As soon as reviewers received copies of Aliens: Colonial Marines, it became clear that there were significant problems with the game. Teammates would drop nonsensical dialogue. Xenomorphs were easy-to-kill, often annoying foes. Major set pieces, such as using the loader, were sidelined. The story, billing itself as something of a continuation of James Cameron's landmark Aliens, was ignorable and repetitive.
Why had a game that took six years to put together arrived so half-baked? Gearbox took on the project in 2007, shortly after SEGA acquired the rights to the Aliens' license, and began preproduction on the game. However, during that time, Gearbox was finalizing its first new IP since Brothers in Arms, the blueprint loot shooter Borderlands.
The surprise success that Borderlands achieved may have been one of the first problems for Aliens: Colonial Marines. Gearbox decided to prioritize Borderlands 2 and, as a result, shipped the production of the game over to another studio, TimeGate. However, when TimeGate began working on Aliens: Colonial Marines, in late 2010 or early 2011, the team was tasked with hitting a spring 2012 release date, with critical parts of the story still not in place.