Sad news, folks: by most accounts, Aliens: Colonial Marines — a game yours truly listed as his most-anticipated game of 2013 — stinks. The long-awaited and highly-anticipated title is being panned by critics across the board for stiff, uninventive and buggy gameplay that adds nothing of value to the once-proud Aliens universe.
So, what the heck happened? According to one new report, the problem may have been that the developer responsible for the project, Gearbox, spent most of its time making the critically acclaimed Borderlands 2.
In a recent interview, an industry source said to be close to Colonial Marines’ publisher Sega, said “Sega was very concerned that the bulk of Gearbox’s resources/manpower was being spent on Borderlands and that they weren’t investing the effort in Colonial Marines that they should have been.”
According to the source, that not only explains why the game is receiving such awful reviews, but also why its ultimate release was repeatedly delayed.
“Obviously, judging from the end result, that issue was never resolved,” the source added.
A recently posted and now very popular thread on Reddit sheds more light on the problem. According to the thread’s anonymous poster, Gearbox didn’t actually perform much work on Colonial Marines; instead, it outsourced a lot of the game’s development to another company, Texas-based TimeGate Studios.
“This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at [Gearbox] could continue working on Borderlands 2,” the Reddit post says.
Although TimeGate boasts on its website that it “is an award winning independent entertainment company,” most of its games — including Section 8 and F.E.A.R. Files — have received middling reviews.
So, has anyone actually purchased Aliens: Colonial Marines? How bad is it?