Well before the public crucifixions, the editorial back channel was already building pressure re: Aliens: Colonial Marines. They were filing their teeth, waiting to bite.
I don’t pretend to know what happened here, but I have heard from more than one person that there’s a book in this thing somewhere. For my part, I cocked my head only a minute or so into the intro, when I saw a language construction I’d never seen before. It said
SEGA Presents (Sure, Sega.)
With 20th Century Fox (License Holder)
A Gearbox Software Production of (Hmm?)
A Timegate Studios
And Gearbox Software Game
It’s not that weird for “triple a” games to be collaborative efforts - Certain Affinity‘s done famously at it. Demiurge too, I’ve met them. But God damn, that’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen. And it’s not entirely clear who was cooking what (to maintain the metaphor). If nothing else, it stands to reason that a person who was expecting an Aliens game from the creators of the millions-selling Borderlands 1 & 2 would probably be very surprised at the state of this software. Functionally speaking, did they “sublet” the license? I’ve seen good work from some of these studios, though. I’m not trying to embroider conspiracy - I genuinely do not understand what happened.
I could do Aliens comics for weeks if I felt like it, but we decided to do three at once and get it over with. For some backup on panel 3, please sample Gabriel’s Vine on the topic. I’ve played it a couple hours, and I’ll play it some more because I feel guilty. I’ll go into multiplayer, I’ll do all the gesticulations required so that I am allowed to feel the way I already feel.
Gabriel asked me if I was disappointed, as I clearly was not having sixty dollars worth of fun or maybe any kind of fun, and I told him no. You’ve got the Front Line sort of nerd defender type, the outer ring, that responds to carpetbagging grifter mercenaries and the apocrypha they generate with molten rage. My own mandibles are ground down from The Last War; I fought this stuff already. The catastrophic failure of a promising enterprise is literally, literally the norm.