February 13, 2013

Looks like Gearbox Shipped a Stinker

Looks like Gearbox Shipped a Stinker
I don't know if you've heard lately, but Gearbox Software's new FPS Aliens: Colonial Marines pretty much blows chunks.

All I can say is I'm glad I didn't shell out $59.99 for this game.  I had  briefly considered it......my wife asked me if I wanted it, but there were two factors that made me pass for now:
     1) Gearbox didn't endear themselves to me with how they treated Borderlands 2 players.
     2) It seemed like Left 4 Dead, but instead of survivors and zombies it was Colonial Marines and Aliens.  Valve made a great game, why would I want to play another flavor of it?

Obviously I cannot review the game...yet.  If I can check it out on Redbox I might, but I won't be signing in on my Xbox Live account because I don't want 1 cheap-ass achievement and another game I just don't feel like playing.  If you like you can read the summations on the Kotaku article or skip right to the various reviews directly:

Four reviews should do it.....these are the ones I'd pay attention to first.

Now I would expect a little bit of, "Why the hell do you care about a game you haven't bought?"  Fair enough of a question.

I've ranted about the crap the Gearbox was giving dedicated players of Borderlands 2.  I've even raved about how awesome the game was when I first started playing it.  When you consider how so many big game issues were being ignored by Gearbox, while they "fixed" things that didn't need fixing....well that's one thing.  When you factor in that they were also working on another game at the same time and were (obvious to me) spreading themselves too thin....that is another issue.

Today a Reddit post has been making the rounds, allegedly from a Gearbox developer that has some of the inside scoop.  True or not, it seems to fit with the various delays of the Aliens: Colonial Marines game, the crappy release, and even sheds some light on the problems with Borderlands 2.  Some highlights (emphasis mine) from the Reddit post:

......decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers dealt with [Aliens: Colonial Marines].....Somehow the schedules for Pecan and Borderlands 2 managed to line up and GBX realized that there was no fucking way they could cert and ship two titles at the same time.....agreement with SEGA that they would push the release ..... 9 mos extension.
About 5 of those 9 months went to shipping BL2..... the general consensus among GBX devs was that there was no way this game was going to be good by ship. There just wasn't enough time.....Issues that didn't cause 100% blockers were generally ignored, with the exception of absolutely horrible problems. This isn't because GBX didn't care, mind you. At a certain point, they couldn't risk changing ANYTHING that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system. And so, the product you see is what you get........that the rush to throw a playable product together came at the cost of the story.....

What I get out of this is that problems with Gearbox games don't matter unless they lock up the game.  Getting their games out are more important that getting them right and it's ok to steal from Peter to pay Paul.

It makes me wonder if some of Borderlands 2 issues were not only ignored deliberately, but fixes delayed because they had to throw all their resources as fixing "100% blockers" in their next craptastic release.

Here is a demo for Aliens: Colonial Marines from last October:

All the player reviews I've seen pretty much add up to this: bad AI, short single player mode, overall craptacular game play.  A common comment is the game play is nothing like this demo.

Here is an example of actual early single-player game play:

Interesting "review" of the demo:

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