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Fans of Aliens, Rejoice!

In January of 2018, Cold Iron Studios; a new studio comprised of industry vets would make a new Alien shooter game. When the studio faced its publisher being sold to a mobile developer and their subsequent moves, many wondered if the game would ever arrive despite the reassurances it was in the works and coming along.

Aliens Fireteam Elite was revealed formally and has arrived at long last. The game is a third-person, squad-based game where three players or a mixture of players and A.I.-controlled bots battle across four segments, each three chapters long. The prequel novel Aliens Infiltrator provides a solid base for the game. But it’s not necessary to have read it to play the game, though it does provide some details.

Players take on the role of a Colonial Marine and can customize the look, class, and weapons, and abilities of their player. Then they can set off on a series of missions. Before and after each mission they can return to their base and query NPC characters that allow them to learn more about their situation through a branching dialogue tree. They can also obtain new weapons and enhancements. The settings of the game are very detailed and full of nods to the film series and Alien Universe. It’s great fun to explore the locales even though they are infested with all sorts of deadly creatures.

Aliens Fireteam Elite
Teaching the enemy about the cleansing qualities of fire. Credit: Cold Iron Studios

“It’s a target-rich environment, sir!”

From ambush attacks to waves the enemies are relentless. Aliens Fireteam Elite gives you everything you need for the job. Players can obtain items such as ammunition, health kits, mines, and sentry guns to help thin the ever-advancing hordes and they are numerous. While you cannot crouch; players are at times able to cover behind objects and fire from a supported cover. With the endless waves as well as mutations, Boss monsters, and other threats that come up in the game; this is not always ideal and players need to find a tactic that works best. I would often hang back against a secured door or wall and pick enemies off as able and lobbing a grenade when my Motion Tracker showed a pending swarm.

Being able to substitute a Shotgun for a Flame Thrower was a big help and did help in a crunch. The biggest issue I had with the game is that you must complete a segment to advance and having to repeat 36 intense minutes can become frustrating especially when you are playing on your own and the Bots make a mistake that a human player would not.

“They aren’t going to stop, are they?”

The other issue is that despite the fun; wave after wave of Aliens and enemies can get old. It seemed like I was moving from one wave to another with a few random Aliens thrown in. That being said, the sounds in the game are great and immerse you in the setting. The graphics, while not eye-popping, are solid and enjoyable.

Upon completion of the game, a Horde Mode is unlocked and I am hoping that the studio will release more DLC and missions along the way, as it does seem to indicate there is more of the story to tell.

With a $39.99 price point; the game is especially attractive and fans of the series that are willing to overlook the shortcomings will likely enjoy the detailed settings and abundance of action. The game is available on Steam, PS4, PS5, XBOX ONE, and XBOX Series X.

Aliens Fireteam Elite: Rated 4 stars out of 5

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Gareth Von Kallenbach
Gareth Von Kallenbach

Gareth is the mastermind behind the popular pop media site Skewed and Reviewed. He lives in Arizona with his wife Em McBride.

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