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Modder fixes typo in Aliens: Colonial Marines code, Gearbox now hiring copy editor

Is this real life?

Aliens: Colonial Marines isn’t exactly known as being the pinnacle of video game excellence. Released on Feb. 11, 2013, the game was nearly universally panned as having some of the most hilariously bad enemy AI in modern games, and it currently enjoys a 45 Metacritic score.

The now-shuttered Joystiq, gave the Gearbox-developed game a 20/100 score and said, “Aliens: Colonial Marines isn’t disappointing because it couldn’t live up to lofty expectations, it’s disappointing because it turned out to be such an unfettered disaster.”

Things got so bad for SEGA and Gearbox that they were sued for false advertisement in a class-action lawsuit in September 2003 that claimed the two companies falsely advertised the game at trade shows. Not long after, the relationship between SEGA and Gearbox soured, with SEGA claiming that Gearbox was at fault for the misrepresentation of the game to the media and public, while Pitchford and Gearbox tried to weasel their way out of any responsibility.

To showcase Gearbox’s utter ineptitude, a modder named James Dickinson recently discovered a typo in the Colonial Marine’s code that controlled the Xenomorph’s AI behavior.

According to Gamerant, “the error was found while delving into the ACM configuration file, and Dickinson came across a line of code containing the misspelled word “teather” instead of “tether.” This, of course, caused the string of code to not function properly with it actually doing nothing in the game. This minor adjustment to the original code “AttachXenoToTeather” properly fixes and “controls tactical position adjustment, patrolling and target zoning.”

In a hilarious twist of fate that shows Gearbox’s commitment to excellence, they’ve just announced a new job opening for a programming copy editor and that they’re “looking for a capable and driven full-time engineer to review all code for typos.” This person is charged to “review all code for typos. Just that,” and they must “enjoy finding typos.”

It really is a shame that Colonial Marines ended up being a big pile of crap because the game did look pretty good when we saw it at PAX East so long ago. I suppose the one good thing about it is it hopefully guarantees SEGA won’t work with Gearbox again.


Chris Powell

Chris is the editor-in-chief of Mega Visions Magazine and the co-creator of SEGA Nerds. He was the former managing editor of Airman magazine and has written for publications like Joystiq, PSP Fanboy, RETRO magazine, among others.
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