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YMMV / Aliens: Colonial Marines

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  • Ass Pull:
    • The revelation that Hicks is still alive, having been abducted from the Sulaco by Weyland-Yutani, and that the corpse recovered in Alien³ was apparently a body double. This revelation is handwaved by the character as being a "much longer story". Assuming that the corporation was able to find the Sulaco and find a suitable body double for Hicks, why would they go to all the trouble to abduct one person? And while they were aboard, why didn't they take Ripley, Bishop (who is their product, and could give more information on the mission) or Newt (who was the only survivor from the colony) with them too?
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    • Stasis Interrupted attempts to explain Hicks' rescue, but its explanation simply causes it to make even less sense than before. Somehow, the Queen laid a facehugger egg in the cryopod chamber room, which is not only not big enough for her to fit into, but is several rooms over from the cargo bay. A colonist from the Legato just happens to take Hicks' place (who is now wearing different clothing). The evacuation order for the Sulaco is now not only caused by a fire in the cryopod compartment, but a firefight between Stone/Turk and Weyland-Yutani PMC's that nearly kills a facehugged Ripley.
    • The Hadley's Hope colony surviving and being still semi-functional was explained by the devs as the 40MT blast (aptly described by Bishop as "this area's gonna be a cloud of vapor the size of Nebraska") being a vertical explosion, a claim that simply doesn't hold up with was established and actually seen in the movie.
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  • Contested Sequel: Despite the fact that the game is reportedly considered as canon by 20th Century Fox, fans rejected it for being slow, buggy and nowhere near the concept it was made out to be in early previews and demos. After all that's said and done, and the initial hatred died down, as well the highly received DLC and patches, the game still won its own fanbase, though some remain bitter towards the game regardless.
  • Critic-Proof: In spite of the largely negative response to the game, the title was still the 26th best-selling video game of 2013. Though this might have had to do with their aggressive pre-order pushing, misleading trailers, and the post-launch review embargo.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The final level (and boss battle) of the game involves Winter running around the cargo bay of Michael Weyland's personal ship as a xenomorph queen chases him around. While you still have all of your weapons, you cannot make a dent in her with any of them - you must run around the deck and activate a series of switches before using the final one to (attempt to) knock her out of the cargo bay doors into the upper atmosphere. Fans hoping to have a retread of the Ripley/Queen powerloader fight from Aliens are likely to be disappointed (although a similar scenario appears earlier in the game when a loader must be used to defeat two Ravens).
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  • Genius Bonus: The Raven doesn't look or act very raven-like, does it? That's because it's named for older, variant definitions of "raven"—"to seize violently" or "to tear apart," which is where the word "ravenous" is derived from. Given that it does the former and looks like it received the latter, it's simultaneously fitting and ludicrously obscure.
  • Goddamned Bats: The Weyland-Yutani PMCs have impeccable aim and can kill you quite quickly.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Hudson's cameo where he's cocooned and had already been chestbursted could be this due to Bill Paxton's death from heart surgery in February 2017.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: At one point in the Stasis Interrupted DLC, Lisbeth manages to evade an alien by hiding in a locker, pressing back, and hoping it doesn't sniff her out, which would be a common tactic in Alien: Isolation.
  • Internet Backdraft: When it was revealed that assets and money that were supposed to go the creation of this game were instead directed to other projects done by Gearbox, fans were not happy at all and promptly called out Gearbox and Randy Pitchford for the mis-advertisement and lying engaged by the developers. Randy's comments after the game came out where he criticized gamers for apparently causing their own Hype Backlash did not sit well either, and many players, fueled by frustration, ditched supporting Gearbox.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Press Backspace to Fix Videogame", after it became widely known in 2018 that the game's infamous Artificial Stupidity was partially the result of a single spelling error in the game's code wherein the word "tether" was misspelled as "teather".
  • Narm:
    • The Boilers are blind creepier-looking Xenomorphs that can walk right up to you and explode. It's too bad that when they walk up to you, they do this.
    • The game's obsession with modern military aesthetics and clinical jargon, like constantly saying "Rhino 2-3 Actual". It tries way too hard to ape Call of Duty rather than the Mildly Military "'Nam in space" tone of the original film, despite taking place weeks after it.
    • Turning on the skiff fuel pumps in Stasis Interrupted. A moment that's supposed to be creepy, but is made absolutely ridiculous by the cheesy twinkling piano and the hide'n'seek Xenomorph scurrying between pillars.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • People were using the Never Trust a Trailer mentality that this game brought about for the game's pseudo-sequel, Alien: Isolation - even though Isolation actually has a playable demo and was made by a different studio. Likewise, criticism of Gearbox exploded after this game's release. Recall that ACM has worse reviews than Duke Nukem Forever.
    • In addition, the scandal around ACM would forever tarnish Gearbox and Randy Pitchford's reputations, which most certainly played a part in the poor performance of their next major game, Battleborn.
    • As if the game's reputation wasn't bad enough as is, it got even worse when it was discovered that a 1-letter spelling error wrecked the game's AI - suffice to say Gearbox won't be hearing the end of this anytime soon.
  • Nightmare Fuel: It's to be expected given the territory.
    • During some footage shown at E3 and in the demo, there is a sequence in which, while you and other marines are fighting the xenomorphs, a massive Alien Queen shows up out of nowhere, grabs an unlucky marine and rips the poor bastard in half, before it turns to you and charges at you. This is not in the final game.
    • Something that is in the game, however, is a scene where scientists are trying to calm the angry Queen, which inevitably goes downhill once the power fails. She ends up massacring the scientists trapped in the room with her (leaving blood spots in their wake), and tries to break out of the room to attack Winter and O'Neal.
    • "The Raven" is the closest the game gets to being classic Survival Horror. Even with the silly Boiler animation, the concept that you could be vaporized at any second can put players on their toes.
      • Heck, the Raven itself! It kills you instantly if it catches up to you, and at the beginning of the stealth level, you're treated to a close-up of its face. Its not pretty.
    • The Lurkers manage to create tension when they appear, as they quickly sneak around in shadows and behind cover and try to pounce you. This is one of the few occasions when the motion detector is actually useful.
    • The "Stasis Interrupted" DLC begins with the player character waking from cryosleep with a dead Facehugger on her face. She is then forced to watch one of the mercenaries who hijacked her colony ship and infected its whole crew with chestbursters while in cryosleep burn a fellow colonist to death with a flamethrower, while the poor woman—totally unaware of what's been done to her—screams that she doesn't understand what's happening.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Due to Artificial Stupidity, the xenomorphs aren't nearly as threatening as they were in the films. Case in point
  • Older Than They Think: While the fact that you fight human enemies was a major complaint about the game, human enemies have been part of almost every major Aliens fps game, including Alien Trilogy, the Playstation Alien Resurrection, and Aliens vs. Predator.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: It was originally presumed that this would be Averted, as with other games in the Alien series, but sadly, it became an example.
  • Sequelitis: Colonial Marines received generally lower scores on average than the acclaimed Alien vs. Predator series of games (including the 2010 installment, which while considered So Okay, It's Average, was playable and nowhere near Colonial Marines' bugginess).
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: A YouTube reviewer named DXFan619 convincingly argues that the game is basically a fresh coat of paint on F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, which had the same lead designer.
  • Snark Bait: Despite the patches, updates, and general improvements to the game after the disastrous launch, a quick look at the Steam reviews (where the game now only sold as a collection compilation bundle along with all the DLC) makes you think of how players in general regard the game.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The Stasis Interrupted DLC has generally been regarded as an improvement over the main campaign. Not only does it benefit from the recent general patches to the A.I. and engine, but the level design has also been improved to increase the tension and create more challenging fights, such as by having you have to fight alone for a large portion of the game instead of always having multiple NPCs to draw agro from xenos and mercs, as well as having more open areas where xenos can attack you from all directions.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The Apocalyptic Log in No Hope in Hadley's features commentary by a woman concerning her husband's attack by some thing... And then it turns out that it's Newt's mother, leading her family to the cafeteria. Given what happened in the comic tie-in Newt's Tale, there was only one way it was going to end.
    • Bella's death, already upsetting as it is, was made worse by the fact of all the measures that Winter and O'Neil employed to avoid it.
    • Lisbeth discovering her parents' corpses in the "Stasis Interrupted" DLC. Even if she's only a character for a short time in the story, it's difficult watching her discover her father draped over her mother's facehugged/bullet-ridden body, and her subsequent breakdown.
  • That One Boss: The Raven. Its most criminal sin is making using a power loader a living nightmare. The boss battle starts as it means to go on, and it starts with an in-game cutscene of your character taking ten seconds to climb into the driver's seat without invincibility frames, so if you started the battle with full armor it's pretty much guaranteed to be depleted before you can even drive the thing. Once you're onboard, you sloooowly turn around while respawning helper aliens nimbly dart around you, attack you from behind, and force your power loader to veer off-course while you're trying to guard against the actual boss. You have no idea what the difference is between your two attacks, as you haven't used a power loader before. You have no idea what the effective range of your attacks is, and most of them sail right over the tubed heads of the minion xenomorphs. You have no idea where they are, since the motion tracker attached to the loader jumps around all over the place and half the arena is under a shadowy overhang. The game gives no feedback on what you're supposed to do and whether it's working. And when you repeatedly bash the boss like you're supposed to, it constantly clips out of the arena. And you can tell Gearbox discovered that through playtesting, because it then immediately teleports right back inside the area.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A common criticism of the game is that the titular aliens are only the main enemies for a small portion of the game. It's not as bad as detractors make it out to be, though—for instance, the entirety of Hadley's Hope is nothing but aliens, and they're often engaged in an Enemy Civil War with Wey-Yu mercs later in the game.
  • Ugly Cute: The Boiler's waddling is strangely adorable, if only because it's sort of foolish looking.
  • Uncanny Valley: A number of the characters like Winters and Cruz, are noticeably bulky in bodily and facial proportions, almost in a slightly stylised way. Thus, when Bishop and Hicks, modelled after the actors who portrayed them, and thus with realistic proportions, show up and interact with them in the same scenes, something about it just looks off.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the backlash for the main game, Gearbox tried to win players back through the subsequent DLC's. Whether they succeeded or failed is still up for debate, though while some would argue they redeemed the game, others say that it was too late to save it. Regardless, the patches and DLC did fix some problems with the base game.
    • The 4-gigabyte 1.03 patch. In addition to improving many of the graphics in the game, along with adding a film grain filter to make gameplay smoother, the patch reintroduces elements seen in the E3 demo (such as the cracking glass when the Marine hits the Sulaco umbilical in "Distress") and greatly increases the AI of the xenomorphs on all difficulty levels (to the point that the new Recruit difficulty is more difficult than the vanilla game's Ultimate Badass Mode).
    • The Bug Hunt DLC received a very favorable reception, with the players who were still in multiplayer stating that it was even better than the base game, thanks to its frantic gameplay, new maps and increased difficulty. The Movie Map Pack DLC also got a good response, thanks to being chockful of Continuity Nods and Easter Eggs.
    • The Stasis Interrupted DLC received a lot of praise for not only clearing up a lot of lingering plot issues with the main game, but also ratcheting up the tension and making the gameplay much tougher. It even had people who were deadset against the game from the beginning praising it for being a step in the right direction.


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