Good Tuesday everyone!
Last night I was greeted by an extraordinary thing. After playing some World of Warcraft and preparing to join my wife in the lounge for our weekly Spartacus dose, I saw a patch start downloading on Steam.
At just under 4Gigs, Gearbox (GBX) have put out a patch for Aliens: Colonial Marines. Supposedly this patch includes as a single package some of the minor patches already released on consoles, and a few things yet to be released on Consoles (and I wonder if console players will ever see these things).
So I had a quick read of the patch notes and I saw some things of interest: Improved Textures, Improved AI, altered weapon damage, that sort of thing. Full patch notes can be found here.
Anyway, just before bed, I thought "what the hell, let's see if it's finished patching" and what so you know? It had!
So against my better judgement I booted up the game in order to see just how 'high res' these textures were.
It occurred to me that the first level has been played to death by the Internet in comparing it with 'The Demo', so I thought this would probably be the best bet for me to compare with what it looked like before.
Well, let me just say, I demand a recount on those awful review scores!
The game still lacks Anti Aliasing which is a shame, and they have added a film grain over the HUD (which personally I freaking love) and those high res textures? Well as someone who really enjoyed the atmosphere before, this feels like a whole new game.
Had I thought ahead I'd have taken screenshots, but I am afraid to truly appreciate this you need to see it for yourself.
At the very start of the game there is a scene where you walk along an umbilical and bad stuff starts to happen. I've seen reviews and comparisons who talk about how the differences between 'the demo' and retail are so massive, it's like they're different games.
Wanna know a secret? Those things that made the demo look nice? The shattering/cracking glass? The billowing smoke and flashing/rotating lighting? They're all there!
And what of the gameplay itself? Well the M41-A no longer feels like it's been neutered, but then neither do the Aliens.
At one point I was being attacked by 2 Aliens, a generator making the room flash from bright intense lighting to almost pitch blackness. One Alien dashed across the floor straight at me, while I released a quick burst into it's head killing it. At the same time the second Alien had been crawling along the walls and leaped straight at me tearing at my chest. I fired point blank into it's chest, it's acid blood burning off my armour and leaving me seriously wounded, but it was dead and I prepared to breath a sigh of relief...
That was when hiss emirates from behind, I spun on my heels gripping my rifle just in time to see a set of secondary jaws go thrusting through my head.
- That's right, the very first level, on EASY difficulty and I died!
This game freaking rocks!!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley