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Aliens: Colonial Marines

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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 (with additional work by TimeGate Studios) 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. After its launch, multiple online downloadable content was released throughout the months, although primarily for the game's multiplayer maps, which do not add any new weapons.

Stasis Interrupted was released later in July 23, 2013 for all platforms as the final piece of DLC and the only campaign released post-launch, which serves as a prequel to the main events of the game. As with all of the DLC however, they do not contain any new weapons.

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


Corporal Winter (the main player character in the campaign) ponders what weapon he would bring to a ship that somehow ended up on LV-426...
The arsenal radial menu visible. Clicking the weapon brings up a sub menu to select what weapon to be switched on that slot.

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 (and once picked up, they cannot be found again unless if it is a heavy weapon). All pistols in the game have infinite ammo and it can be used while the player is downed. Both primary weapon ammo and secondary alternative fire (underbarrel attachments or specialty shells in the case of the "M37A2") can be refilled by pickups which are either dropped from human enemies or located anywhere in the map, alternative fire weapons come at a fixed ammo supply and are never seen reloading.

Heavy weapons like the Flamethrower and the Smartgun are powerful weapons that can only be found in fixed 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, 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. Weapons in Stasis Interrupted only have default attachments available, with the exception of the M37A2 in the first DLC mission. Multiplayer modes (except campaign cooperative) forgo the arsenal radial menu system entirely, and instead stick to loadouts created by the player.

Note: The majority of the game's screenshots were taken using a specific out-of-game configuration setting that entirely disables the heads-up display in all gamemodes. The "Ultimate Badass" difficulty in the campaign or Bug Hunt is used in some screenshots disables most of the in-game HUD elements, but retains certain ones such as the scope used for the RPG and the HUD for the Smartgun.



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 (which is also based on a M1911A1) that originally appeared in Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. It is manufactured by the fictional "Armat Battlefield Systems", as with most of the weapons in the game. 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 (which is incorrect for a M1911 in 9mm using standard magazines). 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. W-Y light mercenaries and marines keep a M4A3 or a variation of the M1911 on their holsters, and they're never used (outside of cutscenes).

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 in the upgrade menu. Only slightly different from its original counterpart nearly 270 years ago.
The marine player character, in "Emergency Evac" (escape map), carries her trusty M4A3 after losing all of her equipment in a hurry.
Aiming with the raised irons.
She fires her pistol to the dark void (that is, the empty cliffs of LV426) while waiting for the elevator to lower.
Reloading a magazine of .45 9mm. Unfortunately, the slide always locks back, regardless if the magazine is empty or not. Though, proper trigger discipline is shown here.
Then followed by a very unusual rechambering procedure by pressing the slide release with the other hand off the grip; something that hasn't been done in many other games.
She then performs a melee attack at the ground, which shows the slide markings and other details such as the fingerprints. The third person animation (seen by the shadow) depicts a standard pistol whip as opposed to the awkward-looking swing-gun-at-self.
As is tradition, the player can optionally upgrade (or hamper in some cases) the M4A3 with various attachments. As seen here, the marine decided to go with the Duke Special...
Incidentally, the nearly-same M1911 setup that appears in both games are developed by Gearbox and are not well-received.
In addition to this, it can be suppressed for increased accuracy (but with reduced damage). The 'stealth' aspect of using a suppressor is largely absent, as there are no sections of the game (in both campaign and multiplayer) that allow stealth to be an option. It is a bit of a moot point regardless, as the muzzle flash incorrectly appears even with a suppressor on (as seen here).

"Vasquez's Pistol"

Being thankful for at least 4 weapon slots as opposed to 2 during DNF 2011's hayday, the marine holds "Vasquez's Pistol" (or so he thinks) in idle at the outskirts of the derelict ship. The Bug Hunt map known as "Mercenary".
Reloading the pistol shares the same animation to its standard counterpart, unfortunately Vasquez isn't here as a selectable multiplayer marine skin. The marine specifically can't avenge her either as there are no vents to crawl to and combat xenos like this.
Having decided to forsake all sensible armament actions, the marine puts the muzzle of the pistol onto xenomorph's mouth. Doing this is a BIG NO-NO under the fictional context as the xenomorph's trademark acid blood can easily ruin your day and the pistol. No, saying "Eat this!" does not help either.
But that does not stop the marine anyway, which bizarrely does not damage him nor the pistol(!). He guesses being "built different" is still relevant even in the 2180s...
Upon being downed (either by taking too much damage in co-op or by the lurker pounce), Corporal Winter briefly admires the pistol and calmly cocks the hammer (as if the hammer isn't cocked to begin with).

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. The VP70 is the standard sidearm of most of the W-Y mercenaries in the game (despite having the aforementioned M1911 in their holsters).

"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 88 Mod 4 in the upgrade menu, featuring the green furniture and clear "MK 88 Mod 4" slide markings. Its original 1970 lineage can be traced from its grips as well as the original placement of the markings.
The marine holds the (MK)88 Mod 4 in the halls of the doomed ship in "Overrun" (though the "MK88 Mod 4" designation would make more sense as Weyland-Yutani-manufactured "MK221" shotgun shares the "MK" designation).
Aiming, the glow sights do help a bit, especially since the game takes place in mostly dark places.
Magazine dumping the pistol, unhindered by the pistol's atrocious trigger pull. Although given that the game takes place in the future, Weyland-Yutani may have dramatically improved the trigger among other things. At least something to thank for.
In multiplayer modes (not including Bug Hunt or co-op), casings do not spew out when the weapon fires, a bug for sure that still happens to this day.
Replacing the old magazine. The 88 Mod 4's slide correctly does not lock open when emptied.
Or at least we thought it's emptied. At least this makes sense that there is no +1 in the chamber as in modern games.
Swinging the pistol in its melee animation, in which this makes more sense than the M4A3's animation above. The markings are seen a bit more clearly here.
After a long, tedious section of avoiding xenomorphs and guards unarmed in Stasis Interrupted (which would remind players of Alien: Isolation), Hutchkins here (and her cooperative buddies, if they are present) finds an arsenal of weapons dropped from the guards. Among them is a dropped 88 Mod 4, which is actually the second to the last weapon she picked up, before the flamethrower.

"Gorman's Pistol"

Screen-used Heckler & Koch VP70 and holster from Aliens - 9x19mm.
"Gorman's Pistol" on hand in "Tribute" (LV-426 Bug Hunt map). All legendary weapons in the game are stronger than their normal counterparts in their base form for gameplay purposes.
Despite the description mentioning "high accuracy", it is not any more accurate than the rest of the other baseline pistols.
Reloading the pistol is nothing new, though. But the accessory rail present, is.
The description also refers the pistol's owner incorrectly referred to as "William Gorman" (in reference to William Hope, his actor), Gorman's first initial in the film is seen as S., which would later stand for "Scott" in Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report reference guide.
Several pistol whips later, the marine points the points the gun at the side of the xenomorph's head. Sadly no qualms for self-safety.
As demonstrated here.
In case one would still wonder (from the image above) how would you (or the marine pictured here) do such a thing, performing a melee attack (with a corresponding feedback animation, indicated by "Press [Melee Key]" prompt) that hits a xenomorph (specifically the xenomorph warrior only) while it is on low health has a chance to perform an "execution" attack using their currently active sidearm. One of three animations will be played, and this is the third one.
Though sometimes, the xenomorph's animation and position will desync (this is supposed to be aiming under the xenomorph's chin, seen below).
But the question still remains, why?
Flourishing the all-black polymer pistol while downed, it still retains the fictional "MK 88 Mod 4" markings. Both "Gorman's Pistol" and the 88 Mod 4 share the same animation, as with the M4A3 and its legendary counterpart above.


Short barreled Side by Side Shotgun (Sawed Off)

A Side by Side Sawed Off Shotgun appears under the generic "Sawed-off Shotgun" moniker, the only weapon without a manufacturer stated in-game. 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 from the player's perspective because of the accessory rail blocking it. This indicates that the shotgun was modeled after the sawed-off Hudson Gas Shotgun prop used in the famous The Road Warrior film. 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.

Airsoft version of the Road Warrior shotgun made by Hudson Industry Co. of Tokyo, modeled after the original prop. There are two versions of this replica, one with a real wood stock and the other with a cheaper plastic stock.
The Short barreled Side by Side Shotgun as it appears in promotional art. This variant does not have an accessory rail as seen in-game. It also has a slightly longer barrel compared to the above example.
"You got the super shotgun!"
The shotgun has a unique draw animation, wherein the marine toggles the safety of the shotgun in order to fire.
Somewhere in LV-426 ("Grief", DLC map), the marine watches idly for any foreign lifeforms to exorcise, his antique heirloom sawed-off in hand.
He aims the shotgun, sensing something terribly amiss.
Upon encountering an invisible smooth-domed demon in front of him, the marine blasts both barrels in a rather vain attempt to dispel the creature. The shotgun carries limited ammo in comparison to most weapons, which makes it only useful in respawning gamemodes (such as TDM or Extermination).
But while the fouled creature is stunned just by the muzzle flash alone, the marine menacingly empties the shells. Unfortunately the action release lever isn't manipulated here.
And skillfully reloads both of them, only for the creature to flee into the void. He's vowed not to be one doomed space marine today.
His duty finished, he toggles the safety back, as he holsters the weapon, living for another day.

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" (spelt as "Hicks's 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 "HICKS" next to "NO FATE" painted on top of the receiver, a reference to Michael Biehn's other famous role as Kyle Reese in Terminator (in which he also uses a different modified Ithaca 37) 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) and unlike its base variant, it does not have an alternative fire mode.

The M37A2 can be attached with enhanced lightweight iron sights, a barrel choke and a "custom loading port" for faster reloading (without 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 (that can ricochet briefly) or accurate flechette darts; firing either of them do not deplete the main weapon's ammunition. It is the close-quarters weapon of the W-Y PMC standard grunts as well as HAZMAT personnel, they do not fire the M37's specialty explosive or flechette shells.

Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" Parkerized finish with Synthetic forearm - 12 gauge
The M37A2 in the upgrade menu. The only difference between a real Ithaca and this weapon can be seen with the pistol grip and the (mandatory) accessory rail on the side.
In USS Sulaco "Shipwreck" (DLC), a lone marine holds his boomstick at the ready.
He pulls out the tracker, as if he wanted to be alone. The pistol grip can be seen.
Aiming the weapon, pretty typical for sights for shotguns before the modern times.
Firing the M37A2 as the loud noise attracted literally no one in this doomed ship.
Reloading tube-fed shotguns in Colonial Marines uses a different animation type unlike most games, where the shotgun is flipped upside down and filled with shells that way (though the third-person reload animation depicts a typical one). Fitting for a SPAS-12. The player does not pump the handle after the animation, even if the weapon is empty.
The marine then groans in disgust for the seventh time today, in attempt to turn on his armor-mounted flashlight, as he accidentally fired the explosive shells. Again.
(The "F" key in most games is reserved for turning on the flashlight, but in this game, "F" here fires the alternative weapon)
Before picking up the 88 Mod 4, Hutchkins picks up the M37A2 and racks the pump just to ensure it is loaded. Unique to this specific mission, the M37A2 does not come with its alternative fire mode and enemies cannot drop alternative ammo for explosive shells.

"Hicks' Shotgun"

Screen-used custom shorty Ithaca 37 shotgun from Aliens around the time of filming, when the grip was still wrapped in tape.
Opposite side view of the Ithaca 37 from Aliens. Image from Prop Store of London.
Hicks' Shotgun on hand in "The Hive", with the custom markings specifically made for this game (and for more character).
Remembering to check those corners, the marine pulls out the motion tracker for any cautious movement. Here, the MP40 grip wrapped in tape is clearly seen.
Reloading the shotgun isn't any different as the previous one.

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 real 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 (which would make the gun inoperable in the first place), 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". W-Y heavily armored soldiers carry this weapon on occasion in Bug Hunt mode. It holds 8 shells in the magazine, which is technically correct if the operator loads 7 shells of the real deal and load one in the chamber (which does not happen on normal, empty reloads in-game), the player also forgoes pulling the charging handle regardless if the weapon is empty.

An unmodified Benelli M4 can be found at an inaccessible part of the Firing Range DLC level, complete with its stock, unmodified fore and rail. The MK221 shotguns also appear in the racks of the USS Sulaco armory during the events of Stasis Interrupted, as a continuity error, as it was supposed to be stocked with M41A MK1s, or in the film, M16A1 rifles, L85A1 rifles, Colt Commando carbines or Lewis Guns.

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 (such systems for the M1014 specifically did not exist yet in real life, however). The box magazine attachment will make the player chamber a round using the charging handle, but regardless if the weapon is empty or not. The MK221 is fitted with an underslung launcher by default, which fires electrically charged slugs, acting as an oversized stun gun. 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.

The appearance is the MK221 in the game is likely a reference to the modified Benelli M3T Super 90 shotguns that were used in the 2012 Prometheus film. Given that Gearbox was invited to read the Prometheus script while it was in development and the handful of references/connections of the film appear in the final game, it may not be a coincidence that it was selected specifically for the game.

Benelli M4 Super 90 with 7-shot tube - 12 gauge
The MK221 in the upgrade menu. With its oversized stun gun attachment below.
Corporal Winter holds the MK221 in Hadley's Hope as he experiences vague deja vu of what could've been.
Aiming down the sight-attachment rail hybrid.
Checking for any xenomorphs that might hide on the ceiling, not minding the fact that his teammates (indicated in diamond) are still waiting for him.
Firing the weapon out of paranoia, at least his teammates won't mind that. Not a good idea to fire it without its stock, regardless.
As with the M37A2, reloading the MK221 without its magazine attachment will cause the weapon to be flipped upside down and be filled with 8 shells ready to fire.
Firing the W-Y-manufactured Arc Round via underbarrel launcher, which serves as a stun round for regular xenos and humans. The muzzleflash is not changed when it fires.
The usage of less-lethal electroshock rounds reinforces the Prometheus reference as the crew was seen firing their weapons with a blue projectile/muzzleflash (to little effect in most cases). Alien: The Roleplaying Game - Heart of Darkness (released in 2022) would later confirm the use of these weapons using electrostatic ammunition, in which the MK221's default launcher would fire. The use of an underbarrel electric weapon is also a reference to Alien Resurrection's shockrifles, which contain a electric shock gun as its attachment.
A modified MK221, along with its genetically saner twin across it.

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 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 reciprocating charging handle. Pre-release, concept material and its printed markings originally refer the weapon as the "M3A", though it was renamed to "M39" in the final release. It serves as a personal defense weapon for USCM pilots and for most W-Y mercenaries encountered throughout the game.

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, in a magazine which looks like it could hold about 20 (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 the upgrade menu.
An abandoned marine holds his M39 before making his dire escape in "Flushed Out".
Aiming down the M39's large flip sights, the glow sights are colored in red as opposed to green or white in other, unmodified weapons.
Apparently, out of all things that the USCM could've asked Armat while developing the weapon, the "Kriss Super V" diverted recoil system didn't make the list; firing the M39 produces large amounts of recoil, impractical beyond medium range.
Reloading; here the aforementioned ammunition issues are even more apparent, as the magazine model that was used in reloading the gun is very different from getting ammo pickups from it (as they use pistol mags).
Meleeing the SMG, which gives a very good view of the weapon's right side.
Hutckins picks up the M39, fully loaded before acquiring the M37A2, with the 88 Mod 4 seen next to it. She does not chamber the weapon in this sequence, however.


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 compared to the main pulse rifle and each other. Originally, the M41A Pulse Rifle was the default rifle for the marines in the game as shown in various pre-release media. That has been replaced by the M41A MK2.

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 is purely unmodified in the film as with every marine using it (barring Ripley herself, seen below). 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. Game mods (such as the popular ACM Overhaul mod) can remove the personal markings and restore its full-auto function to make it a classic pulse rifle as with the games and films before.

The other legendary variant that is also available as DLC is "Ripley's Pulse Rifle" (alternatively known as "Ripley's Flamethrower"), which is the pulse 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 accuracy spread 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. This pulse rifle variant was originally obtained by pre-ordering the limited edition of the game, although it has since then released as DLC.

Standard M41As (of lower texture and model quality) can be found throughout the levels that take place on the USS Sulaco and the Firing Range DLC level, though these variants are not obtainable. All variants of the M41A seen in game are painted in a more familiar olive green instead brown as it was originally painted for the film and 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). All launchers in the game that do not fire shotgun shells or flames use the M41A's grenade launcher by default, although this is not the case for the M41A MK2 below.

M41A Pulse Rifle - 10mm caseless / 30mm grenades
Modded (personal markings removed) - the M41A appears in the upgrade menu (to better show its side profile, as it cannot be accessed in game).
Modded for reference's sake (personal markings removed and increased weapon FOV) - The marine character in multiplayer holds the M41A in the familiar halls of Atmospherics Processor that originally appeared in Aliens (appears as a DLC map in the game).
Corporal Winter finds an unmodified M41A on the ground near the beginning of the game, only to be saddened that this is not obtainable in the vanilla game. Note the incorrect LED ammo counter at the left side of the gun.
Pre-release screenshot. The model depicted here seems to be a M41A MK2 (indicated by the left-side charging handle and the accessory rail), but it shares some design elements from its predecessor (such as the grenade launcher and barrel).
Ditto. In this one, this rifle appears to be the MK1 version, as the right-side charging handle can barely be seen and the 99 round magazine. Of worthy note, this screenshot appears in the background of the final game (albeit blurred), such as the pause screen, credits screen and more.

"Hudson's Pulse Rifle"

The player character, who may be Hudson (the marine player hands are indistinguishable from character to character), holds his custom M41A, feeling too confident inside the Fiorina 161 Correctional Unit ("Fury 161", which also appears as a DLC map).
He checks any lifesigns with his motion tracker, lest there be dragons. While putting the motion tracker out, the player cannot use their weapons.
Aiming down the ghost ring sights, which is similar to the M41A MK2 - except they do not glow.
Firing the pulse rifle is a typical affair. However, this must be done in strict short controlled bursts (which appears as a quote when viewing the weapon in the Special Projects menu).
Reloading the custom pulse rifle, unlike the M41A MK2, this does not share the same reload animation...
The skull and crossbones design can clearly be seen here.
As seen here, one of the M1A1 Thompson leftovers to this iconic weapon has the charging handle on the right side.
Of note, this is the first media appearance of pulling the charging handle of the M41A, as prior appearances simply replace the magazines.
Firing the integrated grenade launcher.
As with all of the underbarrel launchers, the grenade launcher must be pumped to reload. Unfortunately, the M41A grenade launcher (for this weapon only) suffer a modelling goof wherein the pump handle doesn't move when the player is pumping it.

"Ripley's Pulse Rifle"

The marine with the combo M41A and M240 at the ready outside of the Derelict ship ("Off The Grid", once again, a DLC map). While the two positions of the gun have been flipped for the game, it does provide a good view of the M41A on the side.
With the added weight, recoil is thankfully not so present while firing. But the spread remains an issue.
After 40ish rounds or so, the Ripley-wannabe reloads anyway. This presents another issue: as the weapons are flipped, the marine is unable to chamber the M41A because the flamethrower is blocking the way. As a result, chambering the rifle is skipped.
If a real rifle plus flamethrower combo would be positioned like this in-game variant, the (blank) fired cases will be blocked and it may invite jams.
As the marine cannot aim down the sights, this function has been replaced by torching with the flamethrower. Thankfully, emptying the flamethrower doesn't dump the gun to the ground.
And as with all standard M41A variants, the grenade launcher can be fired along with its other two functions. The recoil of firing the grenade launcher is not changed despite all of the weight.
Pumping the grenade launcher.
Performing a melee attack with the weapon is no different from the others. However, since you cannot "lunge" or "connect" the melee attacks with this weapon, it wouldn't be a good idea.

M41A Mark 2 Pulse Rifle

In lieu of the M41A Pulse Rifle above, the upgraded version of the original weapon, the "Armat M41A Pulse Rifle MK2", appears as the primary automatic weapon of the Colonial Marines and it is the starting longarm weapon of every player character that begins in the game. The M1A1 Thompson's grip has been replaced by a more ergonomic rubber-like grip and the top receiver has been modified, as the charging handle is flipped to the left, moved further to the front and also modified. Compared to the original rifle, it is smaller in basic profile, has an enclosed trigger for its underbarrel weapon and overall it is a more futuristic look than its predecessor. The magazine capacity is also changed from its predecessor, as it is downgraded to 40 rounds from the 99 rounds it originally has, it can be upgraded to 60 rounds using the high capacity magazine upgrade. The decrease in magazine size is not explained in game (apart from "significantly increased stopping power", despite using the same 10x24mm rounds), although it is likely for balance purposes.

As with most of the weapons, the M41A MK2 can further be customized and upgraded, this includes the aforementioned high capacity magazine, sound suppressor, laser module (attached to the side rail of the weapon) and a reflex sight. Like the M39, its internals can be modified with a "motorized ammo feed mechanism", which increases fire rate. Modifying the weapon with the aforementioned modification will change its firing sound, this change also applies to the M39 above, albeit more subtle. Having both a "magazine accelerator" and a sound suppressor attached will cancel out the "magazine accelerator"'s firing sound, however.

Unique to the M41A MK2 when it comes to underbarrel attachments, both the grenade launcher and the shotgun do not have standalone triggers, as the gun unit itself already provides a secondary trigger for such attachments. In addition to this, the pump-action grenade launcher component specifically for the M41A MK2 has been redesigned, with a tinted pump grip and shorter profile. By default, the grenade launcher uses the 30mm M40 HE grenades, though it can be swapped out to a "firebomb" (incendiary grenade) launcher or a shotgun. Both the HE grenade and the firebomb are usable standalone hand grenades in the game, and they do not share ammunition from their launchers.

M41A Pulse Rifle - 10mm caseless / 30mm grenades
The M41A MK2 in the upgrade menu. Note the M1A1 Thompson fire control group and receiver still present in the weapon.
Directly after the introductory cinematic, Corporal Winter dons his helmet and inspects his M41A MK2, giving a wide look to its side profile before pumping the underbarrel grenade launcher.
Next thing, he pulls out the magazine before inserting back in and tap...
Note that the cartridges seem to be cased cartridges, which will conflict its magazine pickups found in the game and the ammunition's caseless nature.
... rack, and it's ready to bang.
Although directly after this sequence, the M41A MK2 is somehow suddenly customized with a variety of attachments. This is due to the fact that the M41A MK2 in that particular sequence before is designated for cutscenes and is not affected by attachments or skins.
After a rude awakening of one of the many 'locals', a marine inside the USS Sulaco (in "Exodus", a multiplayer DLC map) brings his M41A MK2 to bear.
Taking a look through the standard "ARMAT M41A" (specifically named in game, although the real M41A does not have sights to begin with) collapsible ghost ring sight.
The marine then blasts the table blockade upon hearing a rather specific hissing sound, only to realize later that it was just his mind playing with him again.
Not wanting to go dry at the worst possible moment, the marine them pre-emptively reloads his weapon to full. The LED ammo counter display at the side of the weapon is functional, and can actually track remaining rounds.
Despite being a caseless weapon, he rechambers the M41A MK2 regardless if the rifle is empty or not.
Just to make sure, the marine fires the underbarrel "U1 Grenade Launcher" at the table, with the HE grenade exploding moments later. A better look of the UBGL can be seen.
Trivia: The grenade launcher wasn't designated "U1" until the official release of the game despite its numerous appearances throughout media, though one of the Playstation magazines before the release of game refers it as the "M92A" (likely in reference to the "M92 Grenade Launcher" from Aliens vs. Predator 2, though it may be a coincidence).

"NSG 23"

Designated as the "W-Y NSG 23 Assault Rifle" (with "NSG" standing for "NeuSturmgewehr", "New Storm Rifle"), this fictional weapon serves as the burst-firing, heavy hitting assault rifle in the game. It does not appear to be based out of any real life weapon, as the design is fictional. It features an LED round counter as with most of the firearms in the game, an unusable selector switch (which appears to be stuck in burst mode), left side charging handle, carrying handle, and a muzzle brake attached by default. The NSG23's close-quarters combat performance is hampered by its three-round burst, but it is more ammo conservative and more accurate compared to the M41A and its variants. It is chambered in 7.62mm and holds 30 rounds (once again, the magazine seems to be too small to hold this many rounds), likely a caseless variant since there are no empty casings as the weapon fires. This results in the rifle having more stopping power than a M41A, but having higher recoil as a consequence of this. It is the main primary weapon of the W-Y light mercenaries along with the "M39" and the "M37A2", though the version they use sometimes do not have an underbarrel weapon or have their rifles mounted with an underbarrel M41A launcher.

Attachments for the NSG23 include a reflex sight or a telescopic combat sight, a sound suppressor (referred specifically as a "firearm muffler"), a 12 gauge underslung shotgun or a grenade launcher which fires 15mm fragmentation rounds (despite the caliber change, it uses the same M41A UBGL model). The rifle also comes with an unique underbarrel flamethrower unit as its default underslung attachment. An "aftermarket" burst fire modification is also available to the NSG23, which converts the rifle to fire in five-round bursts instead of three.

As with the "MK221", the NSG23's appearance is likely a reference to the Weyland Corp "Storm Rifle", a rifle that was presented in the Weyland Industries marketing website for Prometheus, which seems to be a major design influence from the M41A above. This suggests that the NSG23 is a successor to the "Storm Rifle". The Alien: The Roleplaying Game - Colonial Marines Operations Manual which was released 8 years after the game's launch, officially confirms the the relationship between the two firearms.

The NSG23 in the upgrade menu, with its unique underbarrel flamethrower attachment. The magazine issue is visibly evident, that it can hold 10 rounds without it being too long...
Waiting for storm to pass, a marine holds his old NSG23 in "Condemned".
Aiming the NeuSturmgewehr.
And then firing it out of old habits. The muzzle flash appears to be star-shaped compared to every other normal weapon, thanks to the muzzle brake.
It is entirely possible to interrupt a burst by performing melee attacks, reloading, switching weapons or a few others.
Trivia: While not seen in this screenshot, the marine doesn't seem not eject the magazine, he skips to inserting the magazine instead. It is actually the old reload animation for the M41A MK2 (which does depict the player actually drop the magazine) prior to release before it was given an unique reload animation.
Followed by a tug on the left-side charging handle.
In an attempt to warm himself up throughout the storm, the underbarrel flamethrower may not be the best idea.


The "Armat M4RA Battle Rifle" appears, which functions as the game's sole ballistic marksman rifle. Given the close quarters most of the game takes place in, it is only useful against Xenomorph spitters or human enemies at distance, since the majority of the game's enemies prefer close-quarters combat. While the M4RA is not based on any real life weapon, its design inspiration is loosely based on the "M42A Scope Rifle" from Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (in which it is based on the Walther WA 2000); featuring a bullpup design, unusable bipod and barrel vents. In addition to this, while not directly stated in game, the weapon is chambered in M252 High Explosive Armor Piercing ammunition with a 15 round magazine; the same rounds as the aforementioned "M42A" (as one of its caliber options) and the M56 Smartgun. This can be seen in the markings below the ejection port of the weapon: "ARMAT M4RA" with "10mm M252 HEAP" below.

The M4RA can be customized with a variety of scopes: a 2x magnification combat scope (by default), a 2x-4x variable scope or a "smart targeting" scope which highlights all targets in the scope's field of view. Barrel attachments include either a barrel extension or a sound suppressor (which oddly does not increase accuracy compared to other suppressors, only decreasing damage). Standard ammunition can also be swapped with high velocity rounds (at the expense of fire rate). The M4RA is also fitted with a underslung shotgun by default (to accommodate the short-range handicap), though it can be switched out for the M41A's underbarrel launcher, firing either explosive grenades or proximity mines.

The M4RA in the upgrade menu, with its combat scope and underslung shotgun attached by default.
Back in "Exodus", the paranoid marine switches his M41A MK2 to his M4RA, which fits the long sightlines that are present in this map.
Pulling out the motion tracker every now and then for these "locals" hunting him. The charging handle and handguard is visible.
Since the M4RA does not come with iron sights, the marine aims through the S4 telescoping scope.
Firing the rifle.
As with most shotguns, the M4RA has an unusual reload animation, seen here. The said markings are rightfully visible below the ejection port (which is likely used to clear jams, as with the G11's ejection port).
Pulling the charging handle after a reload, which oddly does not have a sound.
Firing the M4RA's U7 underbarrel shotgun, which helps the battle rifle's short-range deficiency.


An explosive dart rifle available as DLC appears in the game as the "Armat P9 Sonic Harpoon Artillery Remote Projectile Rifle" or "SHARP Rifle" for short. Its appearance is loosely an oversized M41A Pulse Rifle, but without its carrying handle or its grenade launcher (being replaced by a fore which the player can hold). Although the rifle is fitted with attachment rails on the top of the weapon, no optics can be applied due to its status as a DLC weapon. The weapon's appearance is a reference to Hudson's boasting dialogue in the film, "sharp sticks", which refer to its ammunition it fires.

In-game, it functions akin to a proximity mine launcher, as the weapon fires timed-delayed sticky darts which explodes after a short amount of time when hit on a surface or explodes instantly when stuck to a target. It holds 10 darts inside the magazine, and unlike the "M5 RPG" below, it can be reloaded with plenty of reserve ammunition to spare.

M41A Pulse Rifle - 10mm caseless / 30mm grenades
In "Broadside" (Bug Hunt map), a marine holds out with a prototype P9 at his hands.
With the tracker on one hand and the SHARP rifle on the other, the marine does not seem to mind the bulkiness or even the possible heavy weight of this thing one handed pointing up.
The sights of the rifle in view. Promotional media shows the P9 with a scope attachment, this is not possible in game, however.
Firing a sticky dart at the offending light in view. While the charging handle stick moves when it fires, the bolt itself doesn't.
Reloading a magazine of 10 more darts ready to spare.
The "SHARP stick" projectile that the DLC rifle fires. These darts blink red several times before it promptly detonates. It can also be prematurely detonated when an enemy is nearby or when a dart struck a target.


Another fictional prototype DLC weapon appears, the "Armat XM99A Phased Plasma Pulse Rifle", another reference to Hudson's dialogue in the film along with the "SHARP Rifle". Other than the M41A grip (which was based on the M1A1 Thompson) and the general shape when held in perspective, it shares no real life or in-game weapon counterparts. It is fitted with a 2x combat optic by default, the same optic that has been used for the "NSG23" and "M4RA". Its firing function is unique compared to other weapons, as the weapon must be briefly charged in order to fire. When fired, it fires a blue-purple plasma beam that can cause devastating damage to the target. Reloading its 4-shot capacity magazine involves swapping out what seems to be a cell or charged energy magazine in front of the firearm and replacing it with a new one.

"Phased plasma pulse rifles" as a whole is also a reference to the gunshop scene in The Terminator.

M41A Pulse Rifle - 10mm caseless / 30mm grenades
Breathing a sigh of relief, the marine takes a well-deserve vacation inside the "USMC" (spelt as-is in-game) academy firing range, tagging along him is a prototype beam rifle from the FUTURE.
The firing range, electroshock grenades and the plasma rifle are all available in the collector's edition of the game, fitting to bring the plasma rifle in.
Though the marine kept his old habits after his last tour he went through. One interesting note that despite the firearm firing beam lasers instead of cartridges, the ammunition counter keeps track of how many shots that the XM99A can fire.
"Come on, work - you space age piece of-"
Simply tapping the trigger wouldn't be an option, as letting the trigger go will charge the rifle without firing.
Holding the trigger, however, does lead to rather flashy and dangerous results. Hope he brought eye protection.
Aiming the 2x scope and firing the weapon, the weapon's resulting effects made the target vanish to ashes. Perfect for a future war brewing if it weren't for these aliens and pesky hunters, or even all at once.
Reloading the weapon is done by swapping the weapon's power cells or pre-charged plasma magazines by the fore under the barrel.

Heavy Weapons

M56 Smartgun

The fictional M56 Smartgun (sometimes spelled as "Smart Gun" in game, though correctly it uses a single word) appears as a heavy weapon that appears on occasion on select locations of the game's levels. A 10x28mm heavy machine gun with auto-tracking capabilities, which can lock onto enemy targets within the player character's sight, both alien and human alike. Unlike the Aliens vs. Predator series of games, there is no "manual aiming" mode for the weapon, as it is stuck to tracking mode. Players holding the Smartgun cannot crouch with it, though NPCs who use the Smartgun can.

It carries 600 rounds in the magazine in campaign and Bug Hunt (Coop PvE survival gamemode), while 150 rounds in other multiplayer modes, both of which are incorrect (though the latter can technically be achieved by downloading to 150 rounds) as the real Smartgun (in fiction) can only carry 500. However, since the Smartgun consumes 2 rounds (which bizarrely fires as 1 projectile) for every trigger pull, the practical ammo count would be 300 and 70 rounds respectively. As with other heavy weapons, the Smartgun cannot be reloaded; and if switched out to another weapon or runs out of ammo, it will be discarded. It is one of the few weapons that can gib enemies outright, even humans.

"Vasquez's Smartgun" makes an appearance as a Legendary Weapon, which functions similarly performance-wise to its original form (even its incorrect large 600 round magazine). As with the original weapon in the film, her Smartgun bears the "Adios" marking on the side, but unlike the film, it also has Vasquez's bandanna wrapped on the forward hand grip.

M56 Smart Gun - 10mm caseless
The Smartgun pickup model in Bug Hunt. Only a 2500$ price tag and its ready to rock.
In "Processor" once again, another marine acquires the Smartgun. Equipping the Smartgun involves what seems to be activating the head mounted sights by flicking down eyepiece screen downwards. How exactly would the marine get a head mounted sight (despite not wearing it on the model) on a whim is unclear (though it is simplified as an abstract for gameplay purposes).
The Smartgun ready for action (HUD disabled).
In Aliens canon, the combat harness made for the M56 must be paired with the gun in order for the latter to actually effectively function, since it contains the tracking arm mounting point and the actual systems for the weapon to track targets in the first place. The marine player character here wears standard marine armor, which is incompatible to the Smartgun's complex tracking systems. On a side note, Private Drake, who appears in the game as a multiplayer skin, dons the combat harness by default.
For gameplay and simplification purposes, that does not stop the Smartgun's functional purpose though, being a badass tracking machine gun.
... Or well, being an battering ram, should you decide to use the 2500$ smart tracking machine gun in a 'smart' sense.
Dropping the Smartgun depicts the user flicking the 'eyepiece' (if there is any) upwards, disabling the unique visor/HUD display and what seems to be taking off the harness that was used to power the Smartgun. Once again, how did the marine equip the harness that was not depicted in any of the prior animations raises more questions than answers.
Meanwhile, Corporal Winter in LV-426 finds a Smartgun waiting for him as part of his objective. Oddly enough, the Smartgun and its case appears even before Winter's marine team arrives in LV-426 and before the objective prompts the player to pick the Smartgun up. While it does raise even more questions for the player (and IMFDB viewers) specifically, this does not concern him nor his team however...
As not so long after, he blasts away waves of xenos in the death tunnel. Here, the Smartgun's busy HUD is visible when picked up.
The HUD elements displayed are actually functional, which displays (starting on the top-right, clockwise): target mass, ammunition percentage, distance between target (in meters) and weapon temperature (which increases when fired, obviously). This is more complex than what was described in the Technical Manual, as the HUD only contains the highlighted target(s) on-screen.

"Vasquez's Smartgun"

Screen used M56 Smart Gun - 10mm caseless. This particular version is the one carried by Vasquez in Aliens.
In a later part of the main campaign, Winter finds himself with a personalized toy he wants to share out in the spotlight-
What, did I forget something?.
With the custom Smartgun on hand, he conjectures what to do with it. The only remains of Vasquez in the game can only be seen in the machine gun itself, with the bandanna.
Ramming the weapon up to the air to show the bandanna further in view-
What do you mean, 'say the line'? We've done this three times already-? But- ... ugh, fine.
"Let's roooooooooock!"
Firing her Smartgun (and any other Smartgun for that matter) does illicit the temptation of any Alien fan who wanted to say that quote, the "brrt" of Aliens' weaponry.
But... *sigh.* Without Vasquez actually appearing in this soulless game, it just doesn't feel the same.
Anyway, seen here is the other side of the Smartgun. Not seen here is an odd glitch that emptying "Vasquez's Smartgun" and dropping it will not have the "ADIOS" mark on the side, truly soulless indeed.

M240 Flamethrower

In addition to the above Smartgun, the M240 Flamethrower (sometimes known as the M240 Incinerator Unit) appears as a heavy weapon, though it is slightly rarer than the Smartgun. While devastating against xenomorphs in short range (provided that the flames torch the alien little longer than one would expect from a flamethrower in a modern video game), it is less useful against human enemies at longer ranges. It can hold at least 28 seconds worth of napalm (provided the player fires the weapon without stopping) before running dry. While firing the weapon, the looking sensitivity will be decreased (likely to balance its powerful short-ranged capabilities). Unlike the other two heavy weapons, the player character is allowed to use their motion tracker. There is no self-damage when firing the flamethrower up close.

The last Legendary Weapon found in the game (barring "Ripley's Pulse Rifle" as it is DLC), "Frost's Flamethrower" can be obtained. This specific variant of the flamethrower has the marking "FROSTBITE" on the side of the weapon, but otherwise performs similarly to the normal flamethrower in-game. Frost's actual M240 used in the film does not have the distinguishable markings that is seen in-game. In addition to this, the aforementioned "Ripley's Pulse Rifle" has a normal M240 Flamethrower taped with the pulse rifle and it can be used.

M240 Flamethrower
The M240 in pickup form, ready to fry more alien eggs to the fray.
About 20 minutes later, a marine inside the USCSS Nostromo (as "Nostromo", DLC map) holds "his" beloved creation to life, in which he turns on the pilot light (if it's actually present on the model, in which it isn't). One noteworthy thing in the map is that the flamethrower is always found on the central table, where it was originally assembled in Alien.
He decides to wait patiently, hoping that the alien would pop around by now. The M16 carry handle is thankfully present to its source material.
The marine then taunts the alien by laying out some fire to his own direction, this would be a terrible idea to use flamethrowers in enclosed spaces in reality. The video game essence of the flamethrowers' lack of effective range as opposed to real flamethrowers is demonstrated here, it is still somewhat effective though.
Swinging the flamethrower; which provides a good detail to the other side of the weapon and its fuel tank. Thankfully (or sadly, to those who are a little sadistic), there are no facehugged victims to torch with, nor chestbursters to light aflame (outside of cutscenes).

"Frost's Flamethrower"

"Frost's Flamethrower" on the ground, far away from its initial pickup position for better lighting. As with "Vasquez's Smartgun" above, emptying the flamethrower will cause the "FROSTBITE" marking to disappear.
The custom flamethrower in idle at the outskirts of the derelict ship.
And torching with it out at the open, with similar performance.

"M5 RPG"

The fictional Colonial Marines standard rocket launcher, the "M5 RPG" appears in the title. It originally appeared in the Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, the sole rocket launcher of the game and the rarest heavy weapon obtainable in the campaign. Being the sole standalone explosive launcher in the game (barring the "SHARP Rifle"), it can deal huge damage to multiple enemies in its explosive radius. However, it has the shortest usage lifespan of every heavy weapon, only containing 3 (plus 1 already ready to fire, totalling 4) rockets in the magazine on the back which encourages the user to conserve their rockets against heavy targets or a group of enemies. Oddly enough, "reloading" the rocket launcher in multiplayer modes (as it has one rocket in use) automagically refills one rocket without animation, only a slight cooldown. In campaign and Bug Hunt, it sensibly holds 4 rockets all at once. It is pre-fitted with a scope for longer ranges.

The weapon design that appears in-game heavily deviates what was depicted in the Technical Manual, as the latter appearance there depicts a single shot rocket launcher akin to a M1/M9 Bazooka. It was likely redesigned to fit better with the modern appearance of other weapons in the game, with the addition of a rocket magazine instead of being single shot, likely to better fit the game's overall pace. Beyond these features, the M5 RPG uses the pistol grip borrowed from the M41A (and by extension, the Thompson SMG).

M41A Pulse Rifle - 10mm caseless / 30mm grenades
In a very later part of the game, Corporal Winter finds the M5 RPG laying there, surprised that it has gotten dozens of retrofits over the past few decades. While he thought that the RPG here is seemingly out of place in a game that involves no vehicular threats...
... he would later realize what its sole purpose would be (beyond gibbing a group of aliens, of course).
As with the Smartgun, aiming the RPG would see its rather busy interface. Interestingly enough, the player can use other weapons (especially with the SHARP rifle and plasma rifle) to destroy the installation, not just the RPG alone.
In "Flushed Out", a marine holds the RPG.
Swinging the RPG may not be the smartest thing in the world, but it does give a view on the other side.
Firing the RPG at his own dropship (which would thankfully not fail the level with a friendly fire warning), only for the purpose of reenacting that other scene from another movie that Ridley Scott also directed.

UA571-C Remote Automated Sentry System

As with most weapons featured in the Aliens, the "UA571-C" sentry gun (from the extended edition of the film) appears in the game. It exclusively appears in tripod form, and it can be carried around to reposition it. While not a heavy "weapon" on its own right, it shares some of the characteristics of it (must be discarded to use other weapons, it cannot be used with the motion tracker, and so forth). Once deployed (which takes some time to do and must remain stationary), it can fire both enemy aliens and W-Y mercenaries with 500 rounds in the Maxim MG08/15-constructed ammo drum. As with the Smartgun above, the sentry gun consumes 2 shots of ammunition while firing one projectile.

In the campaign, it cannot be disabled through enemy attacks (only through running out of ammunition). But in multiplayer and Bug Hunt however, it is vulnerable outside of its tracking arc or enemy gunfire, in which it can be temporarily disabled. Player-controlled marines in Bug Hunt can repair and refill ammo for the sentry gun to restore it back into operational condition (due to a bug however, refilling/repairing the gun will auto-fire 1 round, causing the weapon to always refill to 499 rounds; this is exempted from the aforementioned 2 shots to 1 projectile "feature").

MG42 - the basis for the sentry turrets
Screen-used sentry turret from Aliens. Image from Prop Store of London.
In LV-426, Corporal Winter finds two sentry guns abandoned from its former owners, with minimal ammunition left.
Ditto, from the other side. When he picks one of the sentry guns later into his mission, the sentry gun is suddenly reloaded to 500 rounds of ammo, without an animation depicting so.
Later on however, because of its poor tracking capabilities against xenos (which can rarely happen if placed like this), it will be disabled once it runs out of ammo (or it should display that it ran out of ammo). The same animation also applies when the sentry gun is disabled through enemy attacks.
Sentry guns can be picked up and be deployed into various defensive positions. ACM took a note from Modern Warfare 2 in which the gun will glow yellow when ready to deploy, red can't be deployed (albeit without a "ghost" to see its exact deployment location).
Deploying the sentry gun depicts the user actually deploying it on the ground. Simply dropping the sentry gun (by switching to other weapons) will not work.

W-Y Remote Sentry Turret

Various tripod sentry guns (which are not designated in the game, only referred as a "remote sentry turret") set up by Weyland-Yutani appear in the game, and appear only in campaign modes. It is entirely invulnerable to the player's attacks, but by sneaking behind it, the player character can easily disable the immobile turret. These turrets are the inversion of the USCM "UA571-C" sentries in the game, as they attack marine, civilian (Stasis Interrupted DLC only) and alien alike. These turrets cannot be controlled nor placed by the player, the interaction being disabling it.

A W-Y remote turret waiting for targets in Stasis Interrupted. These share the same characteristics as the more compact USCM sentry guns, with an aiming laser and a machine gun but with infinite ammo.
Ditto, but from the other side. "W-Y ADT" markings can be seen, it is assumed that "ADT" stands for "Automated Defense Turret" due to its intended role. Not a single magazine can be seen from the gun itself, so how does the sentry gun feed is a total mystery.
Aside from disabling the turrets, the player can temporarily stun the turret using electroshock weaponry; through the use of the MK221's Arc Round launcher and - as seen here - fictional Sonic Electric Bouncing Betties (also known as electroshock grenades or "ball breakers", a slang which it was used in Aliens).

Attachment Weapons

M41A's Grenade Launcher

The M41A's underbarrel grenade launcher appears on all weapons that accept an underbarrel attachment, which all fire a variety of ordinance ammunition. As with the film and the real weapon, the launcher was built using a cut-down Remington 870 along with the shroud and fore-end of a Franchi SPAS-12. However, they use different names depending on what ammunition the launcher fires. Most of them share the same model, being the M41A's underbarrel launcher without any modifications.

The launcher variations are as follows, all of them carry four rounds unless otherwise:

  • "U1 Grenade Launcher": Used for the Armat-manufactured M41A Pulse Rifle (and its legendary variants), the M41A Mark 2 Pulse Rifle (using a different, more compact model) and the M4RA Battle Rifle. This variant fires standard 30mm M40 HEDP grenades.
  • "U4 Firebomb Launcher": Used exclusively for the M41A Mark 2 Pulse Rifle. This variant fires incendiary U4 firebomb grenades.
  • "Prox-Mine Launcher": Used exclusively for the M4RA Battle Rifle. This variant fires IFF proximity grenade-like mines, which can detonated either through valid targets or gunfire.
  • "H34 Fragmentation Round": Used exclusively for the W-Y-manufactured NSG 23 Assault Rifle and the MK221 Tactical Shotgun. This variant fires 15mm high explosive fragmentation warheads (which effectively act as grenades, with the same damage and velocity as the grenades that the U1 fires).
  • "21S Arc Round": Used exclusively for the MK221 Tactical Shotgun. Instead of firing grenades, this one fires specialized electronically charged shotgun slugs which can stun targets for a brief while. Six round capacity.

In the Technical Manual, the M41A's grenade launcher is described to fire a variety of ammunition depending on the required situation. As the in-game launcher was given different names for other weapons that fire different ammunition, it implies that the launcher itself is capable of firing these ammunition types featured in the game. The only exception here is the "U4 Firebomb Launcher", assuming that "U" is the USCM designation for underbarrel weapons (as with the U1 and the U7 below), which confusingly uses a different grenade launcher despite sharing the same model as the U1, and shares the designation for the firebomb itself (rather than using "M" or "G" for grenade designations).

Knight's Armament Masterkey version of the Remington 870 - 12 gauge. This shortened version of the 870 is often mounted on the M4A1 Carbine or similar weapons and is representative of the version seen in the film and in-game.
Franchi SPAS-12 Short Barreled Version - 12 gauge

Underbarrel Shotgun

A fictional underbarrel pump-action shotgun attachment is available for some weapons, with a magazine tube over the barrel (something that has been done with the Russian RMB-93 or the South African double-tube NeoStead 2000). The magazine tube sleeve and the pump grip appears to have some inspiration with the M41A (and by extension, the SPAS-12). As with the M41A's grenade launcher attachment above, the shotguns use different names but share the same model.

The shotgun variations are as follows:

  • "U7 Tac-Shotgun": Used for the Armat-manufactured M41A Mark 2 Pulse Rifle and the M4RA Battle Rifle. This variant fires typical twelve gauge shotgun shells. Carries eight shells.
  • "AF13 Shotgun": Used for the W-Y-manufactured NSG 23 Assault Rifle. Performs very similarly to the U7 underbarrel shotgun. Eight shell capacity.
  • "ID16 Incendiary Shells": Used exclusively for the W-Y MK221 Tactical Shotgun. Fires incendiary buckshot which can light enemies aflame. Holds six shells.

Oddly, since the M41A's underbarrel launcher is capable of accepting oversized buckshot rounds similar to the M40 HEDP grenades as stated in the Technical Manual, this would make the U7 Tac-Shotgun utterly unnecessary. However, given the four extra shells over the grenade launcher and the fact that it can accept standard shotgun shells instead of proprietary ammunition, it would not be entirely redundant as a breaching or immediate close-quarters weapon.

In addition to this, an underbarrel shotgun filled with ID16 incendiary ammo attached to the MK221 shotgun would be unneeded, as carrying individual incendiary shells would shave off a significant amount of weight on the weapon. The only benefit is that this allows the shotgun to fire two types of ammunition at a moment's notice, but with the magazine attachment, it would not be as useful. However, as the MK221 shotgun is semi/full-automatic, which would not reliably cycle low pressure incendiary shells when chambered (unless it is a revolving shotgun, which it obviously isn't), it would not be entirely dubious as one would expect.

"ID23 Incineration Unit"

The fictional "ID23 Incineration Unit" appears exclusively to the NSG 23 Assault Rifle as its default attachment, which simply acts as an underbarrel flamethrower with high capacity.


Claymore Mine

The M18A1 Claymore appears as the last unlockable tactical weapon (other than HE, incendiary or sonic electric "ball breaker" grenades), appearing as the fictional upgraded "Armat M20 Claymore Mine". As with almost every Claymore mine depicted in video game media, it is triggered through quad-laser proximity detonators (which can detonate when an alien or a W-Y mercenary reaches its arc) or gunfire instead of its command detonation clacker. And it also falls under the pitfall of being completely harmless when detonated while standing behind it, unlike the real M18 mine.

Folding out the Claymore legs (or attempting to) when drawn.
Holding the Claymore. You can only hold one mine at a time, and it is not possible to carry a spare one.
The deployed Claymore, complete with its video game-y laser detonators and invisible protective blast shield to those who stand behind it.

Other Weapons


The fictional nose-mounted 25mm "GAU-113/B" rotary cannons appears in all of the UD-4L "Cheyenne" dropships featured in the game. It is only seen fired once in the campaign, though it may be possible that it was fired at other occasions throughout the game off-screen.

See Also

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