The new Aliens: Colonial Marines trailer calls on a few good soldiers to kill all the Xenomorphs.
In my experience, there are two kinds of enjoyment people take from the Alien movies. The first is an appreciation of sci-fi horror in which Xenomorphs are death incarnate. The second kind is an adoration of Colonial Marines, the macho war heroes who kick ass, take names, and are ready to kill all of the things. Sega’s new Aliens: Colonial Marines trailer is geared very much towards the latter, and features soldiers shooting Xenomorphs, blowing up Xenomorphs, and for one brave marine, wrestling Xenomorphs with their bare hands.
For those unable to watch the trailer, here’s the quick-and-dirty rundown of what you’re missing: two minutes of muscular, battle-hardened marines engaging Aliens in combat while a gruff commanding officer provides incredibly obvious tactical advice. “First, if it moves, kill it,” he orders. “If it’s not moving, kill it again! Second, you’ve each got more firepower than an army platoon. So use it. All of it. Third, you don’t die unless I give you a direct order.” It’s a wonder the crew of the Sulaco didn’t follow that sage advice in Aliens so they could live to see another sequel. (Although I have to admit, the shot of the marine blowing himself up to kill his own chest-buster looked pretty badass.)
From a logical perspective, I get that this trailer is marketing Aliens: Colonial Marines to audiences who prefer their shooters to be non-stop explosion-fests like Call of Duty, and that’s fine. Still, this is Aliens we’re talking about. Marines never succeed heroically in Aliens, they die alone and screaming. That’s the point. The horror of Aliens comes from the fact that no matter how well-equipped the marines are, biologically superior Xenomorphs always pose a far greater threat. If you strip that away, all you’ve got is just another testosterone-driven shooter.
There are still several tense, horror-themed trailers out there so hopefully Gearbox will find the middle ground that made Aliens so engaging when it was first released. We’ll find out when Aliens: Colonial Marines launches for PC, PS3, XBox 360, and Wii U on February 12th, 2013.