In a way, the games industry has been making Aliens: The Game over and over for years now. So many of the tropes of first-person shooters, especially those with a science fiction setting, either pay homage to, or are direct rip-offs of, the incredible suspense and atmosphere created by James Cameron’s 1986 film. Sometimes the results are amazing, and sometimes…not so much. While there have been plenty of games set in the Aliens universe (or its awkward fusion with the Predator universe), next year gamers will finally get to play an honest-to-gosh in-canon sequel: Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines. Set for release on February 12, 2013, the game opens in the aftermath of Alien 3, putting you in the boots of a group of marines sent to investigate what really happened to the crew of the Sulaco after its ill-fated expedition to LV-426. Based on this latest trailer, Colonial Marines should be an intense experience.
As you can probably tell from the trailer, the Colonial Marines designers have had access to the full array of designs and sound effects from the original film. The game will take you through familiar Aliens locations, and Gearbox supposedly recreated the entire Sulaco, room by room. While the final game will rise or fall on the strength of its story and gameplay, being able to include these official assets will be a huge advantage. For fans of the Aliens franchise, there are few sounds that more reflexively trigger panic and paranoia than the steady, increasing beeping of the Colonial Marines’ motion sensors. Add to that the fact that the Giger-designed aliens are still some of the creepiest creatures ever, and I’m looking forward to several nights of stress-filled bug hunting (possibly with the lights on).