I was thinking about what could’ve been done to improve the Aliens Colonial Marines game. Everything that shouldn’t go wrong went wrong with that game: campaign, graphics, gameplay, AI, everything.
First of all, the story was kinda lame considering that Hadley’s Hope should’ve been crater since the explosion at the atmosphere processor was compared to the size of Nebraska. Yet in Colonial Marine it barely had a scratch on it. Also, as much as I hate Alien3 and love Hicks, bringing him back was a copout. If they wanted to bring back Michael Biehn they might’ve been better off just retconning 3 and 4, or made Michael Biehn a brother of Hicks. It was easy to bring back Lance Henriksen as Bishop, cause there are probably a lot of Bishop androids.
The Aliens weren’t much of a challenge and weren’t scary. It should’ve been a FPS survival horror. You know, like Doom 3. They should’ve made it like Doom 3. So yeah, AI sucked and should be more challenging than annoying, and it should be be a surprise on where the Aliens will pop out.
This is how I would do it:
You play a group of about 12 Marines in route back to Earth. You would be able to customize your Marine to be a male or a female and customize your armor. You’d be referred to as the Corporal. Kinda like how in Mass Effect how you choose between a male or fem Shepard. Your ship has picked up an SOS, which is strange since there are no colonies in this area.
You guys go to investigate and find a massive Weyland-Yutani facility completely deserted. You find a few survivors, most of them claim they don’t know what’s going on. You discover that facility was built around an Engineer (Space Jockey) temple filled with Alien eggs after they discovered a star map in a cave like in Prometheus. The base is a breeding facility that has been using humans to breed the Aliens. You learn this from one of the survivors who claims to be an environmentalist who infiltrated the facility to find evidence against Wey-Yu.
Then the shit hits the fan and your Lieutenant and Sargent has been killed. So you take command and must lead the Marines out of this hell hole. You literally have to lead, you command your Marines to do things. Each Marine has a skill that can help you get through this mess. You’re have to seal off areas, make a stand and escape. Again, like Doom 3 but with a unit.
But the Aliens are smart and very sneaky, you never know when they’ll attack, even when you think your safe they could be lurking around somewhere. I wonder if they’re should be safe zones you can seal off to hold up, but you gotta check the area to account for any kind of entrance for the Aliens. And the game is very dark, the Aliens are lurking in the shadows.
You have to protect your unit, you have 12 Marines and you have to make sure they get through alive. You can survive without them, but the more you lose the harder it gets. Each has their own little skill that can help you survive. Strength in numbers. One thing Colonial Marines got right was the idea of having to hold up your motion tracker to know where the Aliens are. You also have to be on the look out for ammo cause you could run out and then you’re screwed.
Super Aliens. I don’t know if I wanna do that. Like maybe there’d be some Alien bosses. But unlike Colonial Marines, these have a better explanation on where they came from. The best explanation for different kind of Aliens are Aliens that were cocooned with animals, such as an Alien that birthed from bird so it has wings, or an Alien birthed from a rhino so it has horns. That could be cool.
And of course you deal with Wey-Yu. Also, one of your Marines could be a traitor. In Aliens they always have someone from Wey-Yu to survey, but in this case, we don’t know who it is. So you also have to careful of who you trust. What do you think, too much? Also, if one of your unit gets attacked by a Facehugger, you have to decide whether to dispose of that person or let them long enough to see if they can still help or whether’s hope you can find a way to rescue them. Like maybe in these safe zones there’s a medical bay you can remove the Chestburster. That could be cool.
Also, you could also use the Power Loaders, a lot better than the game. You could use one to find lots of Aliens or use one to fight a Queen, depending on the situation. You know what would else be cool? Getting to drive an APC, that would be fun. One would drive and one would use the guns.
I like to think of this game like a maze, you have to get from place to place in the facility with different objectives you have to get through in order to survive. That’s how I would do it. It should be strategy, scary, and challenging. That’s how I would do it.