Aliens: Colonial Marines Was Passionless, Says Michael Biehn

Aliens: Colonial Marines Was Passionless, Says Michael Biehn

corporal hicks

Corporal Hicks returned for Aliens: Colonial Marines, but Michael Biehn didn't have any fun reprising his iconic role.

Back when Aliens: Colonial Marines was the upcoming game to get excited about, it was touted as an authentic Aliens experience. The game would be canonical in the Aliens universe, take place in the ruins of LV-426, and featured the return of Michael Biehn as Corporal Dwayne Hicks. These details garnered a lot of support of long-time fans, at least until the game actually reached store shelves. Many individuals behind Colonial Marines have since disavowed the experience faster than you can say "Game Over, Man", including Biehn himself.

"I did a voice in the Aliens game that they made," Biehn told Game Informer. "That wasn't fun at all. I just didn't really have any fun. It seemed kind of passionless. I think in movies, television, and the gaming world, you get some people that are really, really passionate, and some people that are just going through the paces. They think that because they have a brand name they're going to get a hit game or hit movie out of it. That certainly was the situation on Aliens: Colonial Marines".

The article states that Aliens: Colonial Marines almost turned Biehn off from videogame work entirely, until he had a chance to act in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. According to Biehn, the unapologetically 80s title was made by a passionate team with great appreciation for the source material, most notably Ubisoft Montreal's Dean Evans. "Dean is such an interesting and creative presence," Biehn said. "He has such energy and such passion. One of the things that I really, really enjoy working still in this business is finding people that have that kind of passion ... Those kind of lines, that kind of vibe, and the fact that it was going to be a throwback to the '80s was something that I thought was interesting. But really it was his passion, man. You just can't say no to him."

So yet another lesson learned from Aliens: Colonial Marines: Passionate developers go a long way towards making your videogame more fun for everyone involved. Failing that, I suppose you could try throwing in a wise-cracking cyborg from the 1980s. After all, making the version of Hicks from Colonial Marines an Android would, at the very least, explain some rather glaring continuity errors regarding his survival in the first place.

Source: Game Informer, via Joystiq

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I hope he got a good wage out of those 2 pages of script he had. Because he is not a half bad film director and writer and is breaking his ass to get stuff made.. There is a great interview with him here http://www.theqandapodcast.com/2012/09/michael-biehn-victim.html (My respect for him went up quite a bit after hearing that. He comes across as a zero-bullshit kind of guy)

Far Cry Blood Dragon looked like a ton of fun to make and you could see from the marketing material he was having a laugh.

Clearly not pointless enough to stop him acting for it.

I wonder if he'd be saying that if the game had gone over well, or at least averagely.

...

Also, in defiance of that first paragraph, I wish to take this opportunity to point out that I totally, almost, kinda called A:CM sucking.

Okay, so I thought it was going to be a different kind of suck, but that still counts damn it!

I think when the VAs are having fun doing what they do for a video game, it shows on the final product.

As evidence, here are some outtakes:

And

Zhukov:
Clearly not pointless enough to stop him acting for it.

I wonder if he'd be saying that if the game had gone over well, or at least averagely.

For your first comment, it's not like he has clairvoyance of the future. I'm sure that if he knew what it would be like working on Colonial Marines, he probably would have turned it down. But since he agreed to it, and since he was already there in the sound booth, might as well get it over with.

As for for your second comment, if you actually read the article, you'd know how asinine of a question that is. His whole point was that the team didn't give a crap about the quality of the game, and just seemed to be going through the motions; like they automatically had a hit game because they had the right pieces. As a result it was a horrible experience working with them. If the game had turned-out better, it would have been (most likely) because it was made by a team that cared about it and had fun making it, and thus the voice acting talent probably would have enjoyed their time there as well.

Also, you can stop patting yourself on the back about "calling it". EVERY game has SOMEONE predicting that it's going to suck, and when the subject at hand is a game who's franchise history within gaming contains a series of "bland at best" titles, it's hardly impressive to be the guy who said that this one won't be that great. Heck, I was skeptical of it too, based almost entirely on previous Aliens games.

Fanghawk:
Back when Aliens: Colonial Marines was the upcoming game to get excited about, it was touted as an authentic Aliens experience. The game would be canonical in the Aliens universe,

That's one thing I'm getting sick of hearing in the gaming sphere. Seriously, even the Chronicles of Riddick games were touted as being "canon". Some games about some schmuck from a one-off horror flick, and the developers were worried about making sure that we knew that their games were "canon", because they know that it works as a cheap marketing gimmick. It's even worse when you have Lucas pissing all over his 30+ year long legacy by claiming that a game like Force Unleashed is official canon. I'm just glad that the franchise is out of his hands now (though I guess we'll see if it's in much better hands with Abrams).

Then we have Colonial Marines, a game in a franchise that I would argue doesn't even really HAVE canon outside of the first 3 movies (nor even needs canon outside of the 3 movies), and they still somehow ruined the whole thing by introducing "canon" that contradicts events from the only material that can actually be said to be canon.

Makes you feel slightly warmer inside, knowing the big name attached to a sucky project also looked back on it and said: "Oh, that sucked". It is at least better than him maintaining it was great despite overwhelming opinion to the contrary.

Glad it didn't stop him taking on the role of Rex "Power" Colt. Interesting to learn which project was lead by a passionate group that cared about what they were doing, and which was lead by a group going through the motions - as if confirmation were needed.

Zhukov:
Clearly not pointless enough to stop him acting for it.

I wonder if he'd be saying that if the game had gone over well, or at least averagely.

Yeah, I'm never a fan of these kiss and tell shenanigans either.

This statement feels more fueled by the public fall-out then by his own need to come clean.

An "I'm sorry this sucked so bad." would've been a bit more respectful, instead of "Yeah, it sucked, but it's not my fault."

Thanks, escapist!

I forgot to put blood dragon on my wishlist.

Glad I got that sorted out.

Casual Shinji:

Zhukov:
Clearly not pointless enough to stop him acting for it.

I wonder if he'd be saying that if the game had gone over well, or at least averagely.

Yeah, I'm never a fan of these kiss and tell shenanigans either.

This statement feels more fueled by the public fall-out then by his own need to come clean.

An "I'm sorry this sucked so bad." would've been a bit more respectful, instead of "Yeah, it sucked, but it's not my fault."

Why the hell should he take any credit for a game he barely had any hand in being a pile of crap? He showed up and read some dialogue. It's not like he wrote it and programmed half the game himself or something.

It's like asking the Janitor of a bankrupt company why he did nothing to prevent the bankruptcy.

Not to shoot this down or anything as it was pretty obvious that the makers of the game really didn't care about the source material, but were these comments really necessary? It'd be one thing if it was up for debate as to whether CM was a good game or not, but it's pretty much unanimous: the game was horri-fucking-bull. Getting Biehn to comment on it is like "Oh, so yet another person says it blows goats? You mean like everyone else? Ok."

Eh, I'm just bitter because, like a lot of Aliens fans, I had huge hopes for this game and got a swift kick to the balls for said hope, guess that's why I'd much rather just forget it even existed in the first place and move on with my life.

RJ 17:
Not to shoot this down or anything as it was pretty obvious that the makers of the game really didn't care about the source material, but were these comments really necessary? It'd be one thing if it was up for debate as to whether CM was a good game or not, but it's pretty much unanimous: the game was horri-fucking-bull. Getting Biehn to comment on it is like "Oh, so yet another person says it blows goats? You mean like everyone else? Ok."

Eh, I'm just bitter because, like a lot of Aliens fans, I had huge hopes for this game and got a swift kick to the balls for said hope, guess that's why I'd much rather just forget it even existed in the first place and move on with my life.

Go read the source. It's not like he went out of his way to find some reporter to talk to about it. It only came up because he was explaining why he was so reluctant to do voice work for Blood Dragon. And frankly that's irrelevant, because yes, those comments really were necessary. It doesn't do any good to just know that Colonial Marines was bad, it's the reasoning behind why it was so bad that matters.

Cheers Michael, thanks for telling us the game was a passionless piece o' crap before it came out and loads of people wasted their money on it!

Oh wait...

Nope, you suck. >.>

Yeah that game was kinda a misser wasn't it. Luckily we did get blood dragon and that makes quite a bit good!

Sometimes VA just is bad. And VA's just do what they are told to do. Those who work at the audio choose what stays.

VonKlaw:
Cheers Michael, thanks for telling us the game was a passionless piece o' crap before it came out and loads of people wasted their money on it!

Oh wait...

Nope, you suck. >.>

Because he totally knew the game was gonna be terrible.

If you haven't bought Blood Dragon BUY IT DAMMIT! Its ~10 hours of completely balls out fun. The ending was totally rushed

but whatever, the whole experience was just glorious, you won't regret it at $15 retail

Zhukov:
Clearly not pointless enough to stop him acting for it.

I wonder if he'd be saying that if the game had gone over well, or at least averagely.

I'd assume he was under contract, in fairness.

In any event, I doubt he'd say anything if the game wasn't a flop.

CrazyCapnMorgan:
I think when the VAs are having fun doing what they do for a video game, it shows on the final product.

As evidence, here are some outtakes:

As far as I listened, those are fairly boilerplate and not really "evidence" of anything. This is a rather human coping mechanism pretty common (especially) amongst actors. Those outtakes could be from people having a lousy time and sound roughly the same.

You people really should ignore the summary on this article and just RTFA. Especially people here getting pissy at Michael Biehn after reading just the summary.

Because that article is four pages of pure joy.

The A:CM thing was just a throwaway bit to contrast what it was like working on a completely awesome game where everyone is completely obsessed and living the game and loves what they're doing (Blood Dragon) to a game where people are just going through the contractually required motions because they don't care about the game at all (A:CM).

For those who missed Ray Huling's excellent analysis. You might say that part of A:CM's failure was that it missed the point (again.)

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_176/5480-Woman-Mother-Space-Marine

Vivi22:

Casual Shinji:

Zhukov:
Clearly not pointless enough to stop him acting for it.

I wonder if he'd be saying that if the game had gone over well, or at least averagely.

Yeah, I'm never a fan of these kiss and tell shenanigans either.

This statement feels more fueled by the public fall-out then by his own need to come clean.

An "I'm sorry this sucked so bad." would've been a bit more respectful, instead of "Yeah, it sucked, but it's not my fault."

Why the hell should he take any credit for a game he barely had any hand in being a pile of crap? He showed up and read some dialogue. It's not like he wrote it and programmed half the game himself or something.

It's like asking the Janitor of a bankrupt company why he did nothing to prevent the bankruptcy.

Because I'm sure he would've taken credit if it was a succes. So in that case I'd rather a voice actor not go hanging out the dirty laundry when the product they worked on turns out shitty. You can admit the product was bad, but don't go saying you knew it was going to turn out bad in hindsight just because it got universally panned.

It's nice to see that, even after this long, we haven't stopped burning the bridges to Colonial Marines and then nuked the thing for good measure.

It's honestly reassuring to see that some of the cast has come out and admitted that the product sucked, especially since a lot of the developers are still hardlining to the reported "success" that the game has. Colonial Marines isn't "bad" by any sense of the word, but it was a disappointment, and I think that's what Gearbox and anyone else that worked on the game is reluctant to admit.

So that's why Hicks sounded so bored!

Some here might be sceptical, but if you'd played the game to the part where hicks makes his grand entrance, you'd believe Biehn about the lack of passion, he sounded so blase and desinterested from the xenos outbreak happening around him.

at the very least he was having fun with Blood Dragon. It really goes to show that if you want to get the most out of something you have to CARE.

 

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