Aliens: Colonial Marines

12 for 2012: everything you need to know about Gearbox's Aliens game

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Expect plenty of variety even inside combat. There will be times when you're staring at a thronging motion tracker while somebody welds a door shut - you can also do the welding yourself, incidentally - and times when you're blasting away in darkness, strobe-lighting aliens with pulse rifle fire. Scenario structure and pacing depend on which Alien breeds you're fighting, of course. When the Crushers show up, you may be better off not fighting at all...


The Crushers? Is that a new Alien breed?
Indeed it is - built to the same scale as the Alien Queen, only bullet-proof and with a massive, wedge-shaped head it'll use to smash people against walls.

Will there be any other new breeds?
Looks like it. Art chap Brian Cozzens says Gearbox is "probably going to explore what you can do with the Xenomorphs" though "we don't want to be too silly or gimmicky about it. No gorilla aliens or anything silly."

Which classic aliens will we get to shoot?
All of them - Warriors, Aliens 3's canine Runners, Facehuggers, the works. Each and every one of them painstakingly modelled after the film variety, right down to the acid they bleed and the way they move. The Alien AI treats walls and ceilings as floors, so you'll come under attack from all angles.

What about the Alien Queen?
Yes, she's in there. As is her ancestral foe, the Power Loader.

We'll get to ride the Power Loader?
Indeed you will, and so will your comrades. Should make for some bitter arguments when you're playing co-op.

What can you tell us about the guns? Because it sounds like we're going to need a few of them.
They're everything a man of the Corps could hope for. Top of the list is the famous M41A Pulse Rifle, with its LED ammo display, followed by the pump-action shotgun, always handy in a close encounter. You'll also get flame throwers, and if Gearbox has its collective head screwed on right, we'll be able to duct-tape them to rifles. Also on the menu: sentry guns, placed by dragging a transparent template around in first-person.

What happens when an Alien gets in close?
Again, it depends on the Alien, but generally speaking they'll pin you to the floor and bite your face off. If you don't fancy the face-biting part, pay close attention to the button prompts that flash up. Yep, it's a QTE melee sequence, and while QTEs aren't always good news, we think you'll be thankful for these ones.


Will we be able to drive the Marine APC?
To quote Gearbox's maddeningly cheeky CEO, "that's a great question." Pitchford wouldn't be drawn on the subject much in our E3 interview, but he did happen to observe that "there's a turret - we've never even seen that used. It's never even been shot before." Co-founder Brian Martel chimed in at this point with: "Did you know there are rockets, there are a few rocket pods that pop up?" Back to Pitchford: "And of course there's that gun on the front. But everybody's seen that turret, nobody's seen it fire. How does it fire? It would be awesome if somebody got to do that." Why yes, Randy, yes it would. You can stop nudging us now.

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