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Aliens: Colonial Marines demo comparisons raise eyebrows [Update]

Tuesday, 19th February 2013 18:48 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Aliens: Colonial Marines bears little resemblance to video walkthroughs shown well before the game’s release, and Randy Pitchford has commented on the matter.

Update

Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has addressed these concerns on Twitter , stating that the team is looking into why the demo for Aliens: Colonial Marines and the final product differ.

“That is understood and fair and we are looking at that,” he tweeted. “Lots of info to parse, lots of stake holders to respect. Lots to learn and discuss here… Beyond the scope of twitter. I appreciate and value criticism. I do not appreciate threats, insults, rudeness and intent not to add value, but to injure.

“I have always profited from criticism and, thankfully, I have never been in short supply.”

Original story

Demos can often be misrepresentative in their ambition to present “a vertical slice” of gameplay; Dead Space 3′s, for example, is spliced together from gameplay sections which take place several hours into the game and don’t occur in sequence. Additionally, many demos are code specially crafted for events like E3 and gamescom, rather than being pulled from the actual current game build.

This hasn’t held any water in the wilds, though; VideoGamer put together a video comparing the demo and final game side by side, and a highly disappointed Jim Sterling tackled the issue in a special edition of the Jimquisition. Both videos are below for your perusal.

Although it isn’t going down very well with critics, it’s worth noting that plenty of players seem happy enough with Colonial Marines despite its various flaws, especially the multiplayer, so you may want to give it a try despite the poor scores; it’s available on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. I don’t personally recommend it, and neither does Dave. Sam’s filmed the first ten minutes of the campaign and some multiplayer, too.

The demo comparison is just the most recent of a number of scandals plaguing the game; its long development and possible outsourcing is at the centre of furious debate.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

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39 Comments

  1. CaptPierce

    From I know, Gearbox had other projects like Borderlands 2 to do, so they outsourced it to TimeGate Studios (makers of Section 8, also a bad game). They pissed away four years of Gearbox’s development, so they had to start over and fix it up in only 6 months time. Gearbox couldn’t delay it again because Sega would’ve taken legal action against them for the game being in development for so long, so this is why we have the product we do now. All in all, it’s a huge shame for fans but all 3 companies are really at fault here in some way. Shame. :(

    #1 1 year ago
  2. alterecho

    Exactly what I was wondering. The previews looked quite realistic and then read reviews of bad textures, etc.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. tmac2011

    ign said not to get this game im not that into an alien fps right now

    #3 1 year ago
  4. DeVitowned

    @1
    Maybe Gearbox should have concentrated on their obligations and put Borderlands 2 on hold? If the outsourcing rumor is true, and Gearbox was paid to make Colonial Marines, them pulling a Napoleon by spreading their assets and workforce, playing a cop-out by pushing their responsibility to an unproven studio, was quite stupid. The early “demo” showed a lot of promise that gained faith they knew what they were doing. And here we are, consumer and publisher deceived and given a below average product that looks far worse than the original demo.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. CaptPierce

    @4 I agree, that’s why I say that all 3 people are at fault for it. To me, they should’ve just delayed Borderlands 2 and finish the game they started 6-7 years ago rather than to do that.

    Kind of like the situation with Deus Ex: Human Revolutions boss fights being trash for being outsourced as well only on a bigger scale. :P

    #5 1 year ago
  6. DeVitowned

    @5 Very disappointed. I was looking forward to picking it up on Wii U. I’ll be passing on future games with a Gearbox logo.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Gekidami

    So… That “Faith in Gearbox”, still holding up?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. The_Red

    @1
    I don’t think GearBox is as innocent as your post makes them to be. Even if TimeGate did waste 4 years, it was GB who outsourced more than 75 percent of the game to them. When you are hired to do a product, you DON’T outsource most of it and then use your name and money for another game. In short, everyone is responsible and guilty of ruining this game, not just TG.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Telepathic.Geometry

    :O What the fuck did I do??!!? ;_;

    #9 1 year ago
  10. GrimRita

    Its probably Sega. They did the same with Shogun 2. Lots of hi-res bull shots, incredible videos/gameplay videos and then the game was released without the DX11 support shown in all those bullshots/demos.

    Infact, it took 6 months to add dx11 support. Its not right, but get used to it – hence why any Total War/Sega published game isn’t a day #1 purchase going forward

    #10 1 year ago
  11. harr0w

    @4 that’s bang on the money. Deceived!!!!!

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Jet Black

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADqIh9_zAp4 Randy Pitchford in action…

    #12 1 year ago
  13. SplatteredHouse

    What a disaster. :(

    #13 1 year ago
  14. ianos

    Sterling there, voice of the voiceless and truthbringer of a generation, saying the sentry gun sequence is ‘a complete lie’.

    Even though the VG video shows it is indeed in the game, albeit in shit form.

    But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of some good old fashioned hyperbole.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. freedoms_stain

    @8, Did they? Or did Sega?

    #15 1 year ago
  16. YoungZer0

    Oh I blame Gearbox and Gearbox alone. 6 years in development. Putting it on hold and essentially starting from scratch again every time just to put it on hold again. You should’ve had your priorities straight.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. SplatteredHouse

    14: Jim said nothing of the sort about that! Gearbox, on the other hand, thoroughly misrepresented that sequence. (Now we’ve got mind-bogglingly incompetent “damage orientation operatives” trying to play salvage crew.)
    /doubletakes @360 version footage. Has DF had a look at this?

    #17 1 year ago
  18. LuLshuck

    @16 It was SEGA that put the game on hold, not Gearbox but Gearbox should of took better care with it, seems like they were way to focused on borderlands 2 then aliens

    #18 1 year ago
  19. ianos

    @17 So the bit on the video where it’s the sentry gun section and he says it’s a ‘lie’ and isn’t in the game doesn’t happen then?

    I’m not saying the game is great and people are lying about how shit it is, I am saying he’s exaggerating to make a point that could be made better by dealing in nothing but facts.

    Plus – watch them both – the sentry gun section is in the VG video.

    It’s a minor point, but it irritates me. If he’s going to call something out as a ‘lie’ and a ‘fabrication’, he needs to not make silly mistakes like this.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. SplatteredHouse

    @19: He says that it is not part of the finished game, that it is something entirely made up for the purpose of the demo. Those are not false observations. Both sources agree on that point.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. The_Red

    @15
    Gearbox did. They had a contract with Sega to make an Aliens game for them (Sega). The GB people started focusing on Borderlands 1 and 2 which meant that they had to outsource Aliens to TimeGate. During an IGN interview, Randy Pitchford has stated that TG’s involvement accounts for about 20 to 25 percent of the development time excluding pre-production which was commissioned by THEM (GearBox).

    So… they took Sega’s money 6 years ago but instead of working on that, they spend some Aliens time and possibly money on BL1 and 2 while another team did most Aliens for them. Unless there is big evidence to the contrary, I hope Sega sues their ass for every dime they got. After this, I have lost all respect to them (To be fair though, this was obviously an executive decision by Pitchford and board members rather than the poor designers, artists and coders).

    #21 1 year ago
  22. SplatteredHouse

    Tech Talk – “That E3 demo [was done] after very little time with the new engine that we’ve created.” (this technology is exclusive to this game, he also states) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=OjBJu4oOjlg#t=165s

    So…How many instances of LITTLE TIME taken to accomplish THAT, did it take to reach the finished game quality? 0.o

    #22 1 year ago
  23. vicrysty

    Gearbox shame. You smashed a franchise, which accounted for science fiction movie fans something unique.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Gigabomber

    I’ve got it: hire the guys that made metro 2033 to make an Aliens game.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. vicrysty

    For those who bought the game, it would be common sense on their part that future DLC will be free.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. ManuOtaku

    I will get the game when is cheaper, because i dont trust demos and reviews anymore since a couple of bad experiences in the past, demos in particular are very deceiving to say the least, they dont give the right representation of the final product.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Stephany Nunneley

    Post has been updated with comments from Randy Pitchford on the Twitter.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. absolutezero

    Poor old Randy is making everything a million times worse for himself, banning the twat Sterling and a bunch of other people asking for answers.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. FabioPal

    Sorry, but I stopped at “there’s no dynamic lighting here” in the first video.

    People that don’t know what they’re talking about should not talk at all.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. manamana

    Still, it’s bizarre how the demo differs from the final game. Though, I’m still quite intruiged by this game, as I liked the foggy corridors, am I bizarre too ;-)

    #30 1 year ago
  31. OlderGamer

    I was really looking forward to this game. What a shame.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. YoungZer0

    “We’ll look into that.”

    Should’ve done that before you released it.

    Who’s he trying to kid here? We all know he lied about the whole thing.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Sylrissa

    That second video with the demo, that is what sold many on the game, is what people were hoping to play, and it is just downright disappointing to see the final game be nothing like it.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. LuLshuck

    remember how Randy didn’t get tired to state, how he constantly stole from Aliens his whole career? Well, I think he did it again; although this time in the most literal sense possible. Isn’t that a prime example of irony? He confessed to the whole world, that he’s a thief, whilst he was conducting his biggest coup. That’s better than Ocean’s Eleven man, that guy is a genius.

    And after all I think that the whole A:CM disaster is our fault as well. Maybe Pitchford needed professional help since he’s obviously a kleptomaniac. Maybe this “I’ve been stealing from Aliens my whole career” thing wasn’t meant to be funny, maybe it was actually some kind of crying out for help, but we utterly misinterpreted all the signs. Instead of helping him, we threw money at him. Seriously guys, that’s like giving an dry alcoholic Liqueur pralines for a present.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. Gekidami

    Has he only commented on the demo thing? Sorry to say but the game not looking as good as the demo really is a minor point, the game being utter shit is what people should be focusing on. A games final version can look nothing like the early builds (its happened in the past), so long as its still good.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. _LarZen_

    It’s called fraud ladies and gentlemen.

    Showing something that is probably pre-rendered and saying it’s a early build of a game to get the press hyped and getting gamers to pre-order something that looks completely different then the product you buy.

    Fraud and lies, someone should be hold responsible and there should be a huge fine either Gearbox or Sega have to pay. And it should be so high it will ensure no intelligent person will ever do it again.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. DSB

    Preordering is always a risk, the developer doesn’t make that decision on your behalf.

    You should really be smart enough to realize that there’s a risk that something is being made to look better than it is. It’s called marketing.

    #37 1 year ago
  38. orakaa

    « We are looking at that » ? Like… they’re discovering the fact the demo and the final product were not the same???
    It’s really too bad this game went through such a disastrous development to end up, at best, as an average uninspired shooter, even for a fan (boy, the story is so bad…)

    #38 1 year ago
  39. TheWulf

    It wasn’t the critically bad critic scores that told me all I need to know about Colonial Marines. It was Penny Arcade slamming it into the ground. They rarely ever do that, and if they do, then the game is invariably horrendous. They’re pretty good at gauging when they should, and when they shouldn’t.

    Furthermore, Gabe provided a vine video of a hiding alien that just told me all I needed to know about the AI. The problem with a game that involves aliens is that it’s 90% AI. If you don’t have the AI, then everything else is worthless. The aliens need to be smart.

    That the AI is far, far worse than that of a game from 2000 is telling.

    Also, GearBox is slowly climbing the bullshit-o-meter, really. I’m absolutely fed up of ‘vertical slice’ demos. Ron Gilbert did a blog post about why vertical slices are really stupid and I agree. I mean, it’s ridiculous. Demos are necessary, but what a demo should be is just a timed version of the game itself. Give the players an hour or two (whatever you feel comfortable with) to experience the game.

    For an eight hour game, providing two hours isn’t going to kill it, but it will tell players whether they’ll like it or not. And it will tell them in a far less dishonest way.

    I feel everything about Colonial Marines has been dishonest.

    It seems the only thing that Gearbox can do even marginally right is Borderlands, and even that’s being milked to the point where it’s getting boring. We’re looking at a dying developer, here. And they have nothing but their own poor practises to blame.

    #39 1 year ago

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