In the video game space, the Extraterrestrial the franchise is healthy. Sega as well as Alien: isolation developers Creative Assembly and Feral Interactive have announced that the game is on the way for iOS and Android, Alien: Isolation 2 would be in preparation, and the recent Aliens: Fireteam Elite well sold.
However, these recent games are not the only incarnations of the space horror series, which has been adapted into video games since 1982 and has a long history albeit Predator cross play is ignored. It is worth revisiting the history of Extraterrestrial in video games before potential new ventures like Alien: Isolation 2 hit the shelves.
The first incarnations of Alien in video games
The first one Extraterrestrial video game, based on the original 1979 film, was a Pac-Man-Maze-style game developed by Fox Video Games and released for the Atari 2600 in 1982. Even as far as that goes, the developers were clearly keen to recreate the film’s claustrophobic feel and the iconic vent tree scene. Then 1984 saw a more complex adaptation for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum, granting the player control of each member of the Nostromo crew as they search for the escaped alien creature. The game received mixed reviews, but was also adapted for the Amstrad CPC in 1985.
Interestingly, the term “xenomorph” describing HR Giger’s iconic aliens was not coined until the following film, Aliens, which came out in 1986 and received an overwhelmingly positive reception. The success of the film unsurprisingly spawned a number of video game adaptations, with Aliens: the computer game released on Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum in 1986, later ported to other hardware. Another game with the same title was released on the same systems a year later, but this one was a first-person adventure that received better reviews. The final Extraterrestrial coming game this decade was the years 1987 Aliens: Alien 2, a version only in Japan available on the MSX which notably included Final fantasy alumni Nobuo Uematsu as sound designer.
Alien 3 released in 1992, and as you might expect a glut of new Extraterrestrial video games came out around the same time. A Konami arcade game based on Aliens appeared in 1990, followed by the first Alien 3 adaptation in 1992. Originally released for Amiga, Commodore 64 and Sega Master System, this well-received run-and-gun shooter was ported to more modern platforms over the following years, along with alternate adaptations for Game Boy and SNES.
A light arcade shooter called Alien 3: the gun followed in 1993, then 1996 saw the release of Alien trilogy on PC, PlayStation and Sega Saturn. This first person shooter has been praised for capturing the vibe and atmosphere of the movies and was a commercial hit. the Extraterrestrial the franchise closed the millennium with a bang with the years 1997 Alien resurrection, and with the release of the first person shooter Aliens Online in 1998. Neither reached the heights of the franchise’s early days, but fans of Ripley and the xenomorphs had plenty to be positive about as they headed into a new century.
Alien in the new millennium
The first adaptation of Alien resurrection arrived in 2000 for the PlayStation, again a first-person shooter, which received mixed reviews after several years of hellish development. The title did, however, help launch the dual-stick controls universally used in modern first-person shooters.
A Game Boy Color release followed in 2001 with Aliens: Meeting Thanatos, again to a poor reception. The rest of the 2000s focused solely on Alien vs. Predator cross-play games, with the exception of a 2006 arcade game called Aliens: Extermination. This may have reflected the state of the Extraterrestrial franchise at this point, which didn’t have a new canonical release until 2012 Prometheus.
The following Extraterrestrial-only the release of the video game did not arrive until 2011 Aliens: Infestation on the Nintendo DS, then Aliens: Colonial Marines in 2013. The latter title was infamous, with critics focusing on its technical glitches, poor visuals, and weak enemy AI. The game even faced a lawsuit when two players attempted to sue developer Gearbox and publisher Sega for false advertising after press demos appeared to feature better graphics than the final product.
The following year saw another arcade game, Aliens: Armageddon, but 2014 is more significant for the release of Alien: isolation on PC and all major consoles (later ported to Switch). The game was billed as a strong survival horror title and praised for returning to the franchise’s roots by being based on the first Extraterrestrial movie. Fans were thrilled with the inclusion of iconic features like the motion scanner and spooky ventilation ducts as they sneaked, hid, and ran for their lives aboard the derelict Sevastopol.
The release of the most recent Extraterrestrial movie, Alien: Alliance in 2017 saw an arcade adaptation the same year alongside the virtual reality experience Alien: Covenant – In Utero. Alien: Descent was another VR title released in 2018, the same year as Alien: Offworld Colony Simulator became available. It was an intriguing turn-based survival game playable on the Amazon Alexa device.
Alien: blackout released on iOS and Android in 2019, and was followed by Aliens: Fireteam Elite in 2021 on all major systems. Fans of the franchise are eagerly awaiting news of Ridley Scott’s plans for the next one Extraterrestrial film, as well as the inevitable next video game release for the Weyland-Yutani universe. Despite the mixed reception from Prometheus and Alien: Alliance, xenomorphs are just too popular and too terrifying to be kept away from gaming systems for long.
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