Today in Retro Gaming – Alien Resurrection (PS1)

Alien Resurrection Box

Scary games debuting in October is a course of history, so it’s no surprise Alien Resurrection sprang into stores on the 10th of this month.  What is surprising?  It came out in 2000, more than three years after the movie.  Somebody’s got some explaining to do.

We’re not exactly sure what sent Argonaut Games back to the drawing board, but when it was first announced, Alien Resurrection was going to be a third-person adventure akin to Resident Evil.  That a game based on one of the scariest sci-fi film franchises of all time should be a survival horror title isn’t much of a stretch.  But somewhere along the line, the decision was made to transition it to a first-person shooter mechanic, positioning it as a spiritual sequel to Probe’s  successful Alien Trilogy.  Understandable, if a bit odd that nobody considered this route before development got underway.

The thing is, Alien Resurrection isn’t a bad game, especially for a licensed property.  It sticks reasonably close to the source material, even going so far as to use familiar sequences and angles from the film’s trailer in the opening cutscene.  It also messes with the lights, forcing players through darkened hallways lit by flickering control panels, sparking conduits, and a low-powered flashlight which makes for some great atmosphere throughout.

But while Resurrection might not be a bad game, it’s not a particularly great one either.  The DualShock controls are clunky, like they never graduated from the original tank-style third-person control scheme, and there’s no run button, so you’ll be tip-toeing your way through the Auriga even when there’s an alien zipping down the hallway towards you.  And while you can pick your difficulty setting, there’s really no such thing as ‘easy’.  The game won’t hesitate to rip your face off at every opportunity.  You don’t like it?  Reload your last save and try again, pal.

So to celebrate Alien Resurrection’s release, we offer you the customary game magazine ad culled from the archives.  Enjoy!

One ultrasound you shouldn't feel bad about losing.

One ultrasound you shouldn’t feel bad about losing.

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