Coding Typo Ruined Xenomorph AI in Aliens: Colonial Marines

Published: July 15, 2018 10:50 AM /


aliens colonial marines header

There are few games as infamous as Aliens: Colonial Marines. Hyped up for years by Gearbox and Sega as an authentic sequel to the movies, it released to scathing reviews. Outsourced to Section 8 developer TimeGate Studios, the game felt rushed and broken on arrival. Years after the fact, a modder may have discovered one reason why.

In a post from 2017 recently uncovered by a ResetEra member, modder jamesdickinson963 discovered that the line of code managing the enemy Xenomorph AI was off. Instead of including a reference to a tether, it mentions a 'teather'. Since no other code mentions this word, the enemy aliens have no idea where to move in the shipped game. This might explain why players saw the famous monsters stand on their hind legs and charge the player only occasionally. Once the correction is in place, you can see the xenomorphs stay with the player and engage more often.

For those curious enough to try the fix yourself, you can find the offending config file in your game's install directory. I'll let the modder's original post explain the exact details.

Inside your games config file (My Document\My Games\Aliens Colonial Marines\PecanGame\Config\PecanEngine.ini) is the following line of code :

ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather

Im sure you'll notice the spelling mistake

ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTether

If you fix it to look like the above and then play the game, the difference is pretty crazy!

If you don't want to load up the game, PC Gamer has a few comparison GIFs that display the difference between the two versions. TechRaptor has reached out to Sega and Gearbox regarding the bug and will update this story if they provide a response.

Quick Take

What an unfortunate event to add to the novella of nonsense that is Aliens Colonial Marines. It's worth noting that I've seen plenty of game devs on Twitter stating how easy this mistake was to make. Still, it's just perfect that it happened in this case. It probably wouldn't have made the game any more popular on release, but it could have at least eased the burden on the poor souls who had to review it. As for now, we'll have to see if Gearbox goes back to fix the typo officially or just lets the game fade back into obscurity.

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Alex Santa Maria TechRaptor
| Staff Writer

Alex Santa Maria is TechRaptor's former Reviews Editor (2015-2020) and current occasional critic. Joining the site early in its life, Alex grew the review… More about Alex