TemplarGFX's ACM Overhaul - State of the BAD ASS Art!

I have pretty much changed every aspect of the game I could get access to, from AI to weapons, to graphics and lighting. The end result is a game worth playing! Aliens in particular are the highlight of the show! They are now how they should be, the most dangerous enemy in the game!

The aliens now act much like they did within the demo video released all those years ago, they use walls and roofs more often, flank and outwit the player more and generally just move around the environment much better!

Friendly marines are now helpful, with better pathing and weapon usage. O’neal’s Smart-Gun still sucks, but that is only because he kills everything otherwise!

Weapon sway, weight, movement and aiming have all been reworked to create more intense and dynamic looking combat along with adding additional skill to gunplay

I hope you enjoy this mod and the game! Finally ACM does the franchise justice!


See MODDB Page

Engine / System
Compatability File modified so that all graphics card, regardless of model get by default the maximum quality settings available.
Maximum Shadow resolution increased
Shadow removal minimums lowered (more dynamics shadows)
Texture input switched to use maximum LOD values, Anistropic Filtering and higher quality Sharpening filter for distant textures
Particle System Spawn Rates, Life Times and LOD settings increased to remove resource limit restrictions
Many Particle Effects redisigned using different effects to increase visibility / quality of the over-all ingame effects
Lighting Models for Objects and Statics and many world objects improved through changes to Specular, Diffuse, Rim Lighting and Normal Mapping adjustments
Dead Bodies, Body Parts, Acid Splashes and Blood Splashes remain in the game world indefinately (if the internal limit is reached, the oldest is removed when a new part is created)
Spawning Volumes for dynamic and wave-attack sequences in the campaign have had a significant increase to the number of Xeno’s and Mercs that can be spawned. Xeno’s can
easily overwhelm an area if not dealt with immediately, and Mercanery Loadouts are much more varied, with more smartgun/flamer/battlefile merc’s spawning.
Tracer fire on all weapons switched to use the Sentry Gun tracer. This is an orange visible “bolt” and looks fantastic, really helping with gun on gun combat

Xenomorph Shared
Animations for Melee Combat (Win / Tie / Lose), Stance Changes, Jumping, Surface Transition, Stalking and Idling re-timed for better in-game behavior and movement
Damage Zones and Critical Hit amounts reworked so that Head Shots are needed to take a Xeno down quickly, with glancing shots doing little damage
Weapon Fire impacts and Deaths cause visual acid spurts/splashes that will burn and damage anything it touches

Xenomorph Soldier / Crusher (most actions for the Crusher are heavily scripted, but any dynamic actions use Soldier AI mechanics)
AI decision timing increased 1000% to greatly increase their ability to adapt to changing situations and react to new threats
Movement Speed, Acceleration, Wieght, Jump Power and Flight Speed rebalanced so they are extremely agile and move swiftly around the cluttered levels.
Melee Encounter Mechanics modified so that they are almost exclusively used when it will kill the target. Xenos will wear down your armor with claws and kill you with an encounter
Pouncing reworked to improve movement around the map by reducing the maximum distance to consider jumping to. This leads to better object hurdling and wall/roof usage
Combat Damage significantly increased so only a few claw attacks are required to down a human

Xenomorph Lurker
AI decision timing increased 500% to increase their ability to out-manouvre you, without being impossibly difficult. Lurkers are truly terrifying!
Movement Speed, Acceleration, Wieght, Jump Power and Flight Speed rebalanced so they are extremely agile and move swiftly around the cluttered levels.
Cover Mechanics reworked so they are exposed even less and move more often to stay hidden
Combat Mechanics reworked so that they will wear you down through several spaced attacks before finishing you with a Melee Encounter
Pouncing significanlty nerfed to force them to run around instead of jumping across the maps. Increases their vulnerability crossing open spaces

Xenomorph Ranger
AI decision timing increased 500% so that they are much more reactive in their position choices. Rangers will quickly reposition to continue their barrage
Movement Speed, Acceleration, Wieght, Jump Power and Flight Speed rebalanced so they are extremely agile and move swiftly around the cluttered levels.
Melee combat reconfigured to match Soldier melee combat. This makes Rangers more deadly than Soldiers!

Xenomorph Boiler
No changes have been directly made to the Boiler. Its AI is based on the Xeno Soldier, however its specialized mechanics already set a great pace in their short sewer
sequence in the campaign so I did not change them.
Their explosion however uses the generic acid damage mechanics and so are much more dangerous to groups

Human Shared
Animations for Stance Changes, Awareness and Idling reworked to look smoother
Situational Voice Acting reworked to make AI more chatty and informative. Calling out enemies, movements and kills more often, as well as making scenic coments
Awareness reconfigured to be much more realistic opening up more tactical gameplay options
Vision reworked to allow sneaking and hiding to be used allowing stealth play in some sequences. AI reposition more often to get a better line of sight on their target
Gore Mechanics enabled for human corpses, allowing incidental damage and reactions to explosions after death
Weapons Carried by AI use the same Recoil and Ballistics of the player weapons, and as such effect how deadly they are with each weapon (see below)
Armor used by the AI use the same mechanics as the Player armor (see below)

Weyland Yutani Mercaneries
Teamwork tactics and information sharing reconfigured to remove their hive-mind like abilities. They share only what you hear them say
Weapon Damage rebalanced to reduce their threat level against humans and xenos. Greatly reduces the frustration of fighting them, and makes them much weaker vs Xenos
Health GREATLY reduced (they had 4x the health of the player originally)

Colonial Marines
Hive-Mind like ability reconfigured to improve the teamwork used by the AI in conjunction with player actions. Better use of cover, suppression and flanking
Weapon Damage rebalanced to increase their effectiveness in combat dramatically without making them overpowered. You need them and they need you

Human Armor
Base damage absorbtion greatly increased so that taking fire without armor is extremely painful. Armor is now MUCH more important to stay alive
When fighting Mercs firing at non-armored locations is important to take them down quick (neck, arms, legs) with weaker weapons

Comabt Pistol / Gorman’s
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match a PPK Pistol
Holding position moved forward alot so the gun is not so big on screen. (can look a little funny when bringin up the Motion Tracker)

Service Pistol / Vasquez’s
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match a Colt .45 ACP
Holding position moved forward alot so the gun is not so big on screen. (can look a little funny when bringin up the Motion Tracker)

Sub Machinegun
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match an MP7A1 SMG

Pump Shotgun, Hick’s Shotgun
Fires 00 Buckshot
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match a Mossburg 500 Cruiser

Auto Shotgun
Fires #4 Buckshot
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match an Saiga 12 Shotgun

Double Barrel Shotgun
Fires 2 x Birdshot
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match a 411 Bear Claw Double Barrel Short Shotgun

M4A1 Pulse Rifle
Mk2 replaced with original movie rifle
95 ammo per clip, with ammo upgrade filling it to the maximum 99 (against Colonial Marines Field manual guidelines!)
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match a Light Machine Gun with movie ‘canon’ statistics

Hudsons Pulse Rifle
Matches Above, but uses 5 round burst fire instead of full auto

Assault Rifle
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match an M16a4 Assault Rifle
Default to single fire mode, with upgrade giving 3 fire burst mode
Flamer Fuel capacity doubled

Battle Rifle
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match a USA Fielding M110 Sniper Rifle

M240 Incinerator Unit
I had a choice for the campaign. Have the game spawn Flamers, or Smart-guns. I chose Smart-Guns. As a result only Apone’s Flamer is available in the campaign
Flame generation rate increased
Fuel Capacity increased
Fire Damage significantly increased

M56 Smart Gun
Assisted Targetting mechanics improved
Weight, Recoil and Ballistics rebalanced to more accurately match its characteristics in the movie

Damage greatly increased
Effects reworked to accurately match the damage
Physics shockwave increased

Firebombs / Fire / Incindiary
Burn time increased
Damage per second increased
Special effect increased

Sonic Electronic Ball Breakers
Stun Time increased
Lightning Sphere effect suped up
Vanilla vs Overhaul graphics comparison

This battle is now awesome! Things can very quickly get out of hand now the aliens are so agile and evasive, and if your marines go down, you are screwed!

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You just have to love how dodgy the state of this game was at release.

I have spent quite a large amount of time on the Materials in use by the game, and it turns out most of the material setups in ACM were done by a Monkey who clearly had no idea what they were doing!

For example, you don’t set an alpha channel on a texture application to 25.0. Alpha is alpha, going higher than 1.0 screws transparency edges.

Or even better only using 2 of the 3 color channels of a texture map (WTF!)

And another, using texture strength to increase specular strength, then increasing specular strength too. basically instead of nice smooth specular, the increase texture strength destroys all the detail on the texture, which is then highlighted by the increased actual specular.

For some reason the detailing texture tiled on objects was set to 1x1 which translated into blocky details. a tiled detail map should be repeated a few times usually. looks heaps better with it increased

Needless to say after fixing all this stupid crap, the image fidelity has just gone through the roof! Update coming soon

Screens (highly recommend you view them at full resolution)

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Looks cool, after you have fine tuned it some more ill give it a try

This is really cool!!! Great work! I love the recoil and the FOV on ironside (it actualy fix a bug for my Autofocus DOF tweak).

This mod is also playable on SP, without dying every minute. The Aliens got the right speed on this mod, not to fast, not to slow. I´ll mixed your mod with the UBA mod to make the NPC´s a bit smarter, to get a chance to survive on a close enqunter. :wink:

Keep up the great work!!!

Hi All!

Check out this break-down of Master Effects and its effect on the game now! I have reworked it to use the SSGI technique to increase lighting quality in-game. Its quite a layering of effects!

^Original Game with custom INI^

^Technicolor Tone Remapping^

^Lift/Gamma/Gain Adjustments^

^Watchdogs Color Tonemapping^

^Dirty Lens Bloom^

^Screen Space Global Illumination^

^Bokeh curve Depth of Field^

^Depth buffer assisted Sub-Pixel Morphological Anti-Alaising^

I’m spending some up-close and personal time with the xeno’s to really get them working as best as possible. Hopefully I’ll have something for anyone to try out in a few days

I have mixed up your mod with the UBA Mod from JassonBourne, Bug Hunt Mod (welding and no merchs) and my own tweaks and mods.

Check it out, if you want to!


HUGE updated coming in a day or two!

Ive decided to call it the Acid for Blood update and here is why :

Changes so far :
Flamethrower pickups in the campaign are now Smartguns (Legendary still spawns as normal)
Torch recharge mechanic turned back on
Bullet tracers now use sentry gun effect (looks freakin awesome!)
Acid reworked to be more visible and create more environmental (and human!) damage
Blood reworked to use the same decaling system the acid blood does (read lots of blood)
Further fixes and balancing of Xeno AI
Weapon ballistics and recoil mechanics totally reworked to be realistic (AI balancing to match)
Full Human Gore enabled
Better after-death gore on Xeno/Human
Reworked explosions to be bigger and better and more accurately represent the increased damage they do
Reworked fire mechanics to make it truly dangerous
SSGI added for high-end users
Reworking of tonemapping / gamma / brightness to give greater detail in darkness and more contrast.
Dynamic Particle effects and Decal systems tweaked to remove the nerf they got for consoles
Re-enabled higher-quality non-console shader internals
Reworked Smart-Gun tracking system and overall weapon balancing to accomodate it being available many times throughout the campaign. Tracking is MUCH better, but damage is lowered. fire-rate is still cannon so its a serious weapon, but it now takes a skilled user to not waste ammo!

THIS looks like the game should have looked and acted like! I hope you get to take a crack at it if anyone ever made a real aliens game from the ground up.

Cheers Jake!

Some awesome things added (next release) :
Acid Blood impacts on the player cause acid splash effects on screen instead of smoke. much easier to tell your hit by acid!
Marine/Merc dynamic shouts dramatically increased. Really helps make thing feel hectic as enemies/allies call out attacks and moves
Campaign Xeno Spawn Counts and total numbers increased in many areas!
Xeno animation timings reworked for much better looking movement
Further work on xeno ai to prevent them getting stuck
Dead bodies NEVER go away (unless you reload)


Really nice!!! Can´t wait.

How you do this mods? Hex editing? Or you found a proper tool? (expect ReShade / Framework / Mastereffects).

All HEX man!

Good work man. Is it possible to access with the HEX editor disabled graphic effecte to enable it again. Gearbox said yes were only deactivated . Do you have the weapons sound also changed ? because the sound different in video than with me .

Can you link to this statement/video? There may be something I haven’t found or understood.

as for sound yes, the pulse rifle defaults to its movie sound.

Captured this during balance testing (soldier difficulty).

That did not come by Gearbox or Sega , it was a games magazine that gave talked about the graphic were the disabled / or replaced Turns off for reasons of money due to optimization . It was also only ne ask but the sound is different from the movie.Personally, I would find the smoke/Dust in the demo in combination with the light if I desert how to increase that I would make it .

JESUS !!!:fearful:

Is there no way to mod ACM with a SDK tool? I know you can open some upk, sound and texture files with the SDK tool from Painkiller HD (its almost the same engine, or close to it). But you can´t save it to the “right” ACM format. It´s a shame…

Hi, I havent posted in ages due to some major life changes. But I just recently upgraded my gfx card and played some SP and Bug Hunt - I’m back boys and girls :wink:

Anyway, I just saw these videos - GREAT WORK @templargfx, these videos look great, the Xenos feel like I expected they would. I can’t wait to DL and try this out…

If I’m playing BH or COOP online, do I need to disable these somehow, or is that all automatically done?

You would need to remove the mod to play against others who don’t have it. Otherwise you will be severely dis-advantaged

I am finalising the ModDB entry for Version 2 as we speak, and with it are much better instructions in the readme, as well as difference performance options to cater for a wider audience.

Expect a link shortly!

Nice work. I saw Jasonbourne’s mod videos and was going to give those a try, but the alien AI + stats look like they’re closer to how I think they should be…

I’vk been wondering how hard it would be to introduce a spectator mode to bug hunt (or multiplayer in general), since it would improve that game mode MASSIVELY…

Any links to getting started with hex modding?

You want to grab UE Explorer and UPK Decompressor from here

You can use the decompressor to get access to files that come with .upk.uncompressed_size files and a few others (but not all unfortunately). Then you can open them with UE Explorer. It has a built in hex editor that works really well

Use this to convert float values to hex and back

Use this to convert decimal values to hex and back

TIP : Values are stored in reverse order for example :
Value---------Hex------------Game Value
1.0 = 0x3F800000 = 0000803F
100 = 0x3E8 = E8030000


I have updated the OP with a link to the MODDB page. The file is waiting Authorisation but it should be avialable soon!

(edit 2 : fixed the hex example, I had the first one reversed!)

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Nice one, I’m looking forward to playing the game with these changes. Thanks for the effort beforehand though!