How Does Gearbox go from Borderlands 2 to Aliens: Colonial Marines?


If you’re a gamer and follow the industry closely, I’m sure you’ve seen the reviews and overall fan backlash over the poor job Gearbox Software did on Aliens: Colonial Marines (ACM).  I’ve personally played Colonial Marines on the Xbox 360, and I can tell you that the critiques you’ve been hearing about are spot on.  This game just doesn’t look like a next-gen title, and considering it had a 6 year development cycle at the same studio who made the excellent Borderlands 2, I’m perplexed as to how this fiasco happened.

I don’t know about you, but I thought Borderlands 2 was one of the best games (and looking) of 2012, so I expected the same level of polish in Aliens: Colonial Marines.  I think that’s why the graphical failures and overall stale gameplay in ACM are so jarring to fans of the developer.  When you come to expect greatness from a company and you get mediocrity; every nuance gets examined under a fine tooth comb and gets amplified.

Have there been worse looking games in this era on the 360?  The answer is probably yes, but I bet those games came out during the early years of this generation, and didn’t take 6 years to develop.  I couldn’t help but be shocked with how poor this game looks.  I mean I’m talking 2005 type of crap.  Uninspired textures, bad lighting, frame rate skipping, robotic characters, and more plague ACM.

It’s a shame, because I really thought this game was going to kick ass like the Colonial Marines themselves.  I played the multiplayer at E3 and walked away impressed, and to be honest that mode is actually kind of fun, but the rest of the game and its half-assed visuals ruin the package.

Supposedly Gearbox focused mainly on the multiplayer piece, which is evident, and they farmed out the campaign to a less then stellar developer.  Regardless, Gearbox’s name is on the cover, so if I ran that company and this turd was placed in front of me I’d fire the lot of them.  I just don’t get how a game that looks this bad passes QA and gets shipped.  We as consumers can’t be the only gamers who think the final product is less than acceptable.  I guess sometimes deadlines and money are more important to developers than creating great games.

It’s just a shame that a developer like Gearbox, who I consider to be of a high pedigree, let something like ACM loose on the public.  I don’t know about you, but games tend to sell better when people love them versus hating them, so why ship a piece of crap?  Oh well, those aren’t answers for us to figure out.  This makes two strikes against Gearbox (remember Duke Nuke-em), so they should be lucky that they still have the Borderlands 2 franchise to show off what they’re capable of doing.

Oh well.  Enough of my rant.  I hope to get some video footage of this abomination out on YouTube today or tomorrow, and my full review should be out by the end of the week.  Here’s a spoiler for it – It won’t be positive!  You’ve been scratching your head over this game fail…


[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”



Tags : ACMEpic FailsGearbox SoftwareWTF
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.