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Aliens: Fireteam Elite, originally titled Aliens: Fireteam, is a three-player co-operative video game developed by Cold Iron Studios, published by Daybreak Games for next-gen consoles and PC.[1][2] It was released on August 24, 2021.

Publisher's summary

2202. A mysterious distress call reroutes your Marine Assault Unit to LV-895 in the outer colonies, where deadly Xenomorph legions, hidden corporate secrets, and ancient alien ruins await your arrival.

Set in the iconic Alien universe, Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a cooperative third-person survival shooter that drops your fireteam of hardened marines into a desperate fight to contain the Xenomorph threat.

Face off against waves of terrifying Xenomorph and Weyland-Yutani Synthetic foes alongside two players or AI teammates, as you and your fireteam desperately fight your way through four unique campaigns that introduce new storylines to the Alien universe. Create and customize your own Colonial Marine, choosing from an extensive variety of classes, weapons, gear and perks, battling overwhelming odds in this heart-pounding survival shooter experience.

THE ULTIMATE HUNT

Play a pivotal role in the epic events that occur 23 years after the original Alien trilogy as a Colonial Marine stationed aboard the UAS Endeavor, battling terrifying Xenomorph threats. Stunning visuals, iconic enemies, realistic environments, powerful weapons, futuristic equipment, and an eerie soundscape fill out new storylines in a series of replayable campaigns that evoke and expand upon the blockbuster films.

SURVIVE THE HIVE

Face overwhelming odds against over 20 enemy types, including 11 different Xenomorphs along the evolutionary scale from Facehuggers to Praetorians, each designed with their own intelligence to ambush, outsmart and eviscerate vulnerable marines. Utilize cover and master team strategy to survive extraterrestrial threats as they overrun your fireteam from every angle, swarm through doors and vents, scramble across walls and ceilings, and strike from darkness with uncanny ferocity.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR FIRETEAM

Choose from five unique classes - Gunner, Demolisher, Technician, Doc and Recon - each with their own special abilities and character perks. Utilize an extensive arsenal of 30+ weapons and 70+ mods/attachments in your effort to eradicate the Alien threat. An innovative Perk Board modifies and improves your abilities, while a unique Challenge Card system alters the approach to each Campaign mission, offering a new experience with every playthrough.

Voice Cast

  • Cynthia Rodriguez, player voice .... Heather Gonzalez
  • Molina, Katanga Computer .... Melique Berger
  • Labor Synthetics, UACM Combat Synthetics .... Keith Silverstein
  • Security Synthetics, player voice .... Sean Chiplock
  • Player voice .... Jake Eberle
  • Player voice .... Cedric Williams
  • Player voice .... Suzie Yeung


Gameplay

The game has players take control of a fireteam of three marines. The game can be played in singleplayer and in co-op. In the case of the former, the Marines will instead be represented by the synthetics Beta and Alpha, rather than humans. Missions are stand-alone, but each mission plays a part in the overall narrative. During a mission, players will be given objectives to follow and complete in order to progress, all the while fending off hordes of Xenomorphs utilizing unique weapons, abilities and perks. Armor and guns can be customized via skins.[3]

Classes

Aliens: Fireteam Elite contained five classes to choose from at launch, each with their own abilities and perks. Each class also has a primary weapon type, a secondary weapon type, and a backup sidearm. More classes have been added post-release;

  • Gunner - The 'Gunner' is a relatively simple offensive class that focuses on direct damage output. They are equipped with a rifle and a CQW (shotguns, SMGs and light flamethrowers). Their overclock ability dramatically increases the teams' weapon fire-rate for a short amount of time, and their second ability is a grenade that deals heavy damage in a modest area. Beta and Alpha both use the Gunner kit (though only the grenade: they cannot use the Overclock ability).
  • Demolisher - The 'Demolisher' sacrifices team support potential for raw firepower and crowd-control capabilities. They are equipped with a rifle and a heavy weapon (such as launchers, a heavy flamer, or the Smartgun.) Their 'Micro Rockets' ability has them activate a shoulder cannon that fires a rocket cluster, whilst 'blastwave' has the Marine create a concussive blast that knocks back close enemies.
  • Technician - The 'Technician' carries less firepower than most other class kits, but can deploy a sentry gun to assist in taking out enemy hordes. They also possess throwable 'Charged Coils' that slow down enemy movement. Carrying such equipment means they're limited in terms of personal weaponry, carrying only a handgun (though one more powerful than the backup sidearm) and a CQW, but they're good at defending positions.
  • Doc - The 'Doc' focuses on team healing; their trauma station can heal nearby allies, but has a finite amount of energy that needs to be replenished by picking up first-aid kits. Their 'Combat Stims' ability improves the teams' weapon handling and increases their agility. They carry a rifle and a handgun. To encourage team cohesion, the Doc's skills recharge faster when they're close to allies, and the Doc gains increased damage output for every Marine over a certain health threshold.
  • Recon - The fifth class, 'Recon', is initially hidden but unlocks upon completing the main campaign. The Recon carries a rifle and a CQW, like the Gunner, but unlike the Gunner the Recon focuses on team support rather than direct firepower. They utilize both a PUPS drone which scans the area to reveal nearby enemies and reduce their damage output and a 'Support Drone' which replenishes ammo and improves weapon accuracy for nearby teammates.
  • Phalanx - The 'Phalanx' class, introduced in the Season 1 update, wields a deployable shield to tank incoming damage from the front, as well as a Shock Pulse ability that emits a pulse of electricity, stunning nearby enemies. They use handguns and a CQW as their weapons of choice. Whilst their shield slows them down it can stop most frontal attacks cold, making the Phalanx ideal for drawing fire from more fragile teammates.
  • Lancer - Released with Season 3, the Lancer combines the firepower of a heavy weapon with a close-quarters weapon, and possess a directed energy 'Particle Lance' which can inflict massive damage to a line of targets. Their secondary ability boosts their firepower and survivability at the cost of reduced mobility, whilst their passive grants them increased damage whilst stationary or in cover, making them a more defensively minded version of the Demolisher.

Featured Enemies

Aliens Fireteam Elite comes with a large variety of enemies that branch into 3 factions: Xenomorphs, Pathogenic and Security Synth. All 3 factions have three types of enemies: fodders (marked in white) which are generic and easy to kill, veterans (marked in green) which are more specialized enemies and elites (marked in orange) which are usually bosses and harder to kill.

Xenomorph variants

Pathogen variants

  • Fodder
  • Veteran
    • Sprayer (Pathogen Expansion Pack)
    • Neomorph Brute (Pathogen Expansion Pack)
  • Elite

Synthetic variants

Pathogen Expansion Pack

  • Neomorph
  • Neomorph Brute
  • Sprayer
  • Unknown Giant Xenomorph

Missions

Priority One

"Respond to the distress call from Katanga refinery. Locate and extract Dr. Timothy Hoenikker, a Weyland-Yutani scientist. His safety is in your hands."
―Campaign description

Giants In The Earth

"There may be other Weyland-Yutani survivors on the surface of LV-895. Search the caves west of Pala Station - we leave no one behind."
―Campaign description

The Gift Of Fire

"A growing anomaly has been detected beneath the surface of LV-895. Dig out the source, and do whatever is necessary to resolve the situation."
―Campaign description

The Only Way To Be Sure

"The xenomorph hive aboard the Katanga refinery must be dealt with. Assure the destruction of the refinery and the hive... then get out alive."
―Campaign description

Development

Cold Iron Studios formed in November 2015 before going public in December. Funding was secured for their Alien project in late December the following year after showcasing a prototype which was developed during that period.[4]

"We put together a pitch, built a great prototype, got fully-funded, and are now building an unstoppable team. We're working hard on a AAA online action game that is literally out of this world..."
―Craig Zinkievich

Promotional shot of a marine fighting a Xenomorph. Note the Working Joe-like synthetics in the background.

The Alien project was publicly announced on January 17, 2018 following Cold Iron Studios acquisition by FoxNext. According to FoxNext president Aaron Loeb, the game was to feature an "action-packed persistent world", which sparked rumours of the game being similar in style to Destiny.[5]

In the Disney/Fox merger of 2019, Cold Iron Studios was sold alongside FoxNext to Scopely. In August 2020, the studio was again sold, this time to Daybreak Games.[6] As a result of these disruptions, development of the game was rumoured to have been set back several months.

A series of largely negative rumours circulated about the project during its development, with claims that studio management had little care for quality or feedback on the title. Supposedly a number of developers left the studio due to poor internal decisions. In 2019 a developer described the game as "not fun".[7]

The game's title was announced as "Aliens: Fireteam" alongside a trailer on the 2nd March 2021 with a planned release of Summer that year. The title was later changed to "Aliens: Fireteam Elite" before its release.

Downloadable Content

See: Aliens: Fireteam Elite downloadable content

Tie-in Media

Novel

A prequel novel by Weston Ochse was published in the buildup to the game's release, titled Aliens: Infiltrator. The story features a group of veteran Colonial Marines attempting to contain a Xenomorph outbreak at a Weyland-Yutani lab.[8] It was scheduled to release on July 28, 2020 before ultimately being delayed until April 20, 2021.[9] This delay was thought to be tied to the game's production setbacks following the Disney/Fox merger.

Comic series

A second prequel in the form of an eight-issue comic series titled Aliens: Colonial Marines - Rising Threat was also announced, and was set to be released in September 2019.[10] The story was to follow on from an earlier comic, Aliens: Rescue, and would have starred Olivia Shipp, a character from the novel Alien: Echo.[11] The series was cancelled just under three weeks from the release of the first issue due to allegations of sexual misconduct against lead writer Brian Wood.[12]

A photo showing icons to launch the Cold Iron Aliens shooter (March 2020).

Trivia

  • When originally announced, the game's title was rumoured to be Alien: Blackout, however this was later revealed to be an entirely separate mobile game which launched in January 2019.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 the Cold Iron Studios team began working on the game from home, leading to the first photo of the game's desktop icon to be leaked on social media.
  • Initially the game was believed to be similar in style to Destiny, however when announced it was revealed that the title featured 3-player co-operative play, similar to Left 4 Dead.

Gallery

Videos

References

  1. "Fox buys games studio to rival its TV and movie output" (17 January 2018). Retrieved on 7 January 2019.
  2. "Cold Iron Studios". Retrieved on 7 January 2019.
  3. "Aliens: Fireteam Elite – New Gameplay Today" (22 July 2021). Retrieved on 24 July 2021.
  4. "Cold Iron is a new AAA online action game studio" (6 December 2016). Retrieved on 7 January 2019.
  5. "New Alien Game in Development After Fox Buys Cold Iron Studios" (18 January 2018). Retrieved on 8 January 2019.
  6. "Cold Iron Studios & Daybreak Games". Retrieved on 11 August 2020.
  7. "Cold Iron Studios Reviews". Retrieved on 7 July 2020.
  8. "Amazon.com - Alien: Infiltrator". Retrieved on 2019-11-04.
  9. "titanbooks.com - Alien: Infiltrator".
  10. "This September, a new #Aliens story features characters from the game by Cold Iron Studios!". Retrieved on 31 July 2019.
  11. "Dark Horse Comics Announces Aliens: Colonial Marines: Rising Threat!". Retrieved on 31 July 2019.
  12. "UPDATED: Brian Wood accused of sexual misconduct". Retrieved on 31 August 2019.

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