Aliens Fireteam Elite mentions an aspect of the Xenomorphs and the structure of their hives, could Weyland Yutani have accidentally found the truth?
Players will encounter many different forms of Xenomorph in Aliens: Fireteam Elite, including spitters and exploding drones. However, the main foe most players will encounter are not the Drones that appear in the movies. Instead, players will come across swarms of smaller aliens known as Runners. This variation could help to explain more about the Alien species and how they colonize a planet.
Traditionally the Xenomorph life cycle is one of the most horrifying aspects of the creature. The drones capture living creatures and drag them to the hive. Once there an embryo is implanted in them by the facehugger. After a short gestation period, the Xenomorph bursts from its chest and the host is killed. Beyond this, though, how the Xenomorphs begin to colonize a planet and form their hives is rarely mentioned. The actions of Weyland-Yutani and the Runner Xenomorph in Fireteam Elite could offer an explanation.
During a mission, the player is informed that the Drone species are the ones that are born from humans. This means that each of the Runners that the players encounter are born from something very different. The runner was originally introduced in Alien 3, where it was the first Xenomorph species to be born from an animal rather than a human. For a time this isn’t brought up again but when the players reach the planet’s surface they learn a horrifying truth. It seems as though the Weyland-Yutani corporation had been bringing in animals to give to the eggs to breed Runners. Those Runners would then be brought up into space to be experimented upon. The fact that the corporation is so willing to perform an action that is incredibly risky for a simple product is one thing, but their actions also doomed any human aboard the ship. However, it does give an interesting glimpse into how the Xenomorph hives function. There is the indication that the Xenomorphs start by attacking animals to breed runners and then move onto larger prey or bide their time. This would mean that the Xenomorphs are a credible threat even when left on a planet with no human life forms.
A game taking the chance to expand established lore is a risky move. There is always the possibility that long-time fans will get irritated at the direction that has been chosen. It can also lead to the game becoming disconnected from the main franchise. This can mean that the game appears to be using the license for its name alone. However, if it is done well, there are benefits as well. Alien, as a series, has quite an adaptable lore in comparison to a lot of franchises. For most of the series, the methods of the Xenomorph were left cryptic to maintain the mystery. However, movies like Prometheus have begun to change that. If the change in cannon is done well it can add to the main universe and cement the installment into the fan consciousness, rather than be seen as a turn-off.
Aliens: Fireteam Elites is working towards cementing itself with the fanbase, as well as avoiding the failures of the past. While adding to the established canon is risky, the chance for them to add something to the lore as well as fit it into the gameplay is a great opportunity. While it doesn’t appear to be a major change and appears mostly as small mentions, it could mean that there is more for a possible sequel to expand upon. For now, players won’t have to wait much longer to dive into the expanded Aliens lore — Aliens: Fireteam Elite releases August 24 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
Keep Reading: Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a Story-Driven Co-Op Love Letter to the Aliens Franchise
The 5 Best Games of 2021 (So Far)
About The Author