The Alien franchise is one of the most successful and iconic series out there. However, when it comes to video games the series is very hit or miss. Colonial Marines was a disaster, leaving fans at a loss. Players were able to enjoy Alien Isolation, but it still did not fill the void left by the previous entry. Aliens: Fireteam Elite was finally released this past August 24th, and is everything players can as for in a cooperative shooter. Players can experience everything that Colonial Marines should have been. The game can be bought on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC for only $39.99. The game was developed by Cold Iron Studio and published by Cold Iron Studio and Focus Home Interactive.
The game takes place 23 years after the trilogy in the year 2202. The Marines respond to a distress signal from the Katanga Refinery Station that was thought to have been destroyed. The station ends up being overrun with various forms of Xenomorphs and Working Joes. Marines take part in various types of missions to uncover the truth of what happened.
The gameplay is very fun with a touch of Gears of War coop feeling. The game is a third-person cooperative shooter with four unique campaigns. As players make their character there is very little customization. There are however various unique classes to choose from and you can change with each mission. Each class can be vastly different when you want to blast your way through as a gunner or act as support with Recon. Each class also gets a skill tree with various modifications to choose from. The fact that you can level up any class adds so much replayability to the campaigns and honestly just adds to the amount of fun for slaying hordes of Xenomorphs. As a bonus to different classes, at the end of each round players are ranked on performance. This can consist of accuracy, headshots, kills, deaths, and more. This features adds an element to competition with friends and you can track players to make sure they are playing their class right.
Each campaign is extremely well designed in terms of environment and objectivity. Players will find themselves lost in the atmosphere created by the breathtaking surroundings and the genius music created by Austin Wintory. The caves and refinery feel as if the game plucked out parts of the movies. The sound effects are spot-on between the sounds of the xenomorphs and working joes, and even the trackers used to follow the movement of enemies. Many random ceiling tiles will drop from the ceiling randomly from Xenos or just to induce panic. Mission areas also come with hidden caches and drops from enemies to upgrade your arsenal, but for the brave to look around or try to end it for bonus cards with parameters to gain increased experience and money.
While some writers complain about the story, I disagree with some things. The story is definitely short, but there is room to expand possibly for further DLC. Also while there seems to be a lack of story, there is actually a lot of information given from NPCs and collectibles following games like Destiny and Dark Souls. In addition, there is a lot of replayability provided between leveling each class and difficulty changes. I do hope the developers take advantage and provide more content in the future.
The game performance is mostly great on PC. Obviously, load times vary on build and can take a bit longer than they should. The game could be buggy here and there, with random xenomorph corpses shaking on-screen or enemies getting stuck and not moving, but nothing game-breaking. The game provides a great mix-up of Xenomorph and Working Joe types but leaves you feeling overwhelmed at times making strategy and setup crucial depending on the difficulty. I do wish there was more healing aside from holding 1 health pack since your team setup may not consist of any support class. It does seem like levels are stuffed with endless ammo but little to no recovery. Other than those few issues the game is a fantastic entry to the Alien Franchise and fans or coop shooters or Alien alone will love the game.