Fans fix Aliens: Colonial Marines' amateurish game trailer

UPDATE: Reader Pat David went the extra mile and improved the trailer a different way: by keeping the music and sound effects but removing the dreadful voiceover: "turns out it's a center-panned vocal - so just inverted the LR stereo channels." Pat's edit is pasted above, UberWaz's is below.

After years of waiting, Alien fans were shocked yesterday by the appalling state of the trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines. Badly-acted and terribly-scripted, it made the forthcoming game look amateurish and cheesy; the project's lead writer immediately and publicly disowned it. But what a difference a day makes: Rock Paper Shotgun reader UberWaz remixed the clip with new audio, creating something that perfectly matches the franchise's gloomy mix of science fiction and horror.

Here's the "fixed" trailer using the original Aliens soundtrack as a mood piece. Below is the excruciating, official original.


      1. I haven’t gotten sound on that site for months. Which rather kills the joke. And the speed up function has been broken for several years.

  1. So “remixed the clip with new audio” means simply replacing the audio with a track from the film’s soundtrack? What’s next? Winning Top Chef by handing out McDonalds gift certificates to the judges?

    1. Todd, do you really think that the Aliens Soundtrack/fast food analogy is apt or that the results are worse that that voiceover? It’s like you did this:

      if (they didn’t make much obvious effort) { sneer }

      When hewing to the original soundtrack is perfect to the mood and history of what amounts to a nostalgia piece, an entirely appropriate hearkening-back.

      You are hereby forbidden from commenting before lunch; lunches must henceforth involve liquid components.

      1. Rob, your Pike profile pic has earned you a place on the protected scrolls. When my people come to conquer your planet, you will come to no harm.

      2. Well, since the post called out the terrible writing and acting, I expected at least some… better writing and acting. Just tossing in a soundtrack (from the original film, no less, and barely edited) to silent images isn’t really representative of a serious improvement.

        1. And yet it’s still an improvement. Personally i think it looks terrible and no amount of editing will fix that but eh.

          1. It’s not an improvement in some artsy less-is-more sense, but in the sense that a small dollop of shit on your plate is better than a large one.

        2. But surely the terrible writing and acting Rob referred to was the awful voiceover. The ‘Update’ version with original soundtrack sans voiceover is an infinite improvement and just goes to show how unnecessary the VO was.

      3. Yeah, I suppose it was a little “if they didn’t make much obvious effort, sneer”. Design is the art of choosing from a multitude of possible sources and putting them together in some kind of unique and interesting way. You can’t just buy a blank canvas from one art supply store and have it framed and call yourself a painter.

        All this is a bit moot now that the far-superior new “remix” with the voice-over is out.

    2. It’s kind of like being a designer. Doing something very simple but incredibly effective sometimes seems like something that could be done in five seconds. But choosing exactly the right audio that transforms a cheezy trailer into something malevolent and brooding takes a bit of talent, yes.

      1. But it feels incredibly empty and unfinished. Even if there were no dialogue, there should be gunfire, alien screaming sounds, and motion tracking beeps. That kind of sound design is incredibly important. Woe to the designer who feels this is a finished piece as-is

        1. Sometimes music and atmosphere alone can create a compelling mood without screaming and gunfire sounds. Woe to me, maybe?

          I refer you to the classic Gears of War trailer with nothing but Gary Jules’ cover of “Mad World”. This wouldn’t be at all improved with sound effects added.

          1. A song with lyrics that subverts the overall tone works as a standalone soundtrack because it is complete by itself. This doesn’t work as a standalone audio track because it was designed to enhance the diegetic sound of the film, not as a separate work, and is not tonally in opposition.

        2. It would be better if someone had more footage they could use to recut the video and make it synch up with the atmospheric soundtrack, but it still works pretty well

    3. To have a chance, you’d have to feed the gift certificates to the judges. That or take off and nuke them from orbit.

  2. It’s a lot better if you pretend it is being spoken by Bill Paxton’s character, who actually survived and is back for revenge.

      1.  As Harrison Ford once said: “George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can’t say it.”

    1. I COMPLETELY agree and was just going to comment on that myself. It sounds a lot like old man Paxton every now and then, and when he says “baddest mother f**ckers in the galaxy” or whatever, it basically sounds exactly like that character. I think people would’ve warmed to it a bit more if at the end he said “Game ON man” or something. haha

  3. got as far as “You don’t die unless I give you a direct order”… that’s it, i’m out.

    you do not say that with a straight face unless you’re either Arny or The Body Ventura.

  4. The original had a marine taunting a xenomorph with the line, “You picked the wrong side.” They must have been grabbing lines from random shooters, because why would you say that to an alien, who isn’t the type to choose sides?

    1. Probably from the competitive multiplayer component…
      “Competitive multiplayer has been confirmed, and Gearbox has shown Aliens vs Marines team deathmatch 6 v 6 gameplay, as well as a 4 v 4 objective mode called Escape, where the marines team must reach an evac point while the alien team must hunt and stop them. Gearbox has said that there are other multiple “objective based modes” that have not been announced yet.”

  5. Whomever approved that trailer will likely wake up with a xenomorph head under their sheets. Thou dost not offendeth the Cameron!

  6. The “remix” is a slight improvement, but almost anything would be, since the original sounds like a bad roleplayer attempting to imitate Hudson from the film. Some sound effects would be a good start, but really, they need to redo the whole thing if they’re really going to go for an atmospheric approach with random bursts of dakka. 

    1. I reckon they should have put in some classic lines from the whole TRILOGY; had the music fade out and then add an appropriately-timed explosion, and from that point on mixed the trailer to be mostly combat stuff, loaded with those delicious steadicam-gun sound effects and ‘chipmunk elephant’ wails the aliens make when they get wasted.

  7. Oh that Mikey.  I’m not really surprised he publicly trashed something from his own employer.  If he’s anything like the Mikey of years ago, I’d just assume he actually wrote it.

  8. Ignoring the dialog for a second, does this game even make sense?  It looks like it’s been put through the Poochie focus group blender.  So, it’s a sequel, but you’re heading to LV-426 in the Sulaco?  Um, what about the reactor blowing up at the end of Aliens?  What about all the marines dying?  Is this some bizarre mashup of Aliens & Groundhog Day?

    1. You’re the rescue group of marines in another ship, the ones who were 21 days out.

      They arrive to find the Sulaco still in orbit.

      Well, apparently the base is just Mostly Nuked.

      I think the idea here is, it’d be fun to have a game set in the ALIENS environment, but just replaying the movie is pointless, so, you’re in the ship that comes to find out what happened to the first batch of marines.  There may be a bit of retconning to make it work.  

      In the words of the MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 theme, just repeat to yourself, it’s just a show, I should really just relax.

      1. Well, I’d understand that, but from the scenes, it looks like you’re doing exactly what the previous group of marines did (investigating the lab, welding doors, somehow tricking the queen into the loading bay and deciding to use the loader to fight her).  It just feels like some marketing folks decided to use the same setpieces to attract the Aliens fans (“Hey, remember this scene?  Huh?  HUH?”) and hand wave away how it could actually be happening.

        1.  those could be cutscenes, replaying the events of the film- notcie the quick shots of a pilot who looks like Ferro or a rather Bishop- looking character

  9. Well, I had to come here and do this.  I’ve used the original trailer, and just removed the horrible voiceover (turns out it’s a center-panned vocal – so just inverted LR stereo channels to remove only the voiceover):

      1. It’s an old trick to create karaoke tracks from the originals – vocals are usually in the centre (i.e. identical on both L and R) whilst the instruments aren’t (because otherwise you’d just have a mono track.)

        It worked surprisingly well here; it usually results in some odd audio artifacts.

  10. Trailer #1: aimed at 11 year olds. Trailer #2: aimed at people who might be old enough to have seen the movie.

  11. Looks cool. I always wanted one of the prop guns from the movie. I know there is an airsoft kit that starts out as a Thompson. I wonder if that is what they originally used in the film. I also wonder if mounting a gun on a steady cam would actually work or not.

    1. has an assembled version with a working bullet counter, but the under barrell launcher doesn’t work. They put the battery in there. The price is reasonable in comparison to the kit they had earlier.

  12. these new remakes of the aliens colonial marines trailer sucks ass the original is so much better whoever made these remakes arent true alien fans and shouldnt remake any trailers cuz they suck dont fucking mess with originals and if u dont like the trailer then fuck u thats ur own opinion but dont ruin the trailers for everyone else just cuz u think it sucks dumbasses

  13. I’m sure I heard a story ages ago that James Cameron hated the proposed Aliens poster so much that he said he’d rather have just the word “Aliens” on black poster than that crap – which is what happened. Looking at the vid above with the voiceover stripped making it better it’s almost as if things have come full circle,

  14. Mission accomplished, by producing a bad trailer to begin with, they got me to watch their advertisement 3 times.  All for a game that i would have ignored if they did a good job to start with.

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