Jimquisition: A-LIE-ns: Colonial Marines

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Well, this has put a dent in my enjoyment of the game. I bought it this morning and just finished my however many hours long session. If you don't have any expectations going into the game other than, "This is a game about the United States Colonial Marines", then it is actually a relatively enjoyable game; this is ruined by having a demo which, admittedly, looks way better than the game and now makes what was a passible game into a slightly disappointing experience.
Also, to be fair, somethings in the trailer that weren't in the game aren't necessarily too surprising. The weapons table is clearly meant to present the player with a pretty display of the weapons and the third-person turret placement just seems out of place for a game that is otherwise entirely first person. Too bad the graphics and AI don't match the trailer.

This is nuts. Gearbox will have to address this in the coming weeks with the amount of bad press this is getting. I feel sorry for people who pre-ordered and something of good will should at least be extended to them. Honestly, this is one of the worst bait-and-switch jobs I've seen in awhile.

Is it possible for he pc version to mod out alot of the issues with this game or is it not mod friendly enough?

So does the obvious lie about the product count as false advertizing? Customers should be able to get their money back. No other industry would allow "Hey, buy this awesome looking product!... JUST KIDDNG LOL NO REFUNDS!"

It's deliberately misleading the customer.

Nurb:
So does the obvious lie about the product count as false advertizing? Customers should be able to get their money back. No other industry would allow "Hey, buy this awesome looking product!... JUST KIDDNG LOL NO REFUNDS!"

It's deliberately misleading the customer.

Unfortunately, the disclaimer that stuff in demos on youtube may not being necessarily representative of the final product shields developers from being sued for false advertising in cases like this, as far as I'm aware. It isn't necessarily bad, because things do end up changing between beta and release, but the sheer amount of stuff in this video that didn't make it into the final product is just mind-boggling.

Unfortunately, in situations like this, the only way to punish the developers for releasing a broken game is simply not to buy products from them in the future until they shape up.

I remember seeing this and being so psyched for the game that I preordered it. The more I saw, although it didn't live up to the atmosphere of this demo, still appealed to me.

I actually even looked forward to the whole over the top badass thing, I really thought that would add to the game and give the marines more character, but no. So disappointed.

I actually thought that demo looked awesome. Shame they didn't actually do all that work in the finished product.

Wow. I'd never seen this demo before, so reading all the Aliens reviews was just gleeful "Hehehe what a terrible game" enjoyment. But seeing this... now I'm sad. The game that this demo pretends to be would have been amazing.

A better studio should step in and remake the game to be more like the demo.

You keep saying that the AI was good in the demo, but all I say were aliens running head-long into gun fire 99% of the time. I realize that a flanking AI wouldn't work in the confined spaces of the latter half of the demo, but that would create an interesting juxaposition: you finally think you have the upper hand with a turret and a narrow hallway, then you get flanked again. It would have been great.
Even the wolves in Skyrim have flanking in their path finding, and that's a TES game.

I always feel saddest for the developers who worked so hard on the game, who didn't have any say in the design and yet slaved away on it all the same, only watch it flop limply out onto the stage and die, twitching, in front of an audience booing it into submission.

Here's another side-by-side comparison posted recently:

I don't blame Gearbox entirely for this. I guess it's a real clusterfuck when you are a medium-sized studio with a lot of simultaneous projects, more than you can handle in any realistic timeframe, and you've got a publisher threatening to sue you to the ground if you don't hurry the fuck up, cause you've taken 6 years already... They did some of the work, they outsourced some, they thought it was gonna work, it didn't, and Sega just released it. Gearbox really should focus on fewer projects that can get the level of attention that they want (because I guess that NO developer wants to release a game that sucks). It was bad time management on their part. I don't blame them for the demo either, it was quite some time ago, it's not like they released a demo that looked and played like that a week before the game and lied to everyone, the game probably WOULD be like that if they had more time, but then you can't expect a publisher to wait 8 years for a game because a studio put too much on their plate. I guess there's a reason the term "development hell" exists.

Loo, no offense, but as much as A:CM is a turd of a game, I don't think you can get to worked up about the demo shown being different from the final game. That isn't something particular to CM, it happens to loads of games.

Demos typically are build during early builds of the game they come from.. Now, it's worth remembering that games are software. They are liable to be upgraded as they go, which can lead to drastic changes. That's just the way it goes. As game code gets rewritten and upgraded, the nature of the game and the mechanics within change as well.

The most notable example of this I can think of is the Halo 2 E3 demo. If CM's demo is a lie, then Halo 2's demo is the con of the fucking century.

None of what happens in the above video happens in the final game. The New Mombassa levels are designed and scripted completely differently, the weapons have different functionality, the enemies even bleed in a different way.

Does that mean Bungie committed high level fraud with the demo? No. It just means that game development progressed to a point that they felt the Mombassa stuff needed to be reworked in order to better mesh. It happens, and developers shouldn't be forced to keep early build stuff if they feel it's old and outdated.

Just because sequences happen in a different order in the A:CM demo, or sequences were omitted in the final game, that's not what makes it a bad game. What makes it a bad game is the glitchy animations, dumb AI and pretty poor gameplay.

I don't think you can even really single out the visuals in the demo as being a 'lie'. At least, not without holding the rest of the game industry responsible for perpetuating the same lie. When games are demoed, even 360 and PS3 exclusives, they're generally demo'd on high-end developer PCs which run them at a much higher fidelity than consumers could ever hope to experience. Killzone 2 is possibly the UR-example of this, but it's far from the only one. When Watch Dogs comes out, you can bet your sweet ass that it's not going to look like the version Ubisoft showed off at E3 last year. That's just how it goes. Developers and publishers like about visuals all the time. That's something you just have to get used to as a gamer, and try and spot bullshit when it happens. Those Halo 4 screenshots Microsoft was releasing before the game's release? Complete bullshit. They were captured at a resolution the 360 could never hope to match. Battlefield 3? Again, total bullshit. The 360 version didn't have anywhere near the graphical fidelity they claimed it would.

The industry is full of bullshitters when it comes to graphics. This isn't something you can pin on Gearbox alone.

Am I even remotely shocked that this happened when EA was involved? Nope. The scam continues ...

Laughing Man:

Isnt this fraud?

This is fraud. Right?

No cause it's a demo they can cover their arse with the fact that it was a demo that it is not representative of the final product.

I wasn't really watching this game, but with it being an FPS and an Aliens title had it been decent I would have bought it. I waited a few hours after release to find out what the opinion was and when I read some of the early reviews I am glad I didn't pre order. The thing is the more I see of the demo and the build up 'gameplay' videos vs the final product the more tragic this gets.

Just remember these are the folk that gave us Borderlands 2... how the hell did they make such a mess of this game?

It wasn't so much a demo, as a vertical slice. I'm not too keen on that term. I do know, however, at the end of the video; Randy Pitchford claims what we just watched was taken from act 2 of the game.

I played this for around 30 minutes and put it down (am in the process of sending it back to Gamefly, in fact). The part that broke me was the first time you're exposed to a chest burster. It rips is way through a marine and, I kid you not, AS this was happening, a tutorial pop-up, that DIDN'T PAUSE THE GAME, popped up, telling me how to switch weapons. This piece of information was completely irrelevant for the time. And that was where I stopped.

I am a man who has beaten Alpha Protocol THREE TIMES, and I couldn't get through an hour of this craplousy game.

This reminds me a lot of what happened with Halo 2.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Loo, no offense, but as much as A:CM is a turd of a game, I don't think you can get to worked up about the demo shown being different from the final game. That isn't something particular to CM, it happens to loads of games.

Demos typically are build during early builds of the game they come from.. Now, it's worth remembering that games are software. They are liable to be upgraded as they go, which can lead to drastic changes. That's just the way it goes. As game code gets rewritten and upgraded, the nature of the game and the mechanics within change as well.

The most notable example of this I can think of is the Halo 2 E3 demo. If CM's demo is a lie, then Halo 2's demo is the con of the fucking century.

None of what happens in the above video happens in the final game. The New Mombassa levels are designed and scripted completely differently, the weapons have different functionality, the enemies even bleed in a different way.

Does that mean Bungie committed high level fraud with the demo? No. It just means that game development progressed to a point that they felt the Mombassa stuff needed to be reworked in order to better mesh. It happens, and developers shouldn't be forced to keep early build stuff if they feel it's old and outdated.

Just because sequences happen in a different order in the A:CM demo, or sequences were omitted in the final game, that's not what makes it a bad game. What makes it a bad game is the glitchy animations, dumb AI and pretty poor gameplay.

I don't think you can even really single out the visuals in the demo as being a 'lie'. At least, not without holding the rest of the game industry responsible for perpetuating the same lie. When games are demoed, even 360 and PS3 exclusives, they're generally demo'd on high-end developer PCs which run them at a much higher fidelity than consumers could ever hope to experience. Killzone 2 is possibly the UR-example of this, but it's far from the only one. When Watch Dogs comes out, you can bet your sweet ass that it's not going to look like the version Ubisoft showed off at E3 last year. That's just how it goes. Developers and publishers like about visuals all the time. That's something you just have to get used to as a gamer, and try and spot bullshit when it happens. Those Halo 4 screenshots Microsoft was releasing before the game's release? Complete bullshit. They were captured at a resolution the 360 could never hope to match. Battlefield 3? Again, total bullshit. The 360 version didn't have anywhere near the graphical fidelity they claimed it would.

The industry is full of bullshitters when it comes to graphics. This isn't something you can pin on Gearbox alone.

First off, kudos for beating me to the punch. I was shaking my head bemusedly at all the comments claiming this ploy is new somehow to the gaming industry. I thought to myself, "have they forgotten Halo 2 already?"

Second, it's my understanding that Microsoft twisted Bungie's arm to come up with a gameplay demo in time for E3, even though they hadn't really hammered out a playable version of the game yet. They resorted to utilizing a game engine they knew would never work for the final product given the limitations of the Xbox hardware.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/bungie-halo-2-e3-demo-was-a-fake

Third, while I agree with you that it's practically an industry standard, I still think it needs to be changed. There needs to be a little more accountability to prevent or mitigate such misleading practices. Even something as minor as an extra little disclaimer beforehand ("we reserve the right to change anything and everything in the final product") or keeping gamers more in the loop on new developments ("You know that level we showcased? We went back and scrapped it.") would be a step in the right direction.

Finally...ugh...watching that demo...it brings back painful memories. I was still a teenager at the time, and I hadn't quite learned not to believe everything the hype machine claims. You can imagine my feelings of disappointment and betrayal when I got my hands on the finished game. It STILL hurts watching the demo today. I still contend that the demo looks a hell of a lot cooler than the final product.

If nothing else though, Halo 2 taught me a valuable life lesson: always question marketing. For what it's worth, I still had fun playing the game, but I'll never forget what I saw back in 2003.

MrCollins:
In UK law, it is a legal requirement that if you sell goods by sample then, according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979, the product must correspond to the sample.
Now sure how that would work in the case of a video-game, mind you. Also, gearbox could argue it wasn't a sample.
Still, interesting thought, I wonder if we'll ever get an answer.

Indeedy, a further problem is that this is pretty untested. One thing you can say, is that the screenies at the bottom of the steam window for the game, were not/ are not from the game and so their sample is not representitive. I'd say that in the spirit of every consumer law which applies (unfair trading, distance selling regs) , steam and gear box are in breach. Consumers should be able to receive a refund due to misleading practices and Steam is guilty of misleading practices. The Service ( distant seling regs states that d/l media classifies as a service due to no physical goods)supplied by steam (valve/steam is the merchant here and so they are responsible), does not fit the description/is not up to the standard described.

Where this gets iffy and is untested: It could be argued that the game does live up the description given, at least as far as the text describes it, however the clip and screenies do not represent the game. There is no clear disclaimer as to whether they are supposed to be respresentitive or not. The further evidence of the demo may or may not be much use given that steam haven't (at least to my knowledge) used the demo as evidence of gameplay.
The fact that there is no disclaimer, under normal circumstances (tested with distance selling of actual goods, trading of actual goods as opposed to digital services) would be likely to 'mislead the average consumer'. Parentheses cos in UK trading law this is extremely important. Being likely to mislead the average consumer would be a breach, meaning the contract is unfair ie refund due to consumer and possibly action from Trading Standards. This would require A LOT of complaints to Trading Standards and only after exhausting other attempts at getting a refund.

Steam do have a defence in that a contract for digital services does not have to be cancelled because the consumer changes their minds, once services have commenced ie with A:CM; the consumer has purchased and played the game.
This of course "should" fail to be the case if it is demonstrated that the contract was unfair ie Not up to standard, does not match descrip, misleading etc. etc.

I say "should" because this is AFAIK mostl, if not, entirely untested.

If you are not happy with A:CM (and bought it):
1. take screenies. Steam store, pics, videos, description, actual game pics.

2. Complain through usual channels to steam, lay out your reasons, refer to trading regs (they are easy to find, lots of .gov.uk websites display the info clearly which can be found easily with google or whatever). If they refuse, you write to them in good old paper and snail mail, again stating reasons and asking for a refund. If this fails Try to telephone them.

3. If that fails, write to or phone the Office of Fair Trading, again easy websites, or Consumer Direct (CD are like the consumer side reception and help desk for OFT). They have phone numbers and contact details aplenty on their website.
If enough people complain to OFT having exhausted other options, then steam will be forced to deal with it, assuming OFT agrees with your complaint.

4. ????

5. Profit...well, get your cash back at least, with luck.

N.B If you live in and/or purchased the game in the UK/ using UK currency

Well, the whole point of a demo is to make you buy the game... unfortunately, I don't give a crap about demos in general. Still, this doesn't surprise me, not after seeing all the other crap game companies pull to get you to buy their crap and suck all the money they can out of your wallets.

I didn't know, you guys, I didn't know. Damn, that demo was sooo good, I felt the pain.

It seems to me that much of this is our fault. As gamers, is it not our duty to exert the vigilance and willpower to protest/boycott games such as this? Of course, we fell for the ploy on this game, clearly, a web of lies that truly did have us viewing a end product that simply wasn't there. However, they have their money, but, perhaps it would be wise to be very wary of games that look too good to be true in the future.

In this particular instance, I have to wonder whether or not we have a collective voice strong enough to show that we, being gamers demand a better service. Jim Sterling has said, last week if I am not mistaken, that companies do not exist to make money, they exist to provide a service, and when that service is not up to snuff, then we are under no obligations to accept it.

In this instance, it would be a powerful statement to simply not buy this game, and save your money for better things, and perhaps not pre-order the next big thing, and wait to see what reviews and sentiments come out, exert the willpower to make the better judgment until the time is right, and buy a game you feel you can enjoy to it's fullest.

That really sucks because I was considering grabbing this game too. This reminds me a little bit of the playable demo for Gran Turismo 5. Now, don't get me wrong, GT5 is pretty damn fun and I still highly recommend buying it but like.. the demo looked.. flawless. The game itself wasn't bad but clearly had some parts that seemed rushed like poor textures on one of the lotus's for example. Also there was something wrong with the shadows and how they displayed on cars which wasn't an issue in the demo. Again, just minor stuff and not game breaking because for the most part, the final product looked and played like the demo, that is, as advertised, unlike Aliens here.

Here's... here's something I need help with. Those who played the game on PC, did you play it with Steam? I think you have to. That's besides the point. Just do me a favor everyone who played the game on PC and click here.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/49540/

... is it me, or are they using screenshots of the Demo to sell the game?! I mean I get it, you have to put something up to hype the people into purchasing the game as a pre-order. But now that we have the fucking ugly truth, doesn't that become more of a case of bait and switch? Should steam and anyone who used the Demo screenshots to hype the game change them?

We need much stricter laws about how companies can behave. Lying to us should get them taxed at 100% income for a year.

Dascylus:
I will be buying the game regardless.
Not that I don't trust Jim... In fact the timing of it all lends credit to the idea that he has been sitting on this for a while.
I'm guessing he played the game pre-release for review purposes but had to sign some form of NDA that prevented him from telling us sooner...
But anyway, I love all things Aliens so it's on my purchase list.

The game you are going to buy is nothing like this video. Don't do it to yourself! If you can't help it though, lease let us know what you think.

I played it and enjoyed it. Got it through lovefilm and was a fun weekend spent playing it, but a lot of it is nostalgia. Also i didnt buy it, just rented it.....but i do love the sounds of the the pulse rifle, smart gun and motion tracker. :-)

The reason these games suck is because of the story and the inability to write an original story. You dont need to be close to Aliens the movie. Do your own thing. Come up with your own story with all original characters. Aliens sells on the creatures, create something original around them. Its why the movies are getting worse, get rid of Ripley, give us a new character.....but because they have to shoe horn her into every movie they have to deal with all that baggage that comes with having her in the movie.

thetenet:
I love the series too. I am sure it will survive one crappy game and whoever tries to make an aliens game in the future will have this demo as a solid foundation.

that would be awsome if another company (preferably Valve) swooped in and remade the game based on the demo. Also they should make it so the aliens try to stay out of your field of vision and attack from behind or blindside you. If anyone can do it properly its most likely Valve.

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