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Aliens: CM One of the Worst Games of All Time?

By - Source: Destructoid | B 56 comments

The past several days have been extremely depressing because (1) Valentine's Day is going to kill the bank account and (2) Aliens: Colonial Marines is tanking super-mega big time just days into its release. This shooter has been on the most-anticipated list for some time, and it's quite a letdown when all those hopes and dreams are destroyed in one single swoop. It's like paying entry to Disney World and none of the rides are working.

Review scores for Gearbox's Aliens title, published by Sega, have been horrific, and that's no particular pun. Without having any hands-on experience (yet), the game has been called so horrifically bad that there's now questions about who really developed it. As it stands now, Duke Nukem Forever seems to be a far, far better game than Gearbox's latest alien-packed shooter.

That said, there's more to this story than merely bad scores. Currently Gearbox Software, TimeGate Studios, Demiurge Studios and Nerve Software have all had a hand in its development. The single-player campaign was supposedly outsourced to TimeGate (which Sega is currently denying) while Gearbox focused on the multiplayer aspect. Or maybe not. It's a confusing mess to say the least.

"Hate to say it, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too high for Colonial Marines," said a former Gearbox worker before the game was released. "I used to work at Gearbox, and the development of that game has been a total train wreck, going on what, 6 years now? Gearbox isn't even making the game, except for the multiplayer. Primary development was outsourced to TimeGate Studios, which has a less than stellar past."

Sega said the game was developed by Gearbox Software while other studios helped Gearbox on the production of both single and multiplayer. There's speculation that Sega really has no idea who did what, and just left it in the hands of Gearbox to get a product out by a specific date.

Before the review scores began to emerge, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said TimeGate worked on roughly 20-percent of the total development time. Demurge supposedly helped out with the networking and multiplayer options whereas Nerve designed the multiplayer maps. The idea was to pack in as much as they could into one release rather than dish out content as DLC.

Once the reviews began to reveal what was actually packed into A:CM, one developer took to Reddit and wrote a very lengthy-but-shocking story about its development. This unknown person couldn't offer any proof due to NDA requirements, but said he worked on the project for about a year and a half. Some of the information he provided in his tale stemmed from "more senior guys".

The blame for A:CM's present unplayable state seems to fall on Borderlands 2. After Sega, 20th Century Fox and Gearbox agreed to produce the game, Sega immediately announced its development before production even started. The game would be in active development and then shelved due to another project (DNF, Borderlands 2) multiple times. Each time the project was resumed, it would undergo a major content overhaul. Naturally Sega wasn't happy about the delays, and honestly neither were the fans.

"The last time it was resumed, Gearbox (GBX) outsourced a good portion of the game to outside companies," the source said. "Initially, the plan was for TimeGate to take the majority of campaign, GBX would take MP, Demiurge and Nerve would handle DLC and various other focused tasks. This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers dealt with Pecan (aka A:CM)."

And it goes on and on.

For the record, someone claiming to work at TimeGate responded to the lengthy story by placing the blame entirely on Gearbox, saying that "everything Timegate did was under clear and explicit direction from Gearbox" who "had creative control of everything that occurred at TimeGate."

"It was Gearbox's shitty oversight of the project that led to the product you all now have before you," the supposed TimeGate employee said.

Ouch. The long road to retail continues here thanks to Destructoid. Will Aliens: Colonial Marines fall within the ranks of Daikatana and Atari's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial? Looks like it's headed in that direction. Game over, man. Game over.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

 

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  • 24 Hide
    casualcolors , February 15, 2013 3:04 AM
    It's not even close to the title of "one of the worst games of all time" on PC. It might compete for "most overhyped game of the generation" crown though.
  • 12 Hide
    casualcolors , February 15, 2013 3:44 AM
    razor512I'm sure they will blame the poor sales on piracy. (may be hard to justify though sine hardly anyone is sharing it (the game is so bad that people don't even want it for free)


    I'm pretty sure SEGA's going to blame the poor sales on Gearbox continually delaying this game for 6 years while focusing on making Borderlands 2 instead. And SEGA would be right to make that accusation, since that's what it seems actually happened.
  • 11 Hide
    razor512 , February 15, 2013 3:36 AM
    I'm sure they will blame the poor sales on piracy. (may be hard to justify though sine hardly anyone is sharing it (the game is so bad that people don't even want it for free)
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    casualcolors , February 15, 2013 3:04 AM
    It's not even close to the title of "one of the worst games of all time" on PC. It might compete for "most overhyped game of the generation" crown though.
  • -6 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 15, 2013 3:15 AM
    Worst PC game of all time ? Half Life2.
    For setting so high benchmark that only a few games can pass.

  • 9 Hide
    m32 , February 15, 2013 3:18 AM
    No it isn't. Bad, but you'll have to try to be the worse of All-Time.
  • 3 Hide
    JoeMomma , February 15, 2013 3:28 AM
    I was really looking forward to Aliens: Colonial Marines. I watched the movie ALIENS last week to get psyched up. Yes, it is a messed up game. The A.I. NPC I was supposed to be following kept getting stuck on corners and then would mysteriously pop up once I randomly discovered where my destination was.

    Yet despite all of it's flaws I still liked the bug hunt. It was dark and scary, the sound was perfect and the creepy atmosphere was pretty well done. I especially loved the motion detector. As the Aliens approach it beeps once to let you know you better turn it on.

    I would not recommend that anyone buy it, but I enjoyed my brief trial.
  • 8 Hide
    eklipz330 , February 15, 2013 3:28 AM
    seems like a massive finger pointing contest if you ask me. completely unprofessional, this is disgusting
  • 1 Hide
    s3anister , February 15, 2013 3:32 AM
    mayankleoboy1Worst PC game of all time ? Half Life2. For setting so high benchmark that only a few games can pass.

    Your statement doesn't even begin to make sense. There are many games that have been scored the same or higher than Half Life 2. Hell, I can think of a dozen right now off the top of my head, some you've probably heard of before like Oblivion/Skyrim, Metro 2033, Starcraft II, Torchlight II, Halo (series), Far Cry (series), Crysis, and so on.. seriously I could go on you obviously have no idea
  • 11 Hide
    razor512 , February 15, 2013 3:36 AM
    I'm sure they will blame the poor sales on piracy. (may be hard to justify though sine hardly anyone is sharing it (the game is so bad that people don't even want it for free)
  • 12 Hide
    casualcolors , February 15, 2013 3:44 AM
    razor512I'm sure they will blame the poor sales on piracy. (may be hard to justify though sine hardly anyone is sharing it (the game is so bad that people don't even want it for free)


    I'm pretty sure SEGA's going to blame the poor sales on Gearbox continually delaying this game for 6 years while focusing on making Borderlands 2 instead. And SEGA would be right to make that accusation, since that's what it seems actually happened.
  • 6 Hide
    Kami3k , February 15, 2013 3:49 AM
    Aliens: CM from all I've seen and read has decent multiplayer at least.

    A real contender for worst game of all time would be Big Rigs: over the road racing
  • 5 Hide
    bison88 , February 15, 2013 3:59 AM
    ...and they blame PIRACY for killing PC Gaming. No no no, lets not even consider games like these.
  • 3 Hide
    hotsacoman , February 15, 2013 4:03 AM
    Here's what I don't understand. Avp 2 was fantastic. Why couldn't they just take the formula that Monolith refined over their two games and just improve on it???
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , February 15, 2013 4:04 AM
    So Sega and GearBox are to blame.

    Sega kept interrupting GearBox for borderlands, and GearBox, being tired of the interuptions, had the game sub-contracted out, and..........................

    ***POOF***

    Insta-poo....
  • 1 Hide
    xaephod , February 15, 2013 4:04 AM
    Well, its too bad.
  • 1 Hide
    slabbo , February 15, 2013 4:18 AM
    just cancelled my preorder, how sad, was looking forward to it too.
  • 5 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , February 15, 2013 4:20 AM
    I really like Randy Pitchford. He's a charming and charismatic guy, one of the best video game design CEO's. But it seems he really screwed up by letting all of this go on in his studio. Why would you outsource the singleplayer, I could see outsourcing the multiplayer, but if your company is the main designer on the boxart, you should be making the singleplayer.

    I just hope that Gearbox stops taking on other projects and concentrates on Borderlands, it's actually a good series and I'd hate to see their reputation tank from another Aliens or Duke Nukem Forever.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , February 15, 2013 4:27 AM
    Great game, but certainly not in my top 20 and the demo and trailers we saw years ago were superior graphically to this. The game needs to be overhauled and redone. There is no excuse.
  • 0 Hide
    cewhidx , February 15, 2013 4:38 AM
    casualcolorsIt's not even close to the title of "one of the worst games of all time" on PC. It might compete for "most overhyped game of the generation" crown though.


    I disagree. Duke Nukem Forever wears that crown...

  • 7 Hide
    casualcolors , February 15, 2013 4:43 AM
    memadmaxSo Sega and GearBox are to blame.Sega kept interrupting GearBox for borderlands, and GearBox, being tired of the interuptions, had the game sub-contracted out, and..........................***POOF*** Insta-poo....


    That is literally not a description of what happened at all. SEGA gave them more than half a DECADE to finish this game. Jesus christ. This is solely Gearbox's fault.
  • 0 Hide
    alfaalex101 , February 15, 2013 5:33 AM
    s3anisterYour statement doesn't even begin to make sense. There are many games that have been scored the same or higher than Half Life 2. Hell, I can think of a dozen right now off the top of my head, some you've probably heard of before like Oblivion/Skyrim, Metro 2033, Starcraft II, Torchlight II, Halo (series), Far Cry (series), Crysis, and so on.. seriously I could go on you obviously have no idea


    Half-Life 2 looked like it was from a CGI movie compared to games released the year earlier (Vice city, splinter cell, rainbow 6 raven, battlefield 1942, enter the matrix). The graphics, A.I., physics, animations, movie like story telling were unseen in the PC gaming industry until then. Many of my friends were blown away when they saw the level of detail on Gman's skin in the opening HL2 introduction. It was surreal being in the game with the AI interaction and physics. The engine alone was so versatile that it was used for Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, Counterstrike Source and countless other mods.The same cannot be said about any of the other games you listed - no, not even Crysis which was really just a HD version of FarCry Instincts. Why you would even bring in Torchlight II (which was really just a well polished Diablo 3 clone with a few extras, let's not kid ourselves) baffles me and reduces your argument to zilch.
  • -6 Hide
    anham , February 15, 2013 6:13 AM
    All I got from this was that a RSS news feed from a TECH site has been used as a blog post for whining about how bad a game is. I get this game is really disappointing. Coincidentally, I just finished a review on it. I was still looking up reactions to this flop when the RSS feed poped up. But I don't expect this to be a news story on a tech site, particularly not handled in this way. I go to gaming sites for that, & I don't find this "news" enough for RSS. But the coincidence that I was looking for opinions on this at the time did happen to work out well for me. I'll admit that.
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