Gearbox confirm there will be women in Aliens: Colonial Marines

Hey Gearbox, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but you just got your asses kicked, pal!

One of the things that define the Alien movies is their prevalence of strong female characters, the most notable of course being Signourney Weaver’s portrayal of Ellen Ripley. James Cameron’s 1986 sequel Aliens added yet more with Pvt. Vasquez, Cpl. Dietrich and Cpl. Ferro. The very idea of an official sequel to Aliens, in game form, having no female presence whatsoever was frankly bloody ludicrous, so it’s a good thing Gearbox have confirmed there’ll definitely be women in Aliens: Colonial Marines.

“I want everybody to be clear that there are playable females in both the multiplayer and the campaign,” said Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford at PAX this weekend. “We realized some people were starting to feel bad. We exist to entertain people.” Gearbox supposedly didn’t want to unveil any character art or assets that hadn’t been fully finalised, hence the puzzling lack of women in early teasers, screenshots and trailers. One female character by the name of Jennifer Running has been confirmed as a selectable co-op character, though you’ll also be able to create your own custom marine of either gender.

For a while it was looking very much otherwise. Earlier this year a whole lot of people were understandably rather annoyed when Brian Burleson, senior producer on Aliens: Colonial Marines, claimed there would be no playable female characters during a post-E3 interview. This naturally did not sit very well with Aliens fans. Nor did it sit well with Jenette “Pvt. Vasquez” Goldstein,  Cynthia “Cpl. Dietrich” Scott and other cast members from Aliens, who lent their support to a petition calling for Gearbox to man up and include customisable female characters in the game’s multiplayer. Yes, yes, “internet petitions don’t accomplish jack shit” and all that, but what the hell were they supposed to use, man? Harsh language?

It’s a shame it’s taken until the PAX confirmation, and a recent trailer for the game’s Left 4 Dead-esque Escape mode for this issue to be settled, but I’m glad it is. It’s good news for female representation in games and particularly good news for fans of Aliens, although there’s still the matter of a lack of playable co-op mode Vasquez as a pre-order bonus. Private Hudson, Corporal Hicks, Private Drake and Sergeant Apone are all available as pre-order bonuses, yet Vasquez isn’t? Drake barely survives much longer than Pvt. Crowe, who’s one of the first marines to die and has only one  line of dialogue in the whole film! What kind of chickenshit outfit is this?

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