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Modder takes it upon himself to 'fix' Aliens: Colonial Marines

Xenomorphs are now something to fear, thanks to 'ACM Overhaul'

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Gearbox Software's Aliens: Colonial Marines was such a disaster when it launched in 2013 that it spawned a false advertising lawsuit against publisher Sega. Now, more than three years later, one modder has put out a suite of gameplay balance, AI and graphical adjustments that he says "fixes" the game's Windows PC version.

"ACM Overhaul" has been "heavily balanced and play-tested," modder TemplarGFX writes. Xenomorphs are now much more terrifying foes, he says, thanks to substantial boosts to their ability (based on class) to outmaneuver the player. They also need fewer attacks to bring down a human. "Movement speed, acceleration, weight, jump power and flight speed [have been] rebalanced so [Xenomorphs] are extremely agile and move swiftly around the cluttered levels."

Xenomorph health takes a steep hit to balance out their added power and menace, but it will still take multiple headshots to put them out of commission quickly.

There are many, many more changes than just these, all of which may be seen at the ModDB page. The bottom line is that the graphical settings have all been adjusted for greater visual fidelity, the weapon specs and mechanics have been completely reworked, and the AI for humans and aliens has been redone to present a greater challenge.

Here's a video of the mod in action:

Stupid AI and gameplay balance were only part of the problem when Aliens: Colonial Marines launched in February 2013. The game's visuals were nowhere near what fans expected after seeing the usual round of hype reels and an infamous 2012 walkthrough that looked nothing like the final product.

A resulting lawsuit alleging false advertising of the product resulted in a settlement, but not before court documents exposed Sega's displeasure with how Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford promoted the game before launch.