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Aliens: Colonial Marines

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013)

Aliens: Colonial Marines is a first-person shooter video game based on the popular Aliens movie. The game was under development by Gearbox Software since 2006, and subject to repeated delays with the initial release date having been early in 2010. After seven years in development, it was finally released on February 12th 2013 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.


The following weapons appear in the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines:


Aliens: Colonial Marines uses an unusual system whereby the player character can carry every weapon they have and assign them to four quick-selection slots; two for main weapons, one for a pistol, and one for a grenade or mine. Basic weapons are unlocked using an experience point system, while special "Legendary Weapons", based on weapons used by characters in the film and having special attributes, can be found in the game world. All pistols in the game have infinite ammo and it can be used while the player is downed.

Heavy weapons like the Flamethrower and the Smartgun are powerful weapons that can only be found in certain locations in the game world, as with the Legendary Weapons above. However, heavy weapons cannot be put in the player's inventory, and if the player switches out the weapon for a different one or runs out of ammo, it will be discarded and ammo cannot be refilled.

Experience points can be used to earn accessories that can then be purchased using commendations (unlock points) gained by levelling up and/or completing in-game challenges. These accessories include various scopes, optics, firemodes, alternative ammunition, paint schemes and underbarrel accessories. Legendary Weapons, heavy weapons and weapons that are available as DLC, however, cannot be modified.

In the "Stasis Interrupted" campaign DLC however, the player can only use the weapons that are restricted by the current level, regardless if the weapon is unlocked or not. Both Legendary Weapons and DLC weapons are not available in these levels.



A slightly modernized M1911A1 with an undermounted accessory rail is the default marine sidearm, and is available from the start from the start of the game. It is referred in-game to as the "Armat M4A3 Service Pistol", an iteration of the "M4" pistol that originally appeared in Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. Although the slide markings actually refers to it as "COLT AUTOMATIC CALIBUR 45" and concept arts refer to it as "Colt 1911 .45". It is chambered in 9mm, unlike the original M1911 where it was based upon, which accordingly holds 12 rounds in the magazine instead of seven. A legendary version of the M1911A1 with pearl grips and darker frame appears as "Vasquez's Pistol", this is incorrect as she uses a modified Smith & Wesson 39 in the film.

It can use a number of different attachments, including a suppressor (which somehow increases accuracy), a laser sight and high velocity rounds (which increase damage at the expense of rate of fire and more recoil).

Colt M1911A1 - .45 ACP
The M4A3 Service Pistol in-game.

Heckler & Koch VP70

The Heckler & Koch VP70, specifically the original 1970 VP70 variant, appears in the game as the sole unlockable sidearm outside of legendary variants. It is known in-game as the "W-Y 88 Mod 4 Combat Pistol" (alternatively spelled "88 MOD4"), though slide markings refer to it as the "MK 88 Mod 4". It is modified with olive grips and an unusable undermounted accessory rail, with the trigger guard shortened to accommodate this. In contrast with the "M4A3" above, the 88 Mod 4 fires faster (despite the infamously long trigger pull compared to the M1911 series), has higher capacity (18 rounds) and has lighter recoil, but deals lower damage despite sharing the same caliber; the latter is, amusingly enough, correct - to allow its simple blowback mechanism to safely function with 9x19mm ammunition (without using an obnoxiously heavy slide or recoil spring), the VP70 has rifling cut deep enough to allow gas to blow past the bullet, lowering its muzzle velocity by a fairly substantial margin. It can be fitted with a red dot sight (with a sight mount), an extended magazine (that holds 27 rounds) and it can be converted to full automatic through "heavily [modifying the] firing mechanism" of the pistol.

"Gorman's Pistol", a legendary variant of the 88 Mod 4 pistol that appears in the game, has darker frame and uses black grips instead of the olive grips that was originally used by the pistol. However, Gorman's actual pistol in the film lacks the accessory rail that is present in the game.

Heckler & Koch VP70 - 9x19mm Parabellum
The W-Y 88 MOD4 in-game.
Gorman's Pistol, as seen in first-person.


Short barreled Side by Side Shotgun (Sawed Off)

A sawed-off side by side shotgun appears under the generic "Sawed-off Shotgun" moniker. It is fitted with an unusable accessory rail that is attached to the left side of the weapon and markings of the weapon on both sides of the weapon refer as "HUDSON COMBAT SHOTGUN 12GA BLANK", but it is obscured in the player's perspective because of the accessory rail blocking it. Unlike most modern video game double barreled shotguns, this weapon fires both barrels at the same time, which can perform devastating damage when all shots connect. The weapon must be reloaded every shot, as a result of this.

Originally exclusive to the Extermination Edition pre-order of the game, the sawed-off shotgun appears as a DLC weapon that is instantly unlocked when obtaining. It is referred to as a "flushgun" in the game's files.

Stevens 311R (sawed-off) - 12 gauge
The Short barreled Side by Side Shotgun in-game.

Ithaca 37 "Stakeout"

The Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" is featured as the "Armat M37A2 Pump Shotgun", one of the three (excluding its legendary variant) shotguns offered in the game. It is the default secondary longarm weapon at the beginning of every player. It appears to be modified with a parkerized finish with a synthetic pump and a custom pistol grip which allows it to fit a stock (though no stocks cannot be attached for this weapon in the game). As with most of the weapons in the game, it is fitted with a side accessory rail, which can attach a laser module. It incorrectly holds 8 shells in the magazine tube, as the model features a 4-round tube as standard.

Another variant, "Hicks' Shotgun", appears as a Legendary Weapon in the game. This shotgun is themed after the modified Ithaca 37 that Hicks used in the film, featuring the taped MP40 grip and wooden pump handle. Unlike the film however, it is marked with "NO FATE" painted on top of the receiver, a reference to Michael Biehn's other famous role as Kyle Reese in Terminator and it has acid burn marks on the muzzle, a reference to it's final use in Aliens. It holds 6 rounds in the magazine tube in the game, which is still incorrect.

The M37A2 can be attached with enhanced lightweight iron sights, a barrel choke and a "custom loading port" for faster reloading (without an alterations of the weapon model). Anti-personnel "expanding shots" can be used in place of standard buckshot, at the cost of fire rate. It is also the only weapon that can use alternative firemodes without the use of an underbarrel attachment; it can fire timed explosive shells or flechette darts, without depleting the main weapon's ammunition.

Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" Parkerized finish with Synthetic forearm - 12 gauge
The M37A22 in-game, shown here with the laser sight fitted.
Hicks' Shotgun

Benelli M4 Super 90

The "W-Y MK221 Tactical Shotgun" appears, resembling a Benelli M4 Super 90 (which is previously referred as in concept arts), as one of the few weapons that does not appear in the film. Compared to the real weapon, it features a vented fore with attachment rails in both sides of the weapon, both Picatinny rail and iron sight of the weapon have been replaced with a futuristic rail and sight that act as one system, and the ejection port as well as the charging handle flipped to the left side in the player's view instead of the more correct right side. By default, it is not fitted with its telescopic stock, although it is available as an optional attachment. It deals slightly lower damage than the "M37A2" above, but what it makes up is its faster semi-automatic fire or even fully automatic fire through the use of a "motorized cycling system".

As with most of the level-unlocked weapons in the game, it can be fitted with a red dot sight, a laser module as well as a conversion system to use box magazines instead of its tube magazines for even faster reloading. The MK221 is fitted with an underslung launcher by default, which fires electrically charged slugs, acting as an oversized stun gun, though it can be switched out to fire 15mm fragmentation rounds or amusingly enough, can be switched out with an underbarrel shotgun which can fire incendiary rounds.

Benelli M4 Super 90 with 7-shot tube - 12 gauge
The W-Y MK221 in-game, shown here with the box magazine upgrade fitted.

Submachine Guns


The "Armat M39 Submachine Gun" appears as one the usable player weapons. It does not appear to be based on any real-life weapon, although it does somewhat resemble the prototype TDI Vector which may have served as an inspiration for the design. As with all of the rifles featured in the game, it features an ammunition counter based on the M41A series, and features what a fore, inspired by the M41A grenade launcher or other submachine gun designs such as the Walther MPL. When reloading, the player does not manipulate the charging handle. Pre-release and concept material originally refer the weapon as the "M3A", though it was renamed to "M39" in the final release.

The M39's ammunition is not stated in game. The weapon markings on the side of the weapon refer as "ARMAT M3A 9mm", which implies that the weapon fires 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition. However, firing the weapon will not spew out any casings, but a tinkling sound can be heard after the weapon has fired, which may be a bug that was not fixed in the final release. Further supporting this, ammunition obtained for the M39 are spare pistol magazines used by the "M4A3" and the "88 Mod 4" above, both using 9mm rounds (though oddly enough, since all sidearms have infinite reserve ammo, this negates the need to find such ammunition in the first place). The M39's default magazine holds 48 rounds, which appears to be too small to hold all of the rounds as it can fit 12 rounds at best (assuming the gun fires 9x19mm and uses double-stacked magazines), upgrading the magazine size to 78 rounds lengthens the magazine, but appears that it still cannot fit all of them.

Other than the higher capacity magazine, the M39 can be fitted with a red dot sight and a laser module mounted under the fore. Its skeletal stock can be replaced with an adjustable stock and its internal mechanism can be modified through the use of a "motorized ammo feed mechanism", which allows the weapon to achieve higher rates of fire.

Prototype TDI Vector - .45 ACP
The M39 in-game, shown here with the laser sight fitted and the recoil reducing stock.


M41A Pulse Rifle

While the game's main rifle is the M41A MK2 mentioned below, the two Legendary Weapons featured in the game are both modeled after the original M41A Pulse Rifle instead. Both of which has different aspects compare to the main pulse rifle and each other.

The first legendary variant is "Hudson's Pulse Rifle", which is a customized M41A with tally marks and a skull and crossbones design (a reference to his armor decals) painted on the frame of the rifle with "HUDSON" stenciled in it, though Hudson's actual rifle in the film is the same as every marine using it which is purely unmodified. The in-game weapon fires in four-round bursts along with a 95 round capacity, it is less stable as a burst weapon compared to the "NSG 23" below, but it offers more firepower. The in-game weapon features iron sights as with the M41A MK2, while in the film and the various media before it, the rifle does not have iron sights (although it is for gameplay reasons, to provide an iron sight for aiming down as the weapon originally lacks one). It offers the same high-explosive grenade launcher as with its counterpart below.

The other legendary variant that is also available as DLC is "Ripley's Pulse Rifle" (alternatively known as "Ripley's Flamethrower"), which is a rifle taped with a M240 Flamethrower and a personal locator which was famously used by Ripley in the climax of the film. Both of the weapons are flipped in-game, as the pulse rifle is on the left side while the flamethrower is on the right, whereas in the film it is the other way around. Here, the pulse rifle is fully automatic, but it suffers harsh recoil and it restricts the player from using iron sights as the locator is blocking the way. Instead, attempting to aim down weapon sights will result in the flamethrower being fired, a trait unique only to this weapon. Both variants of the pulse rifle in-game have the ammunition counter display on both sides of the weapon, though the real rifle only has the counter on the right side (once again, for gameplay reasons, to ensure the rifle's ammunition is displayed for the player especially on the hardest difficulty where there is no HUD).

M41As can be found throughout the levels that take place on the USS Sulaco, though these variants are not obtainable.

M41A Pulse Rifle - 10mm caseless / 30mm grenades

M41A Mark 2 Pulse Rifle

As in the movie, as well as the Aliens versus Predator video games, an M41A Pulse Rifle variant is the standard automatic weapon of the Colonial Marines, in this case an updated Mark 2 variant. Features an ammo counter on the left-hand side of the rifle. The Mark 2 is slightly smaller overall than the original version seen in the film, and features a 40 round magazine capacity (unlike the movie version's 100-round capacity), likely for balance reasons. The magazine capacity can be increased to 60 with a magazine attachment.

It exists within the game in three variants. Aside from the standard issue Mark 2, pre-ordering the collector's edition of the game gives players access to "Ripley's Flamethrower", which is actually a Pulse Rifle and a Flamethrower taped together, as used by Sigourney Weaver in Aliens; a notable goof is that the weapons are the wrong way round from what was depicted in the film, where the Pulse Rifle was on the right and the Flamethrower was on the left. Another legendary Pulse Rifle called "Hudson's Pulse Rifle" is also available once found in-game. Both Ripley's Flamethrower and Hudson's Pulse Rifle are based on the original M41A from the film, and have the full 100 round magazine from the movie (albeit downloaded to 95 rounds in-game). Hudson's Pulse Rifle is also limited to burst fire only (likely a reference to the "short, controlled bursts" scene in the film).

The Mark 2 has several modular and customization options. These options include the aforementioned extended magazine, laser and reflex sights, an increased fire rate, a sound suppressor and even the option to swap out the underslung grenade launcher for either a fire-bomb launcher or a pump-action 12 gauge shotgun. The 30mm grenades used by the Pulse Rifle's default underbarrel launcher are also employed as hand grenades in the game, as seen being used by Lieutenant Gorman in the film.

M41A Pulse Rifle - 10mm caseless / 30mm grenades
The M41A Mark 2 in-game.

"W-Y NSG 23" Assault Rifle

Called the W-Y NSG 23 Assault Rifle, used by Weyland-Yutani commandos. Apparently, it is a 7.62mm burst fire assault rifle with a 30 round magazine capacity. It can utilize several underbarrel attachments, the default of which is a flamethrower, and can be fitted with other accessories including a recoil absorbing butt pad, a red dot sight or a combat scope.

It can also accept a firearm muffler and receive a modification to change it from a 3 round burst to a 5 round burst.

The NSG 23 in-game, shown here with the combat scope fitted.

"Armat M4RA" Bullpup Battle Rifle

Called the Armat M4RA Battle Rifle, it has a bullpup frame and a 15 round magazine. It functions as the game's sniper or marksman rifle, given the close quarters most of the game takes place in.

The M4RA in-game, shown here with the combat scope fitted.

Heavy Weapons

M56 Smartgun

The M56 Smartgun appears in-game as Private O'Neal's standard issue weapon, and is wielded by armoured Weyland-Yutani mercenaries, although it cannot be picked up once they are killed. It is also usable by the player on occasion, although it cannot be retained in the player's inventory, nor can it be reloaded, and the weapon is simply discarded when empty. An M56 was also seen attached to a P-5000 Power Loader's arm in the E3 walkthrough.

Another sketch shows off the detailing of the weapon.

M240 Flamethrower

The M240 Flamethrower, like the M56 Smartgun, can be used by the player but cannot be retained in their inventory and must be discarded once empty. It is devastating against Aliens but less effective against armored human enemies.

An M240 also forms part of the legendary Ripley's Flamethrower weapon available with the Collector's Edition of the game, although unlike the Pulse Rifle component of the weapon it cannot be reloaded and becomes useless once empty (the Pulse Rifle component can still be used). An M240 was also seen on the left arm of the Powerloader in the E3 walkthrough.

M240 Flamethrower

UA571-C Remote Automated Sentry System

First seen outside the Operations Center at the Hadley's Hope colony, left over from the events of Aliens. Several others are subsequently used by the new group of Marines in the game. Robot Sentries can be moved and placed by the player to set up defensive points.

Claymore Mine

In-game called the Armat M20 Claymore Mine.

See Also

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