Aliens: Colonial Marines gets DX10 graphics from savvy modder

DirectX 10 support added into Aliens: Colonial Marines by modder.

Days after its release on Tuesday, the modding community has gone to work on improving the visuals of Aliens: Colonial Marines' disappointing PC port.

MobDB user THX555 has released a 0.53mb mod, which contains files for shaders but only actually seems to change six .ini files. The end result is that DirectX 10 support is enabled, alongside other tweaked rendering settings.

When running Aliens: Colonial Marines in DirectX 10, shadows are softened and the game's textures are improved. Reflections and lighting are also affected.

THX555 also claims that his modifications will make the game load faster.

Kevin VanOrd wasn't particularly smitten with the game's out-of-the-box visuals. "The awkward storytelling is hardly energized by character models and facial animations so stiff that humans look every bit as synthetic as famed series androids Ash and Bishop," he said in GameSpot's 4.5 Aliens: Colonial Marines review.

"Aliens: Colonial Marines is not a looker. Graphics glitches abound, fire and goo effects are unconvincing, and clumsy visual details--jittery transitions in and out of canned animations, abrupt game-over screens upon death--give the game an air of carelessness."

Since its release earlier this week, there has been plenty of discussion about how much of the game's content headline developer Gearbox Software actually made.

For more on Aliens: Colonial Marines, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

martingaston

Martin Gaston

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines

Follow
175 comments
Lytmare
Lytmare

Guys, lighten up!
Yes, the game is not great to play and hard on the eyes. But remember, they were working on Borderlands 2 at the same time. They were probably over tasked and had to pick one game to throw their time into, and let the other just go.
Demanding that they ditch the staff and start over is overkill. And frankly, us gamers are becoming the most idiotic, self obsessed group I've ever seen.
What happened to the good old days of you buy a game and play it for what it's worth, and just be happy with it! We demand perfection, and go ravenous when we don't get what we want. And demand blood when we get burned.

Nowadays, preordering games is a total gamble. And in the end, you willingly shelled out $60. They did NOT steal from you.

vassago_
vassago_

You guys are downright out of the loop on this stuff. It's easy...FAR easier, to mod a game that's come out, than it is while developing it. As a modder, you don't have to worry about the publisher, deadlines, performance, 20 superiors telling you what to do, etc. In the end you do what you have to do, to hit the deadline. Fact is, the work that Timegate did was great. You all saw the early gameplay demos from E3 last year, or Destination Playstation. That was mostly all Timegate. Once Gearbox took the game back, then had to squeeze all of the work down to function on every platform. Most of the incredible lighting that Timegate did, the higher res textures and shaders - all went out the window. The game used a custom deferred lighting engine that used a ton of memory. That gave the levels their great look. but that had to get culled in the end for performance. The art then suffered when those lighting effects were pulled back. Ever see Doom 3 in really bright rooms? Doesn't look so hot, either.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

In a twisted way, this might have turned out as good as it possible could have.  How so? (you may ask).  Well, Borderlands 2 turned out to be a huge, ambitious game that was bigger than even the first hugely ambitious Borderlands.... some were theorizing that all the time spent on B2 was why this game was so bare-boned.  Perhaps they knew they didn't have enough hours in the day for whatever deadlines were imposed on them.... so instead of throwing out 2 mediocre games they decided to have one masterpiece and pretty much use a mulligan on the other.  

I'm not saying this is good by any means, I'm just thinking out loud. 

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

Sigh, this is the sort of thing that should've been in the box in the first place. i'll knock off another point from it's score.

itchyflop
itchyflop

hahahaha!! i pre ordered this!! fact its a load of sh#te, we were lied to by a respected developer, they want shutting down for this. i dont care if they made a decent game, they knew what was riding on this and they had it for years. 

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

This sounds incredibly suspicious.

Why is it that certain devs are able to create such incredible games with incredible graphics, but when a certain franchise comes along, they fail so spectacularly hard as to score a 4.5 *despite* there being freelancers who can drastically improve a game's graphics in just a few days and a few hundred KB?  Single-handedly doing what a team of trained professionals apparently can't?

Is there some *reason* the devs couldn't do this *simple* tweak themselves?

If not, is there some *reason* these developers can't just hire these people who can?

Time constraints?  I don't think so.  Budget constraints?  Not likely.

Ducati996R
Ducati996R

I thought Gearbox was at least a decent dev. Wtf did they do to ACM

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

This is kind of pathetic.


I actually give my regards to the modders, but whoever these devs are need to GTFO with ALL of their current employees and start BRAND SPANKING NEW. To have people pull a Project M on your game in less than 2 weeks of your game being released...wtf type of crap did you smoke while making this? I don't even have the game, yet I can get a good feel of just how bad of a fail this is.

quina
quina

Look at Skyrim. Skyrim out of the box is impressive in some ways and straight down ugly and dumb in other things, mainly due to the consoles limitation I know but still... It's a great game as a standalone but makes you feel "what if it could do this?Or that?" too many times due to its potential.


With mods that improve on what already exists and actually introduce new mechanics and content the game simply becomes a BEAST. Nothing like I ever seen before and each day come new mods, it's insane. My Skyrim now is a visually feast for the eyes which feels and plays like an epic movie through and through, for every limitation I find I go search for a mod that fixes that.

Although they can easily break your game due to poor instalation, it's really worth the trouble of learning how to do it correctly (not simple if you have many mods that require compatibility).

Modders and indie devs know what gamers want because they are true gamers themselves.

Although the gaming industry is a high risk business, I understand why many want to play safe and just make the big bucks. Either taking advantage of a known license or copy pasting other games with another name for their own game. Sometimes this is needed in order for the industry itself can grow because money is a "must" to make the world go around.

On the other hand they slowly degrade gaming quality by over saturating gamers with the same crap all the time. This is where true gamer devs and modders come in, introducing that breath of fresh air most games and genres need. 

If money is not an issue to you, I highly advise donating them some for their efforts as guys like this truly deserve it.

OGKNav
OGKNav

It's always modders and indie devs man... They're the only ones these days who get it right...

Psycold
Psycold

You can only polish a turd so much.

Centurion95
Centurion95

You know I told my friend that, given time, modders can save this game. Not just with bringing the graphics to 2013 but also the gamplay mechanics themselves, like new escape maps, a proper horde mode, AI re formats, etc. Hell if they can manage to put player controlled aliens in the campaign along with the dumb AI ones that could lead to some of the fear that was sourly missing in it. Still that will take time, and time is not what this game has.

jameston027dec
jameston027dec

i wanted to get this but now i dont i mean you can go through the game without killing any aliens (by running to far ahead) and its not as good looking as the e3 demo

romsnbombs
romsnbombs

MSI afterburner is telling me the game is still running in DX9 mode. Plus it doesn't look any different. 

Yes, all the file have been copied and replaced the original ones. Is there anything else you're supposed to do?

Kjranu
Kjranu

Oh wow, nice of a modder to add a major improvement in less than 5 minutes versus a dev who had more than 5 years to finish this game!!! 

Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

(They finally fixed the comments? YAY!)

With that out of the way I can say that although I congratulate the modder for doing this, it won't save ACM from sudden death unfortunately.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

Sounds like the modders have started doing more work on A:CM than gearbox did.

ragnar320
ragnar320

well done for the modding communitty trying to  make this very medicore game alittle better cause to be hosent i thought gearbox might do something great with this because of BL2 never thought that bl2 would actually hold it back

travisstaggs
travisstaggs

The sad part is, this game actually does have potential to be good. If they ironed out the glitches, graphics, and storytelling a bit more it would of been a good game at least. I've been playing through it and I've had SOME fun with the campaign, but it's forgettable at best. 

I tried out this mod and I noticed a leap in graphics, but at the end of the day it's still nothing special.

gp3tron
gp3tron

Now all we need is an AI Mod.

FarQall
FarQall

One guy improved graphics in just 4 days!! and a whole studio cant do it?? this just shows the state the industry is in and its a joke. The game still sucks anyway.

jorge69696
jorge69696

What is happening in that picture? why is the soldier touching the alien monster? isn't the alien's blood acid? the other soldier will kill the alien AND his fellow soldier because of the acid!

icekula
icekula

Now if we can just get these mod's for the consoles...

Lytmare
Lytmare

@aussiemuscle Wait, a modder made the game a little better... so the score goes down? That just makes sense.

SythisTaru
SythisTaru

@quina It's mostly about disk space. Since 360 is still on the DVD, they have like 7-9gb max for their game size if they want to stay on a single disk (and most do). This holds PC and Ps3 back. The same thing happens to a lesser extent with PC games. Devs try to use as little space as possible in order to keep their bandwidth costs low for digital downloads (how most PC games sell).

Enundr
Enundr

@OGKNav   ive always loved seeing mods done to games , adds some different styles and other stuff into it , and i  remember playing (halo 2 i think?) when we did a private match and someone modded a gun to shoot tanks , was hilarious. Its sad when you see some of them abuse modding/hacking / cheating etc to win competitive multiplayer matches , modders tend to do great things to games though.

doktron
doktron

@jameston027dec  You have to stand on your head to get a proper perspective on the game, so the score is really a 6.0 . ACM is to be played upside down (try it, you ll see)

icekula
icekula

@Centurion95 Think Gearbox can mod this game and turn it around? I hope so! What other titles does Gearbox have coming out in the future, none that i can think of.. If they want to keep there jobs they'll mod the hell out of it like there lives depend on it.

JoiLambell
JoiLambell

@---Cipher--- I say fire 20 gearbox guys and hire this one !

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

@jorge69696 In that situation, you'd probably be trying to push it back from biting your face off too.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

@itchyflop I've asked nothing but questions so far.  But you've certainly answered one of them.

jameston027dec
jameston027dec

@jorge69696 @icekula That just what i meant the first time and ill be almost guaranteed backwards compatibility 

jorge69696
jorge69696

@icekula  You should learn more about PCs then. You don't need to upgrade it 4 times a year to play games on it. That's what console kids believe. There are a hundred forums you could use to learn more.

There is a reason why kids use consoles and adults PCs.

jameston027dec
jameston027dec

@Geminon @icekula @jameston027dec @jorge69696 That's exactly what I did now but ill sell my PC and Xbox and put it towards a excellent computer but every thing is more expensive here and the internet is expensive like every one complaining in America about the PS vita it used to cost $450 here.

Geminon
Geminon

@icekula @jameston027dec @jorge69696 

no, the reason you dont play on PC is because you are ignorant, and it shows. 

i upgrade my PC once every 3-4 years and i manage to play games on high without a problem. i MAY upgrade the graphics card in that span of time, but only if i can get a significant leap for <$300. PC gaming is not expensive people.

icekula
icekula

@sir_inverno What does buying new graphic cards so you can play a new released game have anything to do with being to stupid/lazy to install a game into a PC? I support consoles only because i don't want to have to buy new graphic cards just to play!

sir_inverno
sir_inverno

@icekula @jameston027dec @jorge69696

", is the reason why me and thousands of others don't game from a PC."

In my experience it is just people too stupid to install a game in a pc instead of just turning the console on. It is people who see the computer as an interface for facebook that still support consoles.

icekula
icekula

@jameston027dec Some of those graphic cards cost almost as much as buying a new Xbox 360, and that's if you buy a good one and not a cheap card. Games may be cheaper in South Africa but not in the US. Xbox may need extra money for online multi-player but its well worth the excellent connection. Not to mention I get more Apps then I know what to do with: everything from HBO-GO, Utube, facebook, netflix, ESPN, and everything I can get on my PC without having to replace graphic cards every so often just so I can play a new upcoming game.

jameston027dec
jameston027dec

@icekula @jameston027dec @jorge69696 it all actually  depends on what you buy for example average graphics cards will be outdated in a short time when a AMD 79XX OR 680 will last quite a while and still look awesome. And games are cheaper (1/2 or 2/3 as cheap in south Africa) and i dont like PS (no offense) Xbox needs extra money  for online multi player and Nintendo lacks third partiy support

icekula
icekula

@jameston027dec @icekula @jorge69696 Upgrading every year V.S. every 4-5 years for consoles, is the reason why me and thousands of others don't game from a PC. Its just not worth it in the end unless your into the whole modding thing.

jameston027dec
jameston027dec

@icekula @jorge69696 why does every one give the pc the whole tons of upgrading stereo types Im only going to upgrade at the end of the year from my (meh) setup and itll last a while (with a hd 7950/7970) maybe even a few years

jorge69696
jorge69696

@alenth  @icekula You can't get mod in consoles for A LOT of reasons that I won't list because I value my time.