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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

[Preview] ‘Aliens: Fireteam’ is Taking Players on Another Bug Hunt

While Alien: Isolation did help scrub the unpleasantness of Aliens: Colonial Marines from Xenofans minds, there’s always been some regret that we didn’t get to see a really good modern multiplayer game with all the Aliens trimmings.

Cold Iron Studios is trying to change that.

Aliens: Fireteam is a third-person, 3-player cooperative survival game that sees a return to a world of Colonial Marines and Alien swarms, but not quite as we know it. Set 23 years after the events of Alien 3, the Xenomorphs are no longer the secret they once were, and outbreaks of the chitinous buggers have become a common occurrence.

This is where you come in. As a fresh-faced member of one of the Colonial Marines’ titular fireteams, you’re sent to human-inhabited locations on four different planets where the Xenos have invaded, and are tasked with being a glorified pest controller.

Freed from the connection to Ripley and her story, Fireteam is putting the player into the world of Alien with a fresh start. You’ll begin by creating your own personal Colonial Marine, with customizations and upgrades to them and their gear remaining a key factor as you play and progress. There are 5 classes to pick from, which give you a specific job to do in tandem with your other two squad members. Want to be the Marine that patches the squad up? Hacks terminals, doors, and systems? Or just obliterates swathes of drooling Aliens? Chances are, Fireteam has the job for you.

During the preview, we were given a brief taste of the game in action with a late-in-the-mission siege scenario. Cold Iron Studios noted that each of the four campaigns has three overall missions with some manner of variation in encounters and smaller objectives occurring each time you play, so this siege could easily have turned out differently.

As it was, the three-person team cautiously navigated the pipe-laden corridors of a refinery, heads always on a swivel, and rightly so. Xenomporhs leap from the shadows in various directions, (handily they’re outlined faintly so you’re not just in an inky black nightmare) seemingly catching the team off guard on several occasions, leading to jolting bursts of pulse rifle fire and that familiar hissing screech as insectile bodies explode in showers of bright yellow/green acid.

That acid will be something to worry about, especially on higher difficulties where the consequences get to be a lot closer to what you’d expect from fighting the Hive. On those higher difficulty settings, Cold Iron Studios say that acid splashes will burn, friendly fire will be deadly, and getting surprised by a facehugger will prove more final if you fail to stop it getting intimate with your poor Marine’s mouth. The game will be a challenge, but the sliding scale of difficulty will allow for a more forgiving time with far fewer unwanted death kisses from those egg-dwelling bastards.

As the demo continued, the squad reached an elevator door, and yep, you guessed it, there’s gonna be a bit of a wait for the elevator itself arrives. So begins the siege as the squad sets up shop for an incoming Xeno onslaught. One Marine had a shock trap to stun the oncoming horde, another had an automated sentry gun akin to the one seen in Aliens, and this kit helped keep the Xenos at bay as the clock counted down toward the elevator’s descent. Once the elevator door opened, the squad hurried to get in whilst still holding off the Aliens. Unfortunately, one member was downed just outside the door, but he managed to crawl his way into the elevator whilst his buddies continued to defend the slowly-closing door. By the skin of their teeth, the squad makes it.

Just a taste of what Aliens: Fireteam could be, but it certainly gave a fair indication of the mood Cold Iron Studios is going for. This is undoubtedly the Aliens to Isolation’s Alien in terms of action and style. It’s comforting to see the San Diego-based development team know that longevity will be important to the game’s chances, and with 20 enemy types (11 of which are Alien types including an acid-bombing variant known as the Burster), customizable Marines, and variance to the set missions, it seems to have a strong start ahead of it.

As with Alien Isolation, it would be great to have more fresh stories and visit new places in this universe. While the narrative doesn’t appear to be quite as much of a focus for Fireteam as it was for Isolation, there are undoubtedly fresh places to visit, and perhaps an interesting look at a world of Aliens outside the cycle of Ripley.

I think the key to Aliens: Fireteam working will be in the Aliens themselves. Thankfully it’s not looking like it will be just a mindless swarm and the odd boss fight, as there’s other types with their own behaviors. The developers noted the Drone Alien will effectively play hit and run all throughout a level, constantly popping up to surprise you at the worst possible time unless you take them out early. When quizzed on what the toughest enemy is, the developers said that the lowly facehugger has the most potential for ruining your day with their small stature making it hard to spot them in the dark and the chaos. As such, player tactics should be more than just point and shoot.

Horror-led multiplayer games look like they’re having a big year, with Fireteam joining the likes of Evil Dead: The Game, and Back4Blood. The competition will likely mean one doesn’t stay the course as long as the others even if all turn out well, but having a choice of horror shooters like this is very welcome indeed.

Aliens: Fireteam is out this Summer on PlayStation, Xbox, and Steam.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/video-games/3654199/preview-aliens-fireteam-taking-players-another-bug-hunt/

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