Sega and Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines has been in the works for nearly five years, finally set to release next spring. Prior to the proper re-announcement of the PS3/360/PC shooter, though, a handheld companion managed to slip out back in early 2009.

Developed by WayForward in association with Gearbox, Colonial Marines (or a variation of it) was in the works for the Nintendo DS, and then it was canceled for unknown reasons. A 2D side-scroller, the title only briefly showed up in a gameplay video that leaked, and Sega has never detailed anything further. But maybe it wasn’t actually canceled, and instead reworked?

Earlier this year the OFLC rated something called Aliens: Infestation, to be published by Sega and made by WayForward, but what that was was never made clear. Thanks to a new ESRB rating (via Siliconera), Infestation looks to indeed be the spirit of Colonial Marines DS.

This is a sci-fi action platformer in which players control a marine squad on a mission to eradicate alien creatures. As players run and jump through side-scrolling levels, they use rifles, pistols, flamethrowers, and explosives to kill enemy soldiers and aliens (i.e., “xenomorphs”). The frenetic battles are highlighted by realistic gunfire, explosions, and cries of pain; injured aliens emit green splashes of blood before collapsing to the ground. Some sequences also depict red blood spurts when human characters are killed (e.g., an alien bursting out of a man’s chest; characters getting bitten by aliens). During the course of the game, players can enter a locker room and see a male character whose buttocks are briefly exposed. The words ‘ass,’ ‘bastard,’ and ‘hell’ appear in the dialogue.

That sure sounds like the below gameplay footage of the once-binned DS side-scroller. A shame this seemingly won’t be a 3DS title.

So far Aliens: Infestation has not yet been officially announced. Other than Colonial Marines, there’s also another untitled Aliens title underway at Creative Assembly.

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