Game Review: Aliens: Fireteam Elite (Xbox Series X)

For all its flaws, and there are many, Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a strong entry in the Alien video game franchise. Not even close to being on the level of 2014’s Alien: Isolation but a hell of a lot better than many other games that bear the Alien name.

A co-op shooter from Focus Home Interactive, whereas Alien Isolation was more reminiscent of the original 1979 horror. This game shares more in common with the explosive action of the sequel, Aliens. That is sure to have plenty of gamers salivating, especially as it does nail a lot of the high-octane action you would want.

That being said, it lacks a meaningful story, has very little depth and is co-op dependant. That last point is easily the most important in regards to how much enjoyment players will get out of it. If you loathe the thought of playing with others, you probably aren’t going to have as much fun.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite campaign is set across 4 chapters which are split down into 3 missions each. Beginning with you having to find, rescue and lead a doctor to safety. Then dealing with a rouge AI computer, followed by exploring a Promethean ship, before heading deep into an Alien lair to face off with the Queen herself. Across the 12 levels, you’ll hit a lot of familiar environments that nail much of the ‘feel’ of the Alien world and lore.

There is very little exploration to be done though. You have a mission and that is your goal. The linear feel to levels is on purpose though as the game wants to keep things tense and claustrophobic. This is so every single fire-fight feels as chaotic and explosive as possible. It’s this aspect that Aliens: Fireteam Elite nails.

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Gun fights are edgy affairs as the aliens come streaming out of every corner, hole and dark spot. They have no fear and seem to know that your ammo will run out eventually. No corner of the game is safe and you’ll constantly feel on edge. This is helped by variants that are tougher and more dangerous. Who doesn’t feel the same sense of fear when their character quietly acknowledges that there is a ‘prowler’ about? Or when seeing a group of ‘bursters’ running towards them?

Hell, they’re not the only enemies you’ll face across the 12 levels either. Later, synths with guns and zombified pathogen creatures will become just as deadly. It’s a non-stop battle, as you try to push towards the goal while killing anything that moves. Often leading to a finale that involves wave and defend segments. It’s here, your gadgets come in handy as you prepare to be inundated with more enemies than you can handle.

Set your defences up, trigger the waves and get ready to fight for your life. Always fun, no matter how many times you play it. Even more so when you’re playing with other humans. Which brings us back to the ‘team’ aspect.

Your team is made up of three characters, you and two others. If you don’t want to play with other humans then you’ll find yourself teamed up with voiceless androids. The AI is fine on lower difficulties but near-impossible to play with on harder ones. You’ll be able to get through the campaign with the AI but if you want to challenge yourself by playing on tougher difficulties, you’re going to need 2 other competent human players.

Although you’re going to need to be pretty competent too. Choosing the class that suits you, levelling them up, equipping them with the best weapons, perks and abilities. This is one of the more in-depth aspects of the game as there are plenty of classes, each with their own unique builds that you can chop and change around. The same goes for weapons, attachments and abilities.

Making each class the best it can be is one aspect of Aliens: Fireteam Elite that will take some time but it’s not the only thing. Achievement hunters beware, Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a grindy game. You’ll be replaying levels over and over again, just to gain experience, money and a whole load of things like colours, emotes and decals.

Although, seemingly aware of this, Focus Home have added daily and weekly ‘tactical opportunities’ that offer up big bonuses for completion. As well as ‘challenge cards’ which are mission caveats that make things harder in exchange for bigger bonuses. These give Aliens: Fireteam Elite some much needed replay value.

If you’re looking for an action-packed co-op experience that has plenty of challenge, then Aliens: Fireteam Elite will deliver. Its flaws are notable, more so when you’re playing alone, but forgivable thanks to the fun that can be had.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Aliens: Fireteam Elite (Xbox Series X)
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