Alien: Resurrection is a first-person shooter survival horror video game based on the 1997 film of the same name. The game was developed by Argonaut Games, published by Fox Interactive and distributed by Electronic Arts exclusively for the PlayStation. The title is believed to have invented the use of left and right analog sticks for movement commonly used in modern first-person shooters.
Following the same basic plot of the movie, the game takes place years after the events of Alien 3 and follows a cloned Lt. Ellen Ripley as she tries to escape from the xenomorph-infested research spaceship USM Auriga along with a crew of mercenaries.
The game is a first person shooter (FPS) with survival horror elements. It consists of ten levels, the first nine taking place in the Xenomorph-infested USM Augria, with the last aboard the mercenary ship Betty.
The player uses four different characters from the movie. Ripley for a majority of the game, occasionally switching to Call, DiStephano, or Christie, each with their own special equipment. Some players have different weapons. The selection includes a laser rifle, double barrel shotgun, grenade launcher, Shock rifle, flamer-thrower and a rocket launcher.
The player must complete different tasks to progress across the game. These include killing clones and ejecting overheating escape pods.
In addition to traditional drone aliens, the player also faces marines and the infamous face-huggers (if the player is implanted with an alien, they must track down a device to remove it, or the creature will hatch and the game ends), later fighting boss creatures such as the alien queen and the newborn.
The game originally started as a third person survival horror game similar to the original Resident Evil game. The game was to be released by Fox Interactive and Argonaut Games for the Sony PlayStation (it was also rumored for the Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64 and PC computers as well) close to the film's release in late 1997. However, this game was scrapped and Argonaut Games restarted development from scratch as a first person shooter for the PlayStation and PC.
After a series of delays the game was finally released exclusively for the Sony PlayStation in 2000 (October 10 in the USA and December 1 in Europe), three years after the film ran its course in theatres. Versions of the game for PC and Dreamcast were planned but scrapped due to low sales and poor reception of the PlayStation game.
Whereas the film received very mixed reviews upon release, the video game was met with a notably better response, with critics praising its atmosphere and frequently scary gameplay. However, criticism was directed at the graphics, as well as the harsh difficulty level. Steven Garrett, formerly of GameSpot, also criticised the control scheme, describing the game as "almost unplayably difficult to control and unreasonably hard to enjoy". Ironically, the control scheme would later become the standard for first-person shooter games on consoles. Review aggregation website Metacritic gave the game a score of 61 based on 12 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".