There’s a bit of a curse affecting Alien games. For every good title there are multiple awful ones, making the truly good ones fight to convince us that’s they’re not like their brethren. It’s therefore completely understandable why you may approach Aliens Fireteam Elite with some trepidation, but fortunately this is one of the good ones.
Aliens Fireteam Elite is a three-player cooperative, third-person shooter where you take on hordes of xenomorphs and Weyland-Yutani synthetics in intense firefights. It’s very much inspired by the more action orientated Aliens film, although with a wonderful sprinkling of lore that points to the other films in the franchise and adds interesting story hooks to encourage and reward exploration and engaging in conversations with NPCs between missions.
It’s a smart mix of authentic Aliens action and intrigue. Moreover, the focus is entirely on the action, the story elements can be ignored if you’re more interested in shooting ferocious xenomorphs and unfeeling synthetics. As such there’s reason to play the game solo as well as cooperatively, allowing you to slow the pace a little and discover more lore on your own, while keeping the adrenaline pumping during coop sessions.
And the adrenaline sure does pump. The xenomorphs comes at you waves, crawling on walls and ceilings, coming out of vents, pouncing from the shadows. They are a swarm of death and it’s brilliant. You’re forced to engage with as much firepower as you can muster, firing your authentic looking and sounding weapons, such as the pulse rifle and smart gun, as well as deploying sentry turrets, mines, and other devices to give you an edge. Meanwhile, each class of Marine has their own special ability that can aid themselves and their teammates with buffs, as well as their own unique equipment they can deploy. It makes for a fast paced, exhilarating and intense experience that will fill your headset with nervous laughter from your teammates in coop sessions.
You’ll encounter a nice mixture of xenomorphs as well. Cannon-fodder xenomorphs that are weak but come at you in swarms, spitters that can attack you from range, exploding xenomorphs that can shower you in acid, as well as armoured xenomorphs that can take and dish out huge amounts of damage. It’s a nice variety that keeps you on your toes, with new variants added as you progress.
Kitting yourself out to handle whatever fight you find yourself in is as simple as choosing a class from a fairly traditional set of healer, DPS and tank options, modifying the weapons, equipment and abilities of your chosen class, and rolling out. As you fight with a particular class you’ll gain experience, equipment and currency that allows you to further modify them and improve them. Similar to titles such as Destiny, there is a combat score that missions suggest you meet, and through the new equipment you find and purchase, as well as your class levelling up and gaining new buffs, your combat score will steadily increase to be able to meet any new challenge. There are some cosmetic changes you can makes as well, but these are limited.
However, as engaging as Aliens Fireteam Elite is, there’s certainly some flaws holding it back. Mission variety is a bit disappointing and largely boils down to exploring an area and kill everything that you come across. Furthermore, the locations look samey, although there are a few location changes that help with that. Additionally, the animations a bit stiff for the player character, while NPCs lack any facial animation at all. The lighting is also bland and feels antiquated when compared to modern offerings.
Aliens Fireteam Elite is over with quite quickly, offering around five hours of content to experience, but replayability is pretty high, especially if you can find some friends to play with. This also means that it doesn’t overstay its welcome, and at the price point it’s at, it feels fair. While it doesn’t feel next generation in any way, lacking the visuals of modern titles and features such as crossplay, it’s still an excellent action game that knows and celebrates its source material and offers exciting and highly enjoyable cooperative combat.
Aliens Fireteam Elite
- True to its source material
- Intense combat
- Huge amounts of fun with friends
- Not the prettiest looking title
- No crossplay
- A bit short on variety