The truth behind Aliens: Colonial Marines development
Company staffers explain what went wrong
After the ridiculously lacklustre reception of the potential-packed Aliens: Colonial Marines, Gearbox and TimeGate haven’t officially responded, but some company staff members (who remain anonymous) have shed some light on what happened with the game.
The game itself looked incredibly promising during preview events and demonstrations, yet the retail release was a far cry from what was shown. The game features shoddy textures, simplistic AI and lacked all the dynamic lighting, atmospheric effects and general polish that the demo showcased.
Evidence of this can be seen here: What happened to Aliens: Colonial Marines!?
“There was obviously not four years of work done on the game,” said one source. “A lot of assets just didn’t seem like they fit there,” the source noted when speaking about how Gearbox simply handed over a collection of obtuse game assets.
The sources also explained that the game script was constantly being rewritten and entire levels to be discarded.
“For a couple months, we were just kind of guessing,” said one source. “It’s really weird to work on a game when you don’t have a basic idea of how things will work.”
“There was also the ‘too many chefs’ syndrome when it came to gameplay, where too many people gave feedback on both ends and it ultimately led to further delays,” said a source.
With regards to the impressive E3 demo shown, the sources explained that the demo had been running on a powerful PC – far superior to that anyone could’ve owned.
“We were told many times through demo production, ‘Don’t worry about performance, just make it awesome,’” said one source. “There was a reason [the demos] were never playable.”
The game then had to be stripped down for consumer PCs. “We were constantly cutting back more and more in terms of texture, shader and particle fidelity, in order to fit into the jacked memory restraints,” said another source.
A Gearbox source said that the team knew the game was a disaster, but couldn’t ask for another extension after already being in development for six years.
“The game feels like it was made in nine months,” said a source who worked on the project. “That’s because it was.”