Snorkelbottom's Gaming Blog has moved to Scified. This move makes the blog more visual as many top Scified articles can receive over twenty thousand views, sourced from a community of thousands of fans and followers across Scified, Facebook and Twitter. Articles will be migrated from the Blogger site to Scified over the next few weeks with the first being the most popular article (so far) below, the ideas proposed within of which are currently being considered for inclusion in the development of a fan-made game called Alien: Hope for the Future.
The Fall of Hadley's Hope
Sadly, I was one of those caught by the 2013 release Aliens: Colonial Marines. Before release, I had actually been cautious about the game, but like many others, I was well and truly fooled by the developer playthrough that was released just before the game hit shelves. Famously, what fans got at launch wasn't anywhere near what had been showcased, as has been highlighted since and the game is now considered one of the worst of all time. Little would have believed then that the 2014 follow-up title, Alien: Isolation, would go on to be considered, at least gameplay wise, one of the best video games of all time. Creative Assembly's survival horror game was a revelation; essentially based on the childhood game of 'hide and seek', albeit, with fatal consequences, the game proved that sometimes less was more and that contrary to what director Ridley Scott had stated while promoting his 2012 movie Prometheus, the beast was far from cooked.
So when I recently thought of a video game proposal that I could also promote over at Scified.com, while having had an idea for a Predator game for some time (which I'll showcase another time), considering Scified's devoutly heavy Alien fan base, I imagined what I have come to call 'Aliens: Isolation'. While being a sequel to the first game, I feel the premise would benefit by adopting ideas from other similar titles such as 7 Days to Die, Ark, Minecraft and even Left for Dead. Initially, that may seem like a strange cocktail of games but consider this - Isolation's gameplay with a day/night cycle where the Aliens 'come out night, mostly', set over a prolonged period of time whereby as the number of survivors falls the number of Aliens grow, with a variety of roles for the Aliens and the ability to craft items for the player, all with absolutely no weapons.
Imagine the scenario - An Alien is closing in on you so you hide in a locker. It enters the room and heads menacingly straight toward your hiding place. Before hand, you used a crafted item using a wind-up toy time delay which now triggers a fire extinguisher nearby, distracting the Alien, who then (maybe) leaves the room. Crafting could also be used to fortify barricades, repair and replenish items and craft items otherwise unavailable. In terms of the Aliens, rather than using A: CM's non-canonical variants I would suggest sticking to the canon (pictured below, from left to right) with dome headed Drones being the hunters, the ridge headed Warriors gathering hosts, and the dog born Runners tracking and sniffing out survivors.
As for the setting of the game, I suggest the fall of the colony on LV-426; 'Hadley's Hope' (as depicted in SanchiESP's awesome rendering below) from James Cameron's Aliens, starting with Anne Jordan's mayday message and ending with the arrival of the Colonial Marines. American actors Mac McDonald and Paul Reiser could reprise their roles as the colony's Administrator Al Simpson and Carter J. Burke (respectively), through voice acting, with the colony recreated from film footage analysis. The game could be used to show the unfilmed scene Cameron intended showing the colonists discovering the eggs, the removal of the two 'live' Facehuggers, and the colonists' gradual subjugation by the Aliens. The game could also reintroduce egg-morphing (as seen in the Alien: Directors Cut) and the Royal Facehugger (as seen in the Alien 3 Assembly Cut) to explain how the Queen Alien came into being, as well as also showing domed headed Aliens losing their 'domes' to become the ridge headed Aliens seen later on in the movie (as per director Cameron's suggestion). Finally, the game could also explain why the colonists never discovered the derelict ship in the twenty years they have been there, while possibly revealing that Weyland-Yutani had been in constant contact with colony, issuing them orders and even monitoring the events through the colony's security camera's, thus revealing that the colony never lost communications and that the deploying of the USS Sulaco was just another attempt by Weyland-Yutani to acquire the deadly Alien creature.
With the addition of co-operative multiplayer, both across the entire game and parts, or chapters, thereof Aliens: Isolation could become a leader in the survival horror genre. A genre that may be flooded with many titles, most pre-release titles but a genre that seems to be struggling to find its footing, its foundation. Revisiting the Hadley's Hope colony would also prove popular with fans and allow Creative Assembly to weave a better narrative, something of which the original Alien: Isolation was criticized for.
After sharing this article with the members and fans over at Scified, some suggestions helped evolve the idea a little further, namely in regards to the possibility of DLC, another element in which the original Alien: Isolation thrived. One would be an adaptation of the Dark Horse comics story 'Aliens: Newts Tale', which was published in June and July of 1992 and told of the characters struggle to survive. Elements of Newst Tale could also feature in the narrative of Aliens: Isolation, as too could ideas from the novel River of Pain, written by Christopher Golden, which also told of the gradual subjugation of the Hadley's Hope colony. In River of Pain, the colony includes a (unsee n in the movie) small team of Colonial Marines, of which the Alien's avoided, preferring to hunt and snatch unarmed prey. This could be used in the main game by the player as a means of safe passage when the Aliens are nearby, while also opening up the possibility of another DLC, telling the story of the Colonial Marines team, giving players the chance to play the games with weapons. Another possibility for a DLC would be a conclusion to Amanda Ripley's story, who at the end of the first game was left in somewhat of a predicament that contradicts the scene that mentions her in James Cameron's Aliens.
As an extra little gem to celebrate the move of the Gaming Blog to Scified I want to make mention of the ending I imagined for this game. Unlike with many games I pondered the possibility that during the game, which would be viewed from a first person perspective, the player would never see the characters face. Although throughout the campaign the characters name and voice would be made known to the player their identity would remain unknown, beyond the knowledge that the main character would be a woman. The reason I pondered this was for the games ending which would likely follow a 'last stand' by Hadley's Hopes colonists against the Xenomorphs before they were finally overwhelmed.
The ending I imagined is - Following the 'Last stand' the main character would be overwhelmed, a Xenomorph knocking her unconscious. Fade to black. Dragging noises. Characters eyes open as they are dragged across the surface of LV-426, in the skyline above they witness the first Dropship from the USS SUlaco coming into land before again falling unconscious. Segue into game credits.
Then either as a mid or post credit sequence we would hear muffled voices as our main character opens her eyes, her vision blurred, an arm in front of her face before we hear Dietrich shout "We've got a live on here!". The remainder of the scene from 1986's Aliens would play out until our character unwillingly gives birth to a Chestburster, killing her and ending the game.