|Cold Iron Studios
|Nintendo Switch, PC (reviewed), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.
|August 24, 2021
Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise has seen numerous video games. Unlike Alien Isolation which falls into survival horror or the fast-paced action of the Alien vs Predator games, Fireteam Elite is a horde co-op shooter game akin to Left 4 Dead. Cold Iron Studios developed Aliens Fireteam Elite and the game was published by Focus Entertainment in August of 2021. The game follows a team of space marines tasked with eliminating Xenomorphs and rescuing people from them.
Violence: Aliens Fireteam Elite does not shy away from violence, with most of the game focusing on eliminating Xenomorphs through various methods such as guns, explosives, and traps. All of these methods result in general carnage and gore. It should be noted the only enemies in the game are Xenomorphs and Androids there are no human enemies. Gore in the game can be anything from explosions of flesh or limbs flying around.
Language: The game has multiple uses of the F**k and S**t along with taking the Lord’s name in vain.
Positive Content: The game involves soldiers working to protect civilians even if it puts their own lives in harm’s way.
Other Negative Content: There is no way for players to turn off their mics on the pc version of the game and is forced even if a player doesn’t want to use voice chat.
Aliens Fireteam Elite has an ESRB rating of M for Mature and a PEGI rating of 16.
Aliens Fireteam Elite is a cooperative 3rd person shooter that mimics the gameplay of games such as Left 4 Dead. The game does have some unique elements, such as classes and weapon skins along with more customization options for characters and guns. Classes are rather straightforward as they are in line with what other shooters have such as gunners, healers, technicians, demolishers, lancers, Recon, and Phalanx. Each class has its style for players to choose from and adds depth to team planning. The game’s campaign is split up into smaller campaigns that build off of each other while also presenting new enemies and furthering the story.
The narrative elements of the game follow the space marines as they uncover a mystery involving a corporation that supposedly was creating Xenomorphs. The marines shift from a more rescue-oriented mission structure to eliminating the enemies in later chapters. The narrative unfortunately does not draw you in, but rather felt like justification for why players were sent to kill the Xenomorphs. Additionally, many of the characters were irritating to work with at points.
The game excels when played with others; while it is possible to play the game solo, the experience feels hampered by no interaction between the teammates. In the solo experience, the androids rarely talk except when they are healing or reloading. This results in the player having an almost hollow experience as the world feels empty without personable teammates. However, the game requires players to utilize their mics with no way to turn them off in-game, which could be frustrating for those who prefer to use an external platform for communication with friends.
Graphically Aliens Fireteam Elite looks rather good. It has nice attention to detail on all the textures and overall the world felt very in line with the one presented in the films. Of special note, the plant life on the jungle levels looks realistic as well as on the maps with water. Model-wise, the player character, and other humans look decent but not overly impressive. The Xenomorphs have very detailed-looking models that looked straight out of the films. Each Xenomorph archetype has its special design which also adds to visual interest. The androids are not overly detailed but do look decent much like the human models.
The audio design of the game is a mixed bag. The soundtrack is exemplary, while the voice acting was of regular caliber. The weakest point of the game’s audio is the gun sound effects. They were very poorly done and do not remotely have a realistic sound. The shots all sound muffled or very muted. The sound effects for the Xenomorphs were well done and carried the same menacing sound that they had in the films. Environmental noise was well done such as the quiet sounds of ships running or the sound of water dripping in caverns.
Aliens Fireteam Elite had the potential to be something special and memorable for gamers and fans of the franchise, however, this potential was squandered by the myriad of issues that plague the game. The most grievous of the issues is the forced microphone usage which not only can alienate players who do not feel comfortable with utilizing a mic, but also effectively bars any other form of communication through 3rd party services. The poor sound effects cause a loss of immersion in the game world since it can be jarring to the player to have guns that do not sound like they expect. Additionally, the solo experience feels almost not worth playing due to how hollow the game feels without personable allies to share your missions with. The final issue the game has is it feels too much like other games in the shooter genre such as Left 4 Dead, Gears of War, or Halo. The game just felt like a generic shooter with a coat of Alien-themed paint.
Overall Aliens Fireteam Elite is a decently enjoyable experience if played with friends, but otherwise feels like a slog for the solo player. While it had high points with both audio and graphics, at certain points both felt rather mediocre, especially considering the fact it was released in recent years. The one redeeming feature that the game has is its sheer variety of customization as opposed to other shooters such as the gun skins, alternate headgear, and uniforms. This is also very beneficial when it comes to choosing a class and strategizing for players who enjoy planning out their team layout.
The Bottom Line
Alien Fireteam Elite is enjoyable but not recommended for people looking for a single-player experience.