Yep, all Aliens, all the time. This generation has been sparse with Alien tie-in games whereas the last generation was rampant with them. The most infamous example from then is Aliens: Colonial Marines that was all bark and no bite (probably due to a coding error). Then the main salvo from this generation is Alien: Isolation, which a lot of people found to have the opposite problem. But, great coding for the most part!
So, where is that balance? Let’s throw on our eyepieces and take a close look.
Take the Environment and Enemies of Alien Isolation…
Hands down, no other game has nailed that retro-aesthetic of the original movies such as Alien Isolation. Sega and Creative Assembly took the same kinds of creative leaps into the past/future that James Cameron and his crew had to when the original movie came out in 1979. Everything became akin to the Gameboy being the height of technology in the future. As laughable as that is now, the visuals remain one-of-a-kind.
Then of course you have the beast itself as it slithers and stalks. A lot of the strengths of the Xenomorph were never really explored in Isolation since you do have to run and hide so often, which is a shame. The acid blood never got a chance to shine, nor did the raptor-like sense of strategy the creatures have.
I’m also keeping in the Working Joe androids because they added a certain creep factor that the alien never really touched. The creature brought dread alone, and I’d want an Aliens game to have both factors.
Add the Gunplay of Colonial Marines
What I picture here is a chance to give the Aliens their due both in numbers and one-on-one situations. The creature is a phenomenal hunter that can kill anyone without protection, and a gang of them are deadly enough to tear through defense lines in no time. So, let’s put both to the test.
Imagine an experience where you start off as a small team holding a base that’s set up a little bit like a Dynasty Warriors game, but instead of chopping away at hundreds of enemies, you’re fighting to survive. The main gameplay task is knowing when to fall back and when to risk pushing forward. You’d have to set up turrets and task a full team at taking out the Xenomorphs as they approach so you have enough time to, say, fix the life support system or interrogate an evil scientist.
You fall back while gaining resources, intelligence, and maybe even escape routes to finally get to a point where you can even the odds against the crawlers. For example, maybe you find all the pieces to a power loader and can build one for a massive offensive stride. In this section of the game, it should feel like a full-on Aliens war where third-parties can drop in or out depending upon their viability and everything happens in real time.
For the other half, say you’re cut off from your team. Now, you have to find your way back without alerting the entire horde to your presence. You could then have all of the tension and creep factor of not knowing where the beasts will spring from on top of having to avoid hapless Joes that are attempting to keep the ship in working order.
When I think about an Aliens official game, that’s the kind of mixed experience I’d be looking for. Throw in some classic movie characters (with the damn game, please) and watch those game overs pile up.