To be fair, at this point I haven't completed the entire game. With that being said, I think I could safely conclude that I have put in enough hours to make an informed decision about the quality of it (After gaming for so long, I don't need to beat it to tell whether or not the experience is enjoyable for me). Also I haven't played the multi, as I am more of a single player experience kind of gamer.
I don't really understand what people were expecting from this title. These days, it's more about the anticipation and build up BEFORE a game's release than the actual experience of the game post-release, it would seem. I think that may contribute to why this game has received such poor reviews all over. Beyond that, I don't feel like it deserves the "Waste of time", "Unplayable" "Awful" reviews people have given it.This game took a while to develop for sure. But it was made specifically for nostalgic fans of the Alien saga who are looking to experience an extension of Cameron's "Aliens" hit film. I think they got it.
The story extends off of Aliens, with Michael Biehn's Corporal Hicks sending out a distress call to other Colonial Marines, and you answering it by attempting to provide relief. Without going into detail, the story focuses on a set crew of characters whose voice acting though lackluster, gradually help you immerse yourself into the atmosphere. The "No Marine left behind" mentality weaves in nicely with orders and actions take to create tension among the characters, and contributes to the overall story arch. Whether or not you can take it seriously is up to you (I was able to, but then again I am an Alien fan boy).
I will say that there are some apparent issues. There doesn't seem to be enough tutorialization in the gameplay (such as weapon selection and secondary fire equiping). There are also some key moments in the game where you are just thrown in and expected to know where to go or what to do, which can always lead to frustration.
But let's be honest, if it isn't battlefield or call of duty, everyone turns into the harshest critic. You have non-experts making expert opinions on ticky tack elements such as frame rate, bullet detection, and graphic pixels. Do they know what goes into making those things work when there are deadlines to work within in today's fast paced market? Would they be willing to wait a little longer for a higher quality release? Re-creating a science fiction battle atmosphere while focusing on other elements of quality may be a bit harder than it looks, and may also entail different gaming preparation than say COD or BF.
I was pleasantly surprised with the arsenal options. Going into this game, I was directly making a comparison to the 2010 release "Aliens VS Predator" (Specifically the Marine campaign). I feel like they adopted some aspects of this title, and expanded on it. And they did it well. Weapon selection, upgrades, stats and customization really adds some depth to the game. You can choose from secondary fire functions such as underbarrell shotguns, tazers, flame throwers and grenade launchers, and if you are like me, you may find yourself sitting down and considering which weapons and secondary fire functions work best depending on which scenario you find yourself in. And for the Alien nerds out there, you can even pick up what they call the "Legendary" weapons (guns used in the Aliens movie), as well as explore areas of Hadley's Hope the Marines infiltrated in the movie (Which to me is just candy).
Enemy AI don't just include aliens. You will find yourself up against the Weyland Yutani mercenary forces (a part of the game that I admittedly didn't care for, though it is nice to see variety in types of enemies you will face), different alien types (including bosses and Aliens you must sneak past in a part of the game that I thought broke up the pace nicely). The game definitely doesn't function as well as an FPS against humans as COD, BF, or even games like Socom or Killzone. But I think that is where the problem lies. People all thought that it would. Instead of just recognizing it as a stand alone sci fi FPS specifically designed to entertain alien franchise fans and pay homage to one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, they wanted another COD multiplayer experience. Well sorry if this isn't a copy of the same old thing you've been playing for years now. I can't speak for the multiplayer, but why should I? This game just offers that because if it didn't everyone would be complaining about the lack of multi.
With all of that being said, if you're looking for an Easter egg including, action focused FPS about the experience of the Colonial Marines as an extension of, and immersion into the Aliens movie, this title shouldn't disappoint. I would say at the very least, borrow it from a friend and make a weekend out of it. No it isn't an amazing title, but if you keep an open mind and accept this game for what it is, there is certainly a lot to be enjoyed about Aliens: Colonial Marines.