Despite Accusations, Aliens: Colonial Marines Will Indeed Have Female Marines, Gearbox Says

You'll be able to play and customise lady marines in Aliens: Colonial Marines, developer Gearbox assured fans during a panel at PAX Prime today. Youcan hop in the clunky metal shoes of Jennifer Redding during co-op play and even customise an array of female avatars for competitive multiplayer.

Gearbox didn't want to announce anything today, but they felt they had to, CEO Randy Pitchford told me in a recent meeting.The decision to reveal the remaining three cooperative characters (including Redding, who you can see in the above concept art) came as a reaction to a growing online petition that accused the first-person shooter of excluding both playable female characters and female character customisation in competitive play.

The petition, which currently holds over 3,800 signatures, appears to be supported by several of the 1986 Aliens film's actors and actresses that performed the roles of marines.

The online controversy was first stirred by a post-E3 interview where senior producerBrian Burleson had claimed there were no playable female characters. What he meant, Pitchford told me, was that there were no playable characters in the E3 demo, which only featured team deathmatch.

It was always the plan to include playable female characters, Pitchford told me. Working with female avatar builds, he explained, is beneficial for both visual diversity — animations and silhouettes that differ from male characters — as well as gameplay diversity. Females have a different skeleton and therefore move differently than the male marines.

Competitive multiplayer will feature a whole range of both male and female characters, all of which can be customised. You'll be able to write on your gear, customise your armour, and even attach a flamethrower to your pulse rifle if you felt so inclined.

Because the announcement is earlier than the team expected, some details are still being ironed out. Subtleties ranging from mohawk hairstyles to the stance of the lead co-op hero are subject to change. But Gearbox felt the need to clarify that there will indeed be both a playable female marine in co-op, as well as customisable female avatarsin the game's competitive multiplayer mode.


    Good. Should have been like this from the start but good to see they're putting it in now. Vasquez is one of the best known Marines right behind Hudson and Hicks, which only reinforces the point that women are the equal of men in the Colonial marines! :)

      The point of the article is that it was like this from the

        Sorry but if it truly were then their initial showing should have reflected this. Not buying what theyre selling.

          considering it's on the concept art, I'd say they're not lying

          I have to agree with meh, the fact that they have concept art of it shows they've been planning this for months.

          As for why their initial showing didn't reflect it, it wasn't ready yet. The same with every other game that has features that aren't shown in the inital showing.

    As it should be. Women are tough as nails in the Alien universe, and for Gearbox not to include them in the game is just unthinkable. Even if Pitchford was a raging misogynist, it's a part of the game's context to have hardcore female characters; I sincerely doubt they'd be left out of a game which claims to be Alien canon.

      Absolutely, they've also been centric to the themes of the movies. Motherhood was a big thing for Cameron with Aliens, the whole movies theme revolves around it.

      Absolutely. Gender roles is a massive part of the alien franchises. And HR Giger's work is all penises and vaginas.

    Good to know that there'll be a female co-lead. Sucks that it seems like you can't play as her instead of the male lead for solo play though.

    "Brian Burleson had claimed there were no playable female characters. What he meant, Pitchford told me, was that there were no playable characters in the E3 demo, which only featured team deathmatch."

    I love how one comment got turned into an apparent campaign against the company. Did anyone bother to clarify?

    Only if she's a sassy tough Latina (voiced by Michelle Rodriguez)

    Still no bonus Ripley skin,

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