There haven’t been many success stories in the Alien franchise when it comes to the video game industry. Colonial Marines seemed to miss the mark for most audiences and Isolation, while filled with suspense, left players hankering for a longer experience with more differentiation in the gameplay. Developers over at Obsidian have unfortunately had to shut down production on a game that, from the sounds of it, would have hit the Alien sweet spot.
While producing Alpha Protocol, Obsidian also started to work on this underground title that had been named Aliens: Crucible. From the vivid descriptions that writers like Chris Avellone have given VG247 in a recent interview, it’s a shame that this won’t see the light of day. It was going to be “basically Mass Effect but more terrifying,” Avellone says, “Everyone working on Aliens: Crucible was really excited about it.” But it seems that Sega was getting tired of the game’s production cycle for one reason or another and ultimately canceled it. The only glimpse that we are left of it is some very early gameplay that Obsidian showed off some time ago:
Apparently this Alien RPG included mechanics such as hacking, meaningful conversation, intense combat, and story-driven characters that joined you much like those of the Mass Effect series. The writers also told VG247 that the main thing that they really focused on and wanted to nail was instilling a sense of fear into the characters and the player. That was easier said than done according to Avellone, “The biggest challenge we had was how to keep the fear going even in conversations. You can make conversations stressful and frightening. How do you do it so that an alien could be attacking you at any moment?”
Even though Aliens: Crucible was unable to make it into gamers’ libraries, here’s to hoping that there is a developer out there that will be able to capitalize on a RPG-like Alien title, the franchise’s future is too rich with lore to pass up.