What Could Have Been…Video Games | Aliens: Crucible

What Could Have Been…Video Games | Aliens: Crucible

Back in August 2012 I started a series of articles entitled, “What Could Have Been…”, which detailed the way some of our favourite films could have played out if different decisions had been made during the production process. Now I’m turning my attention to video games that will never see the light of day.

Sega have have a rather hard time with the Aliens license. If you need further proof just Google for the fiasco over their last game, Aliens: Colonial Marines. But this article is about another of the their aliens licensed games that was never released, Aliens: Crucible.

Aliens: Crucible was a role-playing game for PC’s, X360 and PS3 developed by Obsidian Entertainment and first announced by Sega on December 13, 2006. The president of Sega, Simon Jeffery, said,

“…With Obsidian Entertainment’s development pedigree, they were our first choice to bring the Alien franchise to the RPG universe. They are the only developer for us that could effectively combine the Alien mythology with compelling RPG gameplay to create the ultimate Alien experience.”

Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian Entertainment also said:

“We are thrilled to be working with the great production and publishing teams at Sega to deliver the ultimate in-depth Alien experience to gamers worldwide. Building an epic RPG with a license as heralded as the Alien franchise is truly a great honor.”

In February 2009 Sega announced their latest game Aliens Vs. Predator. At the same time they also broke the news that development on the game Aliens: Crucible had been “indefinitely suspended”. No reason had been given however it was reported that several employees at Obsidian had lost their jobs. The game was officially cancelled in June 2009.

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Fast forward to 2010 and Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart said the Aliens RPG was basically a finished game when Sega pulled the plug. “That’s how close we were,” he said. “It looked and felt like it was ready to ship.”

Between its announcement and cancellation, the game was never shown publicly. Since then its demise a variety of concept art has leaked online. I’ve included a couple of examples below but a quick Google search will reveal many more.

A former employee of Obsidian Entertainment has since come forwards and made the following comments on the cancelled game on an RPG discussion forum.

“This was a game of limited resources and perma-death. If a party member got face-hugged, your choices were to mercy kill them, put them in a sleeper and wake them sparingly if you need them, or let them pop – but the bottom line was that once they got impregnated they had an expiration date.”

“The goal was not to kill all the bugs, but to simply escape from the caldera where you were trapped. Don’t get me wrong, there was still a lot of killing of both xenos and humans in the game. Combat was real time – but we had a companion wheel to context system so that you could issue commands to your squadmates. For example, you could highlight a door with your reticule, and then based on what your squard could do, it would show you your options, like weld door, open door, or if you had a bomb, plant bomb on door.”

Finally this 13 minute video appeared online showing off an early build of the game. You can definitely get an idea from this of how the game was shaping up.

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Here are some Aliens Crucible animation tests from Danny Garnett


John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves film, and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990s. Whilst that website became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. He's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.

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