The Teardown: Aliens: Colonial Marines


My dog pissed on me once. I don’t know why. I usually have to pay a tiny Asian woman to do that. However, this showed me early in life that your favorite things won’t hesitate to drop trou and use your body as a glorified toilet. However, nothing has prepared me for the Cleveland Steamer that Aliens: Colonial Marines begrudgingly dropped upon my chest.

Disappointment in the Alien franchise isn’t new to anyone who is loves that universe. Outside of the classic Alien and Aliens, there hasn’t been much to rally behind. Sure, last year’s video game Alien: Isolation was fucking fantastic, but that does little to offset Alien 3 and the Aliens Vs. Predator. Whoever wins, we lose but no one won that shit.

Aliens: Colonial Marines pretends to be some sort of canonical sequel to Aliens, the film where the xenomorphs are an actual threat. These penis monsters will attack you in droves, attempt to slap fight you, and then they explode. Forget the acidic blood. It’s just Kool-Aid here. Actually, you’re more likely to die from Kool-Aid induced diabetes than the xenomorph blood in Colonial Marines.

Let us not forget that one xenomorph killed an entire crew except a cat and Sigourney Weaver. That speaks to how damn badass Weaver was and still is but mostly to how terrifying and deadly a single xenomorph is.

When there are literally hordes upon hordes of these literal dick heads and the most they can do is scratch and lightly annoy you, there are some fucking issues. “Annoying” shouldn’t be the word for this kind of creature. “Terrifying” and “phallic” are usable. Not “annoying.” Imagine being that guy aboard the Nostromo and saying to the crew, “Gee, guys, this alien is just… she’s just kind of annoyi–.” You’d be jettisoned before you even finished your sentence.

I'm putting you out of your misery, poor xenomorph.
I’m putting you out of your misery, poor xenomorph.

It fits as well with the universe as well as shooting fits into video games, as to say it doesn’t fit at all. Weapons have no kick, but, then again, I guess you don’t really need to have hulking guns to take down these glorified rabbits. You’ll be exclusively shooting and pushing buttons for duration of this elongated torture, so it’s a drag that it’s all terrible. Button pushing is actually a highlight and is, in comparison, the best thing ever. I think Stockholm Syndrome is finally settling in and it’s my only known syndrome but my favorite.

I can’t succumb to the Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to… just about anything else in this game. The game looks abhorrent and is easily a contestant on the “Worst Looking Game of 2001” despite coming out in 2013. The puppet people animate like Chuck E. Cheese’s animatronics and are about half as sexy and appropriately convey just as much life as those pedophile-esque robots. In fact, Michael Biehn confirmed as much in a post-mortem interview.

Hicks, you're still dead to me. That's a compliment.
Hicks, you’re still dead to me. That’s a compliment.

Bastardizing the anti-war message in Aliens without any gravitas is bad enough but completely retconning the film’s canon is pretty much unacceptable. Let me reiterate that. They didn’t want to tell their own bad, fucked up story. They wanted to actively fuck up the beauty of the film 27 years later. Somewhere in the Marianas Trench, James Cameron just winced a bit knowing his classic was being tampered with (but then he stopped caring because, hey, he’s a billionaire).

They say it is better to be pissed off than to be pissed on, but no one said anything about being both. My dog at least was a good dog for the rest of his years after he gave me a golden shower while Colonial Marines deserved to be euthanized right after its initial install. It disrespects the franchise that already disrespects itself enough. The most colonial thing about Colonial Marines is that it resembles a colon in the fact that it stores a lot of poop within the disc it is delivered on. I can’t even muster a cliché Aliens quote to end on.