Aliens: Colonial Marines is intended as a sequel to the events in the Alien films (and is therefore considered part of the Alien franchise canon) and takes place some time after Alien 3.
The story is told from the perspective of Corporal Christopher Winter, a Colonial Marine who is part of a search and rescue team sent to investigate the U.S.S. Sulaco in search of Ellen Ripley, Corporal Dwayne Hicks, and the rest of the missing marines who were dispatched to LV-426.
The Sulaco, and the derelict alien spacecraft from Alien as well as LV-426 itself will all serve as environments in the game.
It wasn't until December 2006 that SEGA announced they'd purchased the rights to the Aliens franchise and were working with Gearbox Software on a new game for the franchise. Although this game shares both a number of story elements and the name of the earlier game developed by Check Six Games, it is actually an entirely new game.
The game was first unveiled in February 2008 by Game Informer. New footage then didn't appear until 2010, in the form of screenshots. The game then received a number of delays until, in May of 2012, Gearbox Software announced that the official release date would be February 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with a Wii U version to follow at a later date.
The game was originally intended as a squad-based first person shooter, but this idea was ultimately shelved in order to make the gameplay more accessible. It is now a more traditional first person shooter experience which includes various other types of gameplay, including quick-time events and base defense (which involves setting up turrets to fend off waves of enemies, much like the marines in the film Aliens do). Alien AI will use the environment to set up sneak attacks and group tactics to overwhelm the player.
To immerse the player, a HUD will not be visible on screen, instead they'll have to rely on iconic gadgets like the motion tracker and the ammo counter on the Pulse Rifle as a substitute.
Various types of enemy Xenomorphs will attack the player, including new breeds of xenomorph, each with different tactics. Players will also fight Weyland-Yutani commandos and mercenaries.
Characters gain experience points when killing enemies and completing certain objectives, which can then be used to customize character appearance, purchase upgrades for weapons, and unlock other skill sets.