As you progress through the 8- to 10-hour campaign, you earn points that can be spent on weapon upgrades or your character's appearance. These upgrades apply across all the content in the game -- including the multiplayer, which allows you to play as a xenomorph in several modes.
The settings are the real meat of the game. You spend some time aboard the Sulaco before reaching the planet's surface and fighting your way through the Hadley's Hope colony, both of which boast a strong attention to detail when it comes to the set designs from the film. Perhaps the most satisfying segment takes place aboard the derelict spaceship, complete with egg chamber and -- yes! -- the "space jockey.''
The ominous Weyland-Yutani Corp. hovers over everything, and you may even pick up on a small reference to Scott's sort-of prequel "Prometheus.'' And series veterans Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen provide voiceover work.
Truth be told, the mechanics are pretty standard, the load times seem a bit long for this generation and the closing segment with the alien queen falls very flat. Still, "Aliens: Colonial Marines'' should satisfy the average shooter fan and will enthrall those who love the films.
"Aliens: Colonial Marines"
Developer: Gearbox Software
Available for: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC ($49.99)
Rating: M for mature
Score: Three stars out of four