Making games of films is problematic at the best of times. In fact it is almost as problematic as making films of games. The result is nearly always a total failure and rarely fun or memorable.
With a franchise as open to potentially creative, inventive and innovative game-design as the Alien saga, there surely must have been a rich selection of excellent games out there to sink our teeth into over the years. Mustn’t there?
Join us as we take a look at all the official movie tie-in Alien games (discounting the spin-offs and avoiding the whole AVP mess).
Aliens: The Computer Game (1986)
(ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad)
During the home computer boom of the 1980s, few games were capable of moving you emotionally, aside from the classic 1982 game of The Hobbit which induced a large degree of Hulk-style anger. Most games just inspired excitement as you watched your flashy little pixel men run from one side of the screen (while jumping on platforms, if applicable) to the other. Growing up within this time period was an exciting, home computers were no longer just thought of as something to do your accounts on, they were now capable of running actual games and in some cases, hacking into sophisticated government computer systems (alright, in one case).
One game that was able to emote terror, anguish, fear and paranoia in large portions was the 1986 Electric Dreams game of Aliens.
Aliens was ahead of its time, using a technique that is now considered very old hat, the first person shooter. Aliens used the scene in which Lt. Gorman used a bank of monitors to watch his soldiers’ mounted cameras as the general conceit of the game. The player was able to take control of any of Apone’s men and could switch between them by simply pressing the space bar. A revolutionary idea at the time and something that had seldom been seen within the confines of a home computer game. The attention to detail is superb, with each of Apone’s squad having thier vital signs at the bottom of your screen. Each time a team member dies, you space-bar to the next, until you have no men left.
These days games like Silent Hill, Resident Evil and Doom3 bank on terrifying you and people buy these games in order to be terrified. When people bought Aliens in 1986, I am sure they were just expecting to be mildy excited, not hiding behind their joysticks, constantly looking behind them as they played. This was a new type of game.
Alien Trilogy (Playstation) (1997)
One of the first games on the new Playstation to make a big impact (along with the Die Hard trilogy), this game was immersive and action packed. The game begins in essentially the same manner as Aliens, as Ripley – here a Marine herself – travels to LV426 to restore contact with the colony there. The other Marines are wiped out, so Ripley must then travel through the infested colony and prison facility, and finally the crashed alien ship itself, to destroy the aliens and escape.
Alien: Resurrection (Playstation) (2000)
Interesting that a game based on a woeful film can actually be marginally good. Released three years after the film, the game is a simple first person shooter that is fairly solid and can almost be described as “fun”.
Aliens (1990) – Arcade
A dull, unimaginative side-scroller with flying bat aliens, which have never been seen before or since. Maybe from a secret new director’s cut?
Alien (1982) -ZX Spectrum
Hamstrung by technology is no excuse. As someone who owned it at the time I can safely say this one was pretty lame, and tried to make up for its lack of atmosphere by being dull and confusing. Not to mention the fact that when you see Alien it looks like it’s scratching its bollocks.
Remember the plot of Alien3? No weapons of any kind? Being picked off in a prison? Well the game threw that boring crap out of the window and decided that it would be much better if Ripley was armed to the teeth and climbing up and down ladders and running towards the right. Yawn
At the time of writing I have yet to play Aliens: Colonial Marines. But I am told it is pretty awful. These glitches alone convince me of this. For a game 12 years in the making, it looks very poor.
Originally posted 2013-03-29 17:34:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter