The Alien franchise has been with us for just over four decades now. Ridley Scott’s horrifying sci-fi masterpiece has spurred several well-loved video games, everything from Doom to System Shock to the newly released Observation.
Nevertheless, actual games based on the Alien franchise has been a little bit of a rollercoaster ride in terms of quality. To be brutally honest, the majority of them are bad. Really really bad.
However, amongst that sea of terrible licensed titles are some fantastic games set in the Alien universe. If you’re looking to honor the release by digitally eviscerating, here are the very best Alien games to play today.
One of the most critically criticized movies in the series has produced one of Alien’s most engaging and fun games. This side-scroller game isn’t that scary, but it does allow you to play as a slightly bald Ellen Ripley raging through hordes Aliens and Facehuggers with your trusty flamethrower.
"Alien 3 is a video game based on the movie of the same name. The plot of the movie picks up directly after the end of Aliens. Ellen Ripley, the main character of the Alien series, is in cryo-sleep aboard the space ship Sulaco. Unfortunately, an alien or two has stowed away on the Sulaco, and wreaked havoc within the ship. Thus, it crash lands on the prison colony planet Fiorina 161. Ripley and the unarmed prisoners have to figure out a way to survive the aliens terrorizing the colony until help arrives.
The gameplay of the various Alien³ conversions varies from platform to platform. This version is a side-scrolling action game with large maze-like levels. In each level, you have to rescue all the trapped prisoners and then make your way to the exit, all while surviving multiple alien attacks."
Alien Versus Predator has three campaigns that each have their own distinguished tone and playstyle. If you choose to play the Marine path, you are a soldier blundering around in claustrophobic and dim surroundings, blasting Aliens and hopefully not getting killed by a Facehugger.
If you preferred the Predator, you chop heads off from the shadows and blow people into pieces with your shoulder cannon. Finally, if you play as the Alien, you chow down on scientists and throw androids into spinning fans to cut them up. With a ludicrous amount of gory slapstick, Alien Versus Predator is one of the most enjoyable games of its era and surprising it still holds up today.
"Aliens versus Predator, often referred to as AVP1 by fans (despite not technically being the first game in the series), is a 1999 science fiction first-person video game developed by Rebellion and published by Fox Interactive for the PC and Mac. An unofficial port to Linux was later released in 2001, following Rebellion's public release of the game's source code.
The game features three separate storylines for each of the playable factions, the Aliens, the Predators and the Colonial Marines; while each plot is unconnected, the Marine story loosely follows on from events of Alien and Aliens, while the Predator plot includes elements taken from Alien3.
The game is often considered the successor to the Alien vs Predator game on the Atari Jaguar, and as such is the second game in the Alien vs. Predator franchise. It was followed by two sequels, Aliens versus Predator 2 (2001) and Aliens vs. Predator (2010)."
Alien Versus Predator 2 didn’t change the formula of the first game all that much. Monolith, taking over for Rebellion, only added in a semi-decent story, made the game a tad brighter, and polished out the gore.
Aliens versus Predator 2 is a 2001 first-person shooter video game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Sierra Entertainment and Fox Interactive for the PC. A Mac port was later released in 2003.
The game is a sequel to 1999's Aliens versus Predator, although its plot does not connect to the previous game. Instead it follows events on the planet LV-1201, where a Weyland-Yutani Corporation research facility has become the center of a large-scale Xenomorph outbreak. A detachment of Colonial Marines is dispatched to investigate, while the Predators also send several of their kind to conduct a Hunt on the planet.
Aliens vs Predator 2 is the third game of the Alien vs. Predator franchise. As with the previous game, it features three playable campaigns, one each for the Aliens, the Predators and the Colonial Marines. Unlike the previous title, however, the campaigns are all related and take place at the same time and in the same location, and while they never actually engage with each other, characters from different campaigns occasionally cross paths. Sierra released an expansion to the game titled Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt in 2002. A further unrelated sequel, Aliens vs. Predator, followed in 2010.
This game doesn't hold up to the likes of Warcraft or Command and Conquer. However, it's similar in the fact that it is a real-time strategy game pitting Aliens against marines and Predators.
Aliens versus Predator: Extinction is a 2003 real-time strategy video game developed by EA Games and published by Fox Interactive for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Unlike the other games in the Alien vs. Predator series, which are primarily first-person action-adventure titles, Extinction is a real-time strategy game, focussing on unit management and combat.
Set on the planet LV-742, it follows the escalating war between the Aliens, the Predators and the United States Colonial Marine Corps when the latter infringes on the ancient hunt between the two former races.
The game is the fourth in the Alien vs. Predator franchise, although it bears no relation to the other titles beyond its general concept. The player can choose to play as Alien, Predator or Colonial Marine forces.
This an excellent game that uses the Metroid formula set in the Alien universe where you play as a squad of colonial marines. If you’ve got a Nintendo DS or 3DS someplace, this one is unquestionably worth playing. It also has a touchpad five finger filet minigame that imitates the legendary barracks scene from Aliens.
Aliens: Infestation is a 2011 side-scrolling shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software and WayForward Technologies and published by SEGA for the Nintendo DS. The game follows a team of Colonial Marines as they locate and investigate the USS Sulaco following the vessel's disappearance after the events of Alien3.
Infestation initially began development as a Nintendo DS port of Aliens: Colonial Marines early in that game's development cycle. However, when development of Colonial Marines stalled, the DS version was cancelled.
However, when production of Colonial Marines subsequently resumed, the DS version was completed as a new game and released under the title "Aliens: Infestation". Due to its origins as a port, the game's plot features many similarities to that of Aliens: Colonial Marines (the Marines are initially investigating the disappearance of the Sulaco, they arrive on a vessel called the Sephora) but otherwise does not tell the same story and features a completely different cast of characters.
Easily the best of the Alien games, Isolation is a gift for fans of the movie. After decades of mediocre licensed shooters and games that strayed hard from Aliens. Isolation put players on a colossal space station that recreated the original film’s retro-future style with old school analog computers and flickering lights and pitted them against an impregnable killing machine.
Isolation treats the classic 1979 version of the monster with honor, forcing you to stick to the shadows and use your wits and anything around you to outsmart your pursuer. This is the only licensed game in the Alien universe that understands and respects the power of the original film. As an homage, Isolation is nearly flawless.
Discover the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a survival horror set in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger. Fifteen years after the events of Alien™, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda enters a desperate battle for survival, on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother's disappearance.
As Amanda, you will navigate through an increasingly volatile world as you find yourself confronted on all sides by a panicked, desperate population and an unpredictable, ruthless Alien. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive. Overcome an ever-present deadly threat – Experience persistent fear as a truly dynamic and reactive Alien uses its senses to hunt you down and respond to your every move.
Improvise to survive – Hack systems, scavenge for vital resources and craft items to deal with each situation. Will you evade your enemies, distract them or face them head on? Explore a world of mystery and betrayal – Immerse yourself in the detailed setting of Sevastopol, a decommissioned trading station on the fringes of space. Encounter a rich cast of inhabitants in a world scarred by fear and mistrust. When she left Earth, Ellen Ripley promised her daughter Amanda she would return home for her 11th birthday. Amanda never saw her again.
Fifteen years later, Amanda, now a Weyland-Yutani employee, hears that the flight recorder of her mother’s ship, the Nostromo, has been recovered at the remote trading station Sevastopol. The temptation for her to finally understand what happened is too much to resist. When the crew arrive at Sevastopol, they find something is desperately wrong. It all seems to be connected to an unknown menace, stalking and killing deep in the shadows.
In order to uncover the truth about her mother, Amanda is forced to confront the same terrifying thing that separated them.