While the Xenomorph is the main foe players will face, another group will hunt the marines and they’re one gamers are familiar with.
In Aliens: Fireteam Elite, players battle the hordes of Xenomorphs across several different locations. However, the bugs aren’t the only enemy that they’ll be up against. In the first mission, your squad leader will mention a name that should strike fear into anyone who has played Alien Isolation.
The Working Joes were a form of synthetic android developed by Seegson Corporation and had been present as a labor force on Sevastapol. Unlike the other Synth that had been seen in the series, the Joes were considerably less human-looking. They have noticeably rubber-looking skin and robotic voices. Their intelligence is also much more rudimentary than other synths, and they must be controlled by an AI overseer. While they are used as a maintenance force, they can still be a considerable threat to an unarmed human due to their increased strength. However, Aliens: Fireteam Elite shows how much of a threat they can really be in the wrong hands.
While the maintenance forms of the Joes are present, they are not the bulk of the forces arrayed against the marines. The players will come across armed Joes equipped with the same weapons as the corps. However, unlike the Marines, the Joes also have hordes of their maintenance forms to charge forwards ahead of their mainline to tie up their enemies. While the working Joes from Isolation had simple attacks and tactics, the armed forces show much more skill in their engagements. There are shield-armed synths that march forwards covered by heavy machine-gun fire and grenades, while auto-turrets cover any avenues of assault. However, there is a respite for the marines as the Xenomorphs will attack the synths as well, and a smart fireteam can use this to their advantage.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite choice to reintroduce the working Joes and improve upon them is a great move. This allows the game to connect itself to one of the most popular games in the series and the Alien universe as a whole. The choice to change how they work and form them into an actual force that poses a threat improves upon the universe, not to mention it could factor in to a sequel for Alien Isolation. Their addition also means that the gameplay doesn’t stagnate and allows the players to try different tactics. Because the Joe forces work very differently from the Xenomorphs, the skills that the players have cultivated need to be adapted. Instead of constantly being on the move, it requires them to form defensive positions and perform flanking maneuvers.
Cold Iron wants their players to enjoy all aspects of their universe, as evidenced by their inclusion of the Joes. Their changes to both the Xenomorph organisms and the Joes show that they know how to challenge the player and keep their game fresh whilst maintaining the universe. Players can dive into the universe themselves when Aliens: Fireteam Elite releases for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC on August 24, 2021.
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