Aliens: Colonial Marines is a sci-fi horror-themed first-person shooter. It is being developed by Gearbox Software and is to be published by Sega. With the help of 20th Century Fox, Gearbox Software are hoping this will be the true spiritual successor to Aliens that the fans have been asking for.
The game will feature a lengthy single-player, two-player split screen co-operative or online four-player co-operative original story by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle of Battlestar Galctica fame. You'll play as the humans in the story mode but can play as the xenomorph species in the online competitive multiplayer modes.
After the disappearance of the Sulaco and it is crew, a search and rescue team is sent out to Acheron (LV-426) to investigate and learn the whereabouts of Ellen Ripley, Carter Burke and the rest of the crew. What they find is the same deadly creature the original crew found in Aliens.
The story will be told through the eyes of Corporal Christopher Winter and a four-man search and rescue team exploring and uncovering the natural satellite LV-426. We'll be visiting some famous locations like the wreckage from the Sulaco, the derelict spaceship containing the Space Jockey and Fiorina 'Fury' 161, a foundry facility and penal colony.
Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software was given pretty free reigns with the story and even got to add in his own tidbits to the Alien universe such as the crusher, named after the way it kills its opponents and an unnamed alien that's smarter than the average drone that will retreat behind cover if it knows it will be defeated. Gearbox Software are hailing Aliens: Colonial Marines as the true spiritual sequel to James Camerons sci-fi film Aliens and has said it should tie up some plot-holes and loose ends in Alien 3, improving the overall integrity of the lore.
The game offers single-player, two player split screen co-op, and online four player co-op. The online co-op will feature seamless jump-in/jump-out play for up to four players.
Every marine will be equipped with a motion tracker for it will be essential in finding the xenomorph before they find you. To use the tracker you'll need to raise your gun, but knowing that a xenomorph is close is such a huge advantage it's a risk worth taking.
As the Corporal, you'll have to choose your own squad of four to accompany you on your investigation. You'll have to select four of twelve marines that will have different skills, personalities and firepower unique for each of them. All marines will also be able to carry additional weapons, including:
Xenomorph have relatively low health, so the ratio of deaths for a xenomorph to a colonial marine should be about 3:1. It shouldn't be about kills and deaths though, as a xenomorph it should be about chipping away at the colonial marines health until the unit is destroyed. The xenomorph equivalent to the motion tracker is a pheromone sonar system that will be portrayed as a green haze. You'll play in third-person so you'll get a wider sense of the battlefield and be able to take down colonial marines from all angles. You'll also be able to crawl on walls, through vents and other locations to take down the enemy.
In multiplayer, you can choose to be either a xenomorph or a colonial marine. Each play completely different. Very little is known about the multiplayer yet, but Randy Pitchford told various sites that it's much more objective based than other games.
Production of the game started in 2006. Sega and Gearbox announced the new game on December 15, 2006. On 21st November 2008, Kotaku reported that the title had been dropped after cutbacks at Gearbox and Sega feared the game would go too far over budget and there would be time constraints. However, soon after, Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Studios released a statement saying the game was still in production but a shipping date was still unconfirmed.
As of June 1st 2011 a release time was given. Gearbox gave a tweet saying the ship date was Spring of 2012
On January 26th, 2012 the game was delayed to general time of "Fall 2012". On May 21, 2012, the game was delayed again, this time until February 2013.