the pre-order had the headline "shitty company rips off gamers" for their last game maybe think twice. Look at the lead up to the game, with the amount of info out there it's easier than ever to see if something looks too good to be true.

What: Am I getting for the extra dosh? Is the content I’m getting really worth shelling out the amount of money I’m spending? This one can be hard as it's pretty much entirely up to your tastes. These deals tend to come at times when you're so ready to jump at the game you'll buy anything (E3. enough said). Ask yourself "Would I give anything up to own this?" if the answer is no and you still get it then odds are you have a lot of disposable cash, if yes then the package is obviously worth it to you.

(Quick note: food is never worth giving up for games limited or otherwise so pre-order responsibly and make sure you can pay rent).

When: Do i have to make my decision? Take your time, if you're not sure right up to making the actual order then the package probably isn't for you.

Where: Do I place the order? Do i get it cheaper or get more content getting it through Amazon or EB? A big flag is if the exclusive content is carved out between several retailers (Evolve) as it can lead to a very hard to understand system that could cost you way more than you're willing to spend. Find what you want the most and just go for that, stick to your limit.

Why: Do i want this? This one is entirely up to you if you don't or you’re sort of iffy on the extras then don't pre-order, if you know hype has hit you think about What again.

These are just some guideline questions to ask yourself before you go out and pre-order, yes the extras are cool but are they cool enough for you?

I can safely say that I know what I’m getting into and that for the extra content I’m getting I’m happy to shell out the extra cash, don't hate pre-orders for pre-orders sake, do your research and make the decision for yourself.

Nine Celebrity Video Game Voice Actors You Missed Sat, 25 Jul 2015 17:30:01 -0400 Elijah Beahm


While gaming struggled many years for recognition and acceptance, every day we see more proof of how mainstream it has become. As games become more commonplace, so do celebrity appearances in games. Got a favorite celebrity appearance in a video game? Let us know in the comments below!


Phil Collins -- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories


While technically Phil Collins only says a few brief lines, there is an entire mission built around his in-game concert in this PSP/PlayStation 2 spin-off of Vice City. You have to stop some bombers with your bare fists, all while keeping Collins and a movie director safe. Your reward after preventing the heinous attack? An entire song performed by Phil Collins, in-game. As mission rewards go, this is a pretty rock solid one.


Sean Bean -- Kholat


Sean Bean must be very tired of dying, which is probably why he agreed to narrate the indie horror title Kholat. Not only does he get to be the voice players hear at every turn, but he gets to live by virtue of not being present. This is equally fitting, seeing as Bean's only other video game role was as the bastard son of the reigning emperor in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The lack of assassination attempts likely is very refreshing.


Ray Liotta -- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City


You might be able to take the gangster out of the real world, but he'll still be looking for trouble. Ray Liotta's profilic movie career is full of action and mobster films, so it seems only fitting that his two appearances in video games are as gangsters. He not only appeared back in 2012 as one of the cast in Mob of the Dead for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but is the star of his own Grand Theft Auto game.


Taking place in the middle entry of the PlayStation 2 GTA trilogy, Liotta plays Tommy Vecetti, a loyal gunman with an ax to grind. While many of the same ideas present in Grand Theft Auto III were present in Vice City, one of the biggest shifts was the greater focus on story. By bringing Liotta in, the series began a trend of voiced protagonists with real motivations. Vice City heralded a turning point for the franchise that would later lead to the further complex stories in GTA IV and GTA V.


Elijah Wood -- The Legend of Spyro


One does not simply become the lead actor in two epic fantasy franchises, but Elijah Wood pulled it off anyway. Not only did Wood get to play the iconic Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings, but was also brought on board for Krome's reboot trilogy of the Spyro series.


While the games themselves had a middling reception (leading to Activision rebooting Spyro into Skylanders), the story and voice acting were highly praised. Not to be deterred, Wood has taken on other gaming related projects, including playing one of the lead antagonists in Season 10 of Roosterteeth's Red vs. Blue.


Chloe Grace Mortez -- Dishonored


Most people remember first seeing Mortez break onto the scene as Hitgirl in Kickass. She packed a surprising amount of punch for such a young actress, but she actually has done far more subdued roles. Take for instance her role in Dishonored, as the heir to the throne, Lady Emily Kaldwin.


Mortez not only had to portray the character, but handle two completely separate voice overs due to the branching narrative. As a result, she played Emily as both a malevolent ruler to be, and as a peaceful idealist. Not an easy job for anyone, but Mortez brings something genuine to Emily that many young characters in video games lack. While Emily's looking all grown up in Dishonored 2, it's not confirmed if Mortez will continue voicing her or not.


Tony Jay -- Legacy of Kain


Tony Jay remains one of the few actors who can say he acted in one of the original hand-drawn Disney films and in several iconic video games. From The Hunchback of Notredame to Fallout, he's voiced dozens of characters for gamers and moviegoers alike.


What remains one of his most iconic roles is the Elder God in Crystal Dynamic's Legacy of Kain series. His baritone voice carried great weight in every role, but he made Elder God truly titanic, mocking series protagonist Raziel's struggle. While he sadly passed away in 2006, his voice lives on for generations of fans through his prolific work.


Christopher Walken -- True Crimes: LA


While old school adventure game fans remember Christopher Walken's iconic appearance in Ripper, most gamers don't realize he's also the voice of George, a character from Activision's True Crime series. Walken not only voices the character, but narrates both the game's intro and outro sequence. What makes his inclusion particularly odd though is how subdued he is by comparison to his usually flamboyant performances.


Ashley Burch -- Aliens: Colonial Marines


Yes, right after Ashley Burch of Hey Ash Watchya Playin'? got her big break in voice acting as Tiny Tina for Borderlands 2, she voiced a very (let's call it "unique") Gearbox production. In Aliens: Colonial Marines, Burch plays the red headed, by the book pilot Lt. Reid. Reid often comes into argument with the lower ranking members of the cast, including ordering them to leave a marine behind at one point for the sake of the mission.


What's most impressive is that it's actually hard to identify that it's Burch in the role until you read the credits. While more recent projects such as Life is Strange have highlighted Burch's range, this was one of the few times most gamers heard her do a far more serious voiceover. Sadly, neither Burch nor anyone else of the star-studded cast (including Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn) could save the game's dismal story.


Kristen Bell -- Assassin's Creed


It has been many years since the tragic twist ending of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, but that doesn't mean fans have forgotten about former series mainstay Lucy Stillman. What those same fans might have realized is that Lucy was played by none other than Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars fame. Bell played Lucy through each entry in the series, going from a side role to being one of the lead protagonists.


Assassin's Creed is not Bell's only dip into video game voice acting. She also reprises her role as Cora from Astro Boy vs. The Junkyard Pirates in Astro Boy: The Video Game and as Anna from Frozen in Disney Infinity.


Voice acting in video games is one of those professions that has its own stars, like Dee Bradly Baker (pictured above), Troy Baker, Tara Strong, and Nolan North. However, that doesn't take away the excitement when a movie, web, or TV actor takes their step out onto the digital stage. Sometimes though, they slip by us. Here are nine celebrity voice overs you probably didn't realize were in games.

Top 10 Alien Races in Games That May (or May Not) be a Threat Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:20:32 -0400 Jay Prodigious


So how did my list compare to yours? Did you find that some of my Threat Levels were too high? Too low?


Let me hear some of your thoughts and give me a piece of your mind. It's time we get prepared for the coming invasion, with your lists we might be able to survive!


The Chimera


These vicious looking baddies are some of the worst you could hope to encounter when it comes to an invasion. They are grotesque beings who have been coming and going from Earth since before mankind was fully realized. Their sole purpose seems to be to wipe us off the planet and they have gone great lengths to do so.


The Chimera have multiple forms, including Hybrids and Feral. With mixed tactics and the ability to use our own weapons against us as well as their own advanced weaponry, we would be in for a hard won fight. 

Threat Level: High

They not only wanted to annihilate us in the Resistance series, they also wanted to convert us into one of them and use us as soldiers. Whether we fight and die or survive long enough to be converted, we can't all fight off the coming threat. They were also living on the planet millions of years before us, so they clearly have a "home field" advantage. Very dangerous.


The Awoken


Now not much has been learned through the campaign of Destiny about the Awoken, other than they are governed by their own monarchy and were apparently human who fled the Earth when The Darkness arrived. Living at the furthest reaches of the solar system, they have become a very sequestered people.


They are unwilling to help without first gaining something in return and even then always have a motive behind their aid. The also seem to hold immense power as their Queen seems to have control of her own Fallen minions. 

Threat Level: Unsure

With them being a relatively new species to us, we don't have much to go on in what we see. Maybe their story will become more fleshed out if Destiny DLC has anything to add for them.


The Helghast


This race was technically Human once before. Leaving to try colonizing efforts on the planet of Helghan, the humans found living on the world uninhabitable. Lightning storms and harsh atmospheric conditions made it impossible to live on, but after they felt they were betrayed by their former Earth comrades, they revolted and started their own nation.


They chose to go back to this planet to live. Many of the first generation died off but some survived, while their future generations evolved biologically to survive the harsh planet.


Now that is a quick summary, but as Killzone taught us they are not to be trifled with. They are formidable opponents who have mindset that leads them to believe they are superior. They invade and attack other colonies just to assert their dominance.

Threat Level: High

This race willingly inhabited a harsh planet that is constantly hit by lightning storms, put themselves into a dictatorship, and adapted to everything that was thrown at them. Include the fact they invade other planets, I can see them being a hard race to handle. 


The Xenomorph


One of the more dangerous aliens in the universe, the Xenomorph have a knack for keeping their enemies on their toes. From their larval stage of a Face Hugger, to their more dominating evolutions like the Hunter (pictured above), they are all capable death machines.


And if it wasn't bad enough, if you do manage to fight them off, you can still be damaged as their blood is a highly corrosive acid. They seem not to discriminate between what enemy is what, beside not attacking their own, so everything is considered a target.

Threat Level: High

While they skitter in the shadowed hallways, Xenomorphs have hunting, hard shells, acid blood, and their pure viciousness on their side that can lead anyone to wet their pants. Unless we're talking about the Alien: Colonial Marines version of them, then just wait 5 seconds and they'll fall through the floor. 


The Reapers


This race, just like the Covenant, is not actually a single race. The original base race were synthetic machines adapted to the ever changing universe. Over the decades and  after assimilating various races to form their own army, they have become a highly fearsome race.


Mass Effect 3 showed us the full extent of their assimilation by forcing the Humans, Turians, and Asari races to fight while imbuing them with their sentient technology. Living ships size creatures were also seen and attacked the whole of every race in the galaxy. Their Goal?


The assimilation of the new races and abilities then go back into hiding. They leave the last race standing to regrow and let the universe begin again. They wish only to repeat this cycle and serve as monitor and decider.

Threat Level: High to Highest

You cannot avoid the gaze of the Reapers, in fact they have most likely already seen us. All we can do is prepare for a huge fight and band together with other races in order to put a stop to this vicious cycle. However since we have yet to reach past our own Solar System, I'm fairly certain we're safe. 


For Now...


The Quarian 


One of the two smartest races in the Mass Effect galaxy, only second to the Salarians. This technological genius race may have weakened immune systems but they have a frightening capacity to repair their ships on spare parts alone as well as a knack for creating synthetic artificial intelligence.


While they aren't particularly hostile, it's one race that definitely is advanced way beyond our comprehension. Maybe they could explain what those crop circles mean?

Threat Level: Minimal

The Quarian are not an overly violent group, more of a governmental race. However, if a strong willed individual comes into the picture, they can be rallied to war with all the tech they have amassed over the years.


Something to fear in terms of fleet size (50,0000 with 17 Million Quarians). 


The Vortigaunt


The Vortigaunt are actually a very misunderstood race of alien invaders. Under mind control by The Nihilanth, a powerful alien that mentally enslaved the Vortigaunt as well as other races, they were used to attempt to destroy the world.


As shown in Half-Life 2, while not under mind-control, the Vortigaunt are peaceful and ritualistic. They have been seen as healers. In fact, when gathered in a large group they can heal others quite quickly. They also use the same power to shoot bolts of energy at enemies and create localized shock waves. They became allies to the planet's inhabitants after the invasion and release from mind control. 

Threat Level: None (Free minded) Medium to High (Mind controlled)

It says something when the species that invades wants to help, especially if they feel remorse after causing so much harm in the first place. I could see the Vortigaunt arriving to help us and enrich our culture more than causing us problems.


The Forerunner


The Halo series has been giving us information on the Forerunners since the beginning.


This race existed before the current Human and Covenant forces and have surpassed their descendants in many ways. Technologically, they are something to be feared as they have installations that can eradicate life on many planets in one blast, as well as weapons that appear standard but can vaporize enemies in an instant.


However, their one flaw is they no longer exist, openly anyway. They have many technological installations to visit and one that is even its own planet. The Forerunners were amazing people, but their designs can become evil if they are used with evil intent. 

Threat Level: Minimal to Medium

The only deciding factor in this profile is the fact that they are no longer in existence. If they aren't alive, they can't attack. The only way they can really affect us is if someone else misuses the items they have left behind. 


The Furon Empire


While the games haven't had much in terms of longevity, Destroy All Humans has shown us that the Furon is indeed trying to annihilate us all.


From the stereotypical abduction of cows and farmers, to the mindless destruction, this race exhibits all the signs we need to look out for. However, they are also shown to be slightly poor at achieving their job on the surface, given resistance, we could possibly stand a chance during an inevitable invasion.

Threat Level: Medium

Sure they seem dangerous, but with their blatant attack standards and following closely to stereotypes we've set for alien fiction, we have a good chance of survival. Just start placing explosives in the cows and keep an eye on the skies.




The Covenant 


While technically they are built up of several races, from the Grunts all the way to the Brutes, the Covenant is a fearsome group indeed. With an army of front line fighters who are willing to blow themselves up for their cause and higher ranking generals who are know for their tactics as well as their brute strength, they have most their angles covered. It is safe to assume that they will stop at nothing to stomp out the Human race.

Threat: High

With the multitude of races gathered in their ranks, their technology is more advanced than we are capable of to match. Mixed tactics, greater technology, and religious zealots behind their purpose for fighting, the Covenant is one race to prepare for. 


Is there more to Space than just the stars and planets? Is there life out there? Can no one hear the farmer's scream as they are probed for the sake of weird alien science?


With the release of  Alien: Isolation, these questions and more have been coming to the surface. So it's time we build a profile of what could be beyond our intergalactic borders by listing the Top 10 Alien Races in Gaming and see just what kind of threat they pose.


Disclaimer: This List is in no specific order, only the order in which I thought of them. 

Why Buy A Video Game When You Can Just Watch It Sat, 02 Aug 2014 06:29:48 -0400 Simon Costelloe

The gaming industry is now the biggest form of consumer entertainment on the planet today. This is a simple observable fact that can be seen when games like Grand Theft Auto 5 makes $800 million in one day, reaching the one billion dollar mark the day after. While this is extraordinary, it isn't the only game to earn so much in such a short time, with each new release in the ongoing Call of Duty franchise earning $500 million in similar time frames.

Gaming is such a phenomenon that more people than ever are desperate to create games, which often leads to oversaturation of the market with some good quality games falling through the cracks. Games that should be played and loved are instead outsold by games with a number two or three in their title. How do game publishers and developers compete? Many developers have now begun releasing extended game demos and trailers that often allow gamers to play a polished vertical slice of a game or show them 15 to 30 minutes of gameplay.

The era of gameplay videos by YouTubers has risen alongside the gaming industry and many publishers acknowledge this. Right now the most popular Youtuber “PewDiePie” or “Pewds” as he is also known has gameplay videos of The Evil Within on his channel, which has not even been released yet.

There are gamers who play games for gameplay that cannot be experienced through a video and there are those who play it solely for the story. Older games such as those in the Megaman series are built around quick and difficult twitch gaming that require serious gaming skills. Sure you can watch a YouTuber run through a few levels of this, but it will not be the same as playing it yourself. On the other hand, games such as the indie hit Gone Home focus more so on story, and once you’ve seen it, you’re most likely not going to return for a second stroll through the creepy house.

The point I’m trying to make is: in this new era of the gaming industry, do you even need to buy a game to play it?

That might sound like a question concerning piracy, but that is a topic for another day. What I mean is that most gamers are on a budget. These gamers have a limited wallet and limited amount of time. We can’t possibly play every game and there are too few hours in the day to do so.

Early gameplay footage and playthroughs are designed to build hype and conversation around a game, but it often does the exact opposite for me.  I am extremely excited for the release of Alien: Isolation on October 7th as I hope it can rectify the mistakes made by Aliens: Colonial Marines. In order to raise the excitement levels for this game, they have announced a slew of DLC and some gameplay videos, which I assume show off the survival horror aspects of the game. I say “assume” as I have refused to watch it. It has happened on several occasions whereby I spoil parts of the game for myself by watching every trailer and absorbing every screenshot to the point where I’m fed up of the game before it even comes out.

I have already mentioned “PewDiePie” in this article, and normally I would not watch his videos, but I couldn’t resist when I saw him upload early gameplay walkthroughs of South Park: The Stick of Truth.  I watched those videos and couldn’t contain my laughter. When the game came out, I played it and it was like watching an episode for the second time. I had already seen the jokes and heard the farts, so the beginning was almost ruined for me--through my own fault. After this, I still hadn’t learned my lesson and found myself taking in every bit of Watch_Dogs information I could find. I had repeated the process and the exact same thing happened – minus the farts and racism.

I am now taking a different approach where I try to avoid news on games I want to play because it benefited me in the case of Wolfenstein: The New Order. I knew nothing about that game and I thought it was going to be just another FPS with a generic story. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I fell in love with B.J. Blazkcowicz and his story, even though I went into the game with no clue what it was about other than “giant Nazi robot dogs” – that is not a typo.

How do you feel about this issue? Have you ever found that extended gameplay footage can ruin your experience?

Alien: Isolation's DLC Reunites the Cast but Divides Consumers Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:37:02 -0400 Angelina Bonilla

The Alien franchise is a beloved piece of Sci-Fi history with its main character and monster being two of the most iconic things about it.  The movies are an example of how to do everything right in a Sci-Fi/Horror film…well the first two films are at least. Personally, It’s one of my favorite franchises of all time and after the debacle known as Aliens: Colonial Marines, the game Alien: Isolation appears to be a game that is finally trying to stay faithful to the franchise.

 For those who don’t know, in Alien: Isolation you play as Ripley’s daughter Amanda who is investigating her mother’s disappearance. Amanda was mentioned in passing in the first Alien film and in the second film we find out that she passed away without knowing any further information about her. In the game we get to see first-hand that Amanda is investigating her mother’s disappearance only to come across a Xenomorph.

Amanda has to fight for survival against Xenomorphs, the decrepit space station Sevastopol, androids and even other humans but not in a stupid mercenary kind of fashion we were treated to in Colonial Marines. The game is not a run and gun game, most of the game is based on surviving each encounter rather than conquering it with a gun showing more inspiration from the first Alien film than the second.

Everything I’ve seen so far about the game gives me such a fiery hope that seemingly nothing can extinguish. That is until I heard about the pre-order DLC called “Crew Expendable” and the preorder GameStop exclusive DLC “Last Survivor”.  The original cast of the film reprising their roles as the crew of the Nostromo to put together this DLC. Sega gave this information about the DLC itself

"Anyone who pre-orders the game will get a free upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which includes the bonus content "Crew Expendable". Players can choose to play as one of three surviving crewmembers, only moments after Brett's death at the jaws of the creature. As Ellen Ripley, Dallas or Parker, players can explore the Nostromo from habitation deck down through engineering, coordinating their efforts with Lambert and Ash to lure the Alien into the ship's airlock.

In addition, consumers who Pre-Order at GameStop will exclusively also receive "Last Survivor" in which players pick up the story as Ripley tries to escape on the Narcissus. On hearing the screams of Lambert and Parker, players must navigate their way back down through the Nostromo in order to activate the self-destruct sequence, before retracing their steps back to the Narcissus shuttle and their escape."

 Mixed feelings all around

On one hand, it’s great that the original cast from the film will be reprising their roles of one of the most recognizable crews in Sci-Fi movie history. The fact that Creative Assembly is willing to take the extra time (and money, Hollywood actors are not cheap) to put this cast back together and try to recreate some of the most spinechilling moments in Hollywood history.

It appears they want to please the Alien fanbase a lot more than Gearbox did with their hackneyed attempts.   Then again, anything will please the Alien fanbase after Gearbox launched the franchise to LV-426 blew it up, found it’s floating corpse, kicked it into the sun and then gave it to Creative Assembly after they vomited all over the remains. More or less, Creative Assembly has a lot of fixing to do and at first glances it looks that’s exactly what they are trying to do here.

On the other hand, Creative Assembly is obviously trying to bank off of the franchises fanbase allowing them to play through one of their favorite movies as their favorite characters. Pre-order DLC encourages people to buy the game on day one so they can get some extra goodies that they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise without paying for them. While it doesn’t cost anymore to pre-order your game it does come with the risk of you the consumer buying something that you know next to nothing about.

The fact about the pre-order DLC for Alien: Isolation is absolutely perfect because it’s not necessary to complete or understand the game. Fans or casual people can take it or leave it if they really want to. If you have seen the first Alien film then you know exactly what happens. By missing out on the DLC you won’t have missed any part of the story that you didn’t already know. It might show you a little extra since some of these characters weren’t completely elaborated on in the first film, but you more than likely filled in the gaps with your own imagination. Sometimes the scariest thing isn’t what you see but what you don’t see. 

What is going to sell the pre-order copies isn’t as much that people get to see the cast back together or that the stories get elaborated on it is the fact they get to live out the same moments they saw in the movie themselves. You get to play as the crew of the Nostromo and react to the solo Xenomorph wreaking havoc on the ship, you get to relive the horror of some of the crew’s final moments. Also, if you pre-order from Gamestop you get to play as one of the most iconic women in Sci-Fi, Ripley, actually voiced by Sigourney Weaver herself. There is a vast difference between watching the actions on-screen and actually becoming that character on the small screen. That is the sort of immersion that is hard to replicate and that is difference between “Good” DLC and “Bad” DLC.

In Mass Effect 3 they took an entire character out of the story, one that did have connections to the backstory of all three games and made him added on DLC to buy the collectors editions of the game or buy him at launch. That’s bad DLC since they just essentially cut a character out just to sell him for some extra cash. Alien: Isolation on the otherhand mentions that if you preorder the game you get something extra, something that you don’t necessarily need buy you might want it. To play the devil’s advocate, this is a perfect business model. Making something highly desirable for the fans but not making it absolutely necessary to complete the game.

It’s what DLC is made for, it’s actually added in content that people have seen before but have never played before.  Is it fair that you need to pre-order the game before you can get it and you have to order it from a specific store? No, it should probably be DLC available after the game comes out rather than pre-order DLC for people to wait to see if they like the game. Business practices aren’t fair though and if there was one way to get people to pre-order the game this is it. I never preorder games and even I'm tempted to preorder this. I probably won't but it is very tempting. Creative Assembly is driving a hard bargain with these pre-order shenanigans, but no matter what I think everyone knows one thing is true.

It will never be as bad as Aliens: Colonial Marines

Update: Recently they announced that the pre-order DLC would not only be available for pre-order. If you want to see a further update on this story please click on my article here.

When Should You Buy a Collector's Edition Video Game? Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:10:30 -0400 Kate Reynolds

Collector's Edition video games have become huge in the last few years - the most epic in recent memory being the Loot Chest Edition of Borderlands 2. Although after watching this unboxing of The Elder Scrolls Imperial Edition the Loot Chest may have a rival (I really like the statue).

 If you're a HUGE FAN of a title/series, picking up a collector's edition of a video game makes sense. However, as cool as some of these limited edition games look, I always have to sit myself down and ask "Is it really worth it" before buying. Here's a few questions to help the process. 

Will I ever use this stuff?

I bought the Mass Effect 3 Collector's edition when it came out (I'm a huge Mass Effect fangirl, so I didn't take the time to think my purchase through. ), netting me some free in-game items as well as a 70-page artbook, a mini-comic, a 4x6 lithograph, and a N7 fabric patch. A couple of years later, I still have all of those the box. I ended up buying the bigger artbook and all the comics separately, and I still have no idea what to do with the lithograph and the N7 patch.

Imagine if you had actually gotten the Borderlands 2 Loot Chest. That chest looks large enough that it wouldn't display well anywhere in the house, and what are you going to do with all of those postcards, field notes and stickers? Probably throw them away or break them on accident. 

If you like displaying video game paraphanelia around your house you probably already have plans for what you're going to do with each piece of a collector's edition. If you don't know, don't get it. 

Is it Worth the Money?

Since my Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition came with free DLC and in-game items, I ultimately didn't end up spending too much extra since I would have bought the DLC anyway. Extra digital content can sometimes make up the price of a Collector's edition. 

That's not always the case, but as long as you were going to purchase the DLC later on, it is often worth paying a little extra. However, if you're not planning on paying for DLC and you don't care about extra in-game items - then a Collector's Edition is probably not worth the extra money. 

Is the Game Itself Worth Paying Full-Price For?

I don't oven buy my games at full price. I typically wait 3-6 months later for them to get marked down into the $30-$40 range until I will consider purchasing it. This is for two reasons: I'm cheap, and I'm waiting to see if the game is actually good. 

Can you imagine paying $150 for the Borderlands 2 Loot Crate and then for some reason, the game completely flopping?? I would feel extremely foolish about the money wasted. In fact, I'm sure many people that bought the Aliens: Colonial Marines limited edition felt this way. 

 Aliens: Colonial Marines was panned as one of the worst games ever - barely getting a 45 on metacritic. You start playing the game, realize how terrible it is, and then the Xenomorph/Powerloader figurine starts taunting your from your bookshelf.

Instead of wasting your money and being mocked by inanimate objects, you could have waited to see how the game was received, then picked up the collector's edition for $25 after nobody wanted to touch the game.That's what I ended up doing, and my Xenomorph/Powerloader sits on my desk complimenting me on my wise purchasing decisions. Win win. 

Worth it? Probably Not.

 Ultimately, it comes down to logically thinking these issues through without letting yourself get swept away by the hype. I know it's hard, the hype-machine is strong and begs you to surrender to it, but stay strong and don't waste your money.  

Twentieth Century Fox and Sega Trademark "Alien: Isolation" Mon, 21 Oct 2013 17:39:19 -0400 Eli "The Mad Man" Shayotovich

Might a new Alien video game be in development?

The folks at are reporting that Twentieth Century Fox filed a trademark application for something called Alien: Isolation on October 16. Now, before you get your standard issue Colonial Marine undies in a bunch, this trademark can be used for an assortment of things including mousepads, decorative magnets, eye glasses... and yes, computer game and video game software.

We're not really buying that a line of fashionable Alien: Isolation eyewear or mousepads will soon hit store shelves, so a logical assumption can be made that someone, somewhere is actually working on another (hopefully more enjoyable) Alien game. Why do we say that? We point you to an announcement Sega made in May of 2011 that their UK-based studio, The Creative Assembly (makers of Total War), was working on an Alien action game. At the time of the announcement wild claims were made about how fantastic the concept was (a peer to Dead Space 2?) and how amazing the graphics were going to look for this triple-A project. Yet, the game apparently drifted into a black hole because nothing ever materialized. And let's not forget that way back in 2009 Sega cancelled the RPG that Obsidian was working on. So... could Isolation be a reboot of one of these projects? 

After the abomination that wasAliens: Colonial Marines (a game which by all accounts should have been nuked from orbit) and the lukewarm response to Prometheus (a movie that this writer actually enjoyed immensely), one might think that the Alien franchise should be cryogenically frozen for a few years to let nostalgia creep back in. Apparently not. It doesn't take a xenomorph biologist to see that something's up. 

In 1979, Ridley Scott's Alien showed us that a horror movie set in space could be absolutely terrifying, and what James Cameron did with the Aliens sequel in 1983 raised the bar for what a well executed science fiction action film could be.

So it wasn't the jalapeño poppers causing my heart burn!

Sadly, the greatness of those two films has never really rubbed off on other "Alien" projects, which is incredibly frustrating given the fascinating and visceral mythology this franchise offers. The video game industry is filled with great talent... there's absolutely no reason that one of them can't make an Alien game that doesn't suck. 

Update 10/22/13

Late yesterday afternoon Kotaku reported on this, but included a great deal of additional info about the game itself. According to Kotaku's source (someone deep inside Weyland-Yutani Industries?) Isolation will focus on Amanda Ripley, the daughter of the main heroine, Ellen Ripley, and will be a first-person shooter full of stealth and horror elements. It's taking queues from games like Dishonored and Bioshock, and will be "heavily inspired by the first Alien movie." 

Sega took the poor reception of Colonial Marines to heart and really wants to make a better game this time around.  We'll see... 

Digital Preorders are a Ridiculous Scam - Stop Encouraging Them Wed, 25 Sep 2013 20:02:01 -0400 Mat Westhorpe

A fool and his money are easily parted, and modern video game marketing wants to make fools of us all.

When Preorders Made Sense

In the real world, pre-ordering an item has often been a sensible way of ensuring that you got what you wanted. This is, of course, assuming that you are certain it is the item you want, because you have read reviews and so on, right?

Whether it was a weekly comic book or the latest Porsche 911 model from your local dealership, chances were good the retailer would only receive a limited number and there'd be no guarantee they'd still be in stock by the time you sashayed in.

That's when tapping the folks behind the counter to hold onto a copy for you (I'm more of a comics man, you can keep your fancy cars) was the sage thing to do. Only the simple-minded would leave it to chance.

When They Still Make Sense

Queue, Queue!

For particularly popular items that you want right away, preordering or getting to the store early is prudent. But if you're considering camping, you should perhaps re-assess your values. If there is that much demand, they'll likely make some more.

It's not like iPhones are made from meteor rock and there's only a couple of tonnes of it in existence.

No doubt, come the November releases of Sony's PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, we'll see herds of hyper-materialistic console consumers and desperate Christmas shoppers take to the high streets like rabid zombie sheep in a no-holds-barred fight to the cash counter.

They probably should have pre-ordered.

It'll be a sad sight which will show how pathetically materialistic and impatient we have become, but it's understandable to an extent. The combined forces of marketing, scientifically developed addiction strategies and the social/family pressures of Christmas make slaves of us all.

When Preordering is Inexcusable

Consumer Idiot of the Year Award Goes to...
The really inexplicable, gold-standard stupid award has to be reserved for those who pre-order digitally downloadable games.

But the really inexplicable, gold-standard stupid award has to be reserved for those who pre-order digitally downloadable games. Digital products are infinite, they can't go out of stock, there will be no delay as you wait for the next batch to arrive, there is no urgency.

... Other than the urgency artificially created by the forces of marketing.

Of course, the Sith Lords of Sales have that covered, they'll offer you an incentive. A free game, a reduced price, something, anything to make you commit to their product without anyone having tested it.

Why are they so desperate to get your money so early?

Did they go over budget and have to organise a desperate pre-release cash grab to pay the bills and if so, how rushed is their product? Do they know they've got a poor game that will receive a critical mauling so they want to grab your money and run?

There's just no reasonable justification for the practice of encouraging pre-orders for digital goods. It's a scam.

Time is On Your Side; Use It

Needlessly throwing away money on digital pre-orders is behaviour that evokes the highest facepalmery.

Game are so frequently in need of more work at release, they almost always get better with time post-release, so why should consumers rush?

Until buyers--and publishers--learn these lessons, we will continue to see gamers charge like lemmings over the precipice of pre-ordering toward the jagged rocks of the next Aliens: Colonial Marines, Sim City, The WarZ, Diablo III, Duke Nukem Forever, Hellgate: London, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and many more...

Wait for the reviews, let developers iron out the bugs they left in to meet the shipping date, let somebody else suffer the disappointing game experience. We live in an enlightened age of information and communication. Let the internet work for you, don't let publishers use it to make you dance for them.

My advice: don't get mugged - stay away from digital pre-orders.

Why I've Completely Given Up On AAA Titles Sat, 14 Sep 2013 17:09:34 -0400 Mat Westhorpe

“If your time to you is worth savin',
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.”

 - Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)

There was a time when I could lose weeks to the glorious indulgence of a well-polished triple-A game. I would be happy to pay premium price, which here in the UK is usually £30-$40 ($45-$65,) then invest dozens of hours in working through the content.

It felt like great value for money and an acceptable use of my time. Fond memories of overnight marathons playing through Half-Life 2 or Rome: Total War are forever lodged in my brain.

But that was a decade ago and things have changed. I want to be able to look the game industry in the eye and say, “it's not you, it's me.” But I'm not certain that's true. I think it's them.

Corporate-Led Gaming

I suspect that, as we consumers have tightened our belts and been forced to make hard decisions about how we spend our time, game development studios (or more accurately - the publishers) have had to find creative ways to extract money from us. Not content with moderate successes, the corporate need for ever more profit efficiency will almost always be the driving force behind AAA titles.

The same forces that have led to the cynical practice of drip-feeding game content through various “in-app” purchases or other “let the gamers choose how much they pay” freemium nonsense are also the faceless enemies of creativity which make it impossible to see past the rabid hype of the AAA title.

As Indie developer Mike Bithell tweeted recently:

But you only need to look at recent debacles like Sim City, Aliens: Colonial Marines or even the troubled Total War: Rome 2 launch to see that there are no guarantees of quality even at a premium price.

Throwing out sub-standard or unfinished material under the pretence of being a AAA title is certainly not a new practice, but one which seems to be showing no sign of going away.

It won't unless consumers stop supporting it.

Pre-Ordering is for Mugs

The ridiculous practice of allowing the pre-purchasing of unreleased digital content is the damning nail in the coffin which shows the extent of the corporate greed defining the industry.

Pre-ordering a product is only appropriate for the sale of goods which are in limited supply. It makes no sense for the consumer to pay in advance for games available for download in infinite quantities. People who blindly pay for a product unreleased and unseen – whether as a show of good faith, brand loyalty or other weak justification – are simply encouraging this culture of exploitation.

The sad truth is that, somewhere beyond this desperate scramble for the almighty dollar are true, talented artists and visionary creators of content whose work deserves to be experienced. It's just a shame that in order for that to happen, their work has to be fed through a parasitic system which obfuscates and dilutes their creativity to the point where it is lost in a repellent miasma.

The Indie Answer?

However, perhaps there is some hope. In recent months, I've found a lot of joy in a number of indie titles and will be spending my money in that sector in the future.

The problem that exists within the indie developer ecosystem is that, in order for most young development studios to succeed, they have to make the choice between falling in with a pushy ultra-capitalist publisher or going the crowd-funded route. For the consumer, this essentially equates to pre-ordering with a large dose of roulette thrown in.

Add to that the thought that today's successful indie studio is probably tomorrow's EA buyout and I find that I've ranted myself into a corner.

Somebody please give me some positive examples of honest, ethical and noble working practices from the video game industry.


Of course, the irony of opening with the Bob Dylan quote is that the next lines to that song are:

“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again.”

Make of that what you will.

Michael Biehn Says Aliens: Colonial Marines Seemed "Kind Of Passionless" Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:15:34 -0400 oosah

Colonial Marines

As most of us know by now, this is a game you want to stay away from. Whether it was the many reviews that scared us away from it, or your poor friend who bought it on launch day and regrets it ever since.

It has been said by IGN and GameInformer that if you remove the Aliens from the game, then there is no reason for this thing to exist. Without the movie tie-in it seems this is just a plain horrible creation which only appeals now to die hards of the series. The game that was shipped out to stores and players received some of the worst scores in recent gaming history.


A game with the same title was originally developed by Check Six Games, and slated for release on the Playstation 2 in 2001. This version of the game was cancelled before release.

In December of 2006, Sega announced that they had bought the electronic rights to Aliens from 20th Century Fox. Shortly after the announcement, Gearbox Software stated that they would be working on an entirely new game in the franchise. It was not until 2008 that the game was revealed to be Aliens: Colonial Marines.

There was a whistle blower at Gearbox who alerted Sega that the company was shifting people and resources away from the project and using them for Borderlands 2 while accepting milestone checks as if the game was being developed by a full team. This led to the title being cancelled once again, restarted later, and eventually shipped. If you are interested in more of the scandal you can check out this article.

Actor's Comments

Michael Biehn is an actor who also does voice work for video games. He appeared in the 1986 film Aliens, so has some amount of say-so when it comes to the franchise. He recently returned to the series with Colonial Marines and had some harsh words about it. He states that the game "seemed kind of passionless" and that his work on it "wasn't fun at all".

Michael continues his work in the field, and voiced Sergeant Rex "Power" Colt in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. During his work on Blood Dragon he noticed a complete reversal of tone from the developers. He has nothing but praise for the creative director of the project, Dean Evans.

"Dean is such an interesting and creative presence. He has such energy and such passion. One of the things that I really, really enjoy working still in this business is finding people that have that kind of passion. He was talking to me about the game and the fact that it was an '80s throwback, and there would be a lot of lines that were Arnold Schwarzenegger-like, that were [Sylvester] Stallone-like, Bruce Willis, myself. Those kind of lines, that kind of vibe, and the fact that it was going to be a throwback to the '80s was something that I thought was interesting. But really it was his passion, man. You just can't say no to him."

Aliens: Colonial Marines DLC Mon, 08 Jul 2013 16:09:32 -0400 Callib Carver

Aliens: Colonial Marines may have received poor reviews, but that hasn't stopped its developers from designing and releasing downloadable content. While this is an unconfirmed rumor, there is a new set of trophies, entitled "Stasis Interrupted", for the Playstation 3 that hint at the DLC.

It appears that "Stasis Interrupted" is another part of the campaign that will give players trophies for completing that part of the game and collecting audio logs. This will also be the last DLC offered for Aliens: Colonial Marines. Assuming that the game receives the traditional four DLC packs as most games do.

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford told Nerdist Podcast that the company will cease development for current consoles once it has completed its DLC plans for Colonial Marines and Borderlands 2. So it looks like this could be one of the last bits of content we will see from Gearbox until the Playstation 4 and Xbox One are released.

Aliens: Colonial Marines - Looks can be deceiving (spoilers ahead) Wed, 19 Jun 2013 19:15:13 -0400 Strider1254

Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game despite its reviews was well worth the money spent. Although the disappointment caused by the trailers containing fake gameplay footage highly effected sales, it didn’t put me off the set path of obtaining this game and all the extras it came with.

Even with having picked up the Big Edition of the game at a rather spectacular EB Games rush sale, I would have willingly spent my money on this game no matter the price--despite the many disaproving reviews posted online.

The game itself contained striking resemblance to the 2010 game of Aliens VS Predators in relation to gameplay and graphics, although it had a few more touch ups and added tweaks then the previous game released 3 years ago. It remained its own seperate game to that of its predecessor.

Aliens: Colonial Marines provides plenty of fun (or shenanigans, as me and my friends put it) for you and a friend to spend the total of 3-4 hours on the storyline in which lead to the game's ultimate downfall.

The downfall of this game lies within the campaign length, with a total gameplay time of 4 hours on the hardest of difficulties. Although comprising some interesting missions with many opportunities for you to create your own "out of game" humor, the game ended with a rather disappointing boss-battle with the Queen Alien aboard a FTL (Faster than Light) ship.

Although one may find this battle difficult without the help of a friendly to back you up, it is otherwise a giant ammo waster ending with the so called “defeated” boss crawling back into the ship’s cargo bay much to the player's disappointment, it is then later defeated in a following cut scene by an NPC. The minimal gameplay time that is the storyline caused the player/s to have very little connection with the other characters, resulting in very little sense of loss with the death of characters.

The jewel of the game lay within the multiplayer, with the choice of playing as either Xenomorph or Marine--again sticking with much a resemblance to the AVP game of 2010, but still, to the player's surprise, the multiplayer is somewhat fun, action packed and can lead to many laughs. But again, there is very little difference between the previous AVP and Aliens: Colonial Marines, with perhaps the only difference being the exclusion of Predators and a change in maps.

All in all Aliens: Colonial Marines is yet another perfect example of why NOT to listen to game reviews until you have experienced the game for yourself. I would give Aliens: Colonial Marines a 7.5/10 all up and a tip of my hat to the combination of Gearbox and Sega studios.





iam8bit Entertainment System--Another Next-Gen Console? Fri, 07 Jun 2013 22:42:08 -0400 MirandaCB

No, I'm just messing with you. 

I present you iam8bit Entertainment System, an exhibition opening tonight in Los Angeles, CA. Over 80 artists from around the earth are presenting their works in an art exhibit, bringing their passion for retro gaming together, presented by iam8bit.

Now, iam8bit is pretty cool. Basically, iam8bit has developed into a production company, think tank, and art exhibition from just a huge group art event. Their focus has expanded and includes gaming and non-gaming features with interest in design and innovation. But iam8bit is very much steeped in video game love and their projects reflect that.

What you’ll find in their gallery ranges from Dishonored photo shoots to Street Fighter, or Robot Chicken to pixel art. My favorite is their Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword-inspired Hyrule room (I’d do everything in there). They have other galleries relating to the Aliens: Colonial Marines with sculptures as well as a gallery for Conan O’Brien. Art is iam8bit’s jam and they do it well.

Tonight is the opening of iam8bit Entertainment System, from 7-11pm if you’re near Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. The exhibition itself runs from tonight to June 30th, so check it out if you get the chance. Check out iam8bit’s website to get a glimpse of what you’ve been missing. 

Sega and Gearbox Call Colonial Marines Lawsuit "Frivolous" Fri, 03 May 2013 04:58:32 -0400 Wokendreamer

When I was young, I was not always a good kid.  On several occasions, I was actually quite a hand full for my parents.  The one thing I did learn over the course of my life, however, was to own up to my mistakes.  Such is how we all learn and better ourselves and, most importantly, avoid making the same mistakes again.

Sega, after having their misleading advertising for Aliens: Colonial Marines legally attacked and required to have disclaimers included stating exactly the opposite of what the ads had said originally is being sued for their all-but-admitted false advertising.  They have formally responded to this lawsuit, and claim it is "without merit" and "frivolous".

We continue to support the game, and will defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress without fear of frivolous litigation.

Okay, this quote does have a point.  Developers should be able to show off their works in progress without fear of suffering litigation as a result.  I am even of the mind they should not be held to task if the finished product is not up to the standards of the demo.  Game development is a complicated process, after all, and seemingly small changes and additions can have a huge impact on the overall product.

The problem in the case of Colonial Marines is not that the finished product was not as good as the demo shown.  The problem is the demo shown was incredible and there was nothing shown between that demo and the final release to even hint the game would look any worse.  Quite the contrary, in fact, as Sega put out advertisement after advertisement showing footage from that very impressive demo and touting it as in-game footage.

It takes one of two things to lose a legal battle requiring advertising to be changed for being deliberately misleading and then turn around and claim people wanting recompense for being suckered by it "frivolous".  The first thing it requires is corporate 'admit no wrong' mentalities.  The second is childishness.  Which we have to thank for the mess Aliens: Colonial Marines has given us all is irrelevant if the result is the same.