Ridley Scott’s Alien, James Cameron’s Aliens, and their successors have had a vast influence on the world of science fiction and horror. The unforgettable design of the Xenomorph can be seen in other alien creatures in the years since, and the unsettling and inhumane set design of the USS Nostromo has influenced space-faring sci-fi design since.
Science fiction and horror video games in particular have been heavily influenced by the Aliens series. Many video games have the film etched into their very foundations, and it’s easy to see why. The films (at least the first two) are beautifully realized, have complex and ominous themes, and are downright brilliant. It’s easy to see why many science fiction and horror creators would use it as a basis for their own worlds and stories.
10 Of Course, There Are The Actual Alien Licensed Games
This is an easy one, but there are plenty of Alien licensed video games that aim to capture one element or another from the films. There have been over 30 combined Alien and Alien VS Predator video games over the years, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight with Alien: Fire Team Elite on the horizon.
One of the most notable Alien games of recent years includes the much-celebrated Alien: Isolation, which seeks to recreate the original film by having the sole protagonist stalked and narrowly surviving a single deadly Xenomorph. There is also the much-maligned Aliens: Colonial Marines, which took more inspiration from Aliens, with hordes of Xenomorphs swarming the beleaguered Colonial Marines.
9 The Flood From Halo Are Reminiscent Of The Unbound Biology Of The Xenomorphs
Halo sought to make its own universe, design, and culture. However, everything takes inspiration from something, and it’s easy to see some of the inspiration for the malicious Flood.
The hive scene of Aliens shows life unbound, with the Xenomorphs seeming to corrupt metal and machinery with their presence. In the same way, the Flood overtake technology as well as biology. Plus, the Flood parasites themselves very much look like Alien Face-Huggers.
8 Starcraft’s Zerg Are Xenomorphs In All But Name
Starcraft has several design aesthetics at its core and can claim to have as much influence on Halo as Alien, if not more so. However, there is one aspect of Starcraft that seems very reminiscent of the Alien series, and that is the Zerg.
Much like the Xenomorphs, the Zerg are an overwhelming horde of insectoid aliens with a single queen or hivemind that directs them. On top of that, the design of the average Zerg is very Xenomorph-like.
7 System Shock Has A Lot Of The Alien Aesthetic And The Claustrophic Space-Based Horror
System Shock doesn’t take as much inspiration from the Xenomorphs of Alien as much as its visuals and settings in its mission to create an unsettling sci-fi horror environment. In fact, System Shock doesn’t really have a true alien species in the game (since the Many were technically just a creation of SHODAN).
In any case, the brutal and cold design of the ships and locales of System Shock and its overall spirit of sci-fi/horror is very much in line with the unsettling Alien universe’s.
6 Super Contra Pretty Much Had The Xenomorphs In It
The Contra games were largely shoot-em-ups that had the player taking on the role of a kick-butt soldier out on a mission to kill all manner of aliens. One could argue that this already makes the player like the idealized version of a Colonial Marine, but that’s not the biggest Aliens connection by far.
The final stage of Super Contra has the player fight creatures that really do resemble the Xenomorphs, even more than Starcraft’s Zerg. Beyond that, there are some design moments that are a tad on the Aliens-y side, though not as much as something like System Shock.
5 Prey (2017) Very Much Feels Like An Attempt To Survive The Aliens Scenario
The setup of Prey (2017) feels a good bit like the Aliens scenario from the get-go, albeit on a space station in the Talos 1. The Typhon swarm the space station, with Morgan Yu left to fend them off with whatever they can find available.
There are also a lot of design elements that seem quite reminiscent of the technology of Aliens and the expanded human civilization as built by Weylan Yutani.
4 SOMA Takes On A Lot Of The Brutal Futurism Of Alien For Its Horror
The horror game SOMA, despite not having any aliens in it, is very much a child of the original Alien movie. The technology of PATHOS-II is cold, alienating, and brutal. It doesn’t seem like a place intended to be inhabited by humans, much like the Nostromo.
The cold and dark corridors make navigating SOMA a truly unsettling experience, and the player wouldn’t be too surprised if a Xenomorph lived in those halls.
3 The World Of Metroid Evokes The Ancient Unsettling Origins Of The Xenomorphs
Metroid takes several notes from the Alien franchise, from the creature and environmental design to the sense that these alien worlds are far more ancient than human civilization. The Metroids themselves are akin to the Xenomorphs in how they’ve been deliberately designed, studied, and grown out of their creators’ control.
Samus Aran herself is very much like Ellen Ripley trying to clean up some other alien species’ problems and preserve herself and the few people still left alive around her.
2 The Xen From Half-Life Are Reminiscent Of Alien Xenomorphs In Many Ways
The various Xen races from Half-Life carry a lot of Xenomorph influence with them, and it’s hard to deny some of the conceptual similarities between the Head-Crab and the Face-Hugger.
There are various design elements that link the two as well. The futuristic world of Half-Life is cold and industrial, seeming more intended for work and production than life and leisure.
1 The Dead Space Series Draws On Alien To Fuel Its Horror
Dead Space takes all of the similarities from these other games and amps them up to 11. The locales of the first two Dead Space games feel cold, cruel, and inhospitable. Even the commerce and housing environments encountered feel ill-suited to human happiness. On top of that, Isaac Clarke fights off an overwhelming biological force of an ancient and seemingly spiritual origin. Of course, some of this is also clearly inspired by the highly underrated Event Horizon.
Like the Flood and the Xenomorphs, the Necromorphs are life unbound – controlling, parasitic, evolving, and completely destructive.
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