It’s not game over, man! (At least not for our Aliens: Fireteam Elite review).
Frantic, squad-based bug hunting
Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a co-op horde shooter that puts players in the boots of the UNSC Colonial Marines. The gameplay is standard third-person shooter faire but shines with the Aliens atmosphere, deep character class building, and enemy types. The game begins with players creating their character, selecting their starting class and jumping boots first into the USS Endeavour. This is the hub area of the game. Players can freely explore the ships layout, purchase new armor, weapons, and abilities, and choose which missions to go on.
From the USS Endeavour, players embark on a mission to locate a missing doctor aboard a derelict ship. it’s worth noting that players can tackle the story solo with two A.I. companions, or up to to other players via co-op. The story quickly becomes Aliens-esque with corridor shootouts, area defense, and escorting characters to safety.
What’s great about Aliens: Fireteam Elite is how it utilizes locations and lore-friendly set pieces to create a suitable narrative with fun level design. Players will quickly jump from the beloved Weyland-Yutani space frigates to the fresh air and open areas of an LV-895. There are also elements of the Promethus films here that fans of the series will really appreciate.
The Narrative wraps up somewhat abruptly, but in a way that makes sense. You start in a derelict ship, and end things the way you would expect to in an Aliens shooter – a hive busting bug hunt. Sadly, the showdown with the Queen is less than impressive, but, on the plus side, the levels are beautifully detailed.
Shoot, loot, and the level-up loop
The story in Aliens: Fireteam Elite takes a backseat to gunplay and class customization. There are five classes in the base game, one of which requires campaign completion in order to unlock. There has been one additional class added in a free update, and there are even more on the way.
With five classes to choose from and tons of skills to unlock, Aliens: Fireteam Elite allows for hours customization and gameplay.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite shines in co-op with a full party. Three players making their way from objective to objective killing Xenomorphs, Weyland-Yutani synthethic commandos along the way is a blast. Beating a level, unlocking new gear, leveling up a class, and equipping new abilities keeps things fresh. There are tons of weapons to unlocks, new skills to find and equip, new weapons mods to experiment with, and hidden cosmetics to uncover; so much so that after nearly 30 hours, I’m still missing a ton of goodies to unlock. Some players may like that aspect, and others may not.
This title is for players who enjoy the recent hybrid of shooting and RPG mechanics meshed together. Class building is a necessity on any difficulty above normal, and the same goes for choosing the proper gear. Fans of this type of gameplay, and/or the source material will very much enjoy this title. Especially considering that it’s more on the budget end in terms of of pricing.
Aliens as it should be
I’ve had a tremendous amount of fun with Aliens: Fireteam Elite. I’m sitting at ~30 hours played with a few classes maxed out, plenty of more gear to unlock, and a story mode to finish on the highest difficulty. I’ve played through the entirety of the campaign alongside Justin, and we’ve both had nothing but good things to say about the game.
There is a fair amount of jank, but that’s to be expected with a smaller dev team, budget release price, and no predatory microtransactions.
The story present here is suitable, the locations are outstanding, and the gameplay is incredibly fun; the core gameplay loop is fun and addicting. It’s easy to jump into another run of the campaign, work on leveling classes, and creating new class builds.
I highly recommend Aliens: Fireteam Elite to anyone that is a fan of the Alien franchise and enjoys the standard third-person shooter type of gameplay.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite is available on the Playstation and Xbox family of consoles, as well as PC for $39.99. A free expansion has been released which added a new class along with some weapons and cosmetics, which you can check out here, and there is even more content planned for the title’s future. So, keep it here for all the updates, news, and more reviews.