When it was first released in 2013, Aliens: Colonial Marines was widely panned for a wide variety of reasons. Poor graphics, odd mechanics, and most importantly, poor AI for the xenomorphs. However, five years later, one modder hugely improved the AI for the iconic antagonists with one letter.
If you couldn’t believe how bad the original release of Aliens: Colonial Marines was, then the following should add to how shoddy the game’s quality was. Within the code of every single game, there is a typo that largely ruins the AI for the xenomorphs. That’s right, a typo.
Inside the INI file of the game, there is a small bit of code that reads as follows:
“ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather”
The word “Teather” is spelled incorrectly in the last string of letters, and correcting it to “Tether” will actually improves the attacks of the xenomorphs by quite a bit. The modder goes on the explain why this small change is so important.
“There are two reasons :
1) AttachXenoToTether doesn’t do anything. Its basically empty or stripped
2) AttachPawnToTether does ALOT. It controls tactical position adjustment, patrolling and target zoning”
So, because of this misspelling, AttachXenoToTether is the only thing that the game is able to execute, so all of the xenomorph’s tactical options are basically nonexistent. The modder explains in greater detail the absurdity behind this misspelling:
When a Xeno is spawned, it is attached to a zone tether. This zone tells the Xeno what area is its fighting space and where different exits are. In Combat, a Xeno will be forced to switch to a new tether (such as one behind you) so as to flank, or disperse so they aren’t so grouped up etc.
If it is hard to believe that one small typo could mess up the AI, then you can easily fix this issue yourself with your own copy of the game. Of course, this is only doable on the PC versions of the game.
What is even more impressive about this small, yet large blunder, is that this change is grouped in with numerous other changes that aim to fix Aliens: Colonial Marines. There is an overhaul being worked on that hopes to deliver a better experience that players deserved from the original release, and this small typo so far has been regarded as the biggest bug fixed so far.
While this typo did not fix everything wrong with the game, and there still is a considerable amount wrong, it does show that one last look over the game’s code could have made the game just a bit more enjoyable for everyone.