Over the years the Alien franchise has been re-told, expanded upon and flipped on its head with each video game release. As such we have seen results with varying degrees of success, everything from the good, the bad and the downright ugly. This week sees the 40th Anniversary since the release of the original Ridley Scott directed sci-fi horror. The film follows a space tug called the Nostromo and its crew as they encounter a deadly extraterrestrial. It was full of suspense, shocks and gore with believable special effects that still hold up today. Importantly it introduced the globe to the now infamous Xenomorph creature, a thing of pure nightmares that had us all hiding behind our sofas, which was designed by the legendary Swiss artist H. R. Giger. To join in with all celebrations Alien related here are 5 of the Best Alien Video Games.
This arcade run and gun side-scrolling shooter from Konami used their tried and tested formula perfectly mixing in the world created by the franchise. The game felt familiar to anyone who had previously played hits like Contra and TMNT and this sentiment continued through into the Simpsons and Sunset Riders era. It really was a golden time for the developer and Alien can happily sit amid the best.
Playing as Ripley or Corporal Hicks the aim was to make it through each stage, collecting weapons and upgrades en route to the end of level boss fight. It mixed things up by switching the perspective into a 3rd person view at points in the game. Aliens received high praise upon release and soon guzzled up all of our pocket money.
Alien 3 (1992)
Initially released in ’92 for the Sega Mega Drive and Amiga it found it’s home on all of the other major formats of the time a year later. Roughly based on the events of the third movie, don’t let that put you off, it follows Ellen Ripley and her ongoing battle against the Xenomorph. The game was a side-scrolling platformer that tasked you with saving the prisoners of Fiorina 161, locking down rooms traping the Aliens while collecting blueprints.
It was a tough game, with a timer that would constantly push you to the limits… or more aptly death. The beep of the motion tracker still haunts us to this day!
Alien Trilogy (1996)
Two years into the lifecycle of the PlayStation 1 and Probe Entertainment hit us with the excellent Alien Trilogy. Based on the first three movies, not just a clever name, this offering was presented in the form of a first-person shooter. It was dark and moody with a superb visual that had our virtual Ripley quaking in her boots as the occasional facehugger would invade her personal space. Set over 30 intense levels broken down with 3 Queen Alien boss fights. A layer of depth was added thanks to the perfect use of sound.
Alien Trilogy also came out on Windows and the ill-fated Sega Saturn, probably selling far less than expected because everyone had sadly given up on the system at this point.
Aliens versus Predator (1999)
Ever since their conception people have always asked the question as to which alien species would win in a fight. A question fueled by the 1989 Dark Horse cross-over comic and even the movie Predator 2 (1990) which included a Xenomorph skull as one of the trophies aboard the ‘ugly motherfuckers’ ship. It was only a matter of time before this battle royale made its way into the video game format.
1999 saw Rebellion’s second bite at the cherry after an outing on the Atari Jaguar five years earlier. Similarly offering three campaign modes which were playable from the viewpoint of the Alien, the Predator, or a human Colonial Marine… which no one in their right mind fancied. Played in a first-person viewpoint, it was a blast to compete as either alien species, testing out their unique abilities on any poor soul that dare stand in your way.
Alien Isolation (2014)
Alien Isolation took a different route to most of the previous titles introducing Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen, in a story set fifteen years after the events of the first movie. Sega published this Creative Assembly developed scarefest that added a survival horror element to the forefront of its gameplay mechanic.
Releasing on last and current gen consoles it benefited from realistic visuals and an eerie soundtrack that meant while playing it was prudent to have a spare pair of pants to hand. The idea was to explore a space station in hope of finding Ellen, the build-up was immense offering a number of jump scares and face-offs with humans/androids before finally revealing the single alien stalker later in the story.
We at TBG loved Alien Isolation, so much so it’s featured in our Top 10 Scariest Video Games Ever Released! and Xbox Game Pass – Games You Might Have Missed: March Edition
So there you have it 5 of the best Alien games lost in space. It’s a short list so we’d love to hear your favourites in the comments section below, on Twitter and Facebook.