Unreleased Aliens Colonial Marines Prototype
Developed by WayForward Technologies and Gearbox Sofware, Aliens - Colonial Marines was originally intended to be a tie-in to the console game of the same name. During development James Cameron's Aliens was used heavily as inspiration because the team wanted to capture the films' ambiance, while still keeping the player emotionally invested. They "basically tried to make a game in the same spirit and structure as that movie. Ridley Scott’s original Alien also influenced the game and some of the stages and "there were also" different enemies based on the xenomorphs from that film versus the one from James Cameron‘s film, although" it was "a little more crouched like the Paul WS Anderson xeno designs."
Prior to the games announcement WayForward employees spoke of an unannounced "action game on DS" that was "based on one of the best licenses imagineable", even calling it "WayForward's spiritual follow-up to Contra 4". Right from the earliest press video there was a buzz about the upcoming game, something that was aided greatly by Console Marines metroidvania style gameplay. Sadly this version of the game was never released. When development of the console version of Colonial Marines stalled, the DS version was also cancelled!
The console version of Colonial Marines, codenamed "Pecan" in house, began development in 2007. A prototype was created by Demiurge Studios, one of multiple development houses who contributed to the game's production but Gearbox's priorities lay elsewhere. They chose instead to concentrate on other projects like Borderlands and Duke Nukem Forever, a game that took over a decade to develop. Borderlands instant success upon its release meant Gearbox immediatly began working on a sequel and outsourced primary development of Colonial Marines to TimeGate Studios who quickly realised there had been little to no work completed on the project. It was just a collection of unrelated assets that included a lighting and shadow renderer. TimeGate were the primary developers on the game until Borderlands 2 was near completion in mid 2012 but their work had to regularly be approved by both Gearbox and Sega. This resulted in many rewrites and entire scenes and missions being discarded due to storyline changes. There were were even disagreements on what direction the game should take with Sega feeling Colonial Marines should be similar to a Call of Duty game, with less Aliens and more Marines to shoot at. This was something Gearbox and TimeGate strongly disagreed with.
Later when the production of Colonial Marines was resumed the DS version of the game was also resurrected, albeit under the new title Aliens: Infestation. "The title changed just because the game was originally meant to be a companion piece to the console Colonial Marines game. But later Sega decided to release it on its own, so it made sense to have a standalone title." Due to its origins as a tie in, the game's plot features many similarities to that of Aliens: Colonial Marines (the Marines are initially investigating the disappearance of the Sulaco, they arrive on a vessel called the Sephora) but otherwise does not tell the same story and features a completely different cast of characters. Chris Bachalo "came up with the 20 Marines in terms of their looks and personality." WayForward had given "him very broad direction at the beginning for" the "types of characters" they "wanted, then let him go wild on designing them" and "from his designs" they then wrote "the dialogue scripts... for each character."