When it comes to the Alien franchise, the games have always been hit or miss, with standout exceptions such as the classic Aliens vs Predator arcade game to newer releases, such as Alien: Isolation which evoked and captured the spirit of the original movie brilliantly.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite is the latest game to tackle the legendary Alien property, this time capturing the essence of the second film in the franchise, Aliens.
My apprehension of jumping into another action-oriented Aliens game was quickly relieved as I found Aliens: Fireteam Elite to not only be a fun game to play, but one that trod the line between over the top action while adhering to the lore of the films, by never escalating things too far out its own scope of reality. Set two decades after the events of the first film, Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a three-player co-op third-person action shooter that will feel right at home for fans of similar titles, such as the Zombie Army series of games.
Four distinct classes, which include the Demolisher, Technician, Gunner and Doctor make up the different characters one can play as in Fireteam Elite, with each punctuated by their unique special moves that run on a cooldown and include the likes of homing missiles, overclocked guns (higher DPS) and the ability to equip class specific weapons such as snipers and the iconic flamethrower.
“Everything in Aliens: Fireteam Elite feels lovingly realized and reminiscent of James Cameron’s 1979 classic.”
Speaking of iconic, everything in Aliens: Fireteam Elite feels lovingly realized and reminiscent of James Cameron’s 1986 classic. From the Vietnam era-inspired colonial marines to the derelict space stations and Promethean inspired ruins, both old and new fans of the Alien franchise will find something to enjoy in Aliens: Fireteam Elite.
In terms of gameplay, Aliens: Fireteam Elite doesn’t break the mould but instead, offers a fast-paced, often atmospheric and tense third-person shooter that, even without the Aliens name attached to it, provides a fun and engaging, if not somewhat unremarkable experience. During my time with the game I had access to about the first 8-10 hours of the game which consisted of two sets of levels broken down into 6 six distinct areas that featured a gamut of different — Xenomorph species amongst rogue Weyland Yutani androids.
One aspect of the gameplay that I enjoyed during my time with Fireteam Elite is how overpowered some of the larger, dominant Xenomorph permutations felt, such as the Warrior class which felt appropriately tanky, requiring focused fire from all three members of the fireteam in order to exterminate. The balance between the swarms of drone and lower-class Xenomorphs contrasted against some of the larger encounters with rescue missions thrown in for good measure, almost made Aliens: Fireteam Elite feel like a modern take on the classic SEGA arcade game, Alien Syndrome, which in itself seemed to have been inspired by H.R. Giger’s art and work on the Aliens franchise.
To add variety to the game, on top of the third-person shooting action, Fireteam Elite offers players a healthy selection of unlockable weapons, cosmetic armour pieces, challenge cards that augment gameplay and optional tidbits of lore that flesh out the story. For many, Aliens: Fireteam Elite may be just another competent third-person shooter, but for fans of the franchise, Fireteam Elite feels like a genuinely well crafted and fun game that pays homage to its source material and offers fans a long overdue action-oriented Aliens experience.