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Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a Multiplayer Third-Person Shooter developed by Cold Iron Studio in collaboration with Disney's 20th Century Games, set in the Alien universe. The story is comprised of four campaigns, each containing three missions. It was released on August 24, 2021 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. At least three seasons of additional content are planned for release, with the first slated for arrival on September 8th, 2021.

Approximately twenty-three years after the events of Aliens, Colonial Marines aboard the USS Endeavor receive a distress call from the Katanga, a missing refinery station in orbit over the planet LV-895. After boarding the station, they discover that the station has become the site of a xenomorph outbreak. After extracting the sole survivor, the marines descend to the planet below, hoping to discover and eliminate the source of the outbreak.


Players are paired with two additional player-controlled characters, or AI controlled combat androids. The player may customize their character's base appearance, as well as create a loadout for a number of classes available. In addition to starting weapons and gear, there are additional consumables, weapons, attachments and cosmetics that can be purchased, unlocked via level progression, or found in hidden caches appearing in each level.


Tropes appearing in this work include:

  • Absent Aliens: The game notes that, while alien animals are common enough to be relatively unremarkable, humans have never encountered another intelligent species even after surveying 500 worlds, which is why discovering the Engineers is such a big deal.
  • Achievement Mockery: The "I Think They Like Me" achievement, which you earn by being grappled five times in one mission.
  • Action Bomb: The "Burster" xenomorphs violently explode when they die, showering anyone they're near with their acidic blood. Also, the pathogen "Poppers".
  • Action Girl: The Feminine Archetype.
  • Adaptational Badass: Drones and Warriors (the Alien and Aliens xenomorphs respectively), rather than being standard fodder enemies, are now used as Elite Mooks and King Mook type enemies with sizeable health bars that require concentrated sustained fire to bring down. The standard fodder enemy type is instead the Runner alien (the Alien 3 alien).
  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: The Pala Station AI Cynthia Rodriguez/SN/TH/YA sends an army of combat androids to kill the fireteam when they refuse to leave the surface of LV-895. It also attempted to activate "asset zero", which turns out to be an Engineer ship loaded with pathogen and send it to Earth, forcing the Colonial Marines to shut it down in a violent confrontation.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The runners, which make up the bulk of the xenomorph force, tend to appear this way. The drones too, who will retreat into a vent after taking damage.
  • All for Nothing: The second campaign, which starts off as a mission to evacuate survivors from the surface of LV-895. There aren't any.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Head accessories and gun decals are sometimes given as rewards for level progression or randomly spawn in hidden caches.
  • Arc Villain: The Pala Station AI is this for the second campaign "Giants in the Earth".
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Enemy synths will frequently take cover and attempt flanking maneuvers.
    • The Gunner-class synths (Alpha & Beta), who fill in when human teammates are absent, are reasonably intelligent with their grenades and aid kits, and will attempt to revive their team should they go down. On the other hand...
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • On higher difficulties, the synths are no replacement for a human teammate capable of communication. They are restricted to a single loadout, carrying only basic pulse rifles and grenades, and lack access to any skills allies may benefit from, such as "overclock". They are also not smart enough to take advantage when you use your abilities, such as running head-first into a prowler ambush even if it had been illuminated by a recon ability seconds ago, and often walk directly into your line of fire.
    • Most xenomorphs attack in very predictable patterns. Instead of utilizing their wall-crawling and ability to slink through hidden passages to flank and ambush, they tend to just throw themselves at the player's position, hoping their numbers will allow them to break through defenses.
    • Sometimes, the runners will simply rush right by you, or stand by while you revive a fallen ally.
  • Artificial Humans: The USS Endeavor has one named Esther. There are also the Seegson "Working Joes" and the androids Alpha and Beta, who serve as player companions when a full squad cannot be found.
  • Artificial Limbs: Ko, The Endeavour's dropship pilot, has a prosthetic leg.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Several weapons become this on higher difficulties.
    • The M42 Sniper Rifle: While it's damage is one of the highest in the game, its bolt-action rate of fire and a high zoom function make it highly impractical to use against most of the forces fought in the games, who are made up of numerous quick enemies.
    • While the Smartgun has its iconic auto-targeting feature, its small ammo capacity, low weak point damage and poor damage falloff mean that its best use is against cannon fodder. And even then, you might be better off using a flamethrower.
    • While undeniably cool, the N79 Eva Laser is not the most practical choice for a handgun. Though it never runs out of ammo and hits very hard for a pistol, it overheats after just a few seconds of sustained fire, forcing you to let it cool down while preventing you from switching weapons or using abilities. It also has a unique battery instead of a magazine, giving it only two mod slots instead of the standard three.
  • Bad Boss: Weyland-Yutani. Naturally. Overlaps with Stupid Evil.
  • Badass Normal: All player characters are this.
  • BFG: The heavy weapons available to the Demolisher class. A few of the rifles, like the twilight, are gigantic too.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Armor functions as a seperate health bar for the enemy types that have it (Synth Wardens, Synth Snipers, Synth Heavies, Alien Warriors, Crushers, Praetorians, and Monica). It typical comprises about 1/2th the enemy's total durability.
  • Body Horror: Any living creature that is exposed to the pathogen. It also makes them murderously aggressive.
  • Bookends: The first and last level end with an Elevator Escape.
  • Ceiling Cling: Xenomorph runners and prowlers do this a lot, alongside Wall Crawling.
  • Character Class System: There are four classes initially available to players, with a fifth unlocking after completing every campaign mission. The game developers have also said they intend to release an additional class every season. Each comes with two different weapon slots and unique set of abilities.
    • Gunner: The Gunner is a versatile class with access to rifles and a CQW. They are solid damage dealers with some utility to party, with their abilities "Frag Grenade" and "Overclock", which deal substantial area damage and increase the weapon rate of fire respectively. Their passive ability causes their attacks to become more powerful the longer they are in combat.
    • Demolisher: The Demolisher's kit is built around dealing as much damage as possible. They come armed with a rifle and a heavy weapon (smartgun, flamethrower etc.). Their abilities are the shoulder-mounted "Micro Rockets" and "Blastwave", and their passive causes their damage output to increase when they use make use of them.
    • Technician: The Technician specializes in controlling the battle and setting up defensible positions with the "Sentry Turret" and the area-denying "Charge Coils". Their passive ability increases the turret's performance while you stand near it. For their weapons, they are equipped with handguns and a CQW.
    • Doc: Docs specialize in buffing their fireteam. They come equipped with a portable "Trauma Station" that heals nearby allies, and "Combat Stims" that increase the party's combat effectiveness for a short time. Their passive ability allows allies to recharge their own abilities more quickly, and refill their trauma station by picking up aid kits. For weapons, they are limited to handguns and rifles.
    • Recon: Recon is a support class that reveals enemy positions with "PUPS" and allows the party to survive longer between checkpoints with a "Supply Drone" that drops ammunition and restores small portions of health. Their passive encourages ranged combat, granting a damage bonus after scoring headshots, though they come equipped with a CQW in addition to a rifle.
    • Phalanx: the first class added to the game post-release, the Phalanx is a marine equipped with a riot shield. The "Shield Up" ability deploys this shield, blocking incoming projectiles at the cost of movement speed. Their other ability, "Shock Pulse" stuns nearby enemies and punishes them for melee attacks. The weapons available to them are handguns and a CQW.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The motion tracker identifies enemy threat-levels and assigns them different colored dots on your HUD display.
    • White: low-level enemies, such as runners and working joes.
    • Light-blue: mid-level threats like the drones and spitters.
    • Orange: high-level threats like warriors and synth heavies.
  • Combat Resuscitation: If your health drops to zero, you are knocked down and only able to crawl until an ally revives you. Oh, and there is a limited number of times they can revive you. If all three members of your team go down, it's game over.
    • Docs have a an unlockable perk that lets them do it in half the time, and another that prevents them from being interrupted by an enemy attack.
  • Continuity Nod: The game contains lots of nods to the films, comics, and previous games in the franchise.
    • The presence of the pathogen (the black Mutagenic Goo), first found in Prometheus aboard the Engineer ship. It does what it did to Fifield to all the people living on LV-895.
    • Several xenomorph variants originally found in Aliens: Colonial Marines. Some, like the "Boilers", "Spitters" and "Lurkers" have been renamed and given some redesigns, but still serve the same functions. The "Crusher" morph also returns in all its' bulletproof glory.
    • Xenomorph drones retain some of their traits from Alien: Isolation, such as highly audibly footsteps, ducking into vents when they take damage, and screeches to announce zeroing in on their prey.
    • The Katanga space station was owned by Seegson, the same company that owned Sevastopol. As such, the "Working Joe" androids reappear. They're little more than wall decoration for the first few levels, but eventually they wake up and become axe-wielding enemies.
    • If the Recon class is selected, the player character comes equipped with a PUPS; one of the scanning drones first featured in Prometheus.
  • Difficulty Levels: There are five of them.
    • Casual
    • Standard
    • Intense
    • Extreme
    • Insane
  • Elite Mooks: The xenomorphs have several, and so do the Weyland-Yutani synths.
    • Bursters: they have low health but spray acid everywhere upon being killed.
    • Spitters: a breed of xenos that take cover and launch globs of acid at players from a distance.
    • Prowlers: quadrupedal xenos who lay in wait and jump on players the first chance they get. They have comparatively low health, but are still a pain to deal with.
    • Drones: The "classic", bipedal form of the xenomorph. They will duck in and out of air ducts and narrow cave passages to ambush you and retreat when they take damage.
    • Synth Warden: an armored synthetic.
    • Synth Detonator: a kamikaze synth unit, identifiable by their headless bodies. They explode when they get close.
    • Containment Snyth: A working joe carrying a riot shield.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: The motion tracker returns, this time integrated into the player's HUD.
  • Escort Mission: The final mission of the first campaign involves keeping Wey-Yu scientist Tim Hoenikker alive and getting him off Katanga. He has a gun an a generous health pool, so keeping him alive isn't too difficult on standard difficulty.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: All three can be utilized in the forms of ammunition, mods or other consumables. Fire works well against xenomorphs, shock works better against synths. There is no ammunition for ice, but there is a consumable called a "cryo-grid", which slows down anything that enters its radius.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted on higher difficulties. Especially dangerous with the lack of a crouch mechanic.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Averted. The androids Alpha and Beta can be knocked down and have a limited number of times that they can be revived, just like player characters.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Getting facehugged leads to your character getting downed, but if teammates are nearby, they can revive you. Out of gameplay, this would be a death sentence. Colonial Marines establishes that, even if a chestburster is removed safely, it still causes cancerous tumors to grow through the subject's internal organs.
  • Glass Cannon: The pathogen "Poppers". They go down in one hit from most weapons, but pack quite a punch if they get close.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The people that Weyland-Yutani exposed to the pathogen.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: Anything tougher than a fodder enemy can take an astonishing amount of gunfire to bring down; anywhere from a few dozen rounds for even the most common Elite Mooks like Prowlers, Spitters, Bursters, or Synth Wardens, up to a couple hundred rounds for tougher King Mook enemies like Warriors or Synth Heavies. Attack Its Weak Point is almost mandatory to kill anything, and even then it takes a lot of firepower (an alien Drone can take several dozen rounds to the head before dropping) or the use of heavier weapons.
  • Interface Screw: Some challenge cards impose this, such as disabling parts of your HUD or causing static to blur your vision like you're watching through an old monitor.
  • It's Personal: Hoenikker implies that one particularly large and aggressive xenomorph, dubbed "Monica", has a personal grudge against him. You have to kill her in order to get to Hoenikker in the second level of the "Priority One" campaign.note 
  • Jump Scare: Prowler xenomorphs love to hide where you can't see them, then pounce as soon as you're in view. Even if you know they're there, it can still be come as a shock.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire is highly effective against xenomorphs. Flamethrowers, phosphorus pop-up mines and incendiary ammo and turrets are good options if you know you'll be fighting them.
  • King Mook: There are a few.
    • Xenomorph Warriors: they resemble a large drone, but have an even larger health pool and an armored shell. Also, unlike drones, they do not retreat from battle after taking damage, giving you no reprieve from their attacks.
    • Irradiated Spitters: a variant of the spitter that shows up randomly in the second campaign. In addition to a sizable health pool, it also spits three globs of acid instead of just one.
    • Crushers: though appearing like an over-sized prowler, they function more like a Bull Fight Boss, charging players and deflecting bullets head-on with their large carapace.
    • Praetorians: very large, bipedal xenos found only in the final three campaign missions. They are heavily armored, requiring you to hit their weak points, or rely on fire and explosives to do damage.
    • Synth Heavies: Heavily armored synthetics that carry either rocket launchers or flamethrowers.
    • Synth Sniper: an armored synthetic with a highly damaging sniper rifle.
    • Stalkers: a pathogen-mutated form of life indigenous to LV-895. They can cloak to get close, then pounce on you, dealing significant damage.
    • Monica, a named Drone with a unique coloration, serves as a Recurring Boss in the first campaign. She's been augmented with experimental injections of pathogen/black goo by Weyland-Yutani, which lets her take a lot more damage than regular Drones.
  • Lighter and Softer: This is one of the few Alien media that doesn't graphically depict chest-bursting at all. In addition, Bloodless Carnage for the human character is played straight until the fourth and so far, final chapter where players discover deceased Marines and have to recover their dogtags, and the game's ending is hopeful despite the Sequel Hook of an upcoming conflict over control of LV-895.
  • Limited Loadout: Characters are only allowed to carry two weapons, the type of which is determined by their class. The options in the pool are rifles, heavy weapons, CQW, and handguns. There is also a sidearm pistol that every class has access to; it has unlimited ammo, but doesn't do much damage either.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Courtesy of a marine gunship to prevent xenomorphs from pursuing the fireteam across a bridge.
  • Mêlée à Trois: At least twice, the players' fireteam will be fighting both xenomorphs and Weyland-Yutani synthetics at the same time, while they are also fighting each other.
  • Mighty Glacier: Synth Heavies are incredibly slow, with all their armor limiting them to a steady walk, but they can withstand an incredible amount of firepower before going down (requiring a few hundreds rounds to bring down if you don't aim for the head, and over a hundred rounds even if you do), and are armed with either flamethrowers or a smartgun combined with shoulder-mounted rocket launchers.
  • Mission Control: Staff sergeant Herrera and the android Esther share this role.
  • Nerf: The pulse rifle in Fireteam Elite holds less ammo than the rifle from the original film, and lacks the under-barrel grenade launcher. Apparently, it's a new model that prioritizes weapon stability.
  • No Fair Cheating: Since the Season 2 Update (December 2021), playing with mods will disable multiplayer modes.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The player may choose their character's gender, and then change it again at any time.
  • Press X to Not Die: Unlike its inspiration, you can break free by yourself (aside from having an ally help you) if "elite" class xenomorphs managed to stun you by pressing the indicated buttons. Those "elite" class xenomorphs are: Prowlers, Facehuggers, Warriors, and Praetorians. Then there's also Stalkers for the pathogen mutants.
  • Sentry Gun: As a Technician, you come equipped with one to deploy and pick back up as you please. There are also consumable ones you can equip regardless of class, though these are not reusable.
    • The Wey-Yu synthetics can also deploy their own.
  • Shield Bash: The Phalanx class has one as their melee attack when their riot shield is deployed.
  • Shoulder Cannon: The Demolisher class comes equipped with one that fires a trio of rockets.
  • Shown Their Work: A number of relatively obscure weapons (and weapons with similar names) from the Aliens universe return in this game, such as the Kramer Assault Rifle - which originally appeared in one of the comics - and the M42, which looks considerably less like a WA 2000 here. Amusingly, a weapon with the same name as one from the much-maligned Aliens: Colonial Marines shows up, with a completely different appearance.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Zig-zagged. There are two flamethrowers available (as a heavy weapon and a CQW), and both are decent options in terms of damage. However, playing on higher difficulties, where friendly-fire is enabled, they can quickly become a liability unless the team has its act together.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology:
    • Colonial Marines (and by extension Armat) technology is boxy, with elements of (relatively) contemporary weaponry such as carry handles, rails, with lots of green plastic and dark gray polymer over the frame. Basically, it all looks related to the standard pulse rifle.
    • Kramer weaponry (which has been bought out by Armat) is even chunkier than Armat weapons, but more rounded, taking inspiration from the exaggerated proportions of weapons from the '90s comics.
    • Weyland-Yutani tech is sleek, white, and rounded, with blue circles, using both the Ascetic Aesthetic and Everything Is an iPod in the Future.
    • Hyperdyne weaponry is much more angular, with trapezoidal cutouts and flat plastic planes.
  • Warm-Up Boss: "Monica", the grey-striped xenomorph aboard Katanga. She is fought halfway through the first campaign, preparing players for more dangerous foes such as xenomorph warriors and crushers fought later on.
  • Wham Episode: The third campaign, "The Gift of Fire". Weyland-Yutani wasn't just experimenting with breeding xenomorphs. They found something even worse on LV-895: an Engineer ship, with a cargo hold full of "pathogen". You know, that black goo from Prometheus? The one that disintegrates or horribly mutates anyone who touches it? And it's primed to launch straight for Earth.