Aliens show their age

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iol scitech march 18 Aliens Colonial Marines

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London - James Cameron’s action-packed 1986 hit Aliens was one of the first films that really felt like a videogame - asking cinemagoers to really care about LCD readouts showing how many bullets the marines had left.

The following decades have been filled with attempts to capture the menacing atmosphere on game discs, usually without much success.

Despite a set-up that’s perfect for gaming - heavily armed soldiers versus grinning space beasts - no one has ever made a ‘perfect’ Aliens game.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (PC, PS3, Xbox) takes this task so seriously it’s actually billed as the official sequel to Cameron’s film. It’s the best attempt yet, although it’s by no means perfect.

Anyone who geeked out to Cameron’s space shocker will be sucked in, though. The action wastes no time in re-creating iconic moments from the film.

Within about five minutes, you’re looking through the eyes of a terrified marine inside the misty alien nest where the deadly eggs hatch. The film’s robot suits, cyborgs and giant alien queens all show up in due course.

Play for a while, though, and the wheels start to come off. It’s not long before human mercenaries attack you, which completely deflates the tension. The game’s more successful keeping you interested in shooting aliens.

It has been becalmed in “development hell” since 2008, with various companies wrangling over it.

Five years is a long time in gaming, and Aliens: Colonial Marines shows its age. - Mail on Sunday

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