By Al Giovetti, 03/10/97
In 1978, A film came screaming across the big screens throughout the world and a legend was born. It came out of one of H. R. Geieger's nightmarish views of man twisted beyond recognition into lethal and terrifying monsters that mimic man. Aliens are intelligent insect like beings subservient to the hive mother. They need us to breed as living incubators until the alien bursts forth from our chest bursting our heart and killing us. They bleed corrosive organic acid that melts steel in seconds. These are not nice ants, they are a nightmare.
In fact the first Alien scared audiences so well, they came back for two sequels and the series was born. Later in 1997, almost ten years later, Starship Troopers, an Alien spinoff, will open in the theaters continuing the tradition. Sigourney Weaver is filming another Alien movie called Alien Resurrection. An Alien sequence has been enshrined at the MGM Studios Great Movie Ride in Walt Disney World, complete with artifacts from the original film. This is a series that may go on forever. It was inevitable that computer games would come out bearing the license.
Alien games have been available for the Jaguar: Alien vs Preditor, the Super Nintendo: Alien 3 and there was an Alien coin-op (and pin ball machine). The Alien Trilogy was released first on the Sony PlayStation, then the Sega Saturn. This is the port to the PC.
Company LineAlien Trilogy features all the gut-churning fear of the complete Alien saga in one black-death, white-knuckle nightmare. Welcome to the first-person, 3-D blitzkrieg of overwhelming horror that no one can resist! This is the hottest game around!
You're Ripley...and you're facing over 30 levels of hell! They've lost contact with the colonists on LV426. The Company sent you there to find out what happened. You hope that there is just some communications problem...but deep down, you know... they're back!
But you haven't come unprepared. You're packing the state-of-the-art alien-killer tool kit !
This is the most fear-inducing, adrenaline-pumping, alien-killing game ever! With up to 4 Player network gameplay, blast damage, realistic explosions and audio voice-over on PC, Alien Trilogy is the most realistic 3-D first person action game you've ever seen! You'll find out what you're made of when you find yourself surrounded by 360 degrees of armor-piercing, acid-spitting, flesh-tearing hell!
Alien Trilogy, from Acclaim - Have you got the guts?
Like all Doom games, you run around inside a maze which is inside a space ship and you shoot aliens, who drop from the ceiling, pop up from behind obstacles and other simple stuff. There are over thirty missions and 23 levels in the original Alien movie sets set to cyberspace. All the forms of the alien are here: chest burster, face huggers, dog aliens, and alien queens. Each movie has one alien queen as the level end boss. Also fighting you are evil human troops and androds who want the Alien as a bioweapon for their armies. The weapon refire rate is slow. Obstacles hang you up as you move through the maze. When compared to Space Hulk, Space Hulk is a better game. Ammunition resupply especially in later levels is a problem and while this lends a strategic aspect to the game making it even more difficult, many will be dismayed and frustrated by this "feature."
You take the part of Ripley pursuing the insect monsters through the ship until you annihalate them. This is not a deep plot. The game starts on the Nostromo, then LV-426, then on to the penal colony, and then on the Geieger Bone Ship seen in the first Alien movie.
The three dimensional graphics are in 16-bit color, but are mostly black color with some rather spectacular explosions. The aliens all melt into green jello on the floor when dead. Graphics are always too blocky. Scrolling is not smooth. The background graphics are faithful to the locations in the films.
AnimationAnimation is choppy.
Sound EffectsAmbient sound effects taken right from the Alien films keep you on the edge of your seat.
UtilitiesThe SpaceOrb 360 controller is supported by the game. The loads in the game are long making this one boring and a pain to play.
Multi-player FeaturesThere is four player network play so that you can get together and fight in the Alien spaceships. A better idea would have been to have the multple players cooperate to eliminate the Alien menace, but they did not do this so the multiplayer aspect is a bust. Another good idea would have been to be able to play as an Alien, but Acclaim did not do this either.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
JournalistsTim, the diplomatic one, says, "Meanwhile, a queasy feeling creeps in, letting you know you've just paid cash for the computer equivalent of a barf bag." Jason, feels that the multi-players games were "disappointing." Peter feels this is one gam to "avoid." "...A real winner" "The game play is superb" -EGM, Dec '95 "Game of the month" "Alien Trilogy is fantastic" "If you're scared of the dark, or have a bad bladder, then avoid at all costs" -Video Games, March '96 "This is one of those must-have games..." "Aliens fans rejoice all the way to the store and be sure not to miss out on the latest and best Aliens titles yet..." --EGM, April 96 "...this game is very good indeed." -Next Generation, Nov '96
ReferencesTim Royal, Computer Games, issue 77, April, 1997, pg. 74, 10%.
Andy Schmidt, Video Games Review, 80%
Acclaim's Alien Trilogy web site
Jason D'Aprile, Computer & Net Player, volume 3, number 10, March, 1997, pg. 54, 60%.
Peter Olafson, PC Games, volume 4, number 3, March, 1997, pg. 63, 62%.