Aliens: Colonial Marines certainly had its work cut out for it when it launched earlier this year. Regardless of whether you abhorred it, found it simply mediocre, or even enjoyed it, the collective gamer populace have painted it an abomination against gamingkind.
Thankfully, this is not the first game based off the film franchise to see release. The Aliens series, or more aptly, its numerous sequels, have seen a great deal of gaming adaptations of their own. If you were disappointed by Aliens: Colonial Marines then perhaps you'll find the following games will prove to be much better experiences.
Alien 3 - Genesis (1993)
Before Alien 3, there were a handful of Alien-based games out. However, they were primarily computer-exclusive experiences for the likes of Apple II, Amiga, Commodore 64, and many others. Alien 3 was the first series franchise release for popular consoles. In fact, it came out for most anything popular at the time. Master System, NES, SNES, Genesis, and others all got their own version of Alien 3.
Of the many versions, Genesis seemed the luckiest. Both the SNES and Genesis versions found themselves with the nicest visual display of a 2D action game. Players jumped into Ripley“s boots and tried their best to survive the hordes of aliens ready to destroy her. Pair the solid (if quite difficult) action gameplay with some awesome music and Alien 3 turned out to be a respectable entry into the series, even with little connection to the film of the same name.
Alien Vs. Predator - Arcade (1994)
Capcom was not the first to take on Aliens for an arcade game. Konami beat them to the punch in 1990 with Aliens, a run and gun game. Instead of simply trying to replicate that success, Capcom went with another equally profitable route. Alien Vs. Predator mashed the two popular properties together and made a beat ”em up.
The game allowed for up to three player cooperative play at once, in order to best be fed more coins. It includes two colonial marines as well as two Predators who may be selected for play. With bright visuals and exciting play, it might not be the most accurate representation of the franchise it is based on, but it definitely went down as an arcade classic. Unfortunately, it has yet to see a port to consoles either in the past or via XBLA or PSN.
Alien Vs. Predator - Jaguar (1994)
This game may have the same name as Capcom“s brawler, but it couldn“t be farther from it. Alien Vs. Predator is one of the most well-known games for Atari“s unsuccessful Jaguar console. Alongside Tempest 3000, it was one of the only reasons to buy a game on the system. Of course, the game was far from perfect but the considerably small library left little room for being choosy.
What Alien Vs. Predator got right was its atmosphere. The game is played from a first person perspective of either an Alien or Predator, and forces you to navigate through dark and lonely halls. Coming across an enemy is a routinely shocking experience considering the enemies didn“t make sounds, and made this an example of a shooter that could actually be scary.
Alien Trilogy - PlayStation (1996)
What if you are looking for a more action-oriented Aliens shooter? Perhaps Aliens Trilogy for PlayStation, Saturn, and PC is more up your alley. As the name implies, it is based off the first three films although from a first person shooter perspective. Let“s hope that is fun enough, as the story in the game is entirely minimal.
Some might view Alien Trilogy as too close to a Doom-style shooter, but it manages to get the feel of Alien down well. Seeing aliens burst out of the shadows to attack you is creepy and the FPS controls are a blast (if a bit antiquated today). Despite residing on PlayStation, the game has not seen a re-release as a PSOne Classic yet.
Aliens Infestation - Nintendo DS (2011)
Now we get to the latest game on the list. Aliens Infestation was a largely overlooked DS game that received an overall popular response. The sidescrolling shooter is actually the work of both WayForward and Gearbox, which may be of special interest to some, considering Gearbox also took part in developing Aliens: Colonial Marines. Of course, the two games couldn“t be more different.
With a distinct Metroidvania vibe, Aliens Infestation starts you out with a party of four marines. If one dies, they“re gone for good, which makes the already tough game even harder. With WayFoward on board, the game is adorned with attractive and highly detailed pixel graphics. Overall, this is a recent hidden gem for DS that deserves a look.
These five games don“t even scratch the surface of what is available to play from the Aliens universe. The franchise has seen so many variations and fit into multiple genres that every gamer should be able to find at least one game that suits them. Many Alien games have also been less than stellar, although none have received such vitriol as the latest. Instead of engaging or humoring those people, consider enjoying another piece of the Aliens game library instead.