Aliens have long been a staple of sci-fi FPS titles and action-adventure picks since (what feels like) the dawn of gaming itself. And in an age of entertainment where film-to-game adaptations and franchise reboots are all the rage, it's only natural to expect a blockbuster hit to get a shoot-'em-up or side-scroller treatment. Throw the upswing in virtual reality's popularity, and it seems the natural course of action that 20th Century Fox would make a multiplayer VR game based on the Alien film franchise.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Salil Mehta confirmed that the newly-formed entertainment division of 20th Century Fox, FoxNext, is hard at work on the upcoming Alien game. Mehta, who serves as president of FoxNext, explained that the entertainment unit was "created to support our motion pictures and with the view that technology is creating an opportunity for us to really revolutionize the way stories will be told in the future."
The first project on FoxNext's table is, of course, the new Alien title, which will allow four players at a time go head-to-head with creepy Xenomorph hordes. Described as a "free-roam" game, the Alien multiplayer game will make use of the mobile-based Samsung Gear VR for visuals. Players will be equipped with "specially-created prop guns" that offer "haptic effects and hand tracking" as they trek through a fully-immersive environment. The game incorporates tangible effects like "heat, mist, a motion platform and physical elements to create a visceral experience." All the action will take place in a 2,000 square-foot environment, and the experience is set to open to the public "before the end of the year."
THR writer Carolyn Giardina experienced the upcoming Alien game first-hand, during a proof-of-concept run. Here's what she had to say:
"I crept through the shadows in an underground cave, with my gun ready and my back against the wall. I looked every which way for aliens. Flying creatures approached -- I shot at them. Aliens were then visible from a distance, I shot again and also used a grenade for more impact... sometime later, I found myself face to face with the threatening Xenomorph -- and I was out of ammo! But I wasn't actually in a cave. I was standing on a stage with minimal props, carrying a prop gun, and wearing virtual reality headsets."
Mehta gave a few more details about the upcoming game, calling the experience "genre-defining." He stated, "There's an incredible opportunity to marry this with what we're doing in VR and bring VR to locations. We have an incredible property in Alien and with the timing of the movie and the experience, we can make something genre defining."
Additonally, Mehta discussed types of titles that FoxNext intends to create moving forward. The company plans to churn out more "location-based entertainment" experiences, starting with attractions related to franchises like Night at the Museum, Ice Age, and Planet of the Apes. Perhaps FoxNext will even unveil a VR experience for Avatar released in conjunction with Massive Entertainment's Avatar game.
The Alien VR experience follows after a laundry list of past Alien games that include the stellar Aliens Trilogy (1996) and Alien vs. Predator (1999). Fans last got their hands on an Alien game in 2014, with the wide-release of Alien: Isolation on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Developed by Creative Assembly, Alien: Isolation was applauded for its terrifying horror elements, exceptional artistic direction, and fine-tuned tension. If the forthcoming Alien VR game places users in an environment as intense as the one seen in Alien: Isolation, they're in for a spine-tingling (or, more appropriately, spine-bursting) gameplay experience.
The forthcoming Alien VR game from FoxNext is slated for later this year.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter