So it seems that a crap-ton, or crap-tonne if you want to go metric (each equivalent to one unit of shit-pile), of bad reviews hasn’t stopped Aliens: Colonial Marines from reaching number one in the UK gaming charts this week.
Even from the kinder reviews I’ve seen online – T3 calls it “too rough around the edges” – this one never looked like it would take the gaming world by storm. It was, however, named Game of The Week over at The Blurb just before release – which could mean they’ve spotted a diamond amongst all that rough. Another review over at The Guardian has also experienced more than its fair share of detractors (and by that I mean of the review as well as the game). However, this choice quote from Eurogamer seals it for me:
“It’s shocking stuff, certainly one of the most glitchy mainstream releases of this hardware generation, and the sort of thing that would barely pass muster as a low budget game from 2002. That it comes from Gearbox, a developer with considerable talent and experience, is bewildering. The studio behind Borderlands, one of the freshest and most elegantly structured shooters of the last decade, spent five years making a basic meat-and-potatoes corridor shooter and this is all it could come up with? It’s hard not to think of Duke Nukem Forever, that other long-delayed FPS that fell into Gearbox’s hands, and the comparison isn’t favourable.”
There have been tales, nay; whisperings that all was not well behind the scenes at Gearbox. That as they prepared for another critically-acclaimed smash in Borderlands 2, that A:CM was, shall we say…less of a priority for them – and that it was only the rapid approach of a deadline which would’ve incurred a financial penalty for non-completion of the game which hurried its release and caused all the backlash.
So why the rush release? Why the wildly differing reviews? The answers to these questions and more will, I’m sure, come out in good time; in the meantime if you’re thinking of picking up a copy of the game, make sure to read more reviews than usual – just to make sure.