Microprose announce Special Forces: Team X for XBOX 360

PARIS, FRANCE. – January 31st, 2013 — Microprose, a division of Cybergun S.A, has announced its latest title “Special Forces: Team X”, a team based 3rd person tactical shooter. It will be available for both the XBox 360 and PC and as a digital download, later this year. Atari will publish and distribute all versions of the game under an exclusive license agreement.

Special Forces: Team X (STX) is a team centric 3rd Person cover based shooter, featuring brutal firefights between elite squads of special force operatives. STX takes place in tomorrow’s world, one that is infested with conflicts amongst the geo-political power brokers. A world in which conventional warfare is dead, diplomacy is an affront to the hidden agenda of national objectives, and global strategy is accomplished using clandestine military power.

Initially revealed at by G4 at Gamescom in July, it has since won two show awards at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle in August for “Best Surprise Reveal” and runner up for “Best Shooter”.

Created by world renowned independent developer Zombie Studios, STX puts you in the role of an elite soldier in a Special Forces squad. The game features a unique map selection system, enabling players to shape the battlefield by selecting individual environmental pieces, resulting in over 100 combinations of combat zone. STX allows players to vault, mantle and traverse through the environment with the game’s intuitive cover and clambering system.

Featuring exclusively licensed weapons including Kalashnikov, Colt, Famas, Sig Sauer and Mossberg, thanks to our partnership with Cybergun SA. Each weapon offers a large variety of upgrades and all are fully customizable.

STX supports asymmetric game play with 2-4 teams and 5 frenetic game types. Cooperative play between team members is richly rewarded, giving small coordinated teams an advantage in the battle. Players also can choose to take dogs into the firefight with them. Use the dogs of war to guard your back or eliminate the enemy.

Tearaway & Killzone Mercanary Confirmed For PS Vita

There are have been lots of rumours about the death of the PS Vita, but 2013 has got off to a very good start for Sony’s handheld. Two marquee titles have been given release updates in the form of videos and both are looking special.

First up is Tearaway:

The video shows how the game will play and it is obvious that Media Molecule have had a hand in this. It looks absolutely beautiful. Hopefully it is a game that Sony will get behind to help promote its system over the coming months.

Next is Killzone Mercenary:

This has the potential to be a system seller and not just in name alone. This video shows off weapons more than anything, but if you are a graphics nut, then you should be blown away by this. It isn’t even looking great for a handheld, it is just looking great. With the addition of a mix of stick and gyro aiming, it could promise to be the FPS that Call Of Duty should have been on the Vita.

 

Both games should be out later this year

Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Review

It is the gaming equivalent of a 1950’s monster B-Movie. Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable has obvious influences from those movies and proudly displays them front and center.

Of course this isn’t the first EDF, having seen releases on the XBOX 360 in previous years. The two games were well received by fans, due to the nature of being just the right side of bad. They weren’t great games with top end production values, but they were fun, having that canny ability of being so bad they are good, becoming something of a cult series.

EDF 2017 Portable takes that premise and continues it on the PS Vita. It is a simplistic game, missions and targets are obvious from the very beginning and you simply know what to do the second you enter the game. Blast those giant invading ants back to where they came from. It is pure run and gun, there are no cover mechanics, no convoluted cut-scenes, just you and your EDF team, versus the enemy. it could be considered a little too simplistic, but it works.

Visually it hardly stands out either, when you are treated to such gems as Uncharted: Golden Abyss or Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, EDF 2017 looks downright ugly, yet at the same time that is part of its charm. When you look at classic B-Movie films, they look cheap and tacky, they are cheesy and badly acted, but they had that certain charm, which is something EDF 2017 emulates to perfection. You look past the poor visuals and dire sound quality, because you almost expect it. It wouldn’t be the same with obscene levels of polish.

Beneath all of that though is a game that will eat up your gaming time, because it just makes you feel wonderful as you go through exterminating hordes of alien invaders, collecting the pick-ups they drop and upgrading your abilities. The missions are bite-sized, which makes the game a great fit for portable gaming, it isn’t one that you’d want to play in one long session, but it is ideal for a bus or train journey, one last go of something before bed, that sort of thing. It was a criticism of the 2007 original and also its sequel, as ideally you would want a much more meatier affair on a home console. Not here though, too many times there have been lazy ports of bigger gaming series, that don’t seem to quite get the handheld experience, EDF though, it just fits they nature of handheld gaming.

The areas of the game that should be negatives, are the same ones that also work in EDF’s favour. Missions are repetitive, that is true, there isn’t any change of mechanic of which to really speak of, there is no stealth type sections, no glorious set pieces, or anything to that effect. You pretty much repeat the same things over and over, but there are limitations which help keep the challenge going. You are limited to only two weapons in any given mission and how you chose these will decide on how easy or difficult each one can be, along with the basic five difficulty levels you choose before entering a mission. These really do range from a stroll in the (alien infested) park, to all out hell.

It is a game that almost cries out for repeat plays, which you won’t begrudge doing, simply because unloading a ton of bullets into invading aliens never seems to get boring. Another thing that convinces you to play through again and hopefully again, is that weapon pickups change depending on the level of difficulty, so you’ll earn much more powerful rewards on the highest difficulty, than you would on easy. It is a cheap trick, but one that, at the same time works. You don’t feel you have to start on easy and work up, nor do you feel that you are being punished for not playing on the hardest settings, it is all done using rewards for attempting to push yourself.

On the consoles EDF was great fun in split-screen, it really was a game that was better as a shared experience. With split-screen obviously not possible on the Vita, the inclusion of online multi-player is very much welcome. Whilst the game is fun in small doses in single player, the enjoyment factor simply explodes when played with friends online. Once again it is the simplistic nature of the game mechanics and the structure of the missions, you and some friends can just jump into missions, shoot away, finish and leave. It is honestly some of the most fun you can have online with a Vita right now.

There is a bit of a let down with EDF 2017 though and that comes with the price. At £34.99 in the UK and only available on direct download from PSN, it doesn’t scream ‘BUY ME’ and you do get second thoughts about purchasing, especially when it was a budget title on the 360. It is a game that revels in its B-Movie influences, so seeing a triple A price tag does feel like you are being taken for a mug. That said, if you do brave the price tag, there is the value there, you will spend hours playing, bite-sized mission by bite-sized mission. It does offer up a lot more game and a lot more fun pound for pound than, for example Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified.

EDF is a perfect fit for the Vita, despite not being a perfect game. It’s set up for portable gaming, it doesn’t feel like it has been a cheap port with little effort. If you can see past the price point then it is more than worth the space it will take up on your memory card. Gaming should be fun, it shouldn’t be weighed down with trying to have complex story lines and trying to be as real as possible, sometimes it should just be a complete release from reality and EDF does that.

Retro City Rampage Review (PS3 / PS Vita)

Starting life a long, long time ago as Grand Theftendo, an 8 bit remake of Grand Theft Auto 3, Retro City Rampage has changed and developed into a parody of both gaming and popular culture from the eighties and nineties. Developed by an incredibly small team, the fact it exists at all is an example of the fighting spirit taken from the bedroom coders of old.

Retro City Rampage starts in a hail of references and fast paced action and very rarely let’s up through its fairly brief play time. Before completing the first mission you’ll have run over, or gunned down, many a group of crime fighters from years of television gone by and been reminded of a number of classic games as well. And that’s pretty much how the game continues.

Each mission normally involves you driving around the 8 bit style GTA city before heading off to a short mini game which is based on classics such as Gauntlet, Smash TV, Contra and many others. It all handles well and keeps the humour throughout. Driving around is fun, though it is perhaps a little too easy to get the cops chasing after you.

The mission games vary in quality from excellent through to tolerable with the ones focusing on shooting working out the best. Some mechanics simply don’t come off though. The ability to take cover is rendered almost useless by it being difficult to tell if you are crouched or not and hand to hand combat can be frustrating due to the small sprite size. This is especially noticeable when playing on the PS Vita’s smaller screen but at least you can cross-save onto the PS3 instead of getting out a magnifying glass.

Aside from the missions there is a ton of content here. There are different filters to apply and the main character can be customised with haircuts and clothes like in many a GTA game. There is also a section which drops into old style 3D (if you have the glasses). All the games missions can be selected individually to challenge for high scores and there are numerous side quests and arcade challenges to seek out.

There is even an old school arcade containing versions of Bit Trip Runner and a weird Virtual Meat Boy game designed to look in the style of Nintendo’s much maligned, head ache generating, Virtual Boy.

It’s difficult to give an overall impression of the levels as they change so much. What can be said is that they always retain their sense of humour and none of them are long enough to cause lasting frustration. This is also one of the problems the game has. There is, if anything, a lack of identity apparent due to so many different things thrown into the mix.  Almost every line of dialogue or encounter showers you with references. Some only last a line of speech or fly past on a billboard as you drive by.  Often there is so much going on that it’s just a bit hard to take in.

The other problem is that while it will give gamers a nostalgic memory or two there is nothing here doing anything better than before. So there’s a level based on Smash TV or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but they aren’t as strong as the source material and many retro gaming fans may well decide they would prefer to play the originals, while newcomers simply won’t get the reference.

That said it certainly is an enjoyable and chaotic ride from start to finish. It’s like a greatest hits album of nostalgia, only performed by a cover band. You can happily sing along for a while but after that you’ll likely want something a bit more substantial.

It’s very clear that the developers really do care about the project and all the sources which are parodied and that helps most of the games faults to be forgiven. Retro City Rampage is certainly a game that fans of retro gaming should play and you should have a great time – it’s just not likely you’ll return after finishing it.

New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U)

A new Mario game released with the launch of a new Nintendo console is always something to look forward to. However, though solid and enjoyable, the ‘New Super Mario’ brand has seemed somewhat tired of late. Both New Super Mario Bros Wii and New Super Mario Bros 2 were largely forgettable and by the numbers in terms of the quality we have come to expect from the heroic plumber.

With this in mind we approached New Super Mario Bros U with hesitation. We are delighted to say that what we found was a game with all the charm and style of the best in the series. This really is a game worthy of the Mario name.

Right from the first level you can tell something is different. It just feels so much better than other games in the NSMB series. Everything seems to have had that little bit more attention paid to it. The mechanics feel tighter, the music seems stronger and it looks absolutely beautiful – all little things that add up to something which just feels so much better than before.

It all starts with the world map which is now in the more traditional style of Super Mario Bros 3 or Super Mario World instead of the line of levels running from left to right. It helps makes the multiple routes feel more like an exploration and the secret levels see paths winding off into unknown parts with islands popping up and rainbows forming. What is on display shows the imagination of classic Mario and this is also present in the level designs.

Many of the NSMB levels before this felt generic and tired. Here, levels are fast and devious and contain tricks and gimmicks that may only appear in a handful of places, or even just once. This means that players will come away with levels that they remember and love playing. Nothing is overdone and some of what is here equals the very best of Super Mario Bros level design.

One level in particular is set out in a spooky illustration style, a graphical effect which is present nowhere else in the game. One water level might have you dodging a continually circling dragon, while the next will see you climbing up through a series of water bubbles trapped in the air. Everyone will have their own favourites.

The bosses are also much better than NSMB2. The Koopa kids return along with Bowser Jnr and a few others. But this time they take more than five seconds to defeat. Still not as difficult as some of the bosses of old but at least now you feel a sense of achievement for toppling them.

In terms of power ups there are the usual suspects of the fire flower and invincibility star. The ice flower also returns (but is now much better implemented), and the mini mushroom makes very fleeting appearances. Yoshi is also here in both adult and baby form, though he will leave you at the end of a level. The new addition is that of the flying squirrel suit. This allows you to float over large distances and gives you one extra jump while in the air. This subtle difference to the Racoon, Cape and Tanooki costumes of the past allows for some excellent and clever use through the levels – something you’ll have to make good use of to find all the hidden coins.

The game is likely to last you a while as well. You can race through the main levels in three or four days but there are many secret routes to find and getting all three star coins will take a long time. Once all the coins in a land have been found it unlocks a Star Road level which will put your reflexes and brain to an even tougher test. Even with all the levels finished and secrets found we find it hard to believe any gamer would put it away and never play it again. It manages to capture that retro ethos of running through the levels you already know just for the sheer fun of it.

The social and multiplayer aspects of the game also work well. Whenever you do something such as collect all three star coins or get through a level without taking damage, the game invites you to post a message. This message can then be read by your friends and other gamers on the world map. The game also invites you to post if you have found a level particularly tough. This allows for gamers to give hints to each other or post warning in a kind of friendly version of Dark Souls savage system.

Challenges are available such as time trials and the coin attack mode found in NSMB2. There are also specific special challenges such as dodging fireballs or staying in the air for as long as you can by bouncing off Goomba heads. There is also a special boost mode which allows one player to play while the other adds platforms to help them through the level.

Multiplayer takes the form of Coin battle mode as players fight to gain the most coins. The four player story mode in the previous Wii game is also here and still proves as awkward and chaotic as ever. A fifth player can also join in to add platforms via the Wii U pad. The levels of the main game certainly seem to have been designed with single players in mind. It’s fair to say there’s nothing amazing here but they prove fun additions and distractions from the single player story game.

There may not be anything as revolutionary here as Super Mario galaxy but New Super Mario Bros U shows that the old 2D Mario still has the magic when the property is treated with care and affection. In truth this is a fine successor to Super Mario World and could have held the title of something closer to Super Mario World 5 (if we don’t count Yoshi’s Island). That alone should be enough to convince you to own a copy. It’s close but not quite strong enough to warrant a purchase of a Wii U on its own. However, it certainly is a game that every Wii U owner needs to have and by far the most fun Wii U game we’ve played so far.

17 Bit Announce Skulls Of The Shogun (XBLA)

The highly anticipated action-packed turn-based strategy game will be released simultaneously on Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, Windows Surface, and Windows Phone

Indie developer 17-BIT today announced that they will be releasing Skulls of the Shogun worldwide on January 30th, 2013 for Xbox 360, Windows 8 PC, Microsoft Surface, and Windows Phone. The Xbox 360 version will be available for 1200 Microsoft Points in the Xbox Live Marketplace, the Windows 8/Surface version for $14.99 (£9.99) in the Microsoft Store, and the Windows Phone version for $6.99 (£4.99) in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Skulls of the Shogun is an invigorating cocktail of 1960’s-flavored sorcery and strategy. Washed up on the shores of the afterlife, players meet and join forces with vibrant ghost-samurai warriors, magical animal-monks, and mustachioed samurai generals on the way to capture the Skulls of the Shogun in a 15-hour single-player campaign. Skulls of the Shogun also features up to four-player local and online multiplayer battles.

Also, for the first time ever, players will be able to challenge their friends, fight their way through online multiplayer battles, and even take their single-player campaign on the road asynchronously — whether they’re playing on Xbox 360, Windows 8, Surface, or Windows Phone. Called Skulls Anywhere, this cross-platform gameplay has never been done before on Microsoft platforms and will be available at launch on all four launch platforms!

“After three and a half years, Skulls of the Shogun is finally ready to be released,” said 17-BIT Founder and CEO, Jake Kazdal. “We’re ecstatic we could bring Skulls to all four of Microsoft’s platforms, and bring them all together with cross-platform functionality. We appreciate the excitement and patience by all the Skulls of the Shogun fans, and we here at 17-BIT believe the wait will be well worth it.”
Skulls of the Shogun will be localized in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Russian.

Retro City Rampage Review

I’ve got love for you, if you were born in the Eighties

An old school treat for gamers has been released on XBLA to kick off 2013. What better way to look to the future, by pretending to still be in the past!

It seems that the old days are coming back in a big way. Aviator glasses, leggings, and preppy outfits are clothes of choice among the younger generations, not to mention some of the unusual hairstyles that can be seen on the street. The music is still being sampled in modern tracks. But it’s the games that we care about. Pac-man, Frogger, and Super Mario are just a few names from a vast array of games that are still played by many today. Brian Provinciano (of Vblank Entertainment) has a love for the old days that seems to run deep, as he has near enough single-handedly developed Retro City Rampage, which is a treasure trove of the past.

RCR is not a re-release, but is a new old game (make sense of that one…). The idea lightbulb originally switched on back in 2002, and Provinciano started to develop an 8-bit version of GTAIII. In 2007, this was changed into a completely new entity. Modelled on the old arcade cabinets, the game isn’t widescreen, with the edges filled in with the cabinet ‘edge’, included sticker instructions such as how to score points. This is on the screen as soon as the game is fired up, and is a nice touch that sets the tone brilliantly. Even better, is that the setting for this can be changed, so it can take on the appearance of an old TV, or a Game Boy for example, all with matching colour palettes. This visual style carries on into the actual game, and a pixellated paradise. Anyone who has owned a SNES, or anything older will be taken back straight away.

The game itself is basically a complete parody of the last few decades. The Player (as the playable character is called) is a standard thug for hire, and after a robbery, ends up sent to another time (the year 20XX). A basic plot, but arcade games are known for the gameplay, not the stories. In GTA fashion, missions are available at various points in the city (when playing story mode). These mostly seem to revolve around ‘go here, steal this, come back’. It is only in self-depreciating fashion, as that is how many games used to be. Throw in a few racing type sections, platform levels and gambling areas, and RCR has many styles under one roof. There is also a challenge mode (unlocked through playing the story), and a free mode for the hell raisers. The GTA influence also shows in the city, as the view is almost the same as the top down style from the early games. The controls are equally simple, with the left stick controlling movement, and right stick controlling the shooting or punching direction. Pick up and play is an understatement.

The main thing that everyone has been talking about with this game is the old references. It is safe to say that every major franchise from the 80’s and 90’s has been mentioned. The Player ends up travelling through time in a time travelling phone box, before being collected by a ‘Doc’ driving a time travelling Delorean. Weapons training is received from a character who bears a striking resemblance to a certain ‘Snake’, and one of the enemies is a Dr. Von Buttnik. Even the shop to change your characters facial appearance is called MJ’s Face ‘R’ Us! Gamestyle’s personal favourite was during a mission where The Player was instructed to steal certain vehicles in the city. One particularly stylish black number called K2600 had an onboard computer. As The Player enters the car, he is greeted by the message ‘Boss Hoff has left a cheeseburger on the floor for your enjoyment’. Anyone under the age of 21 will probably miss a lot of these references, but everyone over that age will be laughing away and desperately trying to remember what film/game the reference is from. Modern games haven’t been overlooked though, as ‘Splosion Man and Super Meat Boy are both mini games in RCR, in 8 bit format! After completing these, the characters become playable, and can be used in free mode.

The effort that has gone into this game is clear from the start. This game was made by a very small team, and mostly by one man, so tip your hats to them.  In terms of playability though, it is basic, and even tedious at points. But that is what it is trying for. Old games were repetitive, and painfully difficult, and RCR is just trying to replicate this. RCR is meant to be a trip down memory lane for the older generation. Those people who still dust off their Mega Drive collection for a go every now and then, knowing that they own better games and consoles these days. The term often used is ‘so bad, it’s good’. But the younger players will miss the references, and will probably see the game as terrible.  This is a game where the age rating should definitely be taken into consideration.

Joe Danger Touch

HELLO GAMES ANNOUNCES JOE DANGER TOUCH COMING TO iOS JANUARY 10th

Hello Games, the bright UK indie start-up, today announced that everyone’s favorite stuntman Joe Danger will be blasting onto the App Store on Thursday January 10th and releases a launch trailer to celebrate.

Speaking earlier today founder Sean Murray, said; “Releasing Joe Danger for iPhone, iPod and iPad is one of the most important steps for us as a little indie studio. This has been a secret pet project of mine for quite a while, which I’m delighted to let the world play for the first time. It’s such an amazing opportunity for us to be able to reach all those millions of beautiful iOS gamers.”

Hello Games also announced that the critically acclaimed and best-selling Joe Danger has been entirely rewritten for touch devices, to allow players to take Joe on a new adventure.

Sean added “This is a very different Joe Danger experience. It’s a completely new game, with entirely unique mechanics. This isn’t a dumbed down version, it’s stays true to the core arcade ideas of the original, with the same lovely aesthetics, solid framerate and tight controls. It’s a console quality game in your hands”.

Having already had a great reception from press and beta testers Sean added “Featuring 20+ hours of gameplay, 30+ unlockable characters and all of the content of a full blown console release Hello Games is starting 2013 off with a bang on iOS.”

Gamestyle loved Joe Danger on the consoles and are certainly looking forward to playing on the move.

Assassin’s Creed 3 DLC Announced

London, UK — January 8, 2012 — Today, Ubisoft announced that the second Assassin’s Creed III downloadable content pack, The Battle Hardened, is now available on Microsoft’s Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, and will be available on January 9 on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and January 15 on Windows PC. The pack is available for £7.99 on PC and PlayStation®3, or 800MSP on Xbox 360®.

The Battle Hardened pack extends the Assassin’s Creed III multiplayer experience with new playable characters and maps:

  • Three multiplayer characters including the influential Governor, the resilient Highlander and the fearsome Coyote Man
  • Three multiplayer maps including Charlestown, Fort St-Mathieu and Saint Pierre

The Battle Hardened pack is included in the Assassin’s Creed III Season Pass, which includes all five downloadable content packs to gamers owning the original game. The Season Pass provides more than 25% savings versus purchasing the DLC separately. Assassin’s Creed III Season Pass is available for purchase for 2400 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE or £23.99 on the PlayStation® Network. It can also be purchased at GAME in the UK.

Future Assassin’s Creed III downloadable content will feature “The Tyranny of King Washington,” an all-new single-player campaign told through three episodic content packs that lets gamers experience an alternate history of the events following the American Revolution.

It’s 1783 and the American Revolution is over, but the true battle is just beginning. Blinded by a thirst for unlimited power, George Washington has declared himself King. Now, our new hero Ratohnhaké:ton must dethrone the tyrant and return freedom to the land.

All Assassin’s Creed III downloadable content packs will also be available on the Wii UTM.

Assassin’s Creed III is now available on PlayStation®3, Xbox 360® and the Nintendo Wii UTM. For Windows PC gamers, the Assassin’s Creed III Deluxe Edition is available as a digital download and includes all future downloadable content.

About Assassin’s Creed III:

Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution in the late 18th century, Assassin’s Creed III introduces a new hero, Ratohnhaké:ton, of Native American and English heritage. Adopting the name Connor, he becomes the new voice for justice in the ancient war between the Assassins and Templars. Gamers become an Assassin in the war for liberty against ruthless tyranny in the most stylized and fluid combat experiences in the franchise to date.

Assassin’s Creed III spans the Revolutionary War, taking gamers from the vibrant, untamed frontier and bustling colonial towns to the intense, chaotic battlefields where George Washington’s Continental Army clashed with the imposing British Army and the tumultuous high seas. Assassin’s Creed III will feature unprecedented scope and scale.

For more information on Assassin’s Creed III, please visit the Assassin’s Creed Official Website: http://www.assassinscreed.com

Aliens: Colonial Marines Preview

Stop your grinnin’, and drop your linen!

After a long ten years, and more delays than the London Underground in winter, the latest instalment in the Alien franchise is nearly upon us.

A:CM was originally announced in 2001, and was planned to be released for the PS2. After several issues in development, the game was scrapped. In 2006, Sega bought the rights for future Aliens games, and immediately announced that they would be teaming with Gearbox to make a new Aliens game (unrelated to the 2001 title except for the name). News went quiet from this point, with very little being said until 2011, when a release of early 2012 was revealed. The fact that this review is being written late 2012 shows that this wasn’t the case. The release is now a definite early 2013 date, and fingers crossed, this will be the case. But enough of the past, let’s look at what the future holds.

A:CM is tied into the Aliens universe, but is not directly linked to any story that has been on the big screen. Following on from the 1986 sequel Aliens, A:CM shows the arrival of a rescue crew, who are there to check on the marines from the film who never returned. Obviously, this was due to a slight case of death, but it remains to be seen if they know exactly why. So, despite having not seen the films being an inexcusable offence, those poor souls that haven’t should still be able to work out what is going on.

For the fans of the films, the trailers are showing some very familiar sights. The main location for the game looks to be the Sulaco, the spaceship of the marines from the film, and it is just how it was left, even down to Bishops legs still lying on the cargo bay floor. LV-426 will also be visited, and looks just as dark and stormy as in the film. Accuracy is key for anything that is tied in to a major franchise, and A:CM looks to be spot on. This is also featured with the weaponry, as the familiar pulse rifles and sentry guns return, and the custom ‘3 guns taped together’ weapon of Ripley even makes an appearance as DLC.

What really looks impressive so far, is the horror side of the game. The films are tense affairs, with the aliens being masters of sneaking and being anywhere. The looks to have been captured perfectly in the story. This will not be a gung ho battle ala Call of Duty, with enemies running at you head on. This will be enemies jumping out of hidden openings, and sneaking up behind the player. An Aliens game should have the player on edge constantly, and it is looking like this will be the case. Gearbox and Sega have announced that the enemy A.I. will actively try and hide, then flank players wherever possible. Some sections of the game will contain ‘Last Stand’ elements, where the player has to defend certain locations as long as possible, and as the ammo runs low, these moments will be spreading panic like wildfire. It seems there will be a mix of stand and fight, with a touch of run like hell.

The enemies have been announced as being primarily the aliens from the films, along with some ‘new breeds’ that have been mentioned in other fiction, or made exclusively for the game. We can also expect other soldier types, which gives hints as to the possible direction that the story might take. The only concern is that the aliens will be demoted to just cannon fodder. If they end up being as dangerous as a Grunt from Halo, the game could end up being a disaster.

Multiplayer looks a bit more sketchy sadly. A:CM gives the player the option of playing as a marine, or as an alien. However, in the gameplay for the aliens, it seems to be head on rather than stealth. It may still be great fun, but there is also a big possibility that unless people play in the spirit intended, it won’t work properly.

For the fans of release day extras and collectors editions, there is a delightful looking special edition of this game. DLC including characters from the Aliens film, an exclusive level, various paperwork items, a statue and a special collector box all await those who make a purchase.

After some of the dross that has blemished the Aliens name, in both film and game, the series needs a lift. It is baffling that so many professionals just can’t make a decent horror game around these characters. Everything is there, but nothing feels right. The sceptic in us will assume the worse about A:CM, but from what has been revealed, it is actually looking very promising. A proper Aliens game would be a shoe in for one of the greatest horror games ever, so Gearbox and Sega can know that if they do nail this, they will be on to a winner.