ALIENS – FIRETEAM ELITE [Review]: Game Over, Man! Game Over!

Dee Assassina
@assassinasan

Cooperative shooters are typically fun to play with friends but when you slap the Alien name on it, playing is a no-brainer. I just wanted to feel satisfied shooting some accurately designed xenomorphs and other organisms in the Alien franchise. I got just that. Despite enjoying my 8 hours with the main campaign, Aliens: Fireteam Elite feels extremely budget. Thankfully it released at only a $40 price point…

The game takes place 23 years after the original Alien Trilogy. You and other colonial marines aboard the UAS Endeavor are tasked with containing the Xenomorph threat and fighting off Weyland-Yutani synthetics. While this does have some unique story branches in the franchise, the dialogue and lore aren’t as sophisticated as they were in Alien: Isolation. I eventually found myself skipping dialogue in favor of getting back into the fight. It didn’t help that NPC’s lip animations were absent, making dialogue less immersive. It’s so weird that the lips will move once in the beginning of dialogue and the rest has absolutely no movement. This is one of several elements that makes Aliens: Fireteam Elite feel extremely budget. 

The display of this game feeling budget persists when creating your colonial marine. The options are very minimal. This game also released with long loading times, many bugs, and no crossplay. While bugs are commonplace in modern games, having long load times on my PS5 for the first time since I got the console on release is jarring. Moreover, crossplay for multiplayer games is moving toward becoming a requirement, so the absence of it makes me feel like Cold Iron Studio didn’t care to pour the resources into that. I wonder if that’ll change if this game becomes successful.  

“What The Hell Are We Supposed To Use, Man? Harsh Language?”

Aliens: Fireteam Elite has all of the vibes of the Aliens movie, it’s a bro shooter. The shooting mechanics are smooth and satisfying. There are four different classes that have unique abilities and have a specific weapon loadout. When you beat the campaign, you unlock a 5th class called Recon: 

  • Gunner – Weapons: Rifle & CQW. Abilities: Grenade’s and a Perk to stack bonus damage.  
  • Demolisher – Weapons: Rifle & Heavy. Abilities: Micro Rockets and Blastwave. 
  • Technician – Weapons: Hand Gun & CQW. Abilities: Turret and Damage Reduction. 
  • Doc – Weapons: Rifle & Hand Gun. Abilities: Trauma Station and Ability Recharge. 
  • Recon – Weapons: CQW & Rifle. Abilities: Reveals Nearby Enemies, Lowers Damage, and Accuracy Buff. 

You can switch in between classes as you wish, and some of the daily objectives will encourage you to play as a specific class. Having all of these classes also adds some replayability for this very short campaign that can be finished in about 8 hours. Having the option to play as different classes and the option to play on harder difficulties is motivating me to play through the campaign again. There’s also a classic horde mode that you unlock for beating the campaign, which is really fun.  

You will also find various one time use items and consumables in chests that you use in combat. This includes turrets, mines, drones, or elemental bullets like shock damage. It’s really fun to activate these items and prepare for battle before a wave of enemies come toward your colonial marines. Overall, the combat is really fun and doesn’t require much communication in case you are matchmaking with randoms.  

There’s not much that makes Aliens: Fireteam Elite stand out among other cooperative shooters. The only way this game will feel like any level of special is if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise. The environments and music score fit perfectly into this universe. I enjoyed shooting my way through iconic environments in the series such as space ships, alien ships, infested caves, and citadels. The eerie music score composed by Austin Wintory adds to the intensity of the game and truly captured the vibes of the films. The lore might not be as strong as Alien: Isolation, but the environments and sound absolutely make this game feel special for Alien fans. 

Another piece of this game that feels like a love letter to Alien fans is the enemy design and variety. At first, I thought we would only be fighting xenomorphs and synthetics, but it definitely provided fan service by adding threats from the films. We’re also introduced to some new enemies. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say you get about 13 varieties of xenomorphs, 3 types of Pathogens, and 9 types of Synthetics 

There are some supplemental things in the game that I want to make mention of, such as the cosmetic items for your marine that you can unlock from chests, the ability to add attachments to your weapons, completing daily tasks, and collecting intel that adds a bit to the lore. These elements are fine and keeping the customizability contained is kind of nice so that players can just focus on getting in the cooperative shooting fun.  

Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a fun and contained experience, but it absolutely presents itself as extremely budget. This game would’ve had more hands on it if it was on Game Pass and/or had crossplay, in the same way that Outriders did. If you like cooperative shooters and you’re a fan of the Alien film series, I think you’ll enjoy this game. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to wait until this game gets a price drop even if it is already available for only $40. Aliens: Fireteam Elite is not a must play but it’s still a great time. 3.25/5 Sigourney Weaver Whiskeys.

-Dee Assassina

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