Gearbox execs want Aliens: Colonial Marines to be an "accessible experience" and not Brothers in Arms in space.
Speaking to OXM, Randy Pitchford and his entourage wanted to make it clear that even though Aliens: Colonial Marines is about a bunch of foul-mouthed ingrates being hunted down by terrifying, acid-spewing, chest-bursting monsters designed to be eerily sexual by an equally terrifying surrealist artist, there's no reason why it can't be fun for everyone. Apparently, the folks are Gearbox are concerned that customers may look to their past efforts, Brothers in Arms in particular, and expect Colonial Marines to have the same tactical controls and steep (for a shooter) learning curve. I'd say that these days, Gearbox is mostly known for Borderlands, which, despite hurling numbers at you like some kind of demented spread sheet simulator, was as dumb as a sack of hair. Gearbox co-founder Brian Martel doesn't seem to agree.
"I would say that it's an easy leap to say, hey, these are the guys who made Brothers in Arms, they're likely going to have squad control and those kind of things," he commented. "The issue with that is that it's really hard to flank an alien."
So, while Colonial Marines does have AI companions, you won't be able to boss them about like they're gruff house servants. However, like minded tactical players can get together and play through the game's campaign in 4-player co-op mode, doubtlessly dropping as many obvious Aliens references as they can in the process. Indeed, the references will be coming outta' the goddamn walls.
"We actually wanted it to be a very accessible experience," chimed in Randy Pitchford. "The goal is not to have complicated interfaces, we're not worrying about having things like squad command, you don't need fire manoeuvres... there's no manoeuvring on an alien."
A shame because the interplay between a heavily armed, well organized force and a numerous, but stupid one, can make for some very tense gameplay, as anyone who's played EA's Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels can attest. While the two games have very different universes, I think there's some thematic overlap there. Sadly it seems the only tactical decision you'll be making In Colonial Marines is whether to equip yourself with tactical smart missiles, phase-plasma pulse rifles, RPGs, sonic electronic ball breakers, nukes, knives or sharp sticks.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is set to arrive in spring 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Nintendo DS and Microsoft Windows. None of the Gearbox staff would confirm if they had ever been mistaken for a man.