There's A Reason To Play Aliens: Colonial Marines Again

I know it's a tad impossible, but hear me out. Let's go back to the launch of Aliens: Colonial Marines (ACM). Remember the fury, the outrage, the disappointment. Most of all, remember what was missing.

Now think back to that time, but with one difference. What if Aliens: Colonial Marines was balanced, suspenseful, and enjoyable to play?

Photo: ModDB / jamesdickinson963

That's what one modder wants to achieve, anyway. A few weeks ago he published the first iteration of a complete overhaul for ACM, with an update over the weekend revamping the Xeno's AI.

It's not just the AI that's gotten a tune-up though: the mod reworks the game from top to bottom, including the graphics, animations, xenomorph behaviour, the marines, as well as a complete rebalancing of all the guns.

The idea is to transform ACM from a joke into the thrilling Aliens game it should have always been. Have a read of the recent tweaks to the AI, and you'll get the picture.

Xeno Lurker

  • Thinking rate increased 200% for better reactions
  • Speed and Acceleration reworked with sprinting enabled for more varied movement speeds
  • Pounce distances greatly lowered
  • Melee Encounter completely reworked to be hard, but not impossible. used sooner and more frequently
  • Cover mechanics greatly improved as well as shifting and idle action (like taunts) delays removed
  • Stalking mechanics also improved through removal of delays and increasing completion time windows. Distances pushed much further out so that the Lurker will use even more level space!
  • Melee Attack mechanics reworked to be more aggressive once close
  • Dodging while standing enabled
  • Dodge delay removed
  • Health lowered to help with its greatly increased lethality
  • Hissing, clicking and growling's frequency and volume increased
  • Footstep noise volume increased

  Xeno Soldier

  • Thinking rate increased 500% to compensate for increased speed, agility and wall usage
  • Speed and Acceleration increased slightly to help animation blending
  • Melee Kill factors and chance significantly reduced so that it happens much less often
  • Attacking and flanking mechanic delays removed and state switching modified to prefer Crouch mode.
  • Melee Attack mechanics reworked so the aliens stand up and unleash a fury of claw attacks at anything nearby
  • Stalking mechanics modified to switch back to attacking or Crouched mode more often
  • Retreat delays removed so they return immediately to attack/stalk/crouch/stand
  • Will seek cover if taking damage while standing (and return to crouch quickly)
  • Dodge delay removed
  • Health lowered to help with its greatly increased lethality
  • Damage lowered to help with its greatly increased lethality
  • Hissing frequency and volume increased
  • Footstep noise volume increased

Really says a lot about the state of ACM if modders are increasing the thinking rate of the xenos by as much as 500%. It's worth noting that the changes are meant to rebalance the single-player/co-op campaign, not the multiplayer. "When hosting everyone should have the mod installed, otherwise some players will be disadvantaged/overpowered," the creator warns.

Installation can be a little tricky, so you'll want to read the instructions in full. The mod's just over 111mb, and you can find everything you need here.


    Hahahahah this is as close to gaming PTSD as I'd ever experienced. Oh god this game.

    * I was promised a Wii U version utilising the Gamepad's screen as a motion tracker.

    * Sega Australia was very dodgy and actually allowed a street date break to occur in Australia/ Aussie pre-orders to be collected at EB/etc early, in the hours before the review embargo was actually up in the US and the rest of the world. Australians = lambs to the fucking slaughter

    *More people unwittingly buying what seemed like a cool game (which really wasn't) without a review to read first played right into Sega/Gearbox's hands

    *I got wind of the early release (it was a Friday/Saturday) and while I didn't pre-order the Loader Edition or whatever they bloody well called it, I stood in line and heard cashiers telling punters 'it is apparently really good' etc.

    *I bought the Xbox 360 version of the game, got home, and started playing it as reviews were rolling out. I kept playing, giving them game the benefit of the (ever fading) doubt.

    *To say I was making the best out of a bad situation is putting it fucking mildly.

    *This may be Stockholm Syndrome but the early bit up until the reveal of the first Alien (I think it's in a coccon area?) was actually promisingly well done.

    *"Well, shit in my breakfast"

    *I had enough of an inkling before I booted the game for the first time to crank it right down to Easy mode and finished the game fast.

    *The same cashier, when I told them I was returning the game within the seven days money back period and I *had* in fact finished it, tried telling me they don't usually accept games back after people complete them. An exception was made here. Fancy that. I went and did this again with Bioshock Infinite at some point.

    *The cliffhanger/teaser ending was more of a threat - "WE'LL DO IT AGAIN WE SWEAR. YOU WANNA GET NUTS LET'S GET NUTS."

    *I was then very very weary of Alien Isolation before it released, I still got that game (PC version) day one and in the end was not all that enamoured with the whole thing, but I enjoyed it enough in fits and starts. This is directly linked to my past experience with ACM. If you were lucky enough to have never played ACM, yet played Isolation, you probably thought Isolation was a god-damn revelation.

    *Oh sweet summer child.


    Did I black out for a minute there or was there actually an Aliens Colonial Marines story on this website?

      I was promised a wii u version! Randy even cupped my balls while he told me it would be the definitive version of a franchise he personally adored.

      Randy is full of lies, and has surprisingly small hands.

        Randy is a bold-faced lying piece of shit and I'll never buy a Gearbox game again*.
        I was pretty disgusted that he would do that video on how absolutely thrilled he/Gearbox was to have been granted the rights to Aliens, and how important it was - only to pass it off to some other company while Gearbox focused on Bordermeme 2.

        They didn't deserve the license.

        Also he stared right down the camera and sold DNF, full well knowing what the product was like.
        "me me me if it hadn't been for Gearbox DNF would never have been released me me me"
        Not an excuse!

        *I may buy HL:OpFor one day because it's highly rated

        Last edited 04/04/16 9:49 pm

        Never would have expected a magician to be so full of deceit :P

      I have never before laid my eyes upon jimmies so rustled!

        ...........And another thing.........

        It sullies the legacy of two of the best supporting characters from the movies!!!

    yeah i think ill just stick AvP 2010. better graphics, better story, better AI, and way better combat. also WAY BETTER ALIENS.

      2/3 of ACM was shooting dudes anyway! Even the aliens gave up and packed it in.

        They figured it was an easier way to alienate people.

        This mod makes the pmc's a mild diversion and they fold like paper (unless they have a lot of armour) but are now much smarter.

        But they are not a huge threat, more of a breather.

        Kind of like how the human enemies in the beginning of Predator were demolished by Dutch's team and posed no significant threat.

      The 2010 version was one of the rare games that I didn't finish... I got bored of the repeating melee kill animations, and combined with the fact that the game kept glitching out and crashing, I just gave up on it.

      AVP2 (2001) is the best of the bunch. The campaign was good, the multiplayer was fantastic, and I had 0 issues with it over dozens (possibly hundreds) of hours of SP and MP games.

    The only good thing about this game is the money that received for it going to borderlands instead lol

    wouldn't pay 50 cents for ACM, even with this mod.

    Be nice if they can change/fix up levels as well to be more inline with what was previewed to people before the release.

    I've been playing this mod since V1 and have put over 50 hours into it (after the mod: before I gave up due to the complete shittiness of the vanilla game).

    TemplarGFX has really deleivered and if you even have a passing liking for Aliens you can do a lot worse than give it a go.

    Last edited 04/04/16 10:59 pm

      Well I might as well. I completed the game on hard in only 4 hours. I think I spent another 2 hours in the stale multilayer as well

    Do yourself a favour and get the vastly superior Alien: Isolation, it's the best Alien game ever made

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