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Wednesday, 13 March 2013 19:02

Where The Alien License Is Going Wrong In Games Featured

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The Alien universe enjoys a large and devoted fan base around the world. Of course there are a lot of gamers that are into Alien, and hopes are always high when a new Alien game is announced. Sadly, the past years have not been kind to those of us that look forward to new games based on our favorite extraterrestrial creature. The latest Aliens vs Predator (2010) offered some fun, but suffered from several flaws that doomed it to fps mediocrity. I don’t even have to go into how disappointing the recent Aliens: Colonial Marines was. There have been some good games in the recent years, like the underrated Aliens: Infestation on the Nintendo DS, but the best “big” games were the Aliens vs Predator PC games from ’99 and ’01. Many of us would love to see a new awesome game based on the franchise, and we want something fresh rather than the rehashed ideas that have defined Alien games of late.

If they’re going to base Alien games on old ideas, they should reconsider which aspects of them to do something new with. I always loved the alien campaigns in the Aliens vs Predator games, and an entire first-person game where you play exclusively as xenomorphs would appeal to a lot of Alien fans. The beauty of the Alien creature is that they are an animal driven by instinct and a hive mentality, that doesn’t feel remorse and isn’t concerned with ethics, making them one of the deadliest species ever. Therefore, they make for perfect video game “bad guys”, and performing gruesome acts of murder while playing as them is more excusable than if you’re playing as a human villain. It also makes more sense for a small group of xenomorphs slaughtering hundreds of humans, instead of the other way around.

Alien, however, is at its core a (sci-fi) horror franchise, and it would make most sense to remove it completely from the shooter/action genre. Why nobody has made a survival horror Alien game is beyond me. The IP would lend itself beautifully to a horror game, where you play a relatively defenseless human that needs to rely on his/her wit to escape the alien threat, rather than firepower. Aside from all its problems, one of the reasons why Colonial Marines is so unremarkable is the fact that the fps/action genre is very crowded, and there are so many better shooters out there. The survival horror genre on the other hand could use some solid games in this day and age.

 

Another genre I could picture an Alien game in would be as a point & click adventure. The recent success of Telltale Games, who has mainly worked with big licenses and is pleasing the fans, has me positive that the right developer could make an epic Alien adventure game. This could go a long way towards drawing in Alien fans that aren’t too big gamers, and would feel more comfortable playing a game that doesn’t revolve around good aim and quick reflexes.

Wherever the Alien license goes in gaming next, I’m not going to abandon hope that we might see a great game somewhere down the road. We don’t need more Alien shooters, for a while at least, but if we get something fresh, be it survival horror, RTS, point & click, third-person brawler, or whatever other than an fps – color me excited. I yearn for no one to hear me screaming in space.         

Ingólfur Ólafsson

Managing Editor.

 

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